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Category: Eco Friendly Living

  1. Rant! Are you tired of Royal Mail delivering junk mail?

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    As an online seller I love sending post using Royal Mail.  They have been very reliable and in almost 6 years of posting items almost daily I’ve only had around three parcels not be delivered and go missing.  That being said, I do not love receiving mail from Royal Mail.  Not just because our only actual post is mostly bills, but because they post junk mail on almost a daily basis!  I’m not talking about addressed junk mail which they are obliged to deliver as it has our address on (which I just return to sender and ask to be removed from mailing list).  I am talking about junk leaflets, mainly Dominos, Farm Foods, DFS and the like.  Pretty much daily.  Yep, nearly every day this junk is posted through my door and it’s driving me mad.  In this blog post I’m going to share how you can supposedly stop Royal Mail from delivering junk through your letterbox.

    Rant Are you tired of Royal Mail delivering junk mail

     

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    Junk mail.  I don’t want it.  I don’t need a new sofa, I don’t EVER shop in Farm Foods and I will never ever eat a Dominos ever again not just because I’m now dairy-free and refined sugar free, but because I would also refuse to buy it as they send me junk mail constantly and it’s so annoying.  I have TWO notices on my door stating I do not want junk mail and they are ignored by Royal Mail.  Personally I think this is very rude and annoying.  Apparently if you have a notice saying no cold callers they are legally obliged to respect that (is that true?), so why are Royal Mail above all this and believe they can ignore a sign on someone’s private property? 

    That’s right.  It’s MY property and I don’t want your crappy paper wasting tree wasting leaflets through my door.  They go straight into the recycling, wasting resources, time and energy.  Though no longer.  They now go back to Royal Mail in their post boxes.  That’s right, I’m returning them to Royal Mail so they can recycle them as why should I have to do it because they rudely ignore my signs?  As a household of four we often fill our recycling bin between the two week pickups so I really don’t need any extra junk to add to it.

    There’s been a big hoo-ha recently about GDPR and people’s data and so on.  I know people get mad with junk emails and all emails have to have an unsubscribe option.  That’s just a digital mail into your inbox.  How is there so much law around that and not for something physical actually being shoved into your own home that you didn’t ask for?

    It’s obviously all about money.  They are being paid to deliver those leaflets to your home and must be making a lot of money from it.  According to this article in the Daily Mail when Royal Mail were sold off in 2015 50,000 more flyers were put through letterboxes every day.  That was 2015.  If I’m honest I didn’t notice it much back then.  It must be a hell of a lot more nowadays as this issue has really only been bugging me so much the past six months or so as the amount has been increasing and the same flyers coming through all the time.  Driving me crazy.

    I’m also annoyed I wasted money on a no junk mail sticker and stuck it to my door, which I didn’t want to stick on my front door really, just for it to be ignored.  So now I have a sticker I didn’t want in the first place on my door to stop a problem it’s not even stopped.

    There is supposedly another way to opt out of receiving this junk mail from Royal Mail as they have actually admitted on Twitter they do IGNORE signs on houses.

    You need to waste more of your time, energy and trees and fill out this form and post it back to them: https://www.royalmail.com/sites/default/files/D2D-Opt-Out-Application-Form-2015.pdf (I don’t want to give them any link juice so you’ll have to copy and paste that)

    I can’t vouch for it working as I filled out a form one month ago and I’m still getting junk leaflets from Royal Mail.  How do I know it’s Royal Mail delivering them?  Because I work from home and see them delivering them every day.  Just saying as I see Royal Mail stating on Twitter they only deliver 25% of unaddressed mail in the UK.  I’ve also seen people constantly complaining on Twitter that they are getting junk even after filling out their opt-out form.  Search ‘Royal Mail Junk’ and you’ll see the messages on Twitter.

    I’ve read it can take 6-8 weeks for the opt out form to be actioned.  Then you may need to complete it every two years to renew.  Wasting more time and paper.  Of course.

    Surely it would just be a lot easier for Royal Mail to teach their postmen to read and obey a sign on someone’s private property instead.  Plus all the admin time to receive these forms and process them…. But hey-ho they must like wasting everyone’s time as well as trees.

    Rant! Are you tired of Royal Mail delivering junk mail_ (1)

  2. 5 Ways to Cut Down on Your Utility Bills

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    Running a home comes with plenty of challenges, including the costs of fuelling it. When you add children to the mix, it’s no surprise that a lot of us struggle to keep on top of our utility bills. In fact, a recent study found that 4.4% of the average UK salary is spent on covering bills.

