9 ways to be more green this Christmas

9 ways to be more green this Christmas

We all love the festive season, but it can be a bit of a nightmare environmentally. From food waste to heightened electricity use, we tend to put environmental concerns to one side when it comes to Christmas. It was estimated that around 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging ended up in the bin rather than recycled last Christmas. What’s more, an estimated 10 million turkeys were consumed last Christmas, resulting in over 3,000 tonnes of turkey packaging being thrown away. 

With a bit of practical thinking and planning, we can change the way we manage our waste and help limit our wasteful habits. So, let’s make this year different by making small adjustments to our Christmas routine. Here’s a guide to help get you on the right path to enjoying a more plastic-free and eco-friendly Christmas. 

Eco-decorations 

Decorations are often made using an excessive amount of plastic and glitter — neither of which do any favours for the environment. Try to avoid buying a new set of baubles each year. Reuse your old decorations at no cost to the planet (or your pocket). If you don’t want to re-hash last year’s decoration scheme, there are plenty of different eco ideas to try. Why not adorn your tree with natural decorations? You could use pinecones, cinnamon sticks, apples, holly, or mistletoe to beautifully enhance your Christmas tree while keeping it in touch with nature. Alternatively, you could opt for edible decorations. Baking and icing biscuits to use as tree decorations is a fun family activity, and your tree will look unique! 

9 ways to be more green this Christmas

Locally sourced Christmas dinner 

A major contributor to any wasteful Christmas is the Christmas dinner. For many of us, the dinner is the main event. Because of this, we want to go large and include as many components as possible in this beloved meal. However, this attitude often results in waste and concerning food miles. To resolve this, shop local. Make a list of what you actually need and try to source the ingredients from local butchers, green grocers, and bakers instead of relying on supermarket conglomerates. 

Reusable shopping bags 

When you actually get round to doing the food shop, don’t forget your reusable shopping bags! It’s easy to get caught up in the Christmas shopping rush and resort to disposable plastic bags but making this one small change this year will go a long way! 

Plastic free Christmas crackers 

Christmas crackers are a major source of plastic waste. They’re a fun novelty of course, but how many of us actually keep the tiny plastic knickknacks that we get in them? Plenty of brands offer a plastic-free eco alternative to these wasteful products, so this year, make the switch! 

Sustainably sourced Christmas tree 

If you already have a fake Christmas tree — keep using it year after year! Purchasing a new fake Christmas tree is damaging, as it demands an intense manufacturing process, and then shipment around the globe. Instead, choose and organic and Fairtrade Christmas tree or, better yet, use your one from last year! This sounds a bit strange, but Christmas trees can be recycled. If you replant your tree after the festive season and take good care of it throughout the year, you will be able to use the same tree year in, year out. 

Recycled wrapping paper and cards 

Wrapping paper is another cause of extreme cause of waste. It is a one-use, disposable product that most people don’t even think about recycling. This year chose recycled wrapping paper instead. Failing that, you could always use newspaper, or tissue paper you might have kicking around the house. Alternatively, you could present the gifts unwrapped. Sustainable Christmas cards are also available. As long as you recycle everything again after Christmas is over, this should lessen your environmental impact. 

9 ways to be more green this Christmas

Corks rather than screw tops 

This may be something you’ve never considered, but within each bottle top or screw top, there is a plastic element. Because of this, switching to corked bottles is another small change that would go a long way. Especially if your household gets trough a lot of bottles over the festive season! 

Choose experiences over physical presents 

Buying presents simply for the sake of buying presents just isn’t sustainable. Of course, there will be certain items that you’re loved ones will be over the moon to receive, but if nothing springs to mind, choose an experience present instead. Not only will experience presents be more memorable, but they won’t induce plastic waste or come with excess packaging. 

Boxing day litter pick 

A final idea to leave your with — a boxing day litter pick. It may not sound like the most appealing way to spend a would-be lazy boxing day, but it is fun! Many families choose to go on a traditional boxing day walk anyway, so why not give this year’s wander an eco-focus? 

If you make even one of these changes this Christmas, the impact will be important. Little changes for you mean a big step towards a healthier planet, so make this Christmas a little greener! 

9 ways to be more green this Christmas

Where The Trade Buys is one such company who is placing an emphasis on becoming an industry leader within sustainable printing. The commercial print business has significantly invested in becoming an FSC partner, helping talking care of forests and the people who live in them. The company is a supplier of booklet printing, with bases in London, Sunderland and Surrey.
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Peri Peri Chicken Pizza Recipe

Peri Peri Chicken Pizza Recipe

Although I love authentic cuisine, I do create fusion recipes at times, one of which includes Peri Peri Chicken Pizza, something that I bake regularly! Its indeed a task deciding what to cook everyday to feed my family, but to make things easier for myself, I often tend to pre-plan my meals for the week and this also helps me in ensuring that my kitchen cabinet is full of all my favourite meal preparation items especially Schwartz Garlic Granules, that I can easily get from Tesco. The garlic granules not just helps in sprucing up my creations, but they also add to the beautiful aroma of the dish. 

