DIY wedding: Living Plants in recycled tins

rainbowtins
Being a Pink Haired Girl who is green at heart, I wanted to include elements of recycling and green eco friendliness into the wedding. Besides it is a great budget saver if you can make a lot of the decorations from stuff you collect. This blog is about recycled tins into plant pots for living decorations at a wedding or party.

You will need:

* clean tins
* Philips Screw driver
* Hammer
* Potting soil
* Small trays of plants
* Origami crane or other decorations

Step 1: Collect the tins
Collect tins of various shapes and sizes during the months leading up to the wedding/party.
If you want a rusted more antique look then leave them outside to the elements to get a bit rusted.

Tins2

Step 2: Make drainage holes
Use the star screw driver and a hammer and make a small drainage hole at the bottom of the tin so that that water does not collect around the roots after you have planted the little plants into the tins. I planted mine the week before to gibe them time to get used to their new environment and also so I had less to do closer to the wedding. No plants likes wet soggy roots so drainage hole are important.

Tins

Step 3: Buy plants and potting soil

If you are really really adventurous you could get seeds and grow the plants you are going to use from seeds but I just went to the nursery and bought small flowers. The fun part is choosing all the colours and pants to suit your theme. We went with a multi coloured, but you can get flowers in certain colours. Bear in mind if the area you are going to use the flowers is in the shade or the sun and then match the flowers accordingly. Depending how far in advance your wedding is remember to look for plant that still have closed buds so that they will be open at the time of the wedding.

plants

Step 4: Planting

I planted about a week before to let the plants settle in, I used a small amount of potting soils in the bottom of the tin, then added the plant and filled the sides with more soil, press down lightly and water. Keep i the shade until the wedding and remember to water them.

Step 5: Add Decorations and Enjoy

There are many ways that you can decorate the tins, we added ribbons and rainbow origami birds on wire sticks
You can also paint the tin or decorate them in other ways that suit your wedding/party theme

There we used some on the logs next to the isle with little knitted and fabric birds to match our theme as we met on twitter
tinbirds

logsandtins_Snapseed

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tins5

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tins1

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A hairy question

Ladies: could you stop shaving? To help save the planet and to claim back the right to be feminine as we are and not as society and media says we have to?

Men: could you date, bed, wed a woman who did not shave?

The problem with starting an eco sustainable challenge is that you have to start looking at areas of your life which you did not really want to come under the eco spot light. The process of getting rid of body hair is not that kind on the environment

A little google research taught me that women shaving gained popularity during WW1 when all the men were away and the sales of razors fell, so they started marketing them to women! So many things motivated by money.I knew it was a marketing and media ploy but did not realize the exact origins.

Of course now it is a society norm and we just expect it, we are lead to believe that it is gross to be hairy and that men will find us repulsive. I wonder if this is the case? The Geek seems to have mixed feelings. He is not complaining about my winter leg hair and to be honest I have still been shaving my underarm hair.

It seems like it is not just us ordinary everyday ladies who are questioning if society should dictate how we look but some celbs have decided to be hairy too Julia Roberts in 1999, and more recently Mo’Nique

Whether I can keep up this fuzz in summer, I am not sure, but I guess even 4-6 months of the year cutting down on shaving has to be good. The biggest thing that people can do is to use a reusable razors and just buy blade and not throw away the whole razor. Apparently in the US 2 billion ( and who knew there was a debate about how many zero’s in a billion has 9 or 12 – the things google teaches me) disposable razors are thrown away each year. That sounds like a lot to me. I realize in SA the number is not as high but we have to be more mindful of what we throw away.

There are even more eco friendly razor but they seem to be marketed mostly at men. I have no idea if women can use them wihout a blood bath.

The old barber’s straight razor or cut throat

Saftey Razor

The kind of shaving cream we use also needs to be examined as the normal stuff available in the shop is not that great for the planet. A list from normal shaving cream
But have you seen what’s in canned shaving cream? Here’s an example list of ingredients from a well known brand:

Palmitic Acid
Stearic Acid
Triethanolamine,
Butane
Isobutane
Laureth-23
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Propane
Parfum
Sodium benzoate
Hydroxythylcellulose
Lauryl alcohol
Stearyl alcohol
Irish moss
Dimethicone PEG/PPG-20/23 benzoate
DMDM Hydantoin
Coceth-7
PPG-1-PEG-9 Lauryl Glycol ether
PEG-40 Hydrogenated castor oil
BHT
Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate

That is quite some list! Many of those ingredients such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate are particularly bad for the aquatic environment. More info here on EcoMall

There are other options and I have seen eco shaving cream and gel on line but don’t know too much about what is available in South Africa. I usually use soap in the shower but realize that for guys this is not an option.

And men we are not forgetting you. Here is a who article about using a saftey blade and Learning to shave like your grandpa

Could I go completely hairy, embrace my inner true woman? I am not sure.
Could you?
Men what do you think?

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Greener Baby

I wrote an article for Parent 24 a while back Saving the Planet, don’t have more kids This was before I met Yme and Titus graced us with his presents. I mentioned that I was not saying don’t to have kids or even that I would not have any more, but the question was should we consider the environment when deciding to have children.