    Fortunately, there are plenty of tips and tricks that can significantly reduce your spend! In this blog post, I’ve pulled together five simple ways to save money.

    5 Ways to Cut Down on Your Utility Bills

    1.            Use energy-saving apps

    The best way to start making savings is to figure out how much you’re spending in the first place. There are a number of apps available that can analyse your energy usage, and provide suggestions on how you can reduce your bills. They even allow you to control your heating and lighting from your phone! This is ideal if you’re always on-the-go, and often forget to switch things off before you leave.

    2.            Switch to LED bulbs

    Making the switch to LED bulbs can see you make huge savings in the long term. Unlike traditional halogen bulbs, LED bulbs are incredibly energy efficient. In fact, they use 90% less energy than halogen equivalents, which can make huge savings across your home!

    3.            Encourage positive habits

    Encouraging positive habits, particularly if you have children, will make a big impact on your energy bills. From switching lights off when you leave a room to putting your washing machine onto a cooler cycle, energy efficiency is a piece of cake once you make it a part of your day-to-day routine. One way to get children involved is to offer small incentives for remembering to turn consoles off standby.

    4.            Get your boiler serviced

    This may seem like an obvious one but, when you lead a hectic lifestyle, it’s easy to forget your boiler needs a little TLC! A boiler that is working effectively will do a better job of warming up your home and use far less energy. It’s recommended that you get your boiler serviced once a year, so make a note to book yours in if you’re overdue!

    5.            Bleed your radiators

    One reason why your energy bills may be through the roof is that your radiators aren’t working effectively. When pockets of air get trapped in your radiators, they don’t heat up as quickly, meaning you have to keep your heating on for longer to achieve the same results. Bleeding your radiators will allow you to release this trapped air, and encourage heat to travel with ease through the radiator. This is easily done using nothing but a screwdriver, and a cloth to catch any falling water! 

    This blog post was made in partnership with The Electrical Guys. I hope you’ve found these tips useful, and you’re looking forward to giving them a try. What are your energy-saving tips?

    5 Ways to Cut Down on Your Utility Bills

    More great posts to save money:

    Mustard Car Insurance Comparison Promises to Beat Your Cheapest Online Quote
    Today I saved BIG on my car insurance and MOT. Here’s how…
    How to earn cashback on things you already buy
    Where to get affordable family travel insurance for a pre-existing medical condition
    How to save time and money on your laundry with Ecoegg
    How we saved £315 per year on our TV and broadband in 5 minutes

  3. Blog Giveaway RRP £109 | Win The Original Prestige Wallmounted Water Butt from Freeflush

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    Today I have a very exciting and valuable giveaway for you from a company called Freeflush Rainwater Harvesting.  They are kindly giving one of my readers The Original Prestige Wallmounted Water Butt worth £109.   This particular water butt has been featured in the media several times and has been purchased by thousands of UK homes since 1997.

    Now if you’re thinking ‘a water butt?  That’s not very exciting’, you may be proven wrong!  This water butt is not your average bulky eyesore type that you usually see.  Oh no.  This design is very clever and is mounted on the wall in a slimline design so it takes up very little space and actually looks pretty stylish.  It’s one of those things where you think, why hasn’t anyone done this before?  Why are standard water butts so ugly when they don’t need to be?

    We have one of those ugly type of bulky water butts on the back of our home and it gets so much use.  We use it to water the plants outside and the kids use it to fill their buckets, mix with mud and make mudcakes.  Oh the joy!  Still, they love being able to get some water for outdoor messy play at ease and I don't mind so much that they're not running a tap to get some. 

    It would be much better if it looked like this though:

    Blog Giveaway RRp£109 win the original prestige wallmounted water butt from

    The Original Prestige Wallmounted Water Butt is Eco-Friendly Too

    This is a much prettier water butt for the design conscious folk who want their home and garden to look its best.  It’s both designed and manufactured in Great Britain using recycled plastic.  Yep, with this modern water butt you’ll be eco-friendly too.  Instead of wasting tap water to clean your muddy boots and water your garden plants, instead conserve rainwater and help to save the planet.  Even these simple small changes can make a difference to a more sustainable future if we all get on board.  It will also cut your water bills by using water you've harvested and not so much out of your taps.

    Plus, your plants will thank you as rain water is soft and a lot more pure than our tap water which is often hard and full of undesirable chemicals, medication residue and traces of who knows what else!  I recently measured my tap water with a TDS meter and it had 196 parts per million of dissolved solids.  I highly doubt they were all natural organic minerals!

