5 Must Read Green Living Blogs

We have compiled a small collection of 5 of our current favourite green living blogs.  Blogs from the UK dedicated to sharing tips on living a more sustainable lifestyle. We are big supporters of green living at Not Mass Produced, so we love to read blog posts about the latest eco and design products and get some tips and info on reducing our carbon footprint from these well informed green bloggers.

 Barkingside 21

This is a great blog that was started around a community action group after the 'Agenda 21' action plan for sustainable living that was one of the results of the environmental summit in Rio, back in 1992.  

Little Green Blog

Little Green Blog
Meet Mrs, Mr and little Miss Green, they have a beautiful blog sharing tips for living more sustainably.

Green and natural Living

Green and Natural Living
Full of lots of useful information, 'Green and Natural living is written by Jackie, a "green living, salsa loving, Lincolnshire Yellowbelly, mother of 2"

Brigit Strawbridge blog

Bee Strawbridge

"Trying to help by raising awareness about the importance of biodiversity and other important issues such as: bees; soil; permaculture; food; ethics; animal rights; growing food; sustainable living and more..."  A great blog from Brigit Strawbridge - a surname we now all associate with living life in a more sustainable way!
The Green familia blog

The Green Familia

Absolutely packed with tips on where to shop for more environmentally friendly products and tips on being frugal as well as being green.  They also have a really useful directory of stockists that sell sustainable and ethical products.

We hope you enjoy looking through these inspiring blogs - let us know if you have any favourite green living blogs in the comments :)

Summer Punch Recipes

There is something uniquely luxurious about a lazy summer garden party and the wonderful clinking of ice cubes as the punch is ladled into glasses.  We're looking forward to trying these delicious sounding punch recipes over the summer.

So absolutely no excuses -  you don't even need a special punch bowl and ladle to provide a top drawer punch for your guests this summer.  And remember it's a lot more fun to be in charge of the punch bowl than the bbq!  

sangria punch recipe

Strawberry Margarita Spritzers

Are you having a party over the summer?  

Here are a few ideas of what to use if you don't have a traditional punch bowl set.  Altogether much more creative and your guest will love it, even just a simple jug or large flower vase will do, but try to get something clear so people can see all the beautiful fruits.

punch in a large jar

using jam jars for punch glasses

ice punch bowl

watermelon punch bowl

Make sure you and your guests know how strong the punch is - it can be quite deceptive when something tastes so refreshing on a hot day and can lead to plenty of sore heads the next morning! (speaking from experience!)

Enjoy your parties!

Blue trees and Brazilian friends

Blue Trees

Trees, trees, beautiful bright blue trees... ??

Australian artist Konstantin Dimopoulos is on a mission to open eyes stop the deforestation that is happening across the world.  He's painting trees blue - bright, vibrant, electric blue , a colour that you will not see naturally occurring, a colour to make us stop and notice the trees.

The pigment is safe, water based and does no harm to the trees or surrounding environment.

Would you notice your local trees if they were suddenly sprayed bright blue? Would you be annoyed? That's exactly the point, by making trees ping out we are reminded just how important they are to us. Both aesthetically and environmentally.

Would it make you stop and think? Read on for a way you can help right now to stop deforestation in the Amazon.

What can you do right now to help stop deforestation?  

Yes, there are lots of ways we can save paper around the home and in the office and if you are a fan of Not Mass Produced, you probably do many of them already, but here is an initiative from Green Peace that could possibly stop mass deforestation in the Amazon - It's amazing that this is still true:

Every 30 seconds a piece of the Amazon the size of a soccer pitch is razed to the ground to make way for cattle grazing or for the planting of agricultural crops on the newly vacant land.

With the help of the Brazilian Friend Finder, you can use your social networks to find Brazilians who will sign this petition to help save what is left of the Amazon - sounds crazy but through using the power of Twitter you could help get 1.4million Brazilian signatures and only Brazilian signatures will do! 

Take a look at the FAQ's to find out more about how this law could help and how GreenPeace support the indiginous people of the Amazon and hopefully stop this destructive deforestation for good.

Jubilee Gift Ideas we love!

Marking 60 years of the Queens reign, we are soon to be celebrating a fabulous 4 day weekend, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th of June 2012! It will certainly be a celebration that's recorded in the history books - and that's why everywhere you move there are Union Jacks and Queen's Jubilee Memorabilia .  

We wouldn't want to distract you from the party planning, pimms buying and bunting making  for too long, but we just had to show you the Jubilee inspired gifts that the designer makers at Not Mass Produced have created to celebrate the occasion. (bunting tip at the end of this post!)

London underground handbag

red crown handbag mirror

Corgi dog cushion

Leather Union Jack Cushion

We hope you all have a fabulous weekend!  If you haven't started on that essential jubilee bunting yet, why not try this tutorial from blogger 'Paper and String'.  

bunting tutorial buttons and ribbon

This fun felt bunting tutorial would be a brilliant, boredom busting activity for the kids at any jubilee street parties you're having.  Lay out a table out with all of the bits and bobs they need and let them make it all up themselves - great icebreaker for adults at the party too.

