Fun Family Activities To Celebrate Earth Day

​Today is Earth Day. So here are some lovely ways you can celebrate, either today  or any other (because really, everyday should be Earth Day anyway!) 

  • Nature art. There are lots of fun nature art activities that you can do as a family. One that is particularly great for Earth Day is to collect some large pebbles, arrange them in a solid circle, then paint them with a map of the world (I decided to add a peace sign too!)

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  • Make an Earth Pom Pom. Check out this super cute creative activity over on Monkey and Mouse!
  • Sign up to Global Guardian Project to get their monthly digital multi-media resource (learning capsule) full of stunning pictures, useful information, inspirational ideas and activities, and wonderful facts about the amazing world that we live in, and how we can care for it. This month the focus is on Israel. Use my affiliate code LIVINGLIFEOURWAY to get 10% discount off subscriptions. (Usual price $14.99 per month). This discount code can also be used for their new special edition National Parks capsule too.

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  • Go on a nature walk. Use all your senses to explore the natural environment around you. Stop for a few moments, be still and listen. What do you hear? What do you see? What can you smell? Touch the bark of a tree, go barefoot on the grass. Take it all in and connect with our earth.

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    • Make a paper mache globe. This project takes several days but is lots of messy creative fun! Head on over to The Crafty Classroom to for a detailed tutorial.
    • Give the earth a helping hand. Do something that helps protect our environment. Small changes can have a BIG impact. Maybe a 5 minute litter pick in your local park? Find ways to reduce energy consumption in your home? Pledge to say ‘no thanks’ to plastic straws with your drink? Or perhaps buy yourself a reusable cup rather than using disposable coffee shops ones? You could even try to give up single-use plastics completely! The possibilities are endless and remember, every small change helps. Other ideas can be found on my previous Make A Splash blog post.  

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    What are you doing for Earth Day? Tell me in comments, I look forward to reading about it!

    Global Guardian Project

    Global Guardian Project is an inspirational digital multimedia resource – called a learning capsule- designed to educate children (and adults!) about caring for our planet, and to empower children of any age to take action and be change-makers. 

    “Our mission is to create learning tools that support the entire family in making simple, daily changes that will become positive habits.”

    Each learning capsule is delivered monthly to your inbox. Subscription costs $14.99 per month and can be cancelled anytime. You will only ever pay for what you receive. You can also buy one-off capsules for $16.99. 

    The capsules are beautifully presented, and contain a wealth of information and activities. They include things such as endangered species, interviews and spotlights, DIY and art projects, recipes, and guided meditations.  Each one focuses on a different country. The current one is about Sweden and coming next, on 15th April, it will be Israel. Here are some page samples from this month’s Sweden learning capsule…

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    Global Guardian Project, learning subscription, home education, activist, global citizen, green living, sustainability, our world, freedom to learn, childhood unplugged, affiliate

    Global Guardian Project, learning subscription, home education, activist, global citizen, green living, sustainability, our world, freedom to learn, childhood unplugged, affiliate

    Global Guardian Project, learning subscription, home education, activist, global citizen, green living, sustainability, our world, freedom to learn, childhood unplugged, affiliate

    I cannot express how much I love the aim and approach of this fabulous initiative. As home educators, we are always excited to find awesome new resources. But this one is an absolute dream because it matches our own values so perfectly. So I am genuinely SO delighted to have teamed up with them to offer 10% discount on subscriptions using my code LIVINGLIFEOURWAY To subscribe, click here and enter the code at checkout. Remember you can cancel anytime. 

    If you are not sure if you want to commit and would like to try it out first, you can get a free India capsule, worth $14.99, simply by signing up to the newsletter here. They send out useful emails once or twice per month. No junk. Promise.

    You can also download the free Oceans capsule here. This is a mini capsule, about 50% of the content of the full size subscription version. But it gives you a great idea of what the capsules are all about. And I am so happy that this one is dedicated to the ocean!

    Remember, if you decide to subscribe, my code is LIVINGLIFEOURWAY for your 10% off discount! I hope you love it as much as I do!!!

    *Disclosure: I am an affiliate. This means I get paid a referral fee for each person who subscribes using my discount code. You save money, I receive a fee, Global Guardian Project gets subscribers and our planet gains a tribe of protectors. Everyone wins! 

