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Green Living and Feeling Guilty

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about protecting the environment, plastic, zero waste and green living and we got as well to the subject of feeling guilty… remembering back to the beginning, living in an area where it is absolutely impossible to go zero waste and the guilt trips I sent myself on, I decided to write about green living and feeling guilty.

Green living and feeling guilty: why you should stop feeling guilty and how it can actually help you to stay on the right path


There is 2 different types of green living & feeling guilty: One you can use to your advantage and one you should put aside and ignore.

When green living and feeling guilty is okay:

It happens to us all. We go shopping and forgot to take bags with us…

Or we buy the takeaway coffee, the sweets that are singly packed in a packet.

We take the car instead of walking because it is quicker.

I am guilty of buying loads of plastic bags. But on the other hand, I wanted to make a lot of things from plastic bags, so they will be used. And I use them for picking up the litter when we take our dog for a walk.

No, stop feeling guilty and start learning from your guilty feeling! Learn from your “mistakes” and change your habits. I now always have bags everywhere. And when I use them for shopping, they go straight by the door, so I can put them back into the car.

I also started remembering my own coffee cup! Now I don´t have to buy a coffee in a throw away cup or have none 🙂

When green living and feeling guilty is not good and you have to stop:

Some people I spoke to got discouraged, because they straight away aim to go zero waste. As I said many times: going zero waste is a great ideal to aim for, but next to impossible to achieve. So, please be realistic in you expectations as well! Don´t put yourself under pressure!

We live in an area where it is extremely hard to buy things without packaging. I always felt guilty, but we still need to eat!

Here is where feeling guilty needs to stop! As long as you do what you can, it´s fine.

A few days ago I went shopping. I was standing in front of the shelves with the rice. There was a packet of ecological rice I was looking at. Then I see a local rice and decided to buy this one instead. Why? Simple, this one was packed in carton whereas the ecological was in plastic packaging.

More examples: we love muffins and I don´t always have the time to bake. So I now buy the muffins which are not singly packed within a plastic pack. I cannot avoid buying them in plastic, but I can avoid unnecessary packaging.

As you might know, we have recently “adopted” the dog of my mother in law as she cannot look after him anymore. On one hand, we are using a lot more plastic bags than ever. But they are biodegradable. And we get out more, carrying another plastic bag to pick up all the litter we find.

Let´s re-cap: Green living and feeling guilty

Specially when you are first starting: don´t beat yourself up when you slip up! Learn from it and avoid making the same mistake.

Every tiny step counts! So, focus on what you already have achieved instead on what not.

And lastly, don´t feel guilty when you cannot change the situation.

Your turn: Where are you feeling guilty? And where did you stop feeling guilty already?

If you are not sure on where to start, download my FREE pdf “15 Tips on Starting a Greener Life

Other post that might interest you: How to teach your kids the importance of green living, 25 ways to protect the environment when on a budget and, if you want to go a bit deeper into it, my e-book “Ease into Green Living“.

Green living and feeling guilty: why you should stop feeling guilty and how it can actually help you to stay on the right path

Autumn decor ideas

I love autumn! Time of cozy evenings, candle light, ripe grapes, fruit teas, Halloween, Thanksgiving and the forests turning colourful 🙂 And, Christmas around the corner! I miss the forests where I live now, so I look forward to taking out our autumn decor and creating more. The only thing I like about autumn more here is, that the evenings are getting cooler, but the days are still warm…

What about you? What do you like most about autumn?

So, in this post I am going to give you some autumn decor ideas to get you started.

Autumn decor with jars

Take an old marmalade glass or similar, a mason jar and some string or cable. Wrap the cable around a smaller part and then above creating a handle. You could already just put a tea light in and done. Or place some nice stones in the bottom and then the tea light.

Fill a mason jar with stones and water and then add some autumn flowers. This is a nice alternative to a vase.

For Halloween fill the jars with cotton or a piece of an old cushion that you´ve stretched so that it looks like a spider web. Add a toy spider, so that it looks even more realistic.

Autumn decor using pumpkins

Simply spread some small pumpkins, gourds, and other seasonal items around the house and your jars. Just a little touch like this can make a big difference in your home.

