Friday, 10 May 2013

Tidy Friday

I've been blogging for a whole year now, and that year has seen some very positive changes to our food waste habits. Most Fridays for the last year, I've joined in with Food Waste Friday and blogged about it.


FoodWasteFriday

As a result our food waste has been drastically reduced. Special thanks to Frugal Girl and Simply Being Mum for inspiring me to begin my food waste and blogging journey!

I daren't stop blogging about food waste for fear of jinxing all the improvements in our cooking and eating habits that we've made over the last year. However I'd also like to see if we could extend this careful stewardship of our precious food to the rest of our resources. So far all my fighting talk about decluttering at the end of the Slim Your Bin project, has really been nothing but hot air I'm afraid! 

All the skills we've gained and put into practice about using what we've got wisely, not neglecting what's in our cupboards, not buying more than we need to etc, should be transferrable to our possessions. Add these skills to all the waste watching we did earlier in the year, and my trial of Stephanie of No Ordinary Homestead's Decluttering Made Easy course (which is currently on hold at Stephanie's end), and we should be in an ideal position to clean up our house, declutter and simplify.

On Tidy Friday I'm hoping that I can bring you good news about what's going on in the kitchen AND with tidying and decluttering in the rest of the house.

In the kitchen this week, there was food waste...a mouldy lemon and a small tub of decanted yogurt from weeks ago. Stale bread was turned into bread crumbs. And of course there was cake, well muffins actually.

Despite my love of home baking, I've never made muffins before, although I've probably read a million recipes for different muffins on various of my favourite blogs. This week Daughter suggested we make some 'breakfast' muffins to use up some defrosted blueberries. Cake for breakfast?



Actually a true muffin is not really a cake, as all you muffin makers will know. They have less sugar, less fat and less eggs than a cake, in fact probably a lot less unhealthiness than some breakfast cereals on the market. And the mix is referred to as a batter, so it's more of a substantial pancake/yorkshire pudding.

We made a batch of blueberry ones, using this recipe (we substituted 150g blueberries for the apricots and almonds) then used up an old apple and a small packet of cranberries to make some more. They're truly multipurpose and have been served at breakfast, eaten in the packed lunches, and dished up after school for a snack.

I'm a convert.

So that's the food waste. What about the rest of the house?

One black bag of man clothes to the charity shop, two bikes listed on Ebay and two books sort of disposed of.




This year, another goal was to slim the bookshelves. My plan was to read all the unread books that I have and get rid of a lot. In reality I have borrowed lots of library books, have been lent several books and received some as presents for my birthday.  I cannot say that NOT buying books is a grand self sacrifice or hardship in any shape or form!

The getting rid of books part has been slow and I'm not sure that my discovery of selling them via Green Metropolis is going to speed things up, but it certainly feels good for the soul.

I know I could just take the books to a charity shop and some of my books will certainly go this way, but I thought I would give Green Metropolis a go. They are a UK online charity bookstore that sells all its books for a flat fee of £3.75. They list your books and pay you £3 when they sell. You hold on to the book until it sells, and then post it to the buyer. They have several charity partners, and their blurb claims that "By using our website to buy and sell your books, you're not only helping yourself, but you're also doing your bit for the environment and helping us support the great work of the Woodland Trust and our other great charity partners. And by making the most of what we already have, is one of the best and most effective ways to help protect the planet!" I've chosen the Woodland Trust for my charity as that seems to complete the circle when it comes to the life of a book. 

It was easy to register, and if the books actually ever sell, it looks like a win/win method of parting with books. Far preferable to having tax dodging Amazon or Ebay take a cut of the purchase price.

There's a friendly forum for booksellers on the website and from this I can tell that depending on the popularity of my books, they may take some time, possibly weeks, to sell, so it's not a route for the fast track declutterer. I have set up my Green Metropolis bookshop in a drawer under my bed, and am hoping it will have more than 2 books in stock soon.

How do you get rid of your books? Have you ever sold online or maybe even bought or sold from Green Metropolis?

12 comments:

  1. I usually give my books to the library. We also have a used book shop in the area where we can turn in books for credit in their store. The only way I have ever gotten any money for my books was by selling them in a garage/yard sale, but I haven't done that in years.

    I love muffins. The are so many varieties and they are so easy to make. Sweet and savory.

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    1. I'd forgotten we have a used paperback stall also where I might also be able to shed some of my personal library. Selling them is not going to make me a fortune so probably best to go down the donation route!

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  2. I'm surprised that you haven't made muffins before. I'm glad your first attempt was successful.

    Like Heather, I usually give my books to the library. In the past, I also took them to a used book store for credit. It was great when my kids were younger and going through books like crazy. Now we get most all of our books from the library. However, I have a brother-in-law that sells books online as a hobby and he can make a couple of hundred a month selling them.

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    1. I'm surprised I haven't made muffins before too. I think I lumped them together with cup cakes, to which I have a strong aversion.

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  3. Ah- getting rid of books. I struggle a bit with that (don't tell Tiffany ;-) )

    I have sold some via Amazon years ago, but I can't see how you'd make any money doing that now,even if you wanted to. Mine mostly go to charity shops, but will check out Green Metropolis (and try not to buy anymore).

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    1. Green Metropolis does have quite a comprehensive stock, and as everything is £3.75 there are some real bargains to be had in comparison to Amazon.

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  4. Great post, I keep meaing to start decluttering but somehow always manage to find something else to do. We are both avid readers and have hundreds of books (mostly his)! I love the idea of Green Metropolis and will certainly give it a go. He, on the other hand, might have to be dragged kicking and screaming to part with any of his 'babies' Wish me luck! :o)

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    1. I'm afraid the books here are mostly mine. I'm good at parting with fiction that I know I'll never read again; it's the non fiction that gets me. What if I need to refer to it again some time?...

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  5. I hate parting with any books, but the last 3 carrier bags full have been taken to our doctors' surgery, where they are sold in aid of MacMillan Nurses. Otherwise, there's an Oxfam Bookshop in our nearest town - lovely big, airy shop where they sell just books. BUT - try going in there without buying more books . . . IMPOSSIBLE!!!

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    1. I LOVE those Oxfam bookshops...there's one in Bath not so far from here!

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  6. I have three boxes of books that have been sitting around (in the car, then in the garage, now next to the front door) waiting to be donated. I keep thinking I can sell them online, but I really should just get rid of them. A lot of them I bought secondhand and so probably wouldn't be able to sell them for much!

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    1. I'm guessing some of yours might be academic or text books? Although I don't want to stand in the way of you just getting rid of them, I think there's more of a market for those online.

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