Thursday, September 29, 2016
It's the final count down!!!
Why a skateboarding lobster? Why not! Mainly because any time I write "final countdown" I think of this song! But I do enjoy a bit of frivolity! Hahahha.
It's my mums birthday today! She having a significant one too! I am so blessed that she is in my life and she has been such a rock for me. But I'm too nice a daughter to give away her age... Oh yes... Hehhehe.
Oh well... Maybe not! Lol. I am so grateful she has lived this long. So for me it is an age to be most proud of because there have been so many times where my mum has almost lost her life, her fight and her hope. I am so proud of her. And even though I might stir her about her age, I am so proud of her.
I was leaving the gym with a friend today (and yes, I do go go the gym occasionally - hahah) and we found a baby bird.
So we took this adorable little guy to the Fauna Rehabilitation Centre today.
I wrote about this the other day. And as I went there I had to photograph the front entrance to show you. It has changed a lot since I volunteered as a young teen. But it was awesome. The little bird turned out to be a little swallow.
Today is also the last day that I need to post for Sustainable September.
Sustainable September Day Thirty: keep making small changes.
So we have talked about lots of little changes this month. Sure you could get greater and grander with wind power, solar power, or even buying electric cars, but the smaller changes make the most difference.
Front Lines: Bea Johnson & Lauren Singer... And any of the "Waste Free Life" people. These people are amazing. Less waste makes the world of difference. It helps is simplify our lives and helps the environment too. It's awesome.
Last year I posted this little TED video from Lauren Singer. And I found it so good.
You can also follow either of these women on Facebook, YouTube, and a bunch of social media platforms (that I don't use so can't really comment on).
These women and their families and friends are so inspiring and they have lots of little hints and tips to make life easier and better for us and the environment!
Got to love that!!!
Kindness Idea: Celebrate the end of Sustainable September by going to an environmentally friendly restaurant.
I love the different places that are popping up with environmentally friendly practices. One of my favourite places in Perth is The Green House. I have talked about it in previous years during Sustainable September. It's awesome. I love going in and seeing all the sustainable ways that they use and have created their space. It is awesome. Plus their chai tea is pretty awesome. Oh and if you get there when they are making their locally sourced and made donuts... Oh my, you are in for a treat. So delicious!!! I just wish I could eat them now!!!
Anyways, sending love to you all,
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Hi lovely people,
Tomorrow is my mums birthday and she is so cool. She inspires me to be the best person I could be. She has stood with me through some of the hardest time in both of our lives. Without her I literally wouldn't be here. Hehehe. So... Happy birthday to my beautiful mum!
Today is also my favourite of all types of Sustainable September ideas. Because it has so much possibility.
Sustainable September Day Twenty Nine: upcycle!!!
This is seriously my favourite idea. There are literally thousands of ideas online so I found a video of a few ideas.
I have a few hundred on my Pinterest page too. You can check that out here. I am a bit of a passionate Pinterest person, so I keep adding a lot pins regularly so you can follow me there if you like.
Front lines: "upcycling, a business for the future: Stephanie Adams at TEDx.
Kindness idea: upcycle something for someone.
Turning my own and other people's junk into a treasure in its own right. Keeping more stuff out of landfill and repurposing it and giving it a new life.
My mum came home with a beautiful upcycled cup and saucer. It has been turned into a sewing pin cushion.
It's gorgeous and it was made by a friend for mum for her birthday. And it's the type of thing you could upcycle and give to someone, either for a birthday or just to make someone's day special.
Get your party hats on tomorrow we celebrate!
I hope this finds you all well.
Love to you all,
Love Daena x
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
I had one of those days where I sat down to write the entry for Sustainable September, I got cold so wiggled into bed to write it on my phone. Then I woke up several hours later. I fell asleep whilst writing the following resource. So if there are a few mistakes, forgive me please. Clearly I was exhausted.
Today's idea can be simple, depending on what you choose to do.
Sustainable September Day Twenty Eight: repair or mend something instead of chucking it out.
Last year I mended a tea towel (with my mums help - mainly so I could photograph the progress).
So I have the perfect project for this one. It is a slow one because of the size of the project I have already started. It won't all get finished in one bit but it will be good once it is finally finished.
Earlier this year I found a gorgeous arm chair on the side of the road. It has a lot of problems, the least of which were the colour, which I have already removed.
I have been doing research about how to upholster it. YouTube is fantastic for educating people about a range of hands on projects. And so I keep watching videos to help me figure out how to rebuild it and make it last for another several years.
I got this one for free and in the shops they can range from $300 - $1500AUD for this type of thing. So I figure I could spend a lot on it and still be in front. Particularly because I have always wanted a chair like this one.
Environmentally speaking getting rid of something instead of repairing something just adds to landfill. The more stuff we can keep out of landfill the better. Less methane and less Co2 emitted to the atmosphere. :)
Plus I love getting someone else's "rubbish" and turning it into a loveable item again.
Front lines: 'The Story Of Stuff' with Annie Leonard.
I saw this and thought it was really interesting and about the same type of thing as this days idea.
Kindness idea: encourage another.
We have enough people acting as critics already and encouraging each other's is so important. It doesn't have to be elaborate. It just has to be simple.
Much love to you all,
Monday, September 26, 2016
Hi wonderful people,
Books and stories can transport us to far away places, educate us on new subjects and cultures, share philosophies on life, give us hope for the future, break our hearts and make us feel all the emotions we don't often notice in our own lives.
How are you? Have you given any of the food preservation a go today?
I did. I roasted some Beetroot, sliced it and then put it in vinegar. I also put a whole heap of whole peeled garlic cloves in oil. I went with simple easy ideas.
And I want to continue with the simple ideas make a big difference theme...
Sustainable September Day TwentySeven: borrow books from the library instead of buying all your books new.
So this is one I need to remember. As anyone who knows me knows I am a HUGE book lover. The last few years I have bought hundreds of books. Often from second hand book stores or opshops. But I have bought them none the less. Instead I could saved myself a lot of money and space and borrow them from the library instead.