Instead of cutting out pumpkins, paint them or, if you have a stencil, use this to decorate your pumpkin.

If you are doing some autumn decor with your kids, get some paper or cardboard. Draw a pumpkin shape and decorate it however you want. As some ideas: fill ist with autumn leaves, hand prints, buttons, rice, fabric… Depending on the size, cut them out and make a garland out of your different designs.

Talking about garlands, although it hasn´t got anything to do with pumpkins, get a nice twig and hang different autumn leaves from it with string. This twig will look really good as autumn decor in front of a window.

Fall wreath ideas

If you are not good at making a wreath yourself, you can get undecorated ones in a store and then just add your decorations.

All you then need is a hot glue gun and some decorations. As decor you can pick some small pine cones, ribbon, apples, pumpkins, leaves or some salt dough decorations you have made yourself. Don´t put them all on the one wreath, or it will look too over the top.

If you want to make a Halloween one then just add some spiders and cotton stretched into webs, pumpkins that you decorated and maybe a ghost made from an old white sock or tissue.

Salt dough decorations

A fun thing to do with kids is to make salt dough decorations, not only for autumn or Halloween. The recipe for the salt dough you can find here.

You can form pumpkins or apples and the paint them after baking. Another idea, if you have smaller kids, is to make the pumpkin shape and then add their hand or foot print into the shape.

Be creative in your approach and have fun! Without fun, your salt dough autumn decor will not look even half as good.

That´s it for today, I will add some more pictures over the next days, but my son didn´t let me work a lot today…

I hope you have enjoyed this post and have found the right idea for you in it.

Let me know, what your favourite autumn decor is, whether it has been in here or not 🙂

If you are interested in Green living, download my FREE pdf “15 tips on starting a greener life”



How to teach your kids the importance of green living

The key on how to teach your kids the importance of green living as with a lot of things in life: be an example to them. If you do it, they will follow.

I give you one example: when I first started to go to playgrounds with my son I always started straight away to clean up all the rubbish laying around. Not only because I find it important to protect our environment, but also to protect my son from picking things up and putting them in his mouth… He was about 2 years old when he started doing the same: first “clean” the playground and then play.

This leads me to another important point: fun and encouragement. Kids learn best when they are having fun. And part of having fun for a kid is praise which leads to them feeling encouraged in continuing.

So, this post doesn’t contain only tips on how to teach your kids the importance of green living, but tips on how to make it fun as well.

How to teach your kids the importance of green living

* Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

How to teach your kids the importance of green living – some facts:

Why we need to save water:

70% of our planet is made up of water, but only 3% is not salty, so we could use it. BUT, of those 3% we cannot use 2% as these are in the form of ice. Try to get your head around this! So, when explaining this little fact to your kids, tell them as well that water is our most precious resource next to air and that it is very important to make sure that it lasts. And it´s not only us who need water: plants and animals need it as well. (source)

Climate change and it´s impacts:

This summer has been extremely hot in many countries. If you have followed the news with your kids or if you live in one of those countries, then here is a chance to explain to them the importance of us trying to make a positive change. With the heat came fires, water shortages, people and animals suffered, farmers could not get their crop to grow properly, so food shortage… Then now you can see a different impact we have on our climate in India. In case you havent seen the news: India had it´s worst flood in 100 years displacing about 800,000 people and more than 1,000 people have died. You don´t have to tell your kids these numbers, if you think they are still too young, but use the news as examples.

Climate change and it´s impact on the icecaps:

My son asked me the other day if polar bears could swim and I wanted to know why he was asking. Well, mum, if all the ice melts, can a polar bear swim or will it die? I explained, that they can swim, but not forever and that they need somewhere to go. Kids see things with different eyes than we do, but if it gives you a chance to explain or you see that they understood what you are trying to teach, then that´s brilliant. The ice melting will have an effect on many animals like polar bears, some seals, some penguins as they need ice to give birth…

Let´s get some facts together: Antarctica has about 90% of the world´s ice. It extends to almost 14 million square kilometers – this is about the size of Mexico and the US combined. If all of it´s ice melted, the sea level would rise by 200 feet! This would cause the disappearance of many mayor cities in the world. According to scientists at the US Center for Atmospheric Research the Arctic will be free of ice by 2040, if the current rate of global temperature rise continues. This is only 22 years from now! (source they have a counter as well showing the tons of ice melted this year so far)

Deforestation and it´s impact:

Every year a lot of trees get cut down which never get replaced. Those trees would be very important to clean our air and to give shelter, food etc. to animals. Did you know that bees are an endangered species now? Instead they get cut down to produce palm oil, furniture, paper or for building plots.

