Saving the planet …

… my way.

This is going to be about the things we do to live a bit more eco-friendly. Note: I strongly believe that everyone should try to find what works best for them. Our way might not be suitable for everybody else, and also we’re still improving.

Now that is out of the way, let’s dive in.

1. Consumption

In recent years I found that I dislike the clothes of H&M and the likes. This developed into me getting curious about slow fashion and fair fashion. I also did several small purges and got rid of unloved stuff (which was donated). Currently I am on a „buy one, get rid of one“ shopping motto. When I bought a new jacket last weekend, an old one that looked a bit shabby and was more than 5 years old got donated.

Apropos: I wear my clothes as long as possible. I fix them when they get small holes or I replace buttons. If they aren’t appropriate for work anymore, they become either sleep wear or I wear them at home on weekends. And then they either get tossed or turned to rags. I still wear items that are easily older than 5 years. And I won’t need to look long for things that I got when I moved out of my parent’s in 2008.

We also try to not buy unnecessary things or only replace broken stuff. My cell phone is a bit over 2 years old now, but even though I could’ve replaced it with a newer one when my contract was up, I didn’t. It still works, and after buying a new battery and downloading a cleaning app it’s as good as new.

If we need some special stuff, we try to got for quality. I needed hiking boots, and I got good ones that will last longer than cheap ones. I am really grateful that with a bit of saving, if needed, I can afford good quality now. I know not everyone can manage that.

In terms of fair fashion, I also switched to buying from ethical brands. I cannot fulfill all my needs from these brands, but I try to use them as much as possible. Again, they are more pricey but I hope they will last longer.

Also with me knitting I have a different perspective on how long it takes to make clothing. I also want to get a sewing machine and start making my own clothes. It will also help with fixing / altering clothes.

Final fun fact: Today I over dyed an old faded skirt. Good as new, yay!

2. Waste

Food waste is something I still think we need to improve on. We are pretty good with leftovers from the weekend – in fact, every weekend lunch leftover is my Monday lunch. Yet we still toss too much. I’m not easily squished out by things past their expiration dates, if it looks okay I’ll eat it, but sometimes we just toss cold cuts because no one ate them in 3 days. That’s bad. Also we need to rethink buying apples – we buy them with good intentions but neither of us eats them.

Since Germans are masters of recycling, that really works. Nothing to improve. We also reuse things, see rags, but also boxes or similar things.

In terms of tossing things in general – I talked about it above. The rule mentioned there also applies to electronics and any goods an average household needs.

We also do not shy away from used things. If there was a good thrift store anywhere close, I’d be there. When my in-laws heard our new flat had a balcony, they gave us their old set of table and chairs. When they got a new kitchen table, we got the old one. After his Grandparents died, we kinda inherited the kitchen furniture. It was partially due to us being broke students, but also because it would be a shame to toss a still good wooden table.

I also have dug through the public clothes exchange in my work town and got many a book from bulk trash in the streets.

Friends gave me unloved clothes and even shoes (thank you, M.!)

Our new car already was a year old and used when we bought it. Yes, it was cheaper, but also it was already driven in and every possible „teen sickness“ found out.

3. Commute

Since I already wrote in length about my commute, you know that I take the trains to work. Better than a car. We also walk a lot (the joys of small town life) if the weather isn’t horrible.

4. Miscellaneous

Not yet a vegetarian, but I only eat meat on the weekend and sometimes on my sandwich. If there was lab grown meat already, I’d totally switch to that.

I am trying to use less and less plastic. That’s a hard one.

We switched to drinking tap water only half a year ago. Each one of us has a reusable metal bottle. I take mine everywhere. I also only drink tap water at work. Or tea. Or coffee.

If I need a coffee to go, I have it poured into my personal fake-porcelain to-go mug. No paper cups for me!

Our balcony will be a mini garden! Additionally to having flowers, we will be growing herbs, tomatoes, peas, salad, garlic and strawberries. It’s amazing to see what can be possible on few square metres!

