Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas cheer, christmas rubbish

It now hurtling fast towards the end of the year, which can only mean - christmas is near.

I certainly love the idea of christmas, being a time to spend with family and friends.

It's all the other stuff that bothers me.
The expectation to give something, particularly something physical.
The need to spend more.
The ease in which people buy too much - gifts & food.
The excuse that 'it's christmas' it only happens once a year.

Of course my work place has not escaped, feeling the need to 'kris kringle', and spend a small amount of money on something unnecessary. In years passed I have tried to enforce a sustainable rule - the gift being one of perishable (food), recycled, raises funds for charity, donate to charity or even extends to a recyclable gift - like a book or notebook.  But too many people struggled with this idea, and items such as plastic banana carry cases or model planes (as a joke) where bought, and subsequently thrown in the bin.
So now I refuse to partake.

Then there is the notion that I must buy a present for someone, in case they buy for me.  Not just an unnecessary gift, but usually wrapped in paper or god-forbid plastic and with my other pet hate - an ordinary card with a well wish.  Don't get me wrong, cards can be great. But there is an enormous amount of crap cards produced in case someone rushes out and needs to buy a card quickly.

Cards. Well I haven't brought more than about 5 in the last 10 years. I reuse the nice cards people give me, or make one up. so much more personal that way.  Of the 5 I've bought, they've been by artists I admire, and not for the sake of buying a card. Better still, to buy a card from a market stall or gallery, and keep it for the time you need it.

I guess that's enough for christmas for now. I'm sure there'll be more to add sooner or later

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The End... of the week

Well, Enviroweek ended when I was out crook. I tell you what, being home sick has a few good and back impacts environmentally.
The down side is, you've usually got a tv, maybe a heater running when you would normally be out. If you pay for Green energy this is less of an impact. You use more water with the toilet, drinking etc, probably not more that if you were elsewhere, that is unless you're throwing up a lot like I was.
The positives are you sleep a lot, so not using any appliances and conserving your energy; you eat less and you don't go any where to consume anything. The Good out ways the Bad I reckon, so you don't have to feel so down when your sick!

Anyway, in all seriousness, I did have a peak in my rubbish bin to see what was there after a week of trying not to produce any general waste at all. Recycling and compost fine, but I wanted to have zero waste beyond this. I mean, we generally don't have that much anyway. Pre-worm farm the 2 of us + cat only put the general waste bin out every fortnight and even then it's only half full. Our kitchen bin lined with biodegradable bags doesn't even get full before it has to go out for the smell.

At the end of the week, here are some things I found:

1. packets from Fish balls (that I thought caused the dodgy stomach) & puffed tofu for the homemade laksa that feeds for days. fish balls & tofu are locally made, other ingredients are canned organic coconut milk, scoop of laksa paste from a jar (long lasting not the add-the-whole-jar watered down stuff) and organic vegies. The rice noodles were bought in bulk so the packet hasn't been thrown out yet.

2. Tissues. I've made an effort to use handkerchiefs more, but they're not as convenient as tissues, and my bright red sesame street one gets some funny looks.

3. Scraps from the cat's food bowl. The worms can't eat fish.

4. Chicken Bones. When I get a bokashi bucket & compost they can go in, but not while we live here.
5. A couple ends of material & thread from sewing projects. These could compost aswell.

6. Wrappers from biscuits or snacks. Unfortunately there aren't many snacks beyond fruit, bulk foods you pack yourself and homemade goodies, that don't come in a plastic wrapper. Even organic, wholefood or similar items. When are manufacturers going to make biodegradable wrappers? Surely the Use By date is far shorter than the 'Degradable' date. And as for the foil lined for freshness crap? I've stopped buying certain brands because metal sheet around a food packed with preservatives is unnecessary.

7. Onion skin & lime rind. The worms don't like these either.

I think this was about it. I'm sure if there was more, it wasn't mine ;)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Enviroweek - everyday hero @ 1:1

so it's already day 3, and how have I done to better my impact on the earth?
well I started the week with:
- buying & setting up a WORM FARM!
Then I followed by:
- making DINNER with items already in the cupboard, and extra portions for the week's lunches!
Adding to this (or deducting from it)
- limiting the general WASTE I dispose, like:
- using and reusing paper & plastic bags.
- creating a COMPOST pile to feed the WORMS
- buying bread from the markets in a paper bag
- using my HANDS to carry seedlings home
- making COFFEE at work instead of buying in a disposable cup (even though I now have a keep cup I don't carry it around with me everywhere I need coffee!)

what's in store tmw?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

the little things that count

There are plenty of small changes people can make. Habits thrown out the window by just thinking how something can be done better. Take eating for example. What do you do?

Do you need a second plate for second course, or can you wipe the crumbs from the first?
do you need to rinse if your dishwasher is good enough?
Do you need to buy washed potatoes or are you lazy?
do you need to wash your potatoes if your peeling them?
Do you need to wash your lettuce if you grew it?
do you need to buy parsley if you've got an empty pot by your door?
Do you need to throw away the pasta water or could your lemon tree use it?
do you need to use a different knife and cutting board if you cut your vegetables before your meat?
Do you need to put your leftovers in a container or can the dish you cooked it in cool down and go straight in the fridge?


Make us earth friends.
More untold environment fun.
Must u ever flee.
Maybe unmade eclectic festivities.
May unbelievable events fray.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Leftovers can be boring, but they can also be inspiration. Don't let them sit in the fridge, too scared to eat them, or not interested in just reheating them.

Roast veggies from the sunday roast, go great on a pizza or in a frittata
Stir-fry vegies - add stock and make a soup
Curries or casseroles, wrapped up in a roti or pide bread
Pasta baked in a casserole dish with a generous layer of cheese
Baked or barbequed fish make great fish cakes
Risotto rolled into balls and shallow fried
It's endless...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bucket of

a few buckets around the house and a little bit of weight training...
I have a bucket in the sink, for washing vegies over or emptying the hotwater bottle. This is the right amount to go on my pots outside the kitchen.
Another bucket sits next to the shower, to catch the water as it warms up. This seems to be the right amount to refill the cistern, the amount I use the upstairs toilet.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I do a day

I do a day at a time, make small changes to reduce my footprint on nature.

Today was a trip to the markets. I take my green bag and a handful of my stockpile of reused paper & washed plastic bags. (I'm hoping one day my stockpile is more paper than plastic) I only use the bags for when buying a number of things - like squash, or tatsoi (japanese green leaves). For mandarins, garlic etc, they just go straight in the green bag.