    This water butt is also great for space saving.  You can save space or use it in a small space.  If you don't have a back garden, but a small patch at the front, just look how neatly it fits to the front of these houses:

    Blog Giveaway RRP £109 Win The Original Prestige Wallmounted Water Butt fro

    To find out more about the prize on offer click here: https://www.freeflush.co.uk/collections/wall-hung-water-butts/products/water-butt-the-original-wallmounted-waterbutt-gardening 

    For your chance to win The Original Prestige Wallmounted Water Butt, simply enter using one or more of the methods on the Rafflecopter widget below.

    Good luck!

    Enter here

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    Blog Giveaway RRP £109 _ Win The Original Prestige Wallmounted Water Butt f

    Terms and conditions

    • There will be one winner
    • The prize is the item as shown in the picture: RRP £109 The Original Prestige Wallmounted Water Butt
    • There is no cash alternative 
    • There is no limit on the number of entries per person, follow the instructions to enable multiple entries
    • Winners will be notified within 28 days
    • Prizes will be sent out within 28 days of receiving the winners address.  The prize will be dispatched dierctly from Freeflush.
    • The winner must claim their prize within 7 days or it will be forfeited
    • All entries must be received by the date and time specified
    • The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter & notified by email
    • Giveaways are open to the UK only
    • The winner's name and county is available upon request
    • By entering this giveaway you give consent to be signed up to the Lylia Rose and Freeflush newsletters. You can unsubscribe at any time.
  4. An Eco-Friendly Playroom Makeover with Sundeala Notice Boards

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    I’m forever changing around our home trying to get the best layout for family life.  In particular I keep altering our playroom which is also my office.  A strange combination you might think, but originally the entire room was my office.  It’s a garage conversion so long and narrow.  As the kids grew and their toys multiplied and took over our living space, I decided to divide the room up and have my office at one end, perhaps a quarter of the room and to give the rest of the room to the children as a playroom.  The plan was the children can play and be near me whilst I work, however it doesn’t always work like that!  Usually they’re too noisy for me to work or they want my attention if they can see me.  We may have to eventually change the layout again and create my own separate office elsewhere in the home.  This will also give the children their own private space which is useful as they grow and start to have friends over – their very own den/living room, away from us uncool parents!

    Creating a more Eco-Friendly Playroom with Sundeala Notice Boards - makeove
    Spot the new notice boards!

    I’d already started shuffling the playroom around and thinking of new ideas when eco-friendly company Sundeala got in touch.  They very kindly sent me some of their colourboard notice boards to help with the makeover and they are perfect!  We have white walls throughout our home and I’d just been tacking up the kids’ art work, school information and photos.  The kids then copied suit and started doing this themselves too, along with lots of scribbles and art work directly onto the walls which I wasn’t so impressed about! 

    Creating a more Eco-Friendly Playroom with Sundeala Notice Boards - family
    More artwork to come!

    My hubby Ben repainted the walls white and I decluttered the toys.  We popped some high up shelves for all the toys to try and control the toy chaos that always ensues!  We did have cube storage shelves low down, but with Reuben only just turning three he is forever pulling it all out and mixing all the little bits up.  I’d had enough of sorting out the playroom toys and reorganising every week, so the toys are now too high for them to reach.  We have a new rule where they have a box of toys down each and if they want another then they must first tidy away the box they already have down.  Hopefully it will work well and stop me from having to sort the playroom out every week for 1-2 hours!  As a parent it’s the one repetitive task that drives me bonkers!

    I wasn’t sure what to do with the walls.  I love having their colourful artwork on display, but it was looking a tad messy just stuck directly on the wall.  I’m so pleased Sundeala got in touch as their eco-friendly notice boards are the perfect solution!  I’m also interested in natural nontoxic living and leading a more sustainable lifestyle, so these fit perfectly.  I chose unframed boards in three different colours which are environmentally friendly and made from 100% highly compressed recycled paper.  They’re also totally reusable and can even be sanded back to ‘new’ after lots of use.  They also suit our chemical free home as they’re dyed with natural mineral pigments.  Interestingly they are created using wasted newsprint.  I love the feel of recycled paper.  It’s so soft to run your hand over, like handmade paper.

    Creating a more Eco-Friendly Playroom with Sundeala Notice Boards (1)
    Tada!