    A Quick Cuppa With… Eco Fluffy Mama

    Today my guest is the absolutely lovely Tamsin. She is a fellow blogger who writes about green living, eco products and aiming for a zero waste. She is truly inspirational. Read on to find out some of her top tips…

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    Introduction

    My name is Tamsin, I’m 29 and I live in Suffolk with my son and fiance. I used to work in the motorcycle industry, but sadly lost my job in 2011 before having my son in 2012. Before my son was born, I was really into power lifting but unfortunately had to give that up when my health declined suddenly. I suffer from multiple chronic health conditions and at times I find things hard. But lucky for me I have a supportive family and the most wonderful readers who constantly spur me on.

    Name one random fact about yourself.

    I hold a full motorcycle license.

    Who is your biggest inspiration?

    Amanda Tapping

    Tell me about your blog. Have you always been passionate about green living and working toward zero waste? What inspired you to start the blog?

    I’ve always been interested in natural skincare and holistic healing. But it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my son that I found out about cloth nappies, which opened my eyes to green living. I had no idea how truly wasteful our society is. Like many others, I never truly understood that there is no such thing as ‘away’, and that rubbish is a huge problem. After discovering cloth nappies, I kind of fell into the world of green living and have progressed towards a zero waste lifestyle (although I am absolutely not perfect or 100% zero waste! – I am still making progress, too!)


    I started the blog as a diary of sorts for my working out and talking about my experience as a first time Mum. I wrote about cloth nappies and babywearing as it was something that I really wanted more people to know about. From there I expanded my topics to include reusable menstrual products. It’s what really what launched my blog from a little space of internet for waffling, to a trusted site for others also seeking information on living a greener life.

    What is the best piece of advice you would give someone just starting out on their journey to zero waste?

    Don’t panic and remember to start small. It’s all too easy to find out about zero waste, then realise about how wasteful society is and feel like we need to make loads of changes immediately. You will end up overwhelmed, stressed out and feeling defeated.

    So my advice is to make a couple of changes at a time. Start with analysing your rubbish and work out what it is you’re throwing way – from there you can easily work out simple solutions. Also, invest in reusable bags and drinks bottles. You’ll make quite a big impact by just refusing single use plastic bags and drinks bottles.


    Remember, it’s not all or nothing. Do as much as you are able.

    How do you relax/ spend your ‘free time’?

    I am a really keen amateur photographer, so I enjoy taking photos whenever possible. I also really enjoy reading and crochet. For me, crochet is a great stress reliever and I have found it has helped my mental health a lot.

    Since Living Life Our Way is a family lifestyle blog, I’d love to hear more about yours…

    What are your favourite family activities?

    As a family, we really enjoy going on adventures (As my 4yo puts it). We pack a lunch, go for a walk and just enjoy the beautiful countryside.

    Where is your favourite outdoor place to visit?

    Clare County Castle – it’s in a little village and has a big hill with the ruins of the old Clare castle. There’s also an old railway and a park, too. It’s just a lovely area to visit.

    Best family day out?

    Gosh, tough question. I couldn’t possibly pin point one as I struggle to get out due to my health. So every time we’re out as a family is special to me. Especially the simple things like watching the sun set from our garden and the deer walking up past out back garden. Our place backs onto a field and all you can see for miles is fields and forests.

    Find lots of useful advice, support and info on green living from Tamsin here:

    Blog: www.ecofluffymama.com

    Twitter: @EcoFluffyMama

    Facebook: facebook.com/ecofluffymama

    Insta: instagram.com/ecofluffymama/

    This is the final Q&A in this series for now, but I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have… and do keep your eye out, as it might well make a return sometime! 

    November Rain Poncho: Review and Giveaway 

    November Rain is an awesome stylish brand of poncho that launched back in November 2016 in USA, and are now available in the UK too. I was kindly sent one of these funky ponchos to review and also have a giveaway for one lucky reader to win one too! (See further down to enter).

    November Rain, poncho, eco, clothing, giveaway, green living, lifestyle, outdoors, review, Living Life Our Way
    November Rain poncho – Ocean Blue design

    November Rain ponchos come in a choice of three lovely designs. I admit I deliberated for sometime on my decision before opting for the plain Ocean Blue design (because I have lots of patterned tops and figured this would be more versatile if I might want to wear it partially unzipped anytime!) I was genuinely really drawn to both of the patterned designs too though; love them!