I think there are ways to have kids without having a huge impact on the environment. I want to highlight some of these over the next few weeks. I was going to do a baby week but I thought even I might be sick of baby talk by the end of that so I will intersperse the baby stuff into the general life news.

My first tip is on clothing
Kids grow so fast and one of the great expense is keeping them clothed. Titus fondly known as ‘bundle of puke’ when he was younger would go through quite a few changes of clothes a day. One of the best ways to decrease the environmental impact is to use pre loved clothes and pass on the clothes that your kids have out grown. I know not everyone likes hand-me-downs but they make economic and plant saving sense.

I am always very grateful for stuff that has been passed on to us and I notice that some offer it hesitatingly though, I guess not all people are as welcoming when it comes to 2nd hand clothes. I in turn pass mine on with enthusiasm, so if I offend you offering you our hand-me-downs please forgive me I am just trying to save the planet.

We can’t always just get away with 2nd hand things so what about the times when you want to add that something special or you need something for your kids. Honey Badger Eco Friendly clothing fills this gap very well.

Look out for the full blog article on Honey Badger Clothing but in the mean time I just want to let you know of the special offer they are running for Pink Hair Girl readers. On their Facebook page they have an album of pictures of clothes less 25% for you including fitted sheets. Postage NOT included, while stock lasts,offer runs until the end of March. Their shopping trolley is down but you can contact Renee on the FB page about items you are interested in.

I am definitely going to get the kids a few more things. I was lucky enough to get a voucher for Honey Badger Clothing in an authors gift pack and have been very impressed with the clothes we got. And now you can OOOHHH and AAAHHH over how cute Titus was in October in his Honey Badger Clothes and sweet hat

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Going green

How Green can we go?

Last year I had a Gift Challenge, I wanted to see if I could Make, Upcycle, Regift or give gifts of service for a year. Granted I only started in July so will be carrying on for a while still. But It has been fun and for the most part I think I have managed. I will post some more updates of things I made soon.

But this year I want to start a Green/Sustainability Challenge. I want to see how green and self sustainable we can be in an urban area. So much of the stuff I have read about being sustainable is based on people moving or having more space and the average person. This suggestion is 2 acers which is just not realistic for most.

From Progressive Pioneer as seen on Pinterest

I love the book It’s Not Easy Being Green
click here to buy at Kalahari.net

It is about a British Family’s Journey towards Eco-living but they move to a new house in the country and have lots of space and try to go completely off the grid. But it is a great read and there are some wonderful tips for average people too.

While I think we might have more space than the average as we have quite a bit garden we are still urban, we have the urban bi-laws and other limitations of not having a farm or small holding. But since a lot of us live in urban areas surely there should be a way we can be more green and more self sufficient than we are.

After all we either create and produce or we consume and take away. I know we can’t get totally off the grid and there are some luxuries that we still want but I think in a small way there are things that we can all do. This is my year to see how far we can go in our goal. I know it will take more than a year but I want us to set the habit of being mindful of our drain on resources and see what we can do to counter it. We will never be able to do everything ourselves but I could finding local produce for what we can’t make or grow and working within our community.

    Pros/ What we have

  •  We have space. A big garden and enough area to grow food for ourselves. Is it enough to feed us all year? I am not sure yet @mattallison from I’m no Jamie Oliver suggested on twitter than one needs about 200-400m² to grow enough food for a family and have some left over. My very rough pacing out in the garden says we have about 220m² of area that we wanted to set aside for the food garden.
  • We have a lot of sunshine so we should be able use solar energy
  • We have a borehole to ground water. If we get the pimp fixed then having water for the garden should be easy even though we live in a dry area
  • We have wind, Cape in notorious for wind and as we are on the west coast we get a lot of wind
  • The Geek, he is a great asset he is keen, hard working, handy and can build stuff and brainy. He loves researchig things and has been looking into the wind and solar options and knows how to do all the Math and Sciency stuff we need
  • Seaweed, we live very close to the beach and although or soil is not great here we have seaweed to help us fix this problem
  • Wormery: We have a wormey to make compost and worm tea
  • Chickens, although there have been sagas and we only have one how is laying, we should soon have all the eggs we need from our chickens. Meat? Well let me address that under cons.

Cons/Limitations

  • Money, this is always going to be our hugest limiting factor. We would love to add a rain water collector, solar panels, wind turbine and borehole pump but sadly the budget does not allow, even if in the long run it will pay off, we still have to have the cash now. I will try save slowly during the year for these.
  • Meat, while we can keep meat chickens I am not sure that the children (or me to be honest) could eat chickens we have raised. I understand this is very hypocritical and that our meat would be a lot healthier. Maybe time will change this. With a bigger flock and the birds being less individuals it might be easier.
  • Bad sandy west coast soil, if you see above we have been working on this and have compost, worms and seaweed to help
  • Space for other livestock.  Although I am sure we could have a goat, The Geek does not agree.
  • Space for wheat, we will always need to rely on others for flour but I would like to find a local source and maybe grind our own. I would also like to decrease our wheat consumption as I am sure we should not eat as much as we do.