Although paper is not the main product from those trees, here are some facts to teach your kids not to waste it: a cord of wood 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet produces 90,000 sheets of bond-quality paper or 2,700 copies of a 35-page newspaper.

How to teach your kids the importance of green living

How to teach your kids the importance of green living – activities:

Get your kids involved in recycling:

Take or send them to the glass container, let them help you sort the recycling or give them the responsibility over one of the recycling bins. Make it fun and easy for them.

Visit a local farm:

If you live in the countryside, this should be very easy to do. A fun activity to plan in advance as well if you live in the city are visits to a farm where you can pick the produce yourself. Where I used to live, there were strawberry farms you could go and pick your own. You then pay by weight. Here it is oranges. This will not only be a lot of fun, but it also teaches your kids a lot about healthy eating, looking after plants and animals and nature.

Plan a green holiday:

Many hotels now offer green activities for kids, so look for one of those when you plan your next holiday. Or book a holiday on a farm, more and more farms are offering this option now too.


Next time you are sorting things out to donate, involve your kids and take them with you to see where their toys, clothes etc. go. They will be much more willing to give them away when they see what they get used for.

Teach your kids that life is precious:

As an example: I hate spiders, but when we spot a spider in the house, I always find a way to get it out unharmed and alive. I want to give a good example to our son. I our house the only living things that get killed are mosquitoes. Anything else we try to get rid off naturally, no chemical sprays, nothing. Should we have a really big spider one day, chances are that me and my son will run out of the house instead of the spider…

Make your own bird feeder with your kids

Then watch the birds come to it in winter. You don´t even need a garden for this. Making it and then watching the birds will give your kids enthusiasm.

Grow a bean stork with them:

Cut a plastic bottle to make a pot, fill it with earth, place a bean, water the earth and cover it again with the rest of the bottle to keep the moisture in. Beans grow very quick, so it will keep their interest. Don´t forget to take the top off once you see your bean grow.

Find fun repurposing and upcycling projects to do with them:

I give you a few examples of easy to do crafts my son has done at summer camp:

  • They created a vertical garden out of bottles on the fence;
  • They made seed bombs;
  • From a plastic bottle, an old towel and a rubber band they created. All you need is a bowl of water with a drop of washing up liquid. Dip the cloth part in and then low through the other side.

How to teach your kids the importance of going green; bubble maker

  • Using bottle tops and toilet roll carton, they created fun animals like this one:

How to teach your kids the importance of going green; Cardboard animal

Another way on how to teach your kids the importance of green living: Food waste is a big problem today with us throwing away tons of good food every day. Need help in finding ideas on quickly made healthy school lunches? I´ve found many great ideas in this e-book. *Please not that this is an affiliate link and I may receiving a small commission if you purchase the e-book at NO extra cost to you. I only recommend it here as I found it extremely helpful.

Interested in getting regular updates on DIY and recycling projects, plus posts on help protecting our environment? Sign up for my newsletter and receive a FREE pdf 15 tips on starting a greener life.

You might also be interested in: 25 ways to protect the environment on a budget, Coasters made from bottle tops, our Boy´s room Minecraft makeover or my DIY mosquito repelling deodorant.

If you have enjoyed reading “How to teach your kids the importance of green living” or know someone who might be interested in this subject: Please share this post! Thank you

How to teach your kids the importance of green living


25 ways to protect the environment when you are on a budget

25 ways to protect the environment when you are on a budget

25 ways to protect the environment when you are on a budget

As you know, I started this blog, because I want to do something myself to help protect the environment. BUT, unless I win the lottery or pay off the mortgage and have money over, I won´t be able to do certain things, like buy a new ecofriendly car, buy only ecofriendly and bio products…

That´s why I decided to write this post on ways you can help the environment even if you are on a budget. So, what can you do?

