Friday, 10 December 2010

Recycling mushy peas now we have something completely different and non-gardeny - although really its about the garden, indirectly - the less money I spend on 'stuff' the more I can spend on plants/compost/seeds and general gardening paraphernalia or on having fun. Or maybe even more money to buy wellies and stripey socks - you can never have enough of either. And to be fair, the more things I recycle in my home, like the tin cans - the less time I spend going to the recycling place = more time in the garden simple!

When thinking of the laundry, what's a garden obsessed mother to do, with children to keep clean, a puppy who just looks mucky even if he isn't and a dirty muddy stinky gardening habit to clean up after. In this household the washing machine is on often  and the level of 'outside' (e.g. mud) that happens to our lives is epic - we need a solution which works (when I include mud, I'm including the peedie pup in this - he's often covered in mud and needing a bath (not a hurl around the washing machine!).
Peedie the cairn terrier - a bit muddy in the field!
At the moment I've not delved into the realms of making my own laundry gook (maybe after I finish writing up?!), I can't afford the eco-options (powder, nuts etc) - half of them don't work very well on  low temperatures (but thats only my opinion)Therefore I'm left with making the most of what I can afford for laundry and making it stretch as far as possible. I do this with the help of a plastic box and a tin of mushy peas.  Very simple really - take a plastic box, this one lives under the sink, his name is Humphrey. (Everything in my life has name)

We're on a budget, (I might have mentioned that a couple of times), where we can, we do the green option, where we struggle - due to funds in the interim - we do the frugal method - whilst my ethics are green - often my pocket isn't. Therefore we make do and stretch things as best we can - first we get a box big enough to hold 4-6kg powder, any type of box will do, a lined cardboard one will work too - I just had a spare (free) plastic box.
Next the washing powder both posh (bought when hugely reduced on offer) and a packet of very cheap value powder from any supermarket (often bought in bulk and very cheap). Then comes the fun bit - you eat a tin of mushy peas - well you don't have to - I just like to recycle my tins for scooping jobs around the house - I use them after I've cleaned them out to scoop out washing powder, dog food/hen food - very handy and a good use of a tin. Last for years too - I have my favourite tins in key places to make me giggle when I do things - like the mushy pea tin - looks very odd in the washing powder - but functional - infact you could say its designer eco-friendly limited edition washing scoop - probably the only one of its kind.

The next bit isn't exactly rocket science - we mix up the powder - one or two cheap packets (£1.67 a 2kg box) of the very cheapo powder to a very posh packet of powder (if full price its £6.79 - 2kg - [how much!!!] I only ever buy it on offer - I can't afford that price!) - you get all the fragrance of the nice stuff and the cheap stuff makes it go much further.

Whilst I don't mind the cheap version only (we stock up on those when we are away on the mainland) - the kids do like the smell of the posh stuff. I dump it into the box a scoop at a time til its all mixed up and bulked up!

There we have the excellent money saving and the recycling of the mushy peas, well the can anyway. Its not eco-powder but its going to go alot further and whilst its not home made laundry gook (yet) it will help with the pennies until I can find the time/a better solution to my laundry.

If you think I'm completely bonkers - don't worry - I've promised the kids an 'indexed' how to for when they leave home - this is a small part of that index! (e.g. Mum, how do I get the laundry powder to go further so I can spend my money on student things like beer! (joke!)) I'm also madly keen on recycling and happy to promote it as simply as possible wherever I can.


  1. I love this idea. Not convinced I can get it to work for us though as powder very quickly goes damp and clumpy here. I usually use tablets, but only one per wash, and stretch that by adding a scoop of washing soda. I do however have a guilty secret. Alongside the Tesco own brand laundry tablets, and tub of washing soda in my kitchen cupboard, sits a bottle of Bold liquid - which I use for bedlinen and towels only as it makes them smell wonderful!


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