Fun fact: My wedding dress was on clearance and the last dress the bridal store sold. It closed for good after we walked out. Still the greatest dress possible!

 

That’s it. This is only a snapshot. We try to improve and there is so much more to do as one household.

Let me know what you do personally to be eco-friendly and a bit more easy on the planet?

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A look back & a look forward

Hello 2017!

I hope you all had a great start into the new year. We had a quiet evening, just the two of us, boardgames, homebrew wine from my FIL and our little traditions.

The latter half of 2016 was a busy one: Mr Charming had finished his teaching internship and looked for a new place. He found one only to get a better one starting two months later. This meant having two small and one big move within a few months. I’m not going to move for some time again, thank you very much.

In knitting terms, I was moderately successful. I knit 6 gifts, 1 shawl, 1 cowl, 1 pair of mittens, and half a cardigan. I also started fingerless mittens.
More selfish knitting this year, I guess? Or less procreating coworkers, because half of the gifts were for adorable coworker sprogs. The other half went to my Mum 🙂

***

Okay, so what’s in store for 2017?

First off, now that we’ve settled into our new life with me commuting, I want to tweak some things. I still buy too much food in my lunch break, which often leads to unhealthy stuff. So I want to bring more healthy lunches to work or at least avoid the ready-made meals when shopping for food. I also eat too many carbs in general – the main station bakery is too tempting. Alternatives could be prepared snacks that I munch on the train ride home. Or a change in eating habits at work, so that I can skip that entirely.

I also want to continue my workouts. Despite me having colds the last month, we managed to keep up the weekly swimming dates. I want to introduce a second sporting thing in the week. We’ll see if that takes too much time from my evenings, which are already short.

Once the weather gets warmer, I’ll take my bike on the train and go back to riding to work. It’s only a short distance, but I have a feeling that I need the extra bit of biking up that hill. It’ll also cut time in the tram, another potential infection spot and will make me arrive faster at work. Bonus.

In knitting, I want to finish my green cardigan (preferably in January) and start another one. I also haven’t knit a single pair of socks in 2016, and they make great commute projects, so there will be socks.

My knitting group decided on a hap-KAL for our trip to Edinburgh (more on that later, but SQUEEE!!!), so the shawl will be my first portable project. Judging by how fast the last one went, getting it done before March should be easy-peasy.

That’s it for now!

Let me know – what are your plans for the fresh year? Have a great 20017!

What I learned from working out

For about three years (or maybe two and a half) I more of less regulary go the gym. Once a week, that’s the goal. Most weeks, I manage that.

It’s not the typical gym you might picture, with lots of workout machinery, it only has spinning bikes and those gymnastic balls and the small accessories. The gym is women-only, and focuses on courses rather than machines. The family-like vibe is something I liked instantly.

When I went to the first few lessons, I was really aware of how little I knew about the routines and things to do. Sports were never my strongest subject in school, and I still throw balls like the typical girl.

But slowly I found that I go better. More and more, the transitions in the step aerobic classes went smooth, the number of repeats I could do increased, and I started to feel better in my body. It’s the little things you notice: stamina, a flexed arm, enjoying some stretching after a long walk.

I also realised that nobody cared how much I sweat or if my head gets all red when doing push-ups. We are too busy getting those remaining 8 repeats done while continuing to breathe to care. It’s freeing.

The group of ladies there is really nice. They mostly are a bit older than I, but they are funny and helpful. And interesting, too! Really diverse backgrounds, and some go to the gym since it opened 15 years or so ago.

The owners helped me with my recovery during some back problems (the joy of sitting in an office all day).

Since we will move soon and I’ll need to find a new gym, I want to say thank you for making sports fun for me. Never forgetting that.

So yeah, I’m a bit sad about leaving this place. What about you? What have you learned recently through something unexpected?