Libraries are like fountains of knowledge and stories. Stories to me are really important. Everyone has a story to tell. And so is knowledge.... Because knowledge leads to wisdom.
When it comes to the environment, my most precious resources when writing the Sustainable September blog are a couple of my favourite books: "Zero Waste Home" by Bea Johnson and "Life Changing Magic of the Tidying" by Maria Condo. I used these two books consistently last year and I still consult them from time to time to remind me what I am aiming for "living simply so others may simply live".
Books of course come from paper and often Rain Forests are destroyed to make the paper that the stories of our generation are written on. That tragedy has made me stop buying NEW books. Not buying them but borrowing them is really the most environmentally friendly version because instead of only one reader buying it then sitting it on the shelf for years without ever reading it, this time the books get read by lots of different people. The books then get to share their stories with everyone... which is why books were written in the first place.
Front Lines: Malala Yousafzai. This extraordinary young woman is leading the way in her country and around the world. Helping other your women take their own education into their own hands, even at the risk of death. She was the youngest person to receive the Nobel Prize for Peace.
I love books and I love reading. I am very blessed to have been born in Australia where girls get the same access to education as boys. But in a lot of places this is not the case.
For those who don't know Malalas story you can check out her book "I am Malala". Or here is a short version of the story that made her a house hold name.
There is also a full length documentary called "He Named Me Malala" which you can rent from good online stores.
Malala has shown me the true power of peaceful protesting and education. She is one of my role models and she is so very young.
Kindness idea: buy someone a book.
I know I've just said don't buy new books but this is still an amazing kindness. It can be second hand or new or even one you donate to a school or library. Like we have talked about already... Books can be powerful. Not to mention that books are just cool.
I laughed a couple years ago when someone suggested the following. Because it's the best way I can think of finding a partner. Lol.
Hahahah. I really am a Bibliophile because this sounds like a perfect way to meet someone. Well to me anyway. Hahah.
I hope you are all well. I hope to hear about what books you borrowed from your library and also what you are reading now.
Sending love to you all,
Love Daena x
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Today's sustainable September idea is about buying seasonal food.
However some times when you buy seasonally you can often get a lot of the same type of thing at once. So when you have an abundance you need to think about how to store it so when it isn't in season you can still enjoy it without so many painful environmental impacts.
Which leads me to my next idea:
Sustainable September Day Twenty Six: preserve your own food.
When I talk about preserving food, I'm not just talking about making jam with excess fruits... Coz that's what I think about when talking about preserves. But I am talking about making our excess foods last longer.
Freezing some things is an option. Particularly meats for up to 6 months (but you could also cure meats for a longer preservation date). For a better guide to Freezing foods check out this one from Good Housekeeping.
You can do literally hundreds of different things to preserve and prepare food for the future anytime you have excess.
Right now I have a lot of lemons so we have done a range of things so far: juiced the lemons and stored the juice in the freezer for when someone wants "fresh lemon juice" or for a hot tea; we have peeled the skin of the lemons and cut it into fine strips to make lemon essence; we have turned some into lemon butter; and we have also made a light lemonade.
However I have been eyeing off a lemoncelo recipe ever since tasting the drink in Rome three years ago. I found a good one to use from this blogConfessions of a Foodie. I know it's not for everyone (particularly those under the age of 18 in Australia & 21 in the USA), however storing some things in alcohol is one way of preserving the flavours. I also preserve and make vanilla essence with vanilla beans in vodka.
There are then fruits to preserve... For example strawberries are in season here at the moment. Strawberry jam/jelly is amazing. And also using strawberries to make frozen smoothies or ice lollies/icy poles are delicious too. And then there is always the option of dehydrating strawberries , with a dehydration machine. Or turning it into fruit leathers for kids (or grownups) to take to school (or work/Uni).
Then there are foods like tomatoes. When in season we use them to make chutneys, and a delicious roasted tomato sauce that seems to last for ages even though we eat a lot of it when we make it.
And then there is preserving things in jars. There is more information on the Green Living Australia Website. You can get all kinds of information about canning from here.
Front Lines: Judy Price is one (of hundreds of people ) who is educating people around the word on the safety and ways to preserve food through canning. I really enjoyed the short video she did with the support of the American company Tractor Supply Co.
Kindness idea: make up some extra jams and/or preserves and donate it to a local fete, cake stall or charity event.
We often make up chutney and jam for an end of year CWA stall to raise money for charity.
However we often make some jams to use as swaps/ bartering for other produce. Recently we were given a whole heap of grapefruit. We turned it into marmalade and I was able to take some to a Transition Community event which I used to swap for a heap of other food from people in my community.
It was amazing. I swapped a couple excess jars of Grapefruit Marmalade and 10 empty egg boxes for a range of things seen in the picture below:
It was wonderful. All the food was local, seasonal and organic. It was the trifecta of environmentally sustainable porduce. All the things brought on the day were the excess from people's gardens and homes. We were truely blessed.
I hope his finds you all well.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Still hanging in there? Have you learnt anything new? Anything at all? I hope so because I have. And that's even after doing sustainable September for the last 3 years.
I went for a walk today and really got to enjoy nature.
I thought you might too! I love this photo. This reminds me of the beauty of the environment that sustainable September is protecting.
So today's idea is...
Sustainable September Day TwentyFive: Eat seasonal food.
There are several reasons why everyone should eat seasonally. Some environmental reasons for eating seasonally are because seasonal produce grows without human interference (ie. Less pesticides and no need for genetic modification), and it is also more likely to be local therefore reducing the amount of "food miles". However there are also lots of other amazing reasons.
For more reasons to eat seasonally that are not just Environmentally related check out the article byMind Body Green - 10 reasons to eat seasonally.
For what is available in what season in Australia, Britain, Canada, or USA check out:Benefits of Eating Seasonally
For those who are in the same place as me; Perth, Western Australia, check out:
Seasonal Food Guide Australia
Front lines: Ann Cooper a Director of Nutrition services for a school food program in the USA. Ann Cooper talks about how she has been working to change the food that kids eat and make it heathy, environmentally friendly, sustainable, regional and seasonal. She also talks about food as the foundation of health. She is educating kids, parents, teachers, schools, institutions and even businesses how to be eat better and how to give some of the poorest kids the best opportunities for the future.