Peri Peri Chicken Pizza Recipe

Peri Peri Chicken Pizza Recipe

Ingredients:
Pizza dough (250 grams flour, 1/2 tsp salt, quarter tsp dried yeast, 200 ml water, oil)
Tomato ketchup (3 Tbsp) 
Mozzarella Cheese (2 tbsp, grated) 
Cheddar Cheese (2 tbsp, grated) 
Salt (To sprinkle, if required)
Oregano (Quarter tsp)
JalapeƱos (6-8)
Black Olives (5, sliced) 
Green chilli (1 medium, chopped)
Peri Peri Chicken (Small chicken cubes cooked with Peri Peri seasoning)
Schwartz Garlic Granules (1/2 -1 tsp to sprinkle on the top)

Peri Peri Chicken Pizza Recipe

Method:
To knead the pizza dough, add flour and salt in a bowl and mix. In another bowl, add some yeast with water, and leave it for 5 minutes before adding it to the dough mixture. 
Use extra flour for dusting if it gets sticky. 
Grease hands with oil and put it in bowl. 
Cover tightly with cling film and then a tea towel and leave it for the dough to rise. It should take 2-4 hours, depending on the weather. 
Roll the dough, spread ketchup and cheese generously and sprinkle some salt and oregano on it. 
Next step is to place all the toppings and you can also add any other topping you may desire. 
Make sure to sprinkle Schwartz Garlic Granules for a beautiful taste and aroma.
Preheat oven for 15 minutes at 220 degrees, place the pizza in a baking tray & bake for 15 - 20 minutes. 
Serve with tomato ketchup or any other sauces or dips that you fancy. 
P.S. It’s not necessary to make the dough from scratch, you can always get ready made dough and roll it or get a ready made pizza base to save time and effort. Works perfectly for days you won’t want to spend much time in the kitchen.

Peri Peri Chicken Pizza Recipe

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Understanding Fertility on World Fertility Day!

Understanding Fertility on World Fertility Day!

Fertility isn’t a subject widely discussed. It’s a sensitive topic and often considered quite the taboo, which could be due to the limited education people have on it. Perhaps if people understood fertility properly, they might feel more comfortable opening up about it. Tomorrow is World Fertility Day, so there’s no time like the present to learn a little more about fertility and how both men and women can improve it so that they don’t have to turn to a private IVF clinic to help them conceive a child. Here are some facts to get you started:

Private IVF clinic in London

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Honey Glazed Grilled Lamb Cubes Recipe

Honey Glazed Grilled Lamb Cubes Recipe

Lots of lamb recipes can be created using various newly discovered flavour pairings  such as coffee, grapefruit, prawns or even honey! This month I've come up with the recipe of 'Honey Glazed Grilled Lamb Cubes,' a mild yet flavourful dish that is not just perfect for a weekend meal but also great for a special occasion or a celebration. 

Honey Glazed Grilled Lamb Cubes Recipe

The Major Ingredient - The Lamb! 

Lamb is one of the most exciting ingredients that can be used to create lot of different recipes. 

Lamb Try it, Love it

The EU funded Lamb Try it, Love it campaign has enabled people to discover the unique flavours of lamb at their convenience. The protein packed premium lamb produced by European farmers ensures the use of sustainable practices and is a praiseworthy contribution to the local economies. 

Variety of Cuts of Lamb

Being a versatile ingredient, lamb can be used to prepare lots of dishes and the availability of different cuts enables us to create incredible lamb dishes that aren't just quick and easy to prepare, but the health benefits are immense too! 

Health Benefits of Lamb


Lamb contains essential nutrients and proteins as well as 7 vitamins and minerals including vitamin B12 and niacin that leads to a healthy lifestyle. Once you try it, you're definitely going to love it! For more information on the campaign and for interesting new recipes, check out lamb try it, love it.

Honey Glazed Grilled Lamb Cubes Recipe

INGREDIENTS:
(Serves 4)
For the marinade:
500 grams boneless lamb cubes (washed well)
1 tsp papaya paste 
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp salt, or as required 
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2  tsp black pepper 
1 tbsp olive oil (for cooking)

For the glaze: 
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS:
Add papaya, ginger and garlic paste, salt, lemon juice and black pepper to the lamb cubes, mix well and keep aside for 15 minutes.
Turn on the cooker to heat the grill pan, add the lamb cubes and drizzle olive oil on them. 
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by mixing honey, brown sugar and lemon juice in a small pan. 
Place over heat until the sugar melts. 
Add the glaze on the meat once it's cooked, to ensure it doesn't burn.
Serve hot with Peri Peri Rice, Garlic Mayo or Chilli Garlic Sauce and any other side that you prefer.

