We just had our hard waste clean up this weekend just gone & I was really excited as it was a great way to clear out some of the crap that had accumulated around the edges of our life that we really didn't need anymore. We always try to be very careful with our decisions on what we purchase, we barely buy new, unless we really have to (knickers & food etc), and only buy when we really have to (the decision process, "do we need it, or do we just want it").
When we are getting rid of things, we look at their reusability, is there someone else that can use this, can we pass it on, op shop it, change it & reuse it, or is it past it? If it is past it, then out it goes.
So, that is how we got to have a bunch of stuff for the hard garbage. Not many people would pick up stuff from our pile, however, regretably there were a few things that I did put out, that probably could have still had a bit more life in them. I did put them out thinking that someone might chance upon them & take them away. They did not. They have now gone to landfill.
So on Saturday morning, I woke to the sound of the garbage truck scraping the old trolley that was ugly, but had really good wheels still (just took up too much space in my laundry) being broken & squashed, & my bubble burst as I imagined my muck becomming a blob of landfill that would never go away. I realised that I could have done better - with that & with other things.
- All of the metal could have been taken off things and taken to metal scrap yard.
- The timber - I am not sure, but maybe some of it could have been used be a salvage yard.
- The chairs might have been picked up by someone on Freecycle.
- The window frame could have gone on Freecycle too.
- The shopping trolley really should have gone to the op shop, the wheels were great, the handle great, it didn't even need new vinyl, I just didn't like the colour of it.
We live, we learn.
Start of email from People & Parks Foundation:
Victorian People & Parks Foundation Volunteer Help Needed
Field Day VolunteeringIf you would like to assist out in the field, we have the following events running. You don’t need any specific experience, just a happy disposition an interest in conservation and wiliness to pitch in.
This is a great opportunity if you wish to gain experience in community environmental work. A free Working with Children Certificate can be obtained for volunteers.
Please let me know which of the following days you are available:
WED OCTOBER 7 GREEN CONNECTIONS School group Royal Park (9:15am – 3:00pm)
WED OCTOBER 14 GREEN CONNECTIONS School group Blackburn Lake Sanctuary (9:15am – 3:00pm)
WED OCTOBER 21 RETREAT ASSISTANCE Corporate Volunteers Caitlin’s Retreat, Eltham (9:15am – 3:00pm)
FRI OCTOBER 23 GREEN CONNECTIONS Corporate Volunteers Albert Park (9:15am – 3:00pm)
WED OCTOBER 28 GREEN CONNECTIONS School group TBC (Eastern Suburbs) (9:15am – 3:00pm)
WED NOVEMBER 4 GREEN CONNECTIONS School group Blackburn Lake Sanctuary (9:15am – 3:00pm)
WED NOVEMBER 11 SEA SEARCH School group Ricketts Point, Beaumaris (1:30pm to 4:30pm)
THUR NOVEMBER 12 RETREAT ASSISTANCE Corporate Volunteers Caitlin’s Retreat, Eltham (2pm – 4pm)
TUE NOVEMBER 17 GREEN CONNECTIONS Corporate Volunteers Werribee (9:15am – 3:00pm)
* Green Connections days consist of working in the environment with revegetation, planting, clear up etc
* Sea Search days consist of intertidal marine monitoring
* Retreat Assistance days are held at our retreat centre for special needs children and involve activities to improve the property
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested
Friends of Caitlin's Retreat Volunteers
We are starting a Friends of Caitlin's Retreat for those that are interested in helping out on the Eltham property. Roles can include hands on assistance in the grounds, permaculture gardening, helping create programs for special needs children, networking with the local community and many other activities. The group will meet once a month at the Retreat Centre in Eltham. It is envisaged that this will be a working bee day for those that can participate and a general meeting. You can just attend the meeting, it is not necessary to assist in the working bee.
We are deciding whether the meeting will be held on a weekday or a weekend. If you are interested in being involved specifically in the Friends of Caitlin's Retreat please let me know your preference by emailing email@example.com
Office VolunteersDo you have a day or two spare and would like to volunteer? We have the following skilled activities that require volunteer assistance.
Event Calendar Creator Volunteer needed for 1 day to conduct internet research and put together forward calendar of environmental events that People & Parks Foundation can participate in.
Park Database Creator Volunteer needed for 2 days compile information on Victorian parks and community groups including maps, photos and contact details for future volunteer projects.
Graphic Design Brochure Volunteer needed for 1 day to create brochures for volunteering days.
Writer / Marketing Volunteer needed for 1 -2 days to write copy for corporate and school volunteering programs.
