Smart Bean | Smart ideas for a sustainable and green lifestyle
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Gardening, Hygiene, Lifestyle, Recycle, Sustainability, Technology / 01.01.2020

This is a list (unless I've forgotten anything) of all the things we do in our household to try and create less waste and promote a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle for us. I'll add links where it's something I've already written about. I’ve been wanting to put this together for a while, so here goes: Garden: Garden Plant flowers to support wildlife, I’ve gone mostly for bee and butterfly friendly, or just whatever we liked the look of or were given seeds for. Grow your own, I had tomatoes and peas...

Lifestyle, Recycle, Sustainability, Technology / 01.01.2017

In 2016 my partner and I decided to try to make our house a smart home. We wanted to save money, be more energy conscious, explore new technologies and live a more sustainable lifestyle. I was brought up to be environmentally conscious. I grew up in a household of ‘make do and mend’, learning how to cook from basic ingredients, to knit, garden, sew to make new things and fix broken things. I was taught how to grow vegetables, and re-use and repurpose anything and everything – to live...

Lifestyle / 23.05.2021

My blog posts are quite sporadic. This is mainly due to work and also having two small children. I also sometimes wonder what the point is, I’m not quite sure who is reading my blog posts and if they are really getting out there. The ‘dashboard’ homepage I see shows me a handy little bar chart, and so I can see that my blog is read and gets hits daily. Self doubt just creeps in sometimes. The point of my blog is to spread some information. It’s also...

Gardening / 19.03.2021

With the lovely sunny weather we have been having, the slight increases in temperature and gradually longer days, there’s a huge temptation to set about working in the garden. My children have been wanting to play outside more and it got me thinking about gardening again.  However, for the nature that is in your garden, it is still a bit too early for some jobs. My front garden has all my spring bulbs which are already coming through, but they are more than capable of pushing through the fallen...

Lifestyle / 11.02.2021

I think I've finally cracked homemade houmous. By this I mean that I can now reliably make houmous with a consistency and flavour that I really like. I've been trying to make some decent houmous for quite some time. Luckily Andy is not as fussy about his houmous and eats it every time I attempt to make it so it doesn't go to waste. For my houmous, I have loosely adapted Jack Torode's 'Quick Hummus' recipe. I found this by asking Alexa for a recipe. I chose the one that...

Lifestyle, Sustainability / 01.02.2021

Throughout Veganuary, I have received daily emails from the organisers. There has been plenty of recipes, great words of encouragement and also a lot of information.  I haven’t read all the information, but that’s out of choice at present for my own mental well-being. Just reading the headings and subheadings I can understand why so many vegans get tarred with the brush of being militant or constantly talking about being Vegan. It’s because once you know, you know. I think it would be tricky to go back to a...

Lifestyle / 31.12.2020

We’re going for it this January and as a family we are doing Veganuary. The only exception will be both my daughters meals at school and nursery*.  Over the course of this year we have gradually been making changes such as changing from cows butter to Flora Original plant based spread and butter and from yogurt for the girls to oatgurt.  I’ve been thinking about going vegan for a few years but it was my decision to switch to oat milk that has really started my journey off. I have...

Lifestyle / 29.12.2020

There are several quotes about gifting that suggest that the person doing the gift giving should receive as much joy from the act of giving someone a present as the person receiving the present. I'm sure this is vastly true, however I do believe that somewhere along the line this message has been lost and gift giving has become about showing ones affection, tradition, habit and largely commercialism. I understand that my personal ethos on this will not match everyones, but I find the whole thing really tricky....

Hygiene / 19.12.2020

I love this. My family are not so sure, but not for the reasons you might think. I use a bar of soap to wash, usually with my Tabitha Eve Body Buff. A handful of times, I've also found myself gifted a body scrub. Off the top of my head, one was from Lush and one was from The Body Shop. Both were good. I do love a body scrub, but I also love saving money. Then lockdown happened and I found myself watching Kirsty Allsop's Keep Crafting and...

Lifestyle / 04.12.2020

I'm new to this. Technically, I have not line dried all year round yet, but I'm going to give it a go. Those first warm ish dry days in Spring I am always straight out there, cleaning my washing line, finding the peg bag in the back of the cupboard and hanging my washing out. I am not usually found still having the washing out come November, but that's exactly what I did today*. If it's dry outside, you can put your washing out. It's as simple as...

Sustainability / 08.10.2020

The Tabitha Eve Tough None Sponge is a great alternative to a disposable washing up sponge.  The none sponge is made from bamboo, cotton and linen and is about the same size as a disposable plastic based sponge. Why are they fabulous?The cotton layers sandwich the naturally antibacterial and highly absorbent quilted bamboo core. They make the washing up routine beautiful and more bearable without adding to the worlds plastic pollution problem.https://www.tabithaeve.co.uk/collections/kitchen/products/organic-heavy-duty-none-sponge Teamed up with a scrubbing brush or pot scourer for more tricky dried or burnt on bits, it's a welcome addition...

Lifestyle / 26.09.2020

I think about banana pancakes a lot. Probably too much. They are amazing. They are BETTER than normal pancakes. If you haven’t tried them yet, I implore you to try them.  Andy doesn’t even like banana and he does like banana pancakes. That’s how good they are.  Here is the very slightly adapted recipe I use, originally from the BBC: 1 large very ripe banana 1tbsp caster sugar pinch salt 2tbsp vegetable oil 120g self raising flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 150ml oat milk 1/2 tsp cinamon Mash up the banana first, I whizz mine in my food processor,...