Jahresrückblick 2015

Dieses regelmäßig Bloggen, es steht wieder auf meiner To-Do-Liste. Wahrscheinlich werde ich wieder scheitern, aber trotzdem blicke ich heute auf 2015 zurück. Ihr wisst, ich liebe so Fragebögen.

Zugenommen oder abgenommen? Weder-noch. Da ich mehr Sport getrieben und tatsächlich Muskelmasse aufgebaut habe (kannste sogar fühlen!), zeigt die Waage tendenziell eher nach oben. Mal schauen, noch ist im Bereich des Wohlfühlgewichtes.

Haare länger oder kürzer? Länger. Ich habe beschlossen, nach einem letzten Termin beim Friseur Ende Januar 2016 (für eine wichtige Veranstaltung) bis zum meinen 30. Geburtstag keine Schere ranzulassen. Außer ich gefalle mir nicht mehr.

Kurzsichtiger oder weitsichtiger? Auch das ist geblieben. Metaphorisch betrachtet bin ich etwas weitsichtiger geworden – ich versuche, das große Ganze etwas mehr im Blick zu behalten, auch wenn 2016 nicht gerade unter „planungssicher“ fällt.

Mehr bewegt oder weniger? Mehr! Ich habe es fast geschafft, jede Woche 1x beim Sport aufzuschlagen (Krankheit ausgenommen). Außerdem tägliches Radeln auf Arbeit. Eine Schrittzähler-App brachte und bringt zusätzlich Motivation. Highlight: Der Wandertag mit den Kollegen im August, an dem wir gute 15 km bei 40°C im Schatten im Mansfeldischen gingen.

Der hirnrissigste Plan? Bei einem Crosslauf mitmachen zu wollen. Abgesehen davon, dass ich mich zu spät angemeldet hatte und nicht mehr von der Warteliste runterkam, war ich passenderweise zum Zeitpunkt des Laufs krank. God bless Ausreden.

Die gefährlichste Unternehmung? Moderat gefährlich war maximal unser Firmen-interner Ausflug zu einem Lost Place in der Brandenburger Pampa. Wir mussten uns wegen eines Autos verstecken, dessen Insassen sich dann als Spaziergänger erwiesen. Ähm, ja.

Die teuerste Anschaffung? Der Sommerurlaub. Eine Woche Ruhe in der Uckermark. Gern wieder.

Das leckerste Essen? Das Weihnachtessen mit den Kollegen. Geheimtipp vom Chef. Das Menü kann ich immer noch auswendig und Bayerische Creme ist ab sofort mein neues Lieblingsdessert.

Das beeindruckendste Buch? Das gab es mehrere: Zum einen „S – Das Schiff des Theseus“, das ich mindestens noch einmal lesen werde. Toll war auch „Stoner“. Außerdem bin ich seit Mitte des Jahres großer Liebhaber von Neil Gaiman und Comics/Graphic Novels.

Der ergreifendste Film? „The Imitation Game“ habe ich zweimal gesehen. Und am Ende auch beim zweiten Mal geheult. „A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night“ war mein Indie-Highlight.

Die beste CD?  Ich habe mir genau eine CD gekauft – das neue Album der Soulsavers mit Dave Gahan von Depeche Mode als Sänger. Ich hatte nach dem Erstling der Kollaboration große Hoffnungen und wurde nicht enttäuscht. Nachher gleich nochmal anmachen.

Das schönste Konzert? Ich war leider dieses Jahr auf keinem Konzert. Alle Künstler spielten nicht in der Nähe (oder in Berlin, aber das war mir irgendwie zu blöd).

Das beste Lied? „All of this and Nothing“ von den oben erwähnten Soulsavers. Toll war auch „A Thousand Eyes“ von Of Monsters and Men. Oh, und „Geronimo“ von Shepard (?).

Die meiste Zeit verbracht mit…? … gefühlt mit Rundüdeln im internet auf dem Handy auf dem Sofa, real wohl mit Arbeit.