Survey writer Volunteer needed for 1 day to write survey questions for volunteer groups
eLearning Creator Volunteer needed for 2 days to create induction PowerPoint for volunteers. Option to evaluate interactive elearning opportunities if interested
Data preparation We are transferring to a new CRM system(salesforce) and would like 1 days assistance in preparing and cleaning our data for this
If you are interested in any of the above activities, our preference is for volunteers to help on one or more of the following weekday dates during business hours.
October 9, 12, 13, 15, 19, 20, 22, 26, 27, 29 or November 6, 9, 10, 13, 20, 27. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
** Please note that we have attempted to have volunteers work remotely, however, with a small staff we have found this difficult to manage this successfully and projects have become drawn out. We realise that this is not ideal for volunteers and I have therefore set the above dates aside to work with volunteers directly on projects in our offices.
Thank you for to those volunteers who have been helping us out already. We are working through some of the projects that people have started for us and this assistance has been very useful for us.
Next Volunteer Meeting
Our next group volunteer meeting is at 5:30pm on Wednesday 28th October at Level 10, 535 Bourke St. This is a great opportunity for you to meet other volunteers and to find out about the work People & Parks Foundation will be undertaking. Please RSVP to email@example.com if you are attending so that I can ensure there are enough biscuits!
End email quote from People and Parks Foundation
I hope that you can find something interesting in there!
The company has very strong ethics with the bags all being made using fair trade practices (ensuring amongst other things fair pricing, fair pay, prompt payment, gender equality, safe & healthy working conditions) and an active role in environmental sustainability. Something that we can get behind and support. Thanks to Amber for pointing Trash bags my way!
Here are the details.
Introduction to Seed Saving Workshop
This is a rare opportunity to learn everything you need to know about seed saving from two of Australia's best...
Jude & Michel Fanton, Seed Savers' Network, Byron Bay - www.seedsavers.net
WHEN: Sunday 20 September 2009, 10am to 3pm
WHERE: Randwick Community Organic Garden
Northern End Paine Reserve Cnr Rainbow & Botany St Kingsford (enter via Botany St)
BOOKINGS: essential as numbers are limited.
Contact Emma Daniell on 9371 1602 or mobile 0402 287 393 or emmadan13@gmail.
COST: $60 - please pay cash or cheque upon admission at the workshop.
You will learn about:
seed identification & collection
seed gleaning and storing
germination testing & isolation
and much more
WHAT TO BRING:
a plate of food to share for lunch (morning and afternoon tea provided)
BYO hat, water, gloves and secateurs (optional).
Randwick Community Organic Garden (RCOG) - www.rcog.org.
Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network (ACFCGN) Sydney - www.communitygarden
"(Today) Cadbury Australia and Fairtrade Labelling Australia & New Zealand have announced plans for our Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate to achieve Fairtrade Certification by Easter of 2010. This move will more than triple the amounts of Fairtrade product sold throughout Australia and is part of Cadbury's ongoing global commitment to Fairtrade. Consumers in Britain and Ireland are now able to buy Cadbury Dairy Milk Fairtrade Certified chocolate in store and today's announcement coincides with confirmation of similar plans for Cadbury Dairy Milk in New Zealand and Canada.This groundbreaking move means cocoa farmers and communities can look forward to a better and brighter future as Fairtrade cocoa sales increase in Ghana and new Fairtrade opportunities open up for cocoa growers across South East Asia and the Pacific.I have personally been privileged enough to visit Ghana and see first hand how we are working with the local farmers to help their communities provide a sustainable living so I am extremely proud of this milestone.The uniqueness of the Fairtrade system will provide them with a fair price for their produce, increased funds to grow their businesses and a better deal for their families through the Fairtrade 'social' premium - which delivers additional investment in schools, healthcare and other much needed infrastructure within their communities. "Fairtrade Certification enables Australians who buy Cadbury Dairy Milk to make a real difference for cocoa farmers with every purchase." Steve Knapp, Fairtrade Executive Director.Our Managing Director, Mark Callaghan, had this to say "Cadbury has a long tradition of being pioneers in sustainable chocolate production and using Fairtrade Certified cocoa for our Cadbury Dairy Milk products is another example of this commitment."So, by Easter next year you will be able to purchase a block of Cadbury Dairy Milk, knowing at the same time that you are supporting Fairtrade.I have attached a fact sheet on some of the more commonly asked questions around Fairtrade although I am sure you are well conversed on the subject. For more information on Fairtrade Certification please go to http://www.fairtrade.com.au/ Kind regards, Danielle Danielle Johnson Community Program Coordinator Cadbury ANZ "
Great news for chocolate lovers, and even better news for those who farm cocoa.
I have a mountain of well made, well loved and handed down hand embroidered tableclothes that I couldn't have enough tea parties to even start getting through (and in reality, I probably wouldn't use them with my three boys around!), so I came up with this idea of the "changable curtain". I have use that plastic covered spring curtain wire (I am not sure of the name of it - it's about 4mm wide) and put that across with hooks. Then I simply hung a couple of tableclothes over. When they get dirty-ish or every week or so, I will just give them a wash.