Save energy:

1.) Go through your house/apartment and make sure, that all electrical appliances that are not needed are unplugged. Do not leave anything on standby as it is using unnecessary electric! Buy plug sockets you can switch off for your TV, computer etc., Same, don´t leave your phone, tablet etc. on charge longer than necessary, specially not over night. Apart from being a potential fire hazard, it also uses energy even though it´s fully charged.

2.) We all now use energy-saving light bulbs, but make sure lights are turned off when not needed, but do nt turn the light off, if you go back into the same room within a minute or two. I noticed that many energy-saving light bulbs don´t like to be turned on and off too frequent and therefore do not last as long as they could. This produces more unnecessary rubbish.

3.) Don´t boil the kettle again, if it just boiled a minute ago! The water is still hot enough for your tea/coffee…

4.) Your fridge: don´t leave the door open longer than needed as this let´s warmer air into it which needs to be cooled. Don´t turn your fridge colder than needed. A full fridge uses less energy than an empty fridge, but only if you don´t fill it up at one with warmer things. This does not mean: buy more food you won´t eat and then throw away, but fill it some water bottles, if it gets pretty empty… Another thing that helps keep your fridge cool and using less energy is defrosting food in the fridge. Take it out of the freezer on time and place it in the fridge. And lastly: make sure your fridge does not stand right next to the oven, nor in any other warm spot (too much sun, heater…).

5.) If you have a ceramic cooker field, turn it off before you finish cooking and use the rest-heat to finish the meal. It took me a few trials and errors years ago, but I now do it without even thinking about it anymore. One reason why I struggle cooking with gas as there is no rest heat to work with…

6.) Staying with the subject cooking: Did you know that it is actually more energy-efficient to boil the water in the kettle and then put it in the pot over the “fire”? Well, I didn´t… It was my son coming from school last week who told me!

7.) Find out if there is an energy supplier in your area using green and ecofriendly ways to supply you with energy and is competitive in price. Switching might even be cheaper than staying with your supplier, unless you are already with one of these.

8.) Let enough air into your living space. In winter, rather open your windows wide for a short period of time than not open them or leaving them open a little over a longer period of time. Fresh air heats up quicker, so you safe on heating. In summer open your windows to let a nice breeze cool the rooms instead of using the air con. Moving to a hot part of Spain, I have learned another thing for summer: our blinds are mostly closed during the day in summer to keep the rooms cool and we open them at night. Our summer curtains are thicker than our winter curtains, so we can close them instead of the blinds to keep the heat out…

9.) Most of our washing is not really dirty, so you can wash it on a short cycle and on a low temperature and they are still clean after. It does not only safe energy, but water as well and it is better for the fabric. When we had to buy a new washing machine, there were a few conditions I wanted the new one to have: obviously energy-saving, at least one short cycle and that it uses water accordingly to the load. I know you should fill the machine up, but life doesn´t always work like that and knowing that I am not wasting water, if I have to wash just a few things, was important to me.

10.) Do only use the tumble dryer if you have to. Drying your washing outside has actually got more bonuses than you think. Apart from saving energy, your clothes smell better and, if you hang your clothes up properly, you can safe on having to iron them after. I barely touch my iron now.

25 ways to protect the environment when you are on a budget; save energy
25 Year Performance Warranty

Save water:

10.) If you have a dish washer, make sure it is full before you turn it on or use the 1/2 load if you need to.

11.) Washing up by hand: do not wash up under a running tap! Either fill up the sink with the amount of water you need using all the water coming out of your tap. Put a bowl into your sink, if you just quickly want to wash up a few things and use the water from the bowl to water your plants.

12.) We all love a bath every now and then, but we all know that it uses much more water than a shower… When having a bath, make sure that you close the drain as soon as you let water in, so you use all the water.

13.) Turn the shower off when you apply shower gel and shampoo and turn it back on when you need it. The neighbour of my mum in law goes even one step further in saving water while having a shower and always showers with a bucket next to her to catch some of the water. She then uses it to water her garden. Just a little note to the side as it saves water and your bill…

14.) Catch the rain water coming from your guttering and use it to water your garden.