Die schönste Zeit verbracht mit…? … Familie und Freunden.

Vorherrschendes Gefühl 2015? Hä? Oh Gott! Puuuuh, geschafft.

2015 zum ersten Mal getan? Klettergarten. Ein Kleidungsstück gestrickt und getragen.

2015 zum letzten Mal getan? ?

2015 nach langer Zeit wieder getan? So richtig in eine Serie versenkt (hallo, „Jessica Jones“!). Eine längere Strecke im Auto selber gefahren. Urlaub in Deutschland gemacht, und nicht in Europa.

Drei Dinge, auf die ich gut hätte verzichten mögen? Eine lang ignorierte Feststellung, die Ende des Jahres auf den Tisch kam. Diverse schlechte Eigenschaften meinerseits und ihre Folgen. Zweimal.

Die wichtigste Sache, von der ich jemanden überzeugen wollte? Dass ich es schaffe, mir sein Kleidungsstück zu stricken. Hat ja auch geklappt.

Das schönste Geschenk, das ich jemandem gemacht habe? Zeit.

Das schönste Geschenk, das mir jemand gemacht hat?  Immer noch mit mir verheiratet zu sein 😉

Der schönste Satz, den jemand zu mir gesagt hat? „Deine Arbeit hier ist sehr wichtig. Schön, dass wir dich haben.“

Der schönste Satz, den ich zu jemandem gesagt habe? „Ich liebe dich.“

2015 war in einem Wort…? Da ist noch Luft nach oben.

Was ich noch loswerden wollte:  Auf 2016!

Walking on a grey day

Yesterday evening, it snowed. Sadly, nothing of it was left today except a thin layer on the car roofs and the green areas. I love snow, and I’m still waiting for it to stick around a bit here.

Nevertheless, we walked a bit. We do have a habit of having an afternoon stroll, and since it wasn’t raining, we could follow that habit. Since I want to prepare for the cross run in September, I downloaded a step counting app yesterday and was curious what it would tell me about our walk.

We have several „standard rounds“ – all of them take 45-60 minutes. One passes along the river and can be shortened of extended, another one goes along an old railway that is a recreational space now and the third one goes to the southern cemetary. This way we took.

I had my camera ready, because I often want to take a picture of the statues that were built to remember the deceased. Today, I found her:

DSCF5619

We also found traces of the winter:

DSCF5616

I love the southern cemetry. We walk there a lot. It’s beautiful in all seasons. The best thing is the park-like layout. You walk in a park with added gravestones. And even though there’s a large-ish street in front of it, it’s always quiet and calm and beautiful.

The step counter said 6.300 steps and 4.6 km in the end. Not bad, not bad.

What’s your favourite walking place?

Jahresrückblick 2014

Das Jahr ist fast vorbei. Ich habe seit dem 1.4. nicht mehr gebloggt (upsi!). Als ich bei Ravelry den faserverrückten Jahresrückblick entdeckte, dachte ich mir, dass es an der Zeit ist, mal wieder zu bloggen. Okay, here we go.

1. 2014 – das Strick-, Spinn- und Häkeljahr:

Was für Herausforderungen hast du gemeistert? – Ich habe spinnen gelernt und es war viiiiiiel einfacher als gedacht!

Was war dein Lieblingsprojekt? – Mein Tuch für die Hochzeit. Wundervolle Wolle (Seide!), eine tolle Anleitung und es passte sooooo gut zum Kleid. Hach.

2. Der Stash 2014

Berichte von deinen Stash-Neuerrungenschaften! – Ui, da kam vieles dazu. Beim Wolle-Fest habe ich wunderschöne Merinoseidekaschmir-Wolle gekauft, dann eine Menge Holst und Wollmeisen 🙂

State of the Stash: Zufrieden? Zuviel geworden? Kaum noch was Schönes da? – Ich muss echt abbauen. Der Plan ist, das 1. Halbjahr die geplanten Oberteile zu stricken. Auch die nächsten Socken werden nur aus dem Stash gestrickt. Beim Wolle-Fest möchte ich nur Spinnfutter kaufen. Muss. stark. bleiben.