- everything else seems really complicated and I would need a different bottle for everyroom & every surface
- everything is artificially fragranced and after years of not using it, I really notice the fragrances in other people's homes & find it quite irritating
- it is unneccessary having so many bottles, and those bottles add up to so much wastage...
- having kids with asthma & ezcema, things with chemicals & fragrances may make things worse for them
- I don't want to be putting unneccessary chemicals down the plughole when there are other choices
- dust all the surfaces with my damp cut up nappy with a few drops of cedar essential oil & orange essential oil (to ward off the beasties - moths, beetles, bugs - & make the room smell fresh & happy)
- whip around with the HEPA vaccuum
- and then follow with the microfibre mop that only water with it.
I use the vinegar & borax to clean the toilet, spray the vinegar wherever I see any mould, and use the bicarbonate soda to make a paste with water for cleaning kitchen benches & sinks & oven & stoves. The bathroom I use the microfibre bathroom cloth that I have with water I find that works a treat.
Simple, but easy, and it works, every 7 days.
I think that if I, the housecleaner hater, can do it...then...
Don't forget that if there are any other issues that you would like us to look at, or any questions that you have, please feel free to send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
A few things that you may not have thought about putting into your compost:
- ripped up newspaper soaked
- toilet paper rolls soaked
- kitchen paper rolls soaked
- used tissues
- paper napkins
- cotton buds (remove the stick if it is plastic)
- cotton balls
- hair trimmings
- nail cuttings
- timber saw dust (needs to be dug through and not MDF)
- path sweepings
- wrapping paper ripped up & soaked
- hay and left over vegetable scraps from animals
- poo from herbiverous animals (non-meat eating)
- dog poo can go into a worm farm or into the garden have Eco Organics sprinkled over it & it will disappear in a few weeks (I believe that some people just put the poo into their normal worm farm with no probs anyway)
- garden clippings
- all food scraps (except for meat, cheese and bread - unless you want to attract vermin)
- milk (helps with the acidity levels)
- ...what else do you think?
This recipe will do for about one body scrub (depending one how much you use, etc)
100 gm Table Salt
I found a bug. A carpet beetle bug. Now I know that not many people know what this is, so I had to do a lot of research and talking to people on the phone to find out how to deal with this bug because, whilst I love nature, I don't like things that could destroy any fabric or timber in my home. So what I did find out was that I had to go through every single piece of fabric in my house (a very big job for me) and "protect it" (put it in sealed containers, drawers, wardrobes) and wash at 60 degrees, freeze for 2 weeks or chuck anything that had the bug in it.
Fortunately, it seems that I caught it quite early because I didn't find many at all. It really only seems to be able to eat through felt or wool and likes to sit in old cotton and then die. I have wiped every surface with lavender and teatree oil, we have vacuumed over and over, then thrown out the vacuum bag. Now lastly to protect what we do have, I am putting cedar balls in every single cupboard, box, shelf and drawer. Obviously not as big as that ball in the picture, although, if that could protect me, I would.
From here, we will continue our once a week (wet cloth dust, vac, and mop), check the clothes, air out the cushions, pillows, doonas, and soft toys (which we do anyway for dust mite protection & it makes them smell better). Every 6 months I will put more cedar oil in the cedar balls to make sure that they are fresh to keep the moths and beetles away. Better than spraying with insecticide. Hooray!
6/5/2012 Please note:: I used this method once (for this year 2009) and have since found out that it is not such a good idea to use tyres for planting (or compost), even though they are so effective. The reason why you should not use them is because of the possible lead leeching that may happen.
Benefits are aplenty!
After so long not travelling in peak hour:
1. it is quite fun (yes, it is!),
2. I get to people watch,
3. smile at unsuspecting people,
4. get a little incidental exercise,
5. get to work quicker,
6. cheaper than parking,
7. less fumes for the environment (probably would be even less if I rode a bike, but I don't have anywhere to shower),
8. and occasssionally I see someone I know!
Get into it, walk, run, skate, roller blade, skip, kayak, row, swim, ride, bus, train or tram your way to work! Active transport is good for you & the environment!
One of the Australian websites for free recycling is OzeRecycle.
Ebay is one way to sell as is having your own garage sale.