Honey Glazed Grilled Lamb Cubes Recipe

Honey Glazed Grilled Lamb Cubes Recipe

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20-30 minutes
Serves: 4

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Explore London Bridge on a Budget this Fall!

Explore London Bridge on a Budget

London is our favourite family travel destination but some of the places including the Mayfair, Kensington, Soho and of course, the London Bridge, are our absolute favourites. Being not too far from the capital, we often plan day trips to the city, but sometimes we also end up planning  a staycation. If you'd like to explore the London Bridge, I would definitely recommend you to stay at a London Bridge Hotel to make the most of your trip.

Exploring the London Bridge on a budget isn't difficult as there are lots of nearby attractions, places and restaurants within a mile's walking radius from the London Bridge that are not just easy for you to explore with your girlfriends but also with family and kids. 

Explore London Bridge on a Budget

Walk London Bridge to Tower Bridge & The Shard 

Wander along the Thames from the London Bridge to the Tower Bridge and you'll be able to spot lots of iconic buildings such as The Shard. Stop to take a few pictures and you can also enter The Shard to enjoy the breathtaking views of the city. It is not necessary for your meal to cost you an arm or a leg when visiting the building. However, you can also just enjoy a coffee or a drink, which should be within your budget. I would highly recommend booking your place instead of walking in randomly. 

Explore London Bridge on a Budget

Borough Market

Just 6 minutes by walk from the London Bridge is the Borough Market, known as the oldest and the largest market in Southwark and it sells specialty foods such as varieties of fresh juices, baked goodies, cheeses & meats. The market only opens from Monday to Saturday (8:00 am - 5:00 pm), and is closed on Sundays. However, if you visit the market near to the closing time, you'll definitely be able to bag some amazing deals and offers. (Postcode: SE11TL)

Explore London Bridge on a Budget

Southwark Cathedral 

If you walk another 3 minutes ahead of the Borough Market, you'll easily be able to spot the Southwark Cathedral. The cathedral opens daily between 8:30 am & 5:30 am and does not require any entry tickets. However, if you wish to take any pictures, you'll have to pay a donation of £1 for permission. The Southwark Cathedral is both family and disabled friendly, and has a small gift shop for visitors to purchase souvenirs. 

Explore London Bridge on a Budget

Golden Hind

Just a minute from the Southwark Cathedral, you'll be able to spot the Golden Hind, a ship that used to be captained by Sir Francis Drake. Originally known as the Pelican, the ship was renamed in 1587 in honour of Sir Christopher Hatton whose crest was a golden hind. Visitors can still see the original pieces of the galleon, and there is no charge to see it from the outside, or even read about it's history. However, the entry to the ship is £5 per person & £15 for a family of four, which is also a great price! 

Explore London Bridge on a Budget

Winchester Palace Ruins

This used to be an ancient 12th century palace that served as the London townhouse of the Bishops of Winchester. Located on the South bank of River Thames on the Clink Street, near the Southwark Cathedral, the visitors can still see the remains of the demolished palace where past is recorded in stone.

Millennium Mile

Stretching along the Thames between the Westminster Bridge and London Bridge lies the Millennium Mile where visitors can see many attractions as they walk past the area. You won't just get to enjoy the views, but you can also stop for a snack and coffee while appreciating the surroundings.  If you have some money to spare, make sure to ride a ferry as the sunsets and admire the beauty around you! Tickets are available for purchase from the booth at the pier. 

Explore London Bridge on a Budget

Southbank neighbourhood & Bankside Mix 

If you'd like to explore one of the most vibrant leisure and retails destinations in London, you have to make sure to take a stroll around the Southbank neighbourhood. Also, the Bankside Mix offers an array of shops and restaurants as well as lots of open spaces for the little ones to run around. I would say, this place is ideal for lunch or dinner. 

Explore London Bridge on a Budget

Explore London Bridge on a Budget

Shakespeare's Globe

The Shakespeare's Globe is dedicated to exploring the work of Shakespeare and was founded by Sam Wanamaker. The playhouse hosts lots of different plays written by Shakespeare for visitors to enjoy the performances. However, if you do not wish to spend money on the play tickets, or you're short of time, then you're free to enter and explore the Globe and to purchase souvenirs from the gift shop. It is recommended to book tickets prior to the visit as they sell out really quickly. 

Explore London Bridge on a Budget

Tate Modern

Free to enter, the gallery showcases  international modern and contemporary art. You can check out their website to learn about the exhibitions running at the time of your visit. Also, make sure to check the opening and closing timing to ensure you don't have to miss going there. 