Kindness: Buy from/use local small businesses.
This may seem like a little bit off a kindness but when you support small businesses you are supporting people sending their kids to ballet or soccer or tutors. You are paying for food on the table and you support families, craftspeople, and communities. So even though you could buy from a large chain store owned by corporations, buying from small businesses can be a really awesome kindness.
Sending love to you all.
Love Daena x
So I'm not sure what happened yesterday with the post. Or maybe I just labeled it wrong or something but Day Twenty Three is missing.
I have to admit I was pretty impressed of myself for getting it all right and in the correct order. Because this year I went by days rather than exact dates.
But I write a post today for tomorrow, whilst referencing yesterday, theoretically. So more mistakes were likely to happen. So today, I'm writing yesterday's blog post, which you will probably only read tomorrow! Confused?! Yeah. Me too.
Sustainable September Day TwentyThree: create a permaculture garden.
Okay so I talked about this being a collection of easy things you can do... And permaculture is actually pretty simple.
It is all about looking after the environment. Being more sustainable and not using harmful chemicals and fertilisers. It also means you save some money in the long term because you don't need to buy as much stuff.
I often buy, grow or are gifted with a range of edible seeds, plants and trees. Finding the best places for these so that they will thrive is pretty crucial. There can be other plants that will help your plant grow better and ones that don't. Finding the right ones is called companion planting. I often Google a plant name to find out which plants are most compatible with it and which ones I should avoid putting next to them.
It has actually really worked. It's surprising and wonderful.
Front Lines: Gardening Australia.
A couple years ago I saw a wonderful story about how to create a permaculture garden of your own. It was presented by Gardening Australia and it was wonderful. It was also one of their most successful programs ever with many people writing in to ask about it.
You might want to open this in YouTube if it doesn't open to a full screen.
Kindness idea: compliment a new mother.
I was speaking to my friend who is the wonderful mother of a 6 month old. And she was telling me how hard it was for her mentally and emotionally because she gets criticised by other people, mums and strangers. I spent a long time talking to her about how she is amazing at looking after her Bub. And I thought...What would the world look like if we complimented and encouraged mums instead of looking down on them?Or if we stopped thinking we know better or were better than another person?
Anyways. I am sorry I lost the post and hopefully this doesn't make it too confusing and you actually enjoy the last of the month of simple sustainable September ideas.
Friday, September 23, 2016
I have to keep it short and sharp today.
Sustainable September Day TwentyFour: only heat as much water as you will use in your kettle.
This may seem a little bit weird but when I was doing research on tea and tea bags this interesting fact came up. If we overfill our kettles instead of boiling only what we need we could be wasting more energy than a lot of other electrical tools in our homes. It could save up to about $13 a year on electrical bills alone (News.Com.Au 2016).
"At first glance, the idea of only putting the water you need to use into the kettle seems pretty finicky. After all, boiling an electric kettle to make a cup of tea only requires about 0.03125kWh of electricity and generates around 0.015kg CO2. However, according to the UK Tea Council, as a nation we guzzle 165m cups of tea and 70m cups of coffee each day. If, as some figures suggest, we habitually boil twice as much water as we need, we could be needlessly wasting some 3,525 tonnes of CO2 every day...The EST concluded that if we each boil the water we need to make a cup of tea instead of filling the kettle every time, we could save enough electricity in a year to run nearly half of all the street lighting in the country."The Guardian 2016.
I even did up a little video about how to get the right amount of water in your kettle. Now I was really tired when I did the video so I am sure some whole sentences are missing, but it wouldn't be me if it wasn't a little rough around the edges.
Front Lines: TED Talk by Leyla Acaroglu: Paper beats plastic? How to rethink environmental folk lore.
This is about a 20 minute video but it talks about how designers need to look at changing designs of things to make them more environmentally friendly.
Kindness idea: donate old furniture and appliances to an opshop or to a shelter.
This year I started supporting a women's domestic abuse resettlement organisation. They give women seeking sanctuary a safe house filled with furniture (that's donated by ordinary people like you time) as a once off starting package. I love supporting these people. I will never meet the women, men and children I am helping but it is so important.
Hope this finds you all well.
Love to you all,
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Hi again friends,
Happy international day of peace! What a perfect day to do a random act of kindness? Let me know what you actually do. :)
It has been a busy week. I hope you are all going well. And if not I hope kindness finds you right where you are.
Yesterday was all about giving the plastic wrap/cling wrap the flick. I am yet to make some of my own "cling wrap" but I look forward to doing it in the future.
Today is again about food. Because really no one can survive without it. And it's of course delicious! 😁
Sustainable September Day TwentyTwo: buy in bulk.
When I am talking about bulk I am not talking about buying thiry bags of crisps. Or even buying lots of packets of stuff you will probably never use. No. I am talking about buying as much as you can in large quantities so that you reduce the amount of waste you usually buy. This means buying larger amounts of food, drinks and environmentally friendly cleaning products so that only one (preferable reusable) container can be used.
For example: we buy 2kg Greek yogurt instead of several small packets. We decant some into small reusable containers for the kids lunches instead of buying the prepackaged single use plastic yogurt tubs. For the same weight in yoghurt we could get a small rubbish bin full of individual serves or we could get one bucket that can be reused and recycled. We use them for everything from chicken buckets (we chuck our chicken friendly scraps in them) to making collection Tins (I painted a whole bunch for a fundraising event and cut money sizes slits in the lids and they were awesome). They have been used for kids games at scouts and used to store Guinea pig food. Now we are also using the buckets to store the yoghurt mum is learning to make so they're going back to their first use again.
We also buy rice in 5kg cotton bags. We love this little zipper rice bags because they get reused as laundry bags. They are a wonderful size. Because they have a zip too they make it much easier to tote stuff around. I know mum has used these cotton rice bags to take her current knitting work in project when we go out and about. I have also used these bags to cut in half and make two smaller bags for small amounts of stuff too. They are pretty cool. Also because they are made of cotton when they eventually die they can be thrown into the compost bin.