Simple and sustainable gift wrapping ideas

You can save both money and a few trees by trying these really simple ideas to wrap your gifts without having to buy brand new gift wrap. They look great too...

Re-use wrapping paper

This has to be number one. If you take care when opening gifts you can 'hand iron' out the paper, fold it up and stash it away for use later on. This is especially true for gift bags, even if the sender has written on the bag you may be able to glue something over the top to cover it up.


Wrapping gifts in newspaper can look fantastic if you dress them up well. Adding a splash of colour or a pretty detail with a bow or ribbon can make newspaper look like designer wrapping paper.

Old Maps

Those large road maps that have seen better days can be re purposed for wrapping paper, or made into these fantastic little pillow boxes.

Kids drawings

Children can get through enormous quantities of paper - save drawings for wrapping gifts, grandparents will be especially pleased :)

Recycled brown paper

You can buy inexpensive brown parcel paper and decorate it with simple cut outs, ribbons or potato cut stamping (release your inner child or get your kids to do this for you!) or painting a pattern onto the paper before you wrap the gift.

Decorate parcels with fabric flowers

Fabric scraps can easily be made into pretty flowers that will dress up a plainly wrapped gift.
Natural decorations

Natural Decorations

If your present isn't going to be hanging around long why not nip into the garden or park with some scissors and collect a little bouquet of flowers, leaves, twigs, dried seed heads or cones to add a little flourish to your gift wrap.  This works really well with plain brown paper wrapping too.

Paper Bows

It's a lot of fun to learn how to make these paper bows, and once you have nailed it you'll never need to buy one again! Cherish the time you spend making these, it can be very theraputic (if you don't leave it right until the very last minute!)  Make them in batches and keep them for emergencies.

For even more inspiration take a look at our Sustainable Wrapping Ideas Pinterest board - let us know if you have any ideas for wrapping presents, or if you have blogged about wrapping we'd love to add your ideas...

No Sew Fabric Scraps Tutorials

There's something in all of us that prevents us from throwing away those pretty fabric scraps left over from our crafty sewing projects...  but often we end up with a huge stash and we just don't have time to sew up that quilt we've always dreamed of.  

Don't let your scraps go to waste!  Try one of these really quick no sew tutorials instead. There's something magic about a no sew project, it's super quick and no need to get the machine out or go hunting for needles. No excuses for not making something pretty with all those scraps as these projects can be whipped up in no time!

DIY No sew bunting - Use up all of your old fabric scraps to make bright and colourful bunting for your house and garden - and you don't need to know how to sew! Take a look at this step by step tutorial.

No sew fabric flowers - Even the smallest scrappy bits of fabric can be transformed into a beautiful bouquet of flowers with this fun no sew tutorial.

Fabric scrap wreath - Snip your fabric scraps into lengths and tie them to a wire hoop to create a pretty fabric wreath like this, so easy!

No sew fabric coasters - What about some pretty fabric coasters to match the cushion covers you have just sewn up? They may not last too long but they will look very pretty for when special guests come around ;)

Hello ethical - hello beautiful...

Stamp queens head cushion

...and hello to the new 'Not Mass Produced' Blog!

We have given the blog a little spring spruce up and we are looking forward to filling it each week with lovely juicy articles about craft and ethical design, interviews with our artisans and of course regularly sharing a few gems from the Not Mass Produced website. Just like this fabulous vintage postage stamp cushion, from designer maker Lucy Liz.

Ethical | Beautiful

Keep your eyes out for our regular cool hunting posts where we will be sharing the best in inspiring, ethical, beautiful, design from around the world.  As many of you know (or could guess from our name) we are strong supporters of ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly design and production - as such we read a fair few blogs on the subject!  

Please let us know if you write a blog which has ethical design and sustainability at it's heart, so we can add it to our reading list and share your thoughts and finds right here.

...and yes, just like many of you, we have fallen head over heels for the time vampire that is Pinterest.  We're often to be found  hoarding  collecting fabulous images, videos and links to share here and over on our facebook page, just take a look at our beautiful Pinterest boards so far. This one is entitled Ethical - Beautiful of course!

ethical beautiful design

Featured Artisans

We'll also be sharing interviews with our designer makers, letting you find out a little more about what inspires them, how they got started and what they have planned for the future.  It's great to get an insight into the lives of our makers, it really helps us to understand the process and the added value in the items they hand make from their homes and workshops.

DIY - Fabulous Tutorials!

So many of us that love to buy handmade gifts, also love to make them ourselves.  We'll be regularly sharing tutorials, diy's and makes that we have found across the web.  The internet is alive with makers sharing their skills and we want to ensure their blogs get seen.  We especially like tutorial that re-use, repurpose and recycle.

Are you excited?  We certainly are!   Please give us some lovely feedback and positive encouragement along the way (comments and shares will really boost our morale, treble wink, double nudge!) and of course let us know what you're up to.  If you, like us have a passion for beautiful, sustainable and ethical design then leave us a link in the comments so we can come and say hello and wave exitedly from our facebook and twitter pages :)