Monday, 27 September 2010

Keeping Warm ASAP style

Just when I was about to pop into Wibbling Wools and order a new hat, old Baglady of Northern Ireland pops up and asks how I'm getting on with my ASAP pledge!

Well... there's nothing like one's conscience ringing you on the mobile when you're about to indulge in a new piece of winter headgear as a result of the old one being accidentally ruined in the washing machine.  As I stood chatting to Baglady on my phone, I held the old hat in my other hand.  Bought from here just a year ago, it was now so small it could only fit a child.  But it was the only woolly hat that has suited me (ever), hence, I was on a mission to get it replaced ASAP before the autumn sets in. Now that's really organised in my book!

But my idea of ASAP was not what Baglady had in mind.  And buying things as quickly as possible was not the pledge that I'd made back in the summer when she launched her ASAP pledges at Baglady Productions.

No!  Those pledges were about living As SUSTAINABLY As Possible.  And  being conscious of the waste stream that results from manufacturing and the energy used in production and transportation, my pledge then had been to think carefully about everything I bought and whether I actually needed it...i.e. no longer buying anything that I didn't really need, so that the world's resources and our money didn't go to waste.

So, nothing like being caught out eh...on the brink of entering one of my favourite Bury St Edmunds shops to splash some cash on something new.  It was just like having my husband turn up at my heel, just as I'm pulling out a credit card.

But at least one thing's for sure, I really did need that scrumptious purple hat especially as the weather was about to get blimmin' chilly!  So, I hadn't failed my pledge. And the hat was hand-knitted by someone down the road, with wool that could be repurposed elsewhere and probably just a teabag or two from a knitter's break, which hopefully would have gone into the compost!

Of course don't get me wrong.  Baglady isn't some old nag from across the water, who wags her finger at me to make sure that I'm keeping up with the "Greens".

Instead her style is more like a gentle doyenne, often oddly dressed in a sea of carrier bags, preaching not, but kindly offering wisdom and encouragement for anyone who wants to take up more sustainable habits.

I might not have been entirely successful with my original pledge - measured by recently palming off a couple of hardly-worn summer purchases to a couple of good friends.  However, having watched the No Impact Man movie recently I seem to have found my groove again and am up for seeing how far I can go with Baglady's ASAP pledge system.

So, I've decided to  have a good think about real differences I can make in our little average household and put into practice some ideas that have been buzzing around my head for a wee while.

It shouldn't be hard, especially as there's one particular issue that  immediately comes to mind, which is the blimmin' temperature on the homefront.  It's only September but it's so chilly indoors that my ears are colder than a penguin's bottom.

But before I automatically crank up the thermostat I know there are certain options to explore to help conserve energy this autumn, like cavity wall insulation for instance.

Exciting isn't it.  Let me repeat it again.... cavity wall insulation!  Hmmm, it's as interesting as watching paint dry.

Of course neither my husband or I know whether we've got it.  And despite it now sounding like an emergency dental treatment, I've never felt the urgency to find out, even though I know you can get grants for it.

So, I'll leave you now while I make a few calls to investigate.

I'd better put my woolly hat on though....I know I'm staying indoors but still, I may be some time!

More information about the ASAP pledge system can be found at


  1. Thanks for introducing me to Bag Lady, as well as for your comment on my blog. I've taken the pledge. Just a small thing. I'm giving up shower gel in favour of lovely, natural rose scented soap. A few less plastic bottles in the system. Although they are recyclable I've read that they can only be recycled a few times, so using as few as possible seems a good idea.

    I should blog again later this week. I'm just trying to help sort my aunt out and keep my mum calm, which is a bit time consuming.

  2. Hi Karin - what a great pledge and just think of all those fabulous soaps you'll be able to scoop up. (Have you seen these by the way It's true about plastic use, it does degrade through recycling and the fewer used the better. Hope all works out on the family front. Thinking of you x

  3. Hello AMA & Karin

    Where I work we have more than just a desire for sustainabilty as we preach and effectively sell the concept in our services.

    Life cycle purchasing forms part of our Environmental Policy which bizarrely is changing our purchasing back to glass, metal containers and cotton workwear.

  4. Hi Gideon Mack - you're right. It's all in the purchasing choices. By making the right decision at the beginning, you can often solve the problems that other choices create. Wish there were more folks around like you.

  5. Just taken a look at the Bellingham Soap Company and I must say I am tempted. Thanks Karen, I shall bookmark it for future reference.

  6. Excellent...they are a real treat. Allyson who makes the products is really lovely too. ;0)