    So how do they look?  Just perfect!  They are honestly the most perfect addition to the playroom.  Picking three different colours has brightened it up in such a fun way for the children.  They have a board each for their artwork and one joint board for photos, school information and reward charts.  It looks so much tidier than plastering everything all over the walls.  Now the walls are hopefully less of a blank canvas white attraction for the children to draw all over too.  Though having the pens out of reach on the new shelves should certainly help with that problem too!

    You can view the boards I chose here: https://www.sundeala.co.uk/sundeala-colourboard-unframed-frb

     

    You may enjoy:

    7 ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle
    3 Important Reasons to Choose Organic (other than your personal health)
    6 easy ways to save money around the house (and be eco-friendly)

     

    Creating a more Eco-Friendly Playroom with Sundeala Notice Boards

  5. Essential items for a minimalist hair care routine

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    Over the past few years I’ve been living a more minimalist and simple lifestyle.  For me this makes an already busy life a lot less hectic and stressful.  I never set out to be a ‘minimalist’ or to follow a particular lifestyle, it just happened.  It probably began as I moved house around ten times in ten years.  To save lugging all my belongings every time I just cut down on what I had.  Before moving in with my husband Ben, I lived in a bedsit for three years.  This is where I really had to cut down on belongings and only live with my essentials as there was no room to store anything else.  Now we have a three bed house, but I still enjoy only having what we need.  I’m regularly selling items we don’t need or the children have grown out of and my obsession for only having what we need has stretched to my beauty routines too.  I no longer have an overflowing make up bag, but just the items I use every day.  I also used to use a whole bunch of hair care products, but there really is no need.  I’ve reduced my hair care regime to the bare essentials and I honestly don’t think my hair looks much different!  I’m just saving a small fortune on products as well as saving time every day.  Here are the essential items you need for a minimalist hair care routine:

    Essential items for a minimalist hair care routine

    Hair Dryer

    Now, you could even go totally minimal and not have one at all, letting your hair dry naturally all the time, but if you have work to go to or important events, then you’re probably not going to want to turn up with soaking wet hair!  The best thing about a hair dryer is it can double up as a straightening tool.  A minimal routine is about making the most of everything you have and using items for more than their intended purpose. If something can have two uses and you don’t have to buy two separate items then that saves space, money and time.  If you dry your hair in a downwards motion then you’ll straighten it at the same time.  My hair is pretty straight anyway, but on the days I don’t wash it I do wake with a kink here and there, so a few minutes blast with a hair dryer and my hair is smooth and straight once again.

    Brush

    Unless you’re going for a pixie cut which must be the ultimate minimal hair style, then you’re going to need a bush.  I recommend a detangling style brush if you have hair that easily knots.  This will save on having to buy detangling sprays or shampoos.  I’m sure there are so many products out there screaming at us to buy them when we don’t need to.  I used to have such an extended hair routine and use so many products I thought I needed, but when you strip back to the bare essentials you’ll realise you didn’t need half of them and you won’t even miss them.  A brush, however, is an essential for anyone with long enough hair.  You can even get a brush which helps to shine the hair so you can do away with any shine sprays you might have been using.

    Shampoo and Conditioner

    I did try to go super minimal and eco-friendly by trying the no poo hair washing method.  This consists of just washing hair with water only and no products at all. Unfortunately my water is hard and so it just didn’t work.  I gave it a good go for three months, but had to go back to using shampoo.  Conditioner definitely softens my hair and I do notice the difference.  I’ll either use just shampoo or I’ll buy a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner to save time and keep it simple.  I recommend only using natural based hair care products as they’re better for you and the environment. 

    Related How to save money on natural beauty products

    Hair bands

    Hair bands are a must for anyone with shoulder length hair or below.  As a busy parent I often need to tie my hair up out of the way to stop it falling all over my face whilst cooking and doing household chores.  I’m also a regular gym goer so need it all off my face when working out.  A bunch of black elastic ties is all that’s needed – they’re cheap and do the job.  Again, nothing fancy or unnecessary to stick with a minimal routine.

    Kirby grips

    My final minimal hair care essential are Kirby grips, just make sure you’re wearing them the right way round.  I have a pack of black grips that can hold my hair to the side and out of my face when down, or can pin up loose fallen hairs when in an up-do.

    These 5 items are the only hair care items I have making for a quick no-fuss haircare routine every morning.  Keeping things simple means I spend less than ever before on hair care and save a ton of time each day too.  It’s also much better for the environment to not be spraying so many chemicals into the air or washing them down a plughole.  Take a look at your hair care routine and see if you can cut costs and get some valuable time back each day too.

    Essential items for a minimalist hair care routine