On the Road

After 5 months of tidying our local streets assisted by the Litterati app, we decided it was time to call in some extra help! On Saturday we were joined by 10 locals for an hour of litter-picking along our road. We really enjoyed this chance to meet new neighbours and reconnect with old ones.

As we collected rubbish from the gutters, pavements and front gardens, we chatted with people who wondered what we were up to, and hopefully encouraged them to think more about how they might look after their neighbourhood. The hour was up in no time, and we reconvened for a well earned cuppa and mince pie.

Collectively we had gathered eight bagfuls of rubbish and our road was looking positively radiant in the winter sun. Though we’d been picking up other people’s rubbish, we found it a very positive experience; the morning was all about owning the problem and being part of the solution. We’re already looking forward to a big spring clean in 2018!

Many thanks to Neeta from Cleanup UK for all her support and for making this whole process so easy. Why should we pick other people’s litter? Take a look at this short film:

Fancy organising your own clean up, or joining an existing litter group? Check out litteraction.org.uk

We’d love to hear about your litter picking events. Leave us a comment or a tweet @stuffoholics and we’ll give you a shout out.

Together, we can make a difference.

The Joys of Repurposing

Today the cold has reached my core and my hands do not wish to fly across the keys.  Please be patient if I seem a little slow-witted too.

As stuffoholics we like to think of our possessions as vintage and loved, rather than old and worn out in need of replacement (yes this does feel like it is getting personal!) Last week I watched the glass butter dish lid slip from my hand and hit the floor. I did not think as it fell in slow motion –  great I’ve been wanting a new one for ages. No, as I saw it break into pieces, my first thought was – can you superglue a butter dish lid? The butter dish, a reminder of a bustling house and a time when it needed to be filled many times a week.  At this point I realised that perhaps like the rest of my life the butter dish needs downsizing or to make me feel better ‘rightsizing’. I reluctantly googled ‘glass butter dish’ to find a replacement but knew I really didn’t want to buy more stuff given the battle to get 5 a day out the door.  Luckily I thought instead- there must in that kitchen drawer which contains things that will be useful someday be something to put butter in.


Hmm… as you can see glass jars and ramekins are my Achilles heel. Today though, to my surprise, the ramekin stash was part of the solution not the problem. A ramekin combined with  a small glass bowl- the perfect butter dish for my current life. One ramekin finally repurposed to again see the light of day.


All’s well that ends well as they say, but suggestions for what to do with the bottom half of a ‘vintage’ glass butter dish very welcome. It would be nice if it didn’t languish in the someday drawer too long!


p.s. The clutter gods are playing with me. My son has been clearing out and he just said “Here you are, I know you like to keep them, here’s a ramekin.”  No…………

A Work in Progress

I’m not a technologically savvy individual; I’ve never used WhatsApp, I’m generally un-selfied and I mostly use my mobile for making phone calls. However, five months ago I watched a Ted Talk that convinced me to download a free app called Litterati which subsequently changed my whole attitude towards my environment.

If this has you intrigued, take a look for yourself. It’s only six minutes long, and it’ll be time well spent.

You didn’t watch the film? Keep reading, maybe I can still convince you…

In my pre-Litterati days, I would complain on an increasingly regular basis about the state of my neighbourhood. The fly tipping and litter appalled me. I had no idea how litterers could be converted into non-litterers, so it looked like a problem that would never go away… which sadly made it everyone’s problem.

Downloading the Litterati app helped me make a conscious decision to be a part of the solution. Over the course of five months, I’ve been picking up street litter and recycling the plastic, glass bottles and cans.

Litter map


This map shows all the rubbish I’ve removed from my neighbourhood since the summer. Litter is still a problem, but now I’m helping to solve that problem (which feels a whole lot better than my previous complaining.)


I started using the app back in June and here we are five months- and five hundred pieces of litter- later. My attitude towards litter has changed. I still hate it, but I hate it enough to do something about it.

Next up, I’ll be asking my neighbours to join me picking litter… an afternoon of making our street a better place and hopefully feeling that little bit better as a result.#500

Here’s the 500th piece of litter I picked up; a coffee cup from McDonald’s (actually, we’re NOT Lovin It.)

So, if you hate litter as much as I do… please don’t walk past the next piece you see.  Pick it up and bin it (or recycle it, if at all possible.) It’ll feel really good.

And to see what a big difference you can make, download the Litterati app & join a worldwide community of litter pickers. Every piece counts!

Picking Pomegranates

low hanging fruit

Last week was Samhain marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. You would therefore not have been surprised to find a food waste post on gleaning and thought title was meant to be ‘Picking Pumpkins’ but somehow autocorrect had stepped in.  But as it happens today after the soul searching of previous weeks and sense that progress was not as rapid as imagined decided to remember the benefits in any change programme of ‘quick wins‘ or  less commonly ‘low hanging fruit’. To my surprise amongst the free google images was low hanging pomegranates, so picking pomegranates which conjured up summer days not gloomy winter it was.

So what are the ‘quick wins’ ? An excellent question which deserves an answer of the same calibre but I don’t have one prepared. After all these months the only way to achieve a ‘quick win’ would be to change my mindset, my emotional attachment to stuff and hate of waste. That is no ‘quick win’. That I suspect will be my life journey.



Hate to disappoint but all I can do for today is at least tackle food waste and offer you a recipe for pumpkin soup.



….and for your understanding wish you good luck in life in finding fruit laden pomegranate trees that you can reach.