    The poncho comes in a little pouch so it is easy to keep it in your bag then throw it on quickly when needed. (Make sure it is dry before you pop it back in the pouch though of course!) It is made with enough room that it can fit any size and shape, and will fit over layers too. It was abit shorter than I imagined; given the fact that I’m only 5 ft 1, I was surprised it didn’t go at least to my knees to allow for taller people. At least that meant Squiggle could also use it too if really necessary lol! 

    November Rain, poncho, eco, clothing, giveaway, green living, lifestyle, outdoors, review, Living Life Our Way
    Squiggle wearing the poncho.

    They are very well designed, with poppers to make ‘sleeves’ and a zip fastening at the front, plus a detachable hood too. The ponchos are printed using sublimation, which is an eco-friendly waterless method of printing. They also have reinforced stitching and heat sealed seams, meaning they are heavy duty and fully waterproof. It feels comfortable and lightweight to wear though, and looks stylish compared to most!

    November Rain, poncho, eco, clothing, giveaway, green living, lifestyle, outdoors, review, Living Life Our Way
    With and without the detachable hood.

    The poncho retails at £49 in the UK but, as I said, it is great quality and is intended to be quite the opposite of the cheap disposable ones you usually find; this eco-friendly poncho is designed to last a lifetime. This is one of the main reasons I like it; it is much better for the environment to invest in one that will last, rather than create more waste using disposable or short-lived versions. 

    But my absolute favourite thing? The brand pledges a full 10% of all turnover to water projects in developing countries. And November Rain is not limiting the resources given to just clean drinking water, they are also funding irrigation projects for crops in areas where water can be the main limiting factor for people being able to put food on the table. Thanks to their popularity, the company has already funded a hydroponic vegetable growing system at a children’s rescue mission in Northern Thailand valued at $3,000USD.

    November Rain ponchos are born from Belinda Coker, the same founder of Envirosax – the original designer reusable bag. She explains: “After the success of Envirosax, I realized the importance of sharing the wealth created with those not so fortunate. It’s not all about the money, it’s about creating something that people love with benefits that keep flowing to those in need.” It is so important to make conscious choices, and I totally support brands who actively protect the environment, especially when they also give back in some way. So I am really impressed with this brand!

    November Rain, poncho, eco, clothing, giveaway, green living, lifestyle, outdoors, review, Living Life Our Way

    You can also purchase these ponchos from Amazon UK or via the November Rain website for USA. 

    Last but not least, one lucky reader can win a November Rain poncho! To be in with a chance of winning, enter my giveaway via Rafflecopter below. 

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Open to UK and USA residents. Competition closes on 2nd April 2017. Other T&Cs apply.

    November Rain, poncho, eco, clothing, giveaway, green living, lifestyle, outdoors, review, Living Life Our Way

    Disclosure: I received a poncho free for the purpose of this review. Thoughts and opinions are all my own. 
    *This post contains an Amazon UK affiliate link. 


    All- Weather Camping: Why You Should Get Outside (in any season!)

    We love being outside, whatever the weather. It is a wonderful way to relax, a natural stress reliever; great for mind, body and soul. It feels good to connect and engage with our natural environment, and the fresh air certainly blows the cobwebs away! As this article from The Independent explains, going off-grid i.e. turning off devices and relying on natural light, combined with staying outdoors can really help sleep too. And we all know how enough good quality sleep makes all the difference to everything! So it really is true that any and every season is the perfect time to go on outdoor adventures.

    From motorhomes to caravans and log cabins to pop-up tents, there are a huge range of options if you want to plan for a more natural outdoor getaway. Whether you will happily pitch up on any basic available space, or you are more of the glamping type, you will find a selection of sites to choose from throughout the UK (and elsewhere!) open all year round. 

    camping, Living Life Our Way, #livinglifewild, childhood unplugged, get outside, green living, holidays, nature, our world, outdoors, places to go, places to visit, travel
    Stock image

    For example, there are lots of lovely places to camp via Camping and Caravanning Club, such as this wonderful Tavistock site in Dartmoor National Park, Devon – which is somewhere I haven’t been to since I was a child myself, but I would love to return and take Squiggle too. 

    More locally, this campsite in Hertford is very popular amongst our local home ed friends! Also closer to home, we really love Aldenham Country Park, which also has camping facilities on-site too. 