Explore London Bridge on a Budget

Bankside Gallery

The Bankside gallery opens daily between 11:00 am till 6:00 pm and is free to enter. Visitors are welcome to admire the work of the artists and purchase paintings and artwork. 

St. George the Martyr 

This Grade II listed building has been named after Saint George who is strongly associated with Charles Dickens. His father was imprisoned for debt and the wall of the prison currently surviving adjoins the north side of the churchyard. Dickens used to live nearby during this time, and lots if scenes from one of his novels, 'Little Dorrit' were set in and round the church. Also, East window of the St. George the Martyr church also represents the novel of this great writer! 

Explore London Bridge on a Budget

All of this can be covered within 2 days and easily on foot, so you won't have to spend any money on transportation. Moreover, since these attractions are near one another, it isn't even feasible to drive to or park near these places. 


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 The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.

Top 5 Adventurer Gifts & Toys for Girls and Boys

Top 5 Adventurer Gifts & Toys for Girls and Boys

Purchasing presents for children on a special occasion such as something as important as their birthday, or festive season can be quite challenging at times. Depending on the age, gender and the interests of the child, the options can be narrowed down but browsing different toy stores can be a bit painstaking and time consuming especially for those entangled in a busy schedule. The popularity of online shopping and the launch of exciting websites such as Wicked Uncle has provided easy access to people for purchasing presents and cool jokes perfect for any occasion including adventurer gifts and toys for girls and boys.

With BabyN's birthday fast approaching, I thought of brainstorming a few ideas of what to get for him. Obviously, being a mother I actually know what he wants and I'm also fully aware of his birthday wish-list but it isn't possible to check all of it. While browsing for birthday gifts for boys online, I came across various choices when I realised how simple and easy the entire process has been made by Wicked Uncle as they've categorised the toys and gifts for girls and boys and for different age groups (0 - 12+) on the basis of popularity and new arrivals. Some of the categories available for purchase on the website include outdoor, role play, fashion and style, sensory toys, books and games to name a few! 
Below I've complied a list of top 5 adventurer gifts and toys brilliant for both girls and boys. 

Full HD Action Camera - Discovery Adventures 

Since there was choice, and obviously I couldn't pick everything, I ended up choosing a full  high quality HD action camera (£34.95), complete with waterproof case and WiFi to watch live on your smartphone. Made by German company Bresser and approved by the Discovery Channel, this 1080p digital camera is perfect for the little adventurers who love engaging themselves in outdoor activities such as biking, skating or swimming. Live streaming on the smartphone through WiFi is another added advantage, besides the fact that the 6cm x 4cm tall camera can go up to 30m underwater as well. Additionally, purchasing a MicroSD memory card that can be added in the memory card slot can enable kids to save snaps for later. 

Full HD Action Camera for kids by wicked uncle

Full HD Action Camera for kids by wicked uncle

Revolving Globe - Around the Globe in 14 seconds! 

This desktop sized globes spins and finishes the rotation in only 14 seconds, and has a 30 day spinning life on just one AA battery. The 14 cm tall globe (£16.95) is a perfect addition to a desk, and the plastic high-gloss finish is a perfect present for little travellers who love to explore the world and to discover new places across the globe. 
Revolving Globe by Wicked Uncle

Metal Detector - Search for Buried Treasure

The colourful detector (£16.95) not just lights up, but also sounds when metal is found, thus making it really interactive for the children. The product has been designed for little ones, and its sturdy 30cm long metal detector lights up and flashes when metal is detected, which makes it perfect for exploratory trips. The easy to use pivoting head also glows when treasure is found either in a sand pit, at a beach or in the garden. 
Metal Detector by Wicked Uncle

Walkie Talkies - National Geographic 

These lightweight walkie talkies (£39.95) made by Bresser in Germany are brilliant for some outdoor fun. They're easy to use, have a clear reception and their range is up to 6 km in the open. The 12cm long handset with antenna has a built-in flashlight and a microphone jack along with call alert and press-to-talk buttons, volume control and 8 different channels with an LED display. The handy belt clip is perfect for children to use when they need both their hands for some adventurous fun such as climbing or exploring missions.


Walkie Talkies - National Geographic  by Wicked Uncle


Spy X - Night Mission Goggles

These light up night mission goggles (£19.95) are great for night time adventures and the tinted blue lenses have been added to enable a better night vision. The full mode enables the user to get directional beams of the bright blue LED light, leaving both hands free for the little explorer. Since the stretchy elastic straps are adjustable, it can fit heads of all sizes and the retractable scope and 2x magnifying lens can be used to pot targets from greater distances. These night mission goggles are brilliant for fun spying escapades and make a perfect present. 

Spy X - Night Mission Goggles by Wicked Uncle
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