3. Mein Kleiderschrank
Welche Sachen hast du 2014 oft und gerne getragen? (Können auch Sachen aus Vorjahren sein) – Meine Mützen liebe ich sehr.

4. Gemeinsam geht alles besser

Was hast du für Aktionen/-Alongs/Events mitgemacht? – Ich war beim Wolle-Fest in Leipzig und beim Handfest. Der geplante KAL mit LadyCartwright alias Claudi wurde leider nix. Aber aufgeschoben ist nicht aufgehoben!

Was waren deine virtuellen und vielleicht auch persönlichen Treffpunkte mit anderen aus der Fasercommunity? – Den Stricktreff, der alle 14 Tage (und „inoffiziell“ zwischendurch) stattfindet, möchte ich nicht missen.

5. Hattest du ein Motto für 2014? Wenn ja, wie lief es damit? Hast du es umgesetzt?

Nope, kein Motto 🙂

6. Was waren die schlimmsten Crafting-Unfälle und Reinfälle?

Ich habe erst neulich schweren Herzens meinen angefangenen Featherweight Cardigan geribbelt. Es wurde einfach nix mit uns. Sehr schade war auch, dass mein cooler Streifen-Cardigan viiiiiiiiiiel zu klein war. Mist.

7. Lieblings-Designer_in 2014?

Ich mag immer noch viele Designer 😉

8. Song des Jahres?

„Geronimo“ von Sheppard 😉

9. Buch des Jahres?

„Die Bienen“ von Laline Paull

10. Film/Serie des Jahres?

Immer noch aus vollem Herzen „Doctor Who“, den zweiten Platz teilen sich „Person of Interest“, „Game of Thrones“ und ähm, „Merlin“.

11. Drei Dinge, die du nicht hättest missen wollen?

1: meine Hochzeit

2: meine Familie und Freunde

3: alle tollen Momente

12. Drei Dinge, auf die du gut hättest verzichten können?

1: Wie immer der persönliche Krimskrams

2: dieser komische grippale Infekt im November

3: ?

13. Was hast du 2014 neues begonnen?

Ich habe angefangen zu spinnen! Yeah! Und ich mache jetzt regelmäßig Sport.

14. Wovon hast du dich 2014 getrennt?

Einigen alten Büchern. Und einer schlechten Gewohnheit (okay, daran arbeite ich immer noch.)

15. 2014 in einem Wort?

Achterbahn?

16. Hast du ein Motto für 2015? Und wenn ja, welches?

Weitermachen und nicht aus der Ruhe bringen lassen.

The right pace

Fall has come. Though I prefer the winter, I can easily find something good in every season of the year. And what is fall but the theshold to winter?

Anyway, I bike to work, everyday. Except it pours, then I walk. Before I lived with an avid all-year-biker (I’m looking at you, Lucie!), I was rather lazy. But she really made me bike more, and I like biking.

My way varies a bit. Depending on which of the 3 alternative routes I choose, I have more or less steep ascends and more or less traffic. All three routes are short, they take about 15 minutes. But they are going to take longer. And this is why:

Normally I go fast. I have the highest gear running and I drive like the wind, rushing down the descends and pedaling uphill, panting. I then arrive rather sweaty and exhausted, which does not make for a good start of the day.

Today, when i went home, I tried something different. I tried to keep a steady pace (as steady as possible) instead of getting fast, then slowing down, then trying to make up for being slow by going fast again and so on.

And it was better, though I had to constantly keep myself from falling back in the old habit. I even managed to ride the really steep ascend that leads to our house instead of pushing my bike as usual. Hooray!

So, to cut a long story short, sometimes it’s better to be slow, but more steady.

 

PS: Yeah, I think my blogging hiatus might have been overcome…