One is the camaraderie from all the stall holders who have gotten to know me over the years and the recipes that they will give me and hugs and the stories they share
Two is the smell of the fresh produce - nothing beats it
Three is I always know what is in season by seeing the fluctuations in price
Four is that I can choose to get the best of the best by being picky about what I will put in my trolley
Five is the coffee at the end
Six is the borek that I have with it
Seven is all the friends that I bump into there
Eight is knowing that I will not get it any cheaper anywhere else in Melbourne
Nine is coming home with a trolley that I can hardly lift out of the car and knowing that it will all be eaten by the end of the week
Something else that is worth checking out that a friend of mine, Shell, stumbled upon is this great website, Gardenate. This site guides you through your planting calender for your particular climate zone. You can subscribe to it and get emails about when you need to plant what vegies and herbs...worth a look. If you are in Melbourne, you are in the Australia - Temperate zone. There is information in there to guide you through it. Thanks Shell.
1 cup of water & 1/2 cup of cloudy ammonia. Mix them together in an oven proof dish or bowl that you don't use anymore & place them in the warm oven for 10-15 mins or longer if the oven is like mine & REALLY dirty. You could always just leave it in overnight & clean it the next day if you can't be bothered.
When done, wipe off the burnt scum and grim with a scourer (use elbow grease...muscles...if you have to) and bicarb.
Give the oven a good wipe over with a clean damp cloth. We use old nappies (nice & soft) cut into 4 and overlocked.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
A few things that you need to know about cloudy ammonia. It isn't damaging to the environment and is quickly converted to natural salts, however, the vapours are highly irritating to the eyes and nose. People who have chronic respiratory problems should not use it. Don't use it in enclosed spaces. In high concentration, it attack the lung membranes. Wear a surgical mask when using.
You will need a stock of :
- Bicarbonate Soda (bicarb) - cleansing agent
- White Vinegar - it has antimicrobial properties & effectively removes soil and mineral deposits such as hard water films.
- Cloudy Ammonia - use this in the oven as an alternate to the highly toxic oven cleaners.
- Pure Soap
Use bicarb and a fine scourer and a damp cloth to give it a really good clean and then give it a final wipe over with the vinegar.
Sink and Stovetop
I rub the sink with bicarb on a damp cloth for a lovely bright shiny and clean finish. The stovetop may need to have a paste of the bicarb left on the burnt bits for a little while with a very damp cloth to loosen them up .
This just needs a wipe down with bicarb & damp cloth and then finish with white vinegar. I also leave an open box of bicarb inside the Fridge and Freezer to absorb the odours for about 3 months. You could also wipe over the inside with vanilla.
These can be wiped with white vinegar on a cloth & use bicarb first if there is a lot of mess to clean up.
Put some bicarb in the bottom and leave to stand, then wash. OR Fill up the hot saucepan with cold water immediately, wait for this to cool, then scrape, then put the bicarb in & leave to stand.
I hope this helps your kitchen to smell a little better. If you find you are still reaching for a chemical, email me & I will find a solution for you.
Yesterday after the kids came home from school, while the wind was gusting around I took the time to fertlise the winter vegetable plants (that are planted in my organic compost and hay no-dig garden beds) so that hopefully they will be a little more productive. I then got a little overexcited and fertlised all of my new bulbs, my herbs, my old tree fern and all of my pot plants.
I used the worm juice from the worm farm (which is the best fertiliser because it is free) and diluted this with water in our watering can, and when I ran out of that, I used Seasol which is an Australian made 100% organic seaweed fertliser.
Such a good feeling knowing that the vegies that you reap have been grown with organic processes.
about 1.5kg of Silverside from the butcher (any leftovers are great for lunches)
3 cloves of garlic, whole
2 sticks of celery, chopped roughly
6 carrots, chopped roughly
1 onion whole with skin on
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of peppercorns
First of all pop the silverside in a really big pot & cover it with cold water & bring it to the boil then turn it off & discard the water. Then cover it again with cold water & add the vegies & herbs and bring to boil again, then turn down & simmer. Let it simmer for about 1 hour.
Whilst this is simmering, boil up some potatoes and cauliflower to go with the meal and make some white sauce (add a teaspoon of mustard for extra yummy flavour).
Pull the meat out & slice it up & pull out the carrots & celery with a slotted spoon & dish up on the plate. Pour white sauce over the cauliflower & the meat. Yummitty yum. Comfort food.
Did you see the article in The Sunday Age yesterday talking about how more & more people are harking back to thrifty ways of living? It's becoming more of a norm. It's OK to be thrifty. We don't have to be ashamed of saving the leftovers and remaking them into a pie, or only wearing clothes that came from "handovers" (that's for when you have actually stopped growing and people donate you clothes), op shops or garage sales.
Smash up some pasta (about 300g) and add this too, bring it up to the boil again and then make sure that you stir it so that it doesn't stick to the bottom.
Serve it up with a dollop of natural yoghurt, grating of parmesan cheese & cracked pepper.
- water meter reading start of each day
- total litres used for each day
- litres used per person (make a note if this changes)
- extra detail (ie washing, watering, etc)