So part of buying in bulk (for me) is that I find uses for the packaging after I've finished with the product. I buy glass instead of plastic jars. I but metal instead of plastic. I buy reusable containers instead of single use ones. I look at the idea of reusing it as I am actually putting things in my trolley. There are not always products in reusable or sustainable packages but when this comes around I have to ask myself, is this really something I need? Or just something I want?
Front Lines: bulk buying stores.
I go to bulk buy stores and take my own containers to put the food straight into. We have a few bulk foods places nearly that you can buy stuff package-less from. It's awesome. My closest bulk goods store is The Wasteless Pantry. It is owned by a couple of local women. And I love it. They too love the book by Bea Johnson about "The Zero Waste Home". And the ideas in Bea Johnsons book have been adapted into the philosophy of the store. It's wonderful.
Check out their video of how to go to a bulk goods store.
Or check our this American video about bulk buying from a bulk buying store.
Kindness idea: make up a treat with your bulk goods and give it to a new neighbour, a colleague, a friend who needs a perk up or a family member who needs to be reminded that you love them!
It could be cookies, fresh bread, a tea mix, something delicious and good for your tastebuds.
Hope you are all doing well! Sending love to anyone who needs it today. And to those who don't.
Love Daena xx
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Hello beautiful people,
I have been learning a lot researching and working hard to find small, easily achievable ideas for each of us to implement.
One such idea has blossomed into today's Sustainable September idea.
Sustainable September Day Twenty-One: give plastic wrap/cling wrap/Glad Wrap the flick.
I don't often use glad wrap/plastic wrap but I know lots of people who do use it. Whether it's in their kids school lunches or used in the fridge to cover bowls that don't have lids... It's a type of sneaky plastic that you use and chuck away without really thinking about it. But this is the perfect time to think about it.
If you usually wrap yours or your kids lunches in cling wrap or plastic wrap here is another alternative you can make this awesome Cling wrap replacement
Front Lines: There are hundreds of videos on you tube about the problems with plastic in our environment. And this one is really good. And is supported by a whole range of organisations that really deal with the front lines of plastic waste in the environment. Love this one a lot.
Kindness idea: make dinner for a friend, family member or colleague.
I love kindnesses that express hospitality.
I hope you are all well.
Love to you all,
Monday, September 19, 2016
Hello my wonderful sustainable September cheer squad.
What a great day today?! It was both warm and sunny during the day and cold and wet overnight here so it's been quite lush around the house and garden today.
I spent a chunk of today doing housework and cooking. A little bit of experimentation in the food arena meant I had some success and some dismal failures. But either way our chickens will love any rejects. 🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓 (yes we have 5 of them!).
So today's sustainable September idea is a tiny bit adventurous but still pretty simple. So I hope you like it.
Sustainable September Day Twenty: make a "rubbish free lunch".
Last year I wrote about this because it was so amazing hearing about how one class of kids had used so many plastic and alfoil wrappers in one morning tea. Let alone lunch and let alone per week. It is quite mind boggling.
Here at the house we have been working on reducing the amount of rubbish the kids take to school. We pack my niece and nephews lunches and snacks into reusable plastic containers that come home in their lunch boxes to be washed every day. However I did discover there are lots of other ways to do lunches that don't have waste that will end up on landfill.
If you want to make reusable Lunch bags instead of plastic containers, you could make one using the video below:
And lastly here are some upcycled Eco friendly sandwich wraps. These are pretty cool.
This might use some of those things you have already lying around the house. Except for the Velcro. Not everyone has Velcro. Hahha
There are also lots of rubbish free alternatives. Everything from Tupperware to metal containers.
I don't usually advocate for plastic containers for food. however, I like to think that if I buy my Tupperware second hand (like from an opshop) I am helping the environment in a couple of different ways.
Kindness idea: leave a little note in your husbands/kids/your own lunch box.
I think this idea can be quite sweet particularly when it comes to little notes to say you care and love the person you are giving it too.
I saw this collection of funny notes parents have left for their kids. This is NOT an example of what to do for your kindness. However it did make me laugh and I thought it might brighten your day too:Funny Notes Left In Kids Lunch Boxes
Front lines: European "Don't waste your waste" campaign. This is a lot about educating the masses on sustainable practices. Reducing the amount of waste you produce which ties in to the sustainable September idea for today, just on a much larger scale.
I hope you enjoyed that one.
Have a great day,
Love Daena X
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Hello wonderful Sustainable September-ers.
How are you? After my wild night out dancing at my good friends wedding I am pulling up a bit sore. However, it was well worth it.
Sustainable September Day Nineteen: Buy and use Rechargeable batteries.
|Photo from Gecko & Fly|
Have you got lots of old/dead single use batteries at your house? You can also recycle your batteries too. So once you have used up your single use batteries (as you are replacing them with rechargeable batteries) you can give them to your local recyclers. The local schools often have recycling drives too. My niece takes our dead batteries to school for her recycling projects. So its great for her. Not that we have many batteries left any more but now friends pass them on for the school too.
Front Line: Tesla.
Tesla started off making batteries for cars and have moved on to batteries for storing solar power. This is great for both the sustainable energy industry world wide and also the electric car industry. Here is a short clip to explain:
Yes i know Tesla has been used as a front liner before. I also know there are some issues with lithium ion batteries and how they are made, but right now this is just the start. It is an amazing way to help people moving to green energy systems to be able to live well and with the thought of helping the environment move away from Fossil fuels.
Kindness idea: listen to a friend.
This last few weeks for me has given me the highest highs and some very low lows. And I have been with lots of my friends as they have been through some of the most challenging and rewarding moments of their lives. Things that need celebrating and things that need undivided attention and support.
Life isn't always easy but one of the greatest kindnesses we can do for our friends is to listen to them. Be there with them. It doesn't mean giving advice, or telling them how to live their lives but instead celebrating with them in their achievements and adventures and holding them and listening to their deepest fears and heartbreaks.
I hope you are this kind of friend. I also hope you have this kind of friend.