    Another area we have passed through briefly but would love to stay longer is the New Forest. I spotted this fab place called Setthorns Campsite that has a stripped back, closer to nature feel about it. For somewhere a little more luxurious, Sandy Balls Holiday Park has been recommended to us by various friends numerous times. 

    Or check out this eco-friendly campsite, Skyside, set in a gorgeous spot of Penrith, Cumbria. Situated in the valleys of the stunning Lake District, you can use this base to explore (in my opinion anyway!) some of the most scenic parts of the country. It has been years since I last visited this area, but I can assure you it is absolutely beautiful at any time of year! 

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    Stock image

    We firmly believe that there is no such thing as the ‘wrong’ weather for spending time outside, all you need is suitable clothing and the right equipment; be prepared with the necessary gear and there is nothing stopping you! Oh and don’t forget to grab yourself some insurance before you head off, such as Camping and Caravanning Club insurance for example. Now, what are you waiting for?!

    Do you have any top camping tips? What are your outdoor essentials? Where is your favourite campsite or overnight outdoor spot? Share in the comments, thank you!

    *This is a collaborative post.

    Simple Ways To Reduce Energy Consumption In Your Home

    Last week I posted about energy waste and how to save money on your bills. I mentioned briefly how to reduce energy waste within the home. However, I think these tips definitely deserve their own post! 

    So here are some simple ways to reduce energy consumption in your home…

    Technology Use

    Leaving technology on standby or plugged in when not in use consumes small amounts of unnecessary energy that quickly adds up over time. Set technology to fully shut down automatically and/ or remember to turn it off properly at the socket. Unplug phones, tablets etc… as soon as they are fully charged then unplug the charger itself too. 

    Small Appliances

    Unplug small appliances at the socket when not in use to ensure they are not sneakily wasting energy. At the very least, ensure they are turned off properly at the socket. 

    Smart Power Strips

    Alternatively, a smart power strip is an affordable way to combat energy waste in your home. These clever strips cut the power supply to technology automatically when it goes into standby mode. Very smart indeed!

    Lighting

    The Lighting Superstore have created this useful infographic showing why LED bulbs are the way to go as part of their #LEDeasy campaign. In summary, LED lights use up to 90% less energy compared to incandescent bulbs. They also have a longer lifespan, are more environmentally friendly, are versatile in both style and placement, plus offer a wide range of lighting options in terms of brightness and colour too.

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    Heating

    Using your existing heating thermostat/ timer correctly to make sure your heating only comes on when you need it, as high as you need it and for as long as you need it, ensures you heat your home efficiently and only use the energy you really need. 

    Water

    Take a few moments to sort out any drippy taps in your home. Also switching your showerhead to an eco-friendly design is a fairly inexpensive way of saving water and energy consumption.

    My top 5 personal energy-saving actions for my own home:

    • TV, console and freeview box are all on the same strip anyway; so easy to turn it off at the socket! 
    • Ensure other technology is also turned off at the socket or unplugged when not in use. This includes unplugging mobiles as soon as they are fully charged!
    • Unplug kettle, nutribullet and microwave (and any other small appliances) when not in use. 
    • Use LED lightbulbs.
    • Use heating thermostat effectively.


    What are your top home energy-saving tips or eco-friendly actions you will take in your own home from now on? Tell me in the comments!


    *This is a collaborative post.

    Energy Waste: How To Save Money On Bills 

    Energy waste is a huge problem – for everyone. It not only impacts our environment but it also costs money too. This infographic by Underfloor Heating Trade Supplies shows how much energy the UK wastes and how this compares to other countries. Perhaps more importantly, it also explains the ways we can save energy (and how much money this can save).

    Did you know that the UK wastes a shocking 54% of its energy? Furthermore, the average UK household wastes a massive £250 per year just by not being energy efficient? EEK! Overall, in 2010 the UK used almost 330 billion kWh. For comparison, Africa uses approximately 19004 kWh annually.

    Worse still, the amount of energy wasted in 2012 by the US economy could power the whole of the UK for 7 years. Now that really is shocking! The average American household also uses 2.7 times more electricity and 1.3 times more natural gas than the UK too.

    So what can we do to reduce energy waste, and therefore also save money? Well, quite a few things actually! Simple changes can make a big difference; turn off technology properly (not just leave on standby!) and/or set them to auto shut down, unplug small appliances when not in use, use smart power strips, use LED lightbulbs and change air filters regularly.

