Waste not, want not

3 September 2020

So over this rather strange period in time I have found myself pondering more about the great many environmental issues we have to consider.

I have made some changes, I have received produce from my allotment thanks to having more time to dedicate to it (and an enthusiastic dad who has discovered a life long passion in it since retirement!).

We have found we are walking more, we are less rushed with time and we have found more places to explore in nature and the countryside. We have planted wildflowers and had the time to watch them grow and see the difference they are making (butterflies and giant elephant moth caterpillars anyone?) and I have spent many a happy time in the garden and building creations from old pallets as well as projects with the children such as a wildlife pond where we watched tadpoles turn to frogs with wonder.

We decided to think about those less fortunate than us in very turbulent times and painted rainbows and positive quotes on pictures for the elderly in care homes and delivered them to homes whilst also creating a pen pal scheme group on social media to encourage others to do the same.

As a family we were also saddened by the amount of families struggling to feed their children over the school holidays so started raising money to help feed them a packed lunch every Friday at a local food bank. I run a local mum’s group so we all joined forces to help put these together and all children got an activity, toy, treat and a healthy lunch put together by us and food bank volunteers.

They were delivered each week and 180 meals were given out. Had lockdown not happened and work had not stopped I would have struggled to organise this initiative and forge links with other groups so in a way this reflective time helped develop new ideas and ways of overcoming problems such as social distancing etc.

Another lockdown discovery was that I loved taking my bike with me when I was making small journeys, it was a real awakening. Just a small change but how much better my mind felt when I was out exercising in the fresh air.

I also took more time to notice my surroundings, it was a revelation. We found that our food shopping became more of a little and often experience, we supported local shops such as bakeries, grocers and butchers. We appreciated that even though we might be paying slightly more the overall impact of or choice was higher, we were supporting small family run businesses instead of large corporate ones.

Cassie Cooper’s blog manic-mumdays is about family days out, culture, travel, theatre, mum’s mindfulness and thoughts on modern ‘mum life’. She loves to champion the North East and the treasures to be found in the region. Cassie also runs family events and mum’s socials as well as community projects and helping families in her area.

]Living sustainably and creating, fixing, swapping and sharing is right at the heart of the Festival of Thrift. True to its name, following the cancellation of this year’s large-scale event, it has been repurposed to become Thriftfest Upcycled. The online event offers a packed programme of thrifty activities to enjoy at home – doing some of the things you might have tried at this year’s Festival of Thrift.

Visit festivalofthrift.co.uk to find out more


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