Love to you all,
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Hello my wonderful followers.
How are we? I have been super busy today with farewells for friends moving interstate and also another great friends wedding. I even got dressed up for the occasion, which is awesome because I feel like a little kid. In such a pretty dress.
Did you plant any plants? Or did you just ignore a few already in your cupboard? Like potatoes? Or like these garlic?
There is also some pumpkin seeds in the bottom of the bowl there for no apparent reason.
Today I will continue along the gardening route.
Sustainable September Day Eighteen: use/create a compost heap or bin.
"There are lots of good reasons to compost. Save money, save resources, improve your soil and reduce your impact on the environment. Regardless of your reasons, composting is a win/win scenario. Good for you and good for the environment."Green Action Centre
According to Green Planet there are at least 5 reasons why composting is good for us and environment:
At home we have two buckets in our kitchen. One for bits and pieces that the chickens will love and the second one for the compost bin. Thankfully our chickens love kitchen scraps so not as much of our food scraps end up in the compost as many houses but it is an awesome thing we still do.
Front Lines: Guerilla Gardeners.
One of the first stories I ever heard about Guerilla Gardeners was a story from Los Angeles, USA. One guy who started a revolution for health and the environment in his community.
Kindness idea: help someone work in their garden. Sometimes this is as simple as raking up autumn leaves for an elderly neighbour. Or helping a friend who is time poor weed their garden.
I love getting my fingers into the soil. But I know it is not everyone's cup of tea! But maybe if you hate gardening you could hire someone to do work for a friend or family member, or even a neighbour. And that can be your kindness! But if you think of something equally gardening related, let me know! :)
I'm going to go dancing now at the wedding reception.
Love Daena x
Friday, September 16, 2016
Good day wonderful people,
How are you? Did you have a good day today? Did you manage to track down the paper bills that get sent to you? Did you change them to paperless?
I hope so. I have my phone, Internet and bank sorted. I am sure there will be more things like newsletters that I get along the way that I have to contact to ask for an email version.
Today is pretty easy, well I think it is. But I do have a greener thumb than most.
Sustainable September Day Seventeen: let your vegetable scraps grow and then plant them.
This happens all the time. I forget I've stashed a clove of garlic in the cupboard and when I remember it, it's got green shoots out the top. Well... That is perfect! Because instead of chucking it in the bin, you can plant it in some soil and grow some more!!!
I also do this with lots of other things like Celery. I just cut off the first two inches (where it's all still one celery) and sit it in some water until you see roots start to form and the celery starts to grow. Then when it gets about two inches growth on top I plant it in my garden.
I have also started using the seeds from my fruit and vegetables too. At the moment I am working with avocado and mangos. This is the first time I have had a go with mangos. And so far so good. One of my mango seeds died sadly. But the other seems to be thriving regardless of the freezing weather around here. I have created temporary little green houses around the seeds in pots. Fingers crossed it works. I love mangoes and I love avocados.
You can do this with all sorts of food waste.
I love this sustainable September idea because it reduces the amount of waste that ends up in your bin or compost. Plus you get free fruit and vegetables out of it in the end. That's the part I love. Free food! But honestly who doesn't love free food!!! Hahah.
Not to mention that almost anyone can do this. House owners, renters, apartment owners, businesses and more. :)
Kindness idea: secretly drop a box of fruit and vegetables off at a friends house. This is a Random Act of Kindness.
This is actually a kindness that happened to me & my family a few months back. We were really struggling. 6 people in the house and no stable income. My brother in law, my sister and I had all found out selves without jobs. Things got tight. We had to cut back on lots of things we enjoyed doing just to afford the nessesities in life. It was tough. Then one day my brother in law asked why I had left a box of Groceries in the carport.
I told him I didn't and then we spent a while calling the rest of the family checking to make sure someone hadn't just forgotten to tell us they had ordered food or something. But no. It was a gift. A lovely, and much needed gift. We still have no idea who did it. It was completely anonymous and we are still so grateful for that box because it got us through in a time when we were really struggling.
It still is a mystery who left a "Mystery Box" of vegetables out for us. But thank you to whoever did!!! It made the world of difference.
Front Lines: Urban Food Streets.
I have a few food related Front Line favourites and this is my most local one. Tomorrow I will add another one Because I will keep on the garden theme.
But today (for tomorrow) I will tell you all about the Amazing work of the Food street initiative in Queensland, Australia. I can't wait for councils here to catch on and join in This amazing idea.
"Disgruntled over the price of a lime, two Queensland locals have started Australia's first integrated, edible streetscape in a bid to live a simple organic lifestyle of community and fresh food.
Urban Food Street began in 2009 in the leafy green Sunshine Coast suburb of Buderim, and now acts as a blueprint for the nation to give purpose to the great Australian nature strip.
"It started with us deciding to plant limes, and then it evolved into this notion that if we put the limes out on the nature strip people could pick a lime for whatever they need it for," graduate architect and one of the masterminds behind Urban Food Street, Caroline Kemp said.
What began with one citrus-lined street has grown into an 11-street suburban enclave, paved with seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, that encourages growing, sourcing and eating fresh food in the public realm."ABC News 2016
I wanted to share the video from this article but I couldn't find it apart from in the article so couldn't link to it to this ideas page. However if you read the article (the link is in blue above) you get to see the short video.
I love what these lovely people have achieved. :) I love the community they have developed. It's wonderful.
I hope this finds you all well,
Love Daena x
Thursday, September 15, 2016
So I thought I had successfully posted yesterday's blog at 9 last night but it turns out it didn't post properly. I am so sorry.
I've been working hard to make sure all of the posts are written, finished off and posted before midnight. Usually earlier if possible. But I am using a new app so sometimes things haven't been going quite to plan. I am getting used to it though.
Today was all about drying your washing outside.
But it also had the side note of looking after birds.
The weirdest thing today was that I was in a shopping centre and a pigeon had got itself suck inside. It was super distressed so I did my best to help calm it down and catch it. Even if the last bit failed, when I left the bird was calmer and not flying into Windows. He had found a perch where I couldn't reach even if I wanted to. And nothing I did could have got it down to get it outside. I ended up having to leave it.
Today is an idea that actually came in the mail today.
Sustainable Septmeber Day Sixteen: go paperless for bills and statements.
After receiving a whole bunch of stuff in the mail today I was thinking how silly it was that we are using paper when we can deal with these things online.
"Paper production is a process that has not changed in over 2000 years. In today’s measures it takes 24 trees to produce one tonne of virgin printer paper but only 25% of each tree is used to produce the paper product. The paper industry is a greedy resource consumer that uses more water to produce a tonne of its product than any other industry. It uses a staggering 90,000 litres of water per tonne of virgin paper." Australian Science 2016
Each year companies spend billions of dollars sending out bills, newsletters and special offers to its customers on paper. Not only are trees cut down to help make enough paper but there is so much money spent on postage and travel for that letter to end up in your letter box.
"Everyone must play their part in creating sustainable futures for the world’s commodities. Paper is a huge commodity and is consumed at exorbitant rates as outlined by Forest Ethics‘ recent research. They reported that across the world North America used on average 229kg of paper per capita annually, Western Europe got through 178.7 kilograms, Latin America 43.02, Asia 41 and Africa 7.51 kilograms per person. In Australia we use on average 230kg per person per year. It is clear that the paper industry demands exponential resources to continue to fulfill the demand and if Australia would like to achieve sustainability we must rethink our consumerist ways." Australian Science 2016
If we can reduce the amount of paper we consume we give our forests and trees a break
Front Lines: this is a video by the website PayItGreen.org. The video helps to illistrate exactly why you should change to using electronic instead of paper bills, newsletters and statements.
Kindness idea: place some money in or near a book for them to buy it, take it home and read it.
I love this idea because it's about books and also about paper. To be more environmentally friendly you could do this at a second hand book store or even at an opshop.
I hope this finds you all well.
Love Daena X
How are you all?
Today was lovely here in Perth. I went for a walk and saw the most beautiful flowers on the side of the road. It's just Spring here and all the flowers are lovely and coming out in full force.
Don't you just love the colours?
So seeing as the sun is out I thought I would share a sun related idea.
Sustainable September Day Fifteen: Dry your washing outside in the sun instead of in the dryer.
I know that there are days when washing just does not dry. I used to live in England and I remember that there were times when it took days for one load to dry. And getting clothes outside was silly because they would freeze over night.
It makes a huge difference to the environment and your power usage to not use a dryer. Especially when you use the power and heat of the sun to dry your clothes!
Here we have to dry our clothes on a sunny day on the deck because the birds are multiplying around here and so there are so many in the trees above where we have our hills hoist (or outside washing line). And if the clothes are not under cover they end up covered in bird poo. Hahha. Such is the nature of breeding season.
Kindness idea: volunteer at a local bird sanctuary or reserve.
Originally when I was planning tomorrow's idea it wasn't going to be about birds but I kind of fell in love with the idea because birds are so amazing and diverse and are a great indicator of our environment.
When I was homeschooling as a 14 year old I volunteered at the Fauna Rehabilitation Foundation in Perth, Western Australia. It helps sick and injured birds and animals heal with the intention or releasing them back into the wild.
I worked as a volunteer for them one day a week for over two years. I loved it. I learned how to care for and feed all kinds of Australian animals and birds.
I particularly fell in love with caring for the ducks. I had four ducklings in my care until they could be put into a larger enclosure with more of their kind. My job was to clean out their cage and bath them. Yes. That's right I got to put four little ducklings in a bath to teach them how to swim. They weren't all the same type of duck either. There were three pacific ducks and one woodland duck. I got the privilege of naming them too. Huey, Louie, Duey and Bob. You can figure out which was Bob! 😉
What I really got to understand was how these services help the environment and those creatures living in it. And I still treasure my time spent learning how to care for these amazing and precious animals and birds.
Front line: so this is a gorgeous story about kindness and about looking after birds. It is also about preserving the environment for future generations of humans and wildlife. This is a story from America and it melts my heart.
I hope you enjoyed today's kindness idea.
Sending love to you all.
Love Daena X
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Good day wonderful people,
How are you?
How did you go with a new coffee adventure ahead of you? No pods I hope?!
I decided to actually take myself up on the Kindness idea for today and take some time for me. I stopped at a cafe for 10 mins to have some lemongrass and ginger tea, a paleo caramel slice and people watch.
So today is all about women. So gentlemen, you have a day off, or you could still take up the kindness challenge part of this if you want. Or even support the Front Liners. This is a super important one for supporting all women, everywhere.
Sustainable September Day Fourteen - buy/use reusable feminine hygiene products.
Periods are a bit of a taboo in many countries but to help with equality and helping young women grow up knowing how their bodies work, we need to talk about periods and feminine hygiene.
So in Australia there are two standard options for dealing with periods safely and hygienically. The standard feminine hygiene products are disposable tampons and/or pads. Not only are these destroying the environment but if they end up in septic tanks or toilets they can ruin those as well.
There are two options for reusable and environmentally sustainable feminine hygiene products. Reusable and washable menstrual pads and menstrual cups.
I bought these pads from a woman who makes them from home in Australia. I didn't realise how many people buy/make these feminine hygiene products. But I love that it supports small businesses and families.
I am yet to give the menstrual cup a go, but I know people who swear by them. It also helps women measure the amount of blood they are loosing during their cycle.
I, personally, have suffers with endometriosis for several years. It is where the lining of the uterus bleeds both inside the uterus as it is supposed to do and externally, which it is NOT supposed to do. I like to think I just have a super enthusiastic body who likes to go above and beyond its call of duty. Thinking lightly about it is one of the only things that keeps me sane.
I have had two lots of surgeries to help remove the endometriosis in my abdomen but it has grown back in the past. Talking about periods and any pain that comes with it is important because it could indicate the disease.
But these discussions first start with talking about periods in general.
Scarily enough a lot of young women do not know how their bodies work, or why they bleed.
So here is a short TEDed video to explain it better...
If you want to see what some people thought about using a Diva cup, which is one brand of menstrual cup, for the first time then check this video.
And here is a story and pattern for making reusable cloth menstrual pads. I love this one!
So many cool fabrics and patterns that could be used to make fun menstrual pads. I purchased some wonder woman and StarWars reusable pads. They are my favourite. But I haven't photographed them.
Kindness idea: buy/donate single use tampons and pads to homeless shelters.
Yes, I know. I have just spent the last 5mins explaining how bad these are for the environment. And yes it is not ideal. But they are still needed for women on the streets. Often there is no place to wash reusable pads or menstrual cups out to keep them sanitary for women who need them to be. That is where the single use ones come into play. But women with access to fresh clean water and regular showers have no excuse to use these products when it comes to the environment.
Also feminine hygiene products can be expensive. So providing them for homeless shelters reduces their costs so they can run more programs and ultimately help more people. :)
Front Liners: <--- this title seems oddly appropriate for this topic. Hahah. The group I will be focusing on as our feminine hygiene front lines are Days For Girls.
I have spoken about this amazing group of people before. They achieve so much and help the lives of so many young women around the globe in third world communities.
My family and I met a lovely lady here in Perth a few years ago who came and talked to our CWA group. She told us all about Days For Girls and how this amazing community of people around the world are making a difference. I have bought supplies for and supported this amazing group of volunteers as much as possible for these last few years.
My thoughts were that (because of the endometriosis) if I had been in a third world country and had to be sitting on a cardboard, I would have been on that cardboard for two weeks every month. In other words, I wouldn't have graduated primary school nor high school. It makes me realise just how blessed I am.
Here is a 13minute summary and story about the start of the Days For Girls movement. I hope you like it.
I know that this is often an uncomfortable subject but it really is important.
Have a great day tomorrow.
Monday, September 12, 2016
So I am back home in Perth and it's been wonderful to see my family again.
I was even able to cook for the family for Meat Free Monday today! Did anyone else have a delicious MeatFree Monday meal?
We had Sautéed Leek, Cabbage, Celery, Garlic and Cauliflower on a bed of Zoodles (noodles made out of zucchini) with crunchy Gluten Free onion rings on top. It was surprisingly delicious and yet super easy!
The challenging Sustainable September idea for today has been all about tea. Using loose leaf tea instead of tea bags.
So, naturally, I had some of my local Australian loose leaf English Breakfast Tea in an infuser.
I am usually pretty keen to get out my beautiful teapots and gorgeous cups but this morning I was so knackered from my trip home last night I just needed a wake up cuppa. So I'm afraid it's not so pretty.
In my research yesterday I was fascinated to learn that apparently Tea bags were created by accident. A tea merchant, Thomas Sullivan, would send out little silk sample bags full of tea to customers to taste test. The customers often got confused and just dunked the whole little tester bag and all into a tea pot instead of pouring the contents into an infuser. So Thomas saw his opportunity to create a new product and began selling the tea bags as more than samples. Clever really.From The History Of Tea
Today's is less about tea and more about the worlds other favourite hot beverage... coffee.
Now for me this is almost a day off because I do not drink coffee but I still think there are enough coffee drinkers out there to make this a very important Sustainable September idea.
Sustainable September Day Thirteen - Change coffee sachets or coffee pods to bulk coffee beans and grind them yourself or start using a coffee plunger and bulk coffee.
Last year I talked about how bad these coffee pods are for the environment.
"One “press button, get coffee” at a time, we’re clogging up the world’s landfills with tiny containers"SBS News 2016
Until last year I didn't realise what a huge environmental issue these cute little pods actually were. So I began my investigation into Coffee Pods last year, if you want to check it out you can
"When you only use a couple of small coffee pods a day, it’s hard to see how these might amount to a growing environmental problem. Fast, efficient, and relatively cheap, these disposable capsules are continuing to invade caffeine-dependent households and offices accross the country. Which means they add up - according to some reports, Australians consume around 3 million single-serve coffee pods every single day.
Even though individual pods look tiny and innocuous, millions of kilograms of aluminium have potentially ended up in landfills since Nespresso introduced their colourful pods into the market."SBS News 2016
It's pretty bad when even "...the guy who invented one of the world’s most popular coffee pods has slammed his creation as expensive and bad for the environment"
Kindness idea: treat yourself to a decent cup of tea/coffee. Take a moment to yourself. Breathe. Take off your shoes and go for a walk on some grass. Hug a tree. Do whatever you need to get your strength and energy back whilst being kind to yourself, others and the environment.
Often when we talk about kindness ideas we forget to think about ways we can be be kind to ourselves. And sometimes taking a moment to ourselves, doing something we enjoy and breathing is just as important as getting everything done.
Front lines: for those who like comedy to fight injustice you might really like this next one. When I was researching this one I found a really funny/dramatic video about coffee pods that I think you may like: however there is a Language Warning.
I hope you had a little giggle, like I did... See you tomorrow. Have a great day!
Sunday, September 11, 2016
How are you liking this blog this month? How is sustainable September going for you so far?
Today I left Canberra and my good friend who has been hosting me.
I have been so spoilt. I am sad to go and yet so pleased to have seen our nations capital and had a chance to see my good friend.
So where to next?
Let's stay with small useful ideas for now
Sustainable September: buy/use loose leaf tea instead of tea bags.
Many who know me know that I have a rather large love of tea. I have about 40 different varieties in both loose leaf and tea bags. What I didn't know when I was purchasing the bags originally was that many tea bags contain plastic. That's right. I said plastic! Crazy huh?
So if we want to reduce the amount of waste we are putting into the environment, why not go for the one without extra packaging and that will complexly biodegrade in the garden. If we use loose leaf teas we can compost or throw the old leaves straight in the garden, meaning it is given back to the environment to use and breakdown. Instead of going into landfill where it might not break down for years.
There was a report done 6 years ago about plastic in Teabags in the UK. Many tea companies have actually started addressing the plastic component, which was what they used to seal the bags up, because of concerns from their customers. If you wish to see an article about it checkhere.
Mind you there is an additional environmental concern about the food miles your tea has to travel to get to you. So if you can get the local tea or one from the closest country to you that reduces the food miles. There is only one company in Australia I have found which grows their own tea here and sells on the commercial market. Most other tea is imported from India, China and other such places.
Kindness idea: buy a box of tea for a homeless shelter.
This is pretty self explanatory. Tea can be an added expense to those providing services to the homeless.
Alternatively you could buy one for a local charity or church. Often churches and charities will have a system where their staff and visitors pay a couple of cents/ dollars for morning tea and those coins go to a special charity. Even if they don't donate extra money you could be supporting groups of people who want to help others. Which is pretty awesome.
Front Lines: there are small communities around the world that are using Sustainable practices to provide safe and welcome areas for people of all varieties to come together and drink tea.
Check out this one from the UK:
I love this one.
Hope this finds you all well.
Love Daena xx
Ps. This didn't post on the day of the actual sustainable September because I had issues being on and off airplanes. When I thought I had actually finished and posted it, It didn't work. But I have back dated it to the time it should have worked. X
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Hi again Kindness lovers,
So today was all about OP-SHOPPING!!! Or thrift shopping! And today I got to see the super fancy and super expensive kind and then the not as expensive type.
Now, to explain, I was wandering the hip and with it streets of Canberra today, as its my last full day here. I found some very expensive op shops, think expensive & designer second hand goods!
Tomorrows idea is another simple switch:
Buy/use a wooden or bamboo toothbrush.
I bought some last year, some for me and some for the rest of the family. Whilst they are not to everyone's liking they are much better for the environment.
I have only just recently thrown my first bamboo toothbrush in the compost and I just love it.
If you are also looking for a way to get rid of your old plastic toothbrushes consider recycling them.
Kindness idea: donate toiletries to a local homelessness shelter or emergency relief centre.
Toiletries are needed by so many places not just the ones mentioned. Because toiletries are used by everyone they are often the first things to go and so lots of charities and community services are always needing more.
Front Lines: micro-beads in toiletries.
One thing you might like to know about when you are purchasing your toiletries is plastic micro-beads.
These are in everything from shampoo to toothpaste. These are really bad for the environment. And get into our waterways and into all types of water creatures. Here is the video from the UK about the micro beads and how and why we need to prevent the use of them in all of our things.
I hope this finds you all well.
I leave Canberra tomorrow and I have really enjoyed my stay.
Much love to you all,
Friday, September 9, 2016
Good day lovely ones,
Today I was at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. It occurs to me how heartbreaking all the names on the walls are.
What a great waste of life War is?! I found about a dozen with the same last name as I have. And it was so eerie having the voice of children, played over the speakers, read the names from the walls with the age at death. A lot of those who died in the wars where often more than a decade younger than I am. So scary.
I definitely used my Hankys in there today.
How did you go with today's sustainable September idea? Using reusable shopping bags?!
Today is another simple one and is my favourite every year.
Sustainable September Day Ten: go op-shopping/ thrift shopping.
Tomorrow is a Saturday and is my last FULL day in Canberra. Sadly. So I spent some time today hunting down the awesome op-shops in this town. A few just near the Canberra Centre and the bus station. Pretty cool really. If I could have fit an amazing singer sewing machine in my bag or even a rocking chair, I would have. I Loved the way they made the place fun and inviting.
Check out the photo from the walls of their in house coffee shop...
LEGO!!!! Cool huh? They had little scenes and everything. :)
There are so many reasons one could go op-shopping/ thrift shopping. One is reducing the amount of stuff already in the world by finding what is already been made. It reduces the amount of pressure on our landfills. It helps us find often hard to find bit and pieces that aren't made any more. It helps us get over the necessity of having everything brand new.
Huffington Post shared their reasons for shopping at a Thrift Store and you can check that outhere. Or this one from One Green Planet
Kindness idea: donate what you don't need to a charity op/Thrift shops. There are so many charities that do amazing things for the community and many of them (at least in Perth) have an opshops or thrift shop attached to them. Supporting these charities helps them do more for communities. It also makes your house easier to live in with less stuff!!
Front Lines: there is a movement that is happening all over Australia and the world where... pop up stores for the homeless. The movement started with "The Street Store". A South African idea that took off and ended up on social media around the globe.
But here is one of the reports from Australia
It is so nice be able to help people and be able to Op-Shop/thrift shop at the same time.
So if you are keen to act with kindness you could either hold one of these free stores yourself or find one already in your area and donate to it.
I hope this finds you all well.
Love Daena X
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Hello wonderful people,
Today was all about using a reusable straw or saying no to using straws at all.
This is a photo of me using my metal straw whilst hanging out at the National Museum of Australia. Notice I didn't get a plastic bottled drink either. Glass is much better for the environment. :)
It can be quite difficult to say no or remember too. But that skill or habit could be a lifesaver for a sea animal or other forms of wildlife. Not to mention helping ourselves and our children in the future.
Today is all about bags.
Sustainable September Day Nine: buy/use a reusable shopping bag and say no to plastic bags.
I must say this is one of the easiest for me to do every time I shop. I have these small roll up bags that go into my handbag. I pull one out whenever I need one and then re-roll and put it BACK into my bag as soon as I finish this. I probably have about 15-20 of these little roll up bags in total around my house. I probably only keep 4-6 in my bag at any one time. My sister has 4 in her hand bag. And mum has a couple too.
This leaves a few extras so that some can be chucked in the wash (best part about having cloth bags) and some can be filled with bits and bobs on their way somewhere. It also means I can cycle out the ones that need repairs, but thankfully I only have to do the repairs occasionally. And it's usually the elastic that keeps it all rolled up nice and tidy that dies first.
Kindness Idea: learn how to make plastic mats for the homeless.
if you have a horde of plastic bags at home or you know where there are a lot, think about this as an idea... Using those single use bags to make something reusable and long lasting. This could be the idea for you. However, if you can't yet crochet, maybe you could learn. Or maybe you could do the cutting and "making of the plastic yarn" for someone else to use to make mats.
Front Lines: there is a gorgeous TED talk by two young people in Bali