    To reduce energy consumption in your home you can make investments that will save you money in the longer run. For example, buy the highest star energy efficient appliances, invest in smart blinds and ceiling fans, install a dual flush toilet and water-saving shower head, and use light dimmer switches.

    Underfloor heating is very energy efficiency. To maximise this, make sure your home is properly insulated. Also, use a heating pump. Last but certainly not least, use a smart thermostat to further save energy and therefore heating costs. Ideally this would be in conjunction with underfloor heating but either way it is well worth investing in. 

    energy waste, green living, environment, sustainability, home and garden, bills, money saving

    *This is a sponsored post.

    Squiggle’s Guide to Protecting Our Environment (#LivingLifeWild Linky)

    Thanks to Views From An Urban Lake and Agent 54 for sharing their beautiful photo posts, and to Mamma’s School for sharing her island adventures.

    My IG pick this week is this adorable photo by The Penny Three. Do check out the hashtag #LivingLifeWild on instagram yourselves though, there are lots of really lovely outdoors photos!

    #LivingLifeWild, nature, outdoors, wildlife, green living, natural environment, sustainability, home education, freedom to learn, childhood unplugged

    This week, Squiggle would also like to share her top tips for green living:

    Pick up rubbish when you see it🚯🚮♻

    Use recycled pacaging insted of rubbish ♻or better still none♻

    Using Straws&cups made with *natrle meterils 🍹or reusable ones

    Use organic cottens or hemp or Bamboo for cloths👕

    Try not to make too much food waste and put eny in the food waste bin ♻🍎🍉🍑🍒🍓🍇

     *(natural materials)


    Do you have any other green living ideas to share? Comment below!


    Stay wild and green, see you next week!

    #LivingLifeWild Linky

    Thank you to everyone who linked up last week. There have been some lovely outdoor adenture posts, such as Squished Blueberries sharing their experience of watching the sun rise on the beach. Mummahub did a wonderful job of reminding us how great getting outdoors is for our stress levels and restoring peace, and over on instagram Mammas School has some fantastic unique ideas so do pop over and check her out for inspiration!

    I have chosen two instagram pictures to share this week…

    This is a stunning photo by Dermot Cosgrove. Read about his adventures in an interview with Phonetic Planet here. I love the quote too!

    The second one, I simply love the way the photo captures the sunlight…

    Please do link up your posts below, old or new, and use the hastag #LivingLifeWild  For more information, read here.

    #livinglifewild, Living Life Wild, nature, wildlife, green living, outdoors, environment, linky, blogging, hashtag, instagram, community

    Happy wild adventures!


    #LivingLifeWild – RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 

    I loved reading everyone’s posts from last week, and seeing your pictures too. Thank you all so much for taking part! Even when it’s cold and you feel reluctant to venture outdoors, it can turn out to be lots of fun, can’t it Eps and Amy?! lol! (Check out the blog post to see what I mean!) 

    I have chosen the following instagram photo to share by Mammas School but it was a tough choice! I particularly loved this photo because I never would have thought to do pond dipping at this time of year, but it’s a great idea! 

    All of the photos are fab though, I really loved seeing all of your adventures and look forward to seeing more this week! Don’t forget to use the hastag #livinglifewild and also tag me too so I don’t miss it!

    #livinglifewild, Living Life Wild, linky, hashtag, nature, wildlife, environment, outdoors, green living, Living Life Our Way

    This week we are preparing to do some citizen science for the Big Garden Birdwatch with RSPB. We have got our pack and made sure our garden is inviting and bird friendly! The Big Garden Birdwatch takes place this weekend from 28th-30th January. If you want to take part you can apply for your pack and download it here.

    Big Garden Birdwatch, RSPB, #livinglifewild, Living Life Wild, Living Life Our Way, citizen science, nature, wildlife, environment, outdoors, green living, home education

    Big Garden Birdwatch, RSPB, #livinglifewild, Living Life Wild, Living Life Our Way, citizen science, nature, wildlife, environment, outdoors, green living, home education

    Share your posts (old or new) via the linky below. If you need further information about #livinglifewild hashtag and linky please check out the introduction, or contact me if you have any questions. Lastly, apologies again about the badge (teething issues!) – I am trying to work out how to resolve it, but have removed it temporarily until it is sorted. Please feel free to text link to my blog instead if possible, thanks. 

    Have a fantastic wild week everybody!!!