25 ways to protect the environment when you are on a budget; save water

Are you enjoying this article? Want to learn more? Download my FREE pdf with 15 more tips on starting a greener life here!

Reduce plastic use:

15.) If you are living in an area with poor water quality, like me, install a filter system. That way you can use the tap water as drinking water instead of buying water in plastic bottles. Where I live, you can only get water in plastic bottles and this is not good for several reasons. First, it produces an unnecessary amount of rubbish and we get slowly poisoned by drinking micro-plastics…

16.) Buy your fruit and vegetables either on a farmers market or in a greengrocer´s. For one, it saves on packaging getting thrown away. And for the other, they mainly sell local products, which saves transport costs and therefore lowers emissions (no plane, ship etc. needed). Last point counts for any product you could get locally instead from further away.

17.) When buying, make sure to rather buy products with less packaging, rather than the one´s which overdo it.

18.) It´s not exactly plastic, but I decided to include it under this point. Avoid using silver foil! Producing silver foil uses up a lot of energy and: Guess how long it takes to decompose? I don´t think you gotten close… It takes up to 700 YEARS!!! So, use containers with a lid instead or, if you can´t avoid it, cling-film.

25 ways to protect the environment when you are on a budget; reduce plastic

Car share or use your car less

19.) You might have neighbours with kids/a kid going to the same school as yours, so why not share the journey? You take them and pick them up one week and your neighbour the other week. That´s if they don´t take the school bus… But this way, you both safe one week of petrol and it´s one less car on the road on total for school runs… Same applies, for other activities, like football, dancing…

20.) Walk or take the bike whenever you can instead of the car. I am not a bike person, so my option is number 1… I promised my son that we would walk to school together the days that I don´t have to go anywhere straight from school… When he was a baby, I used to walk to the supermarket, load up his pram and walk back… There are so many options to not take the car. And it has got several benefits: you save petrol, you do something for your health and you are looking after our environment!

21.) I would recommend to use the bus instead, if you can. But seeing the busses that drive past my house often leaving a trail of black cloud behind them… Well, still, if your busses are more modern, they are definitely the better option.

25 ways to protect the environment when you are on a budget; Car share or using car less

Now to the last point of this article:

Reuse, repurpose and recycle

22.) Recycle correctly whatever you cannot avoid to buy. In most parts of the world recycling is now mandatory. Here in Spain, you can recycle… The only thing mandatory is to put your rubbish into a bag and then into the bin…

23.) Old clothes and shoes that are still fine you could give to a local charity shop instead of throwing them away.

24.) Reuse everything that you can use again. Most things here are pretty obvious. Plastic bags can be used again to go shopping, packaging and boxes can be used again to pack something else…

25.) If you can´t reuse, then try to repurpose. As a few examples: turn old clothes that cannot be given to anyone else into cleaning cloths, boxes can be used to store things…

The internet is full with ideas and examples. On my blog you can find: Coasters made from bottle tops, a doormat made from plastic bags, upcycling tins and  an old makeup mirror using cereal boxes and much more…

25 ways to protect the environment when you are on a budget; reuse, repuropse, reycle

Most of the above mentioned suggestions are not only good for our environment, but save you money at the same time.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and have found some new ideas you can implement.

If you have, please share it with your friends.

Interested in getting regular updates on DIY and recycling projects, plus posts on help protecting our environment? Sign up for my newsletter!

25 ways to protect the environment when you are on a budget


Before I let you go:

Are you passionate about our environment and want to do more? Here is a link to a site which I think does a brilliant job and needs to be supported! 4Ocean are cleaning up our oceans and coral reefs and we can and should support them!

Note: This link is NOT an affiliate link. I asked to be allowed to put their link on my site as I love what they do!

Should you live in the US and are interested in solar power, I can highly recommend you to go to GoGreenSolar. I have researched a bit in this direction and this company is one of the best ones in my opinion. Just click and get a quote: Save On Solar Panel Kits At – Shop Now!

For Europe I am still looking for a company to recommend. Will update here once I found one.

I’m taking part in the #FeelingFrugalFriday linky with Jo from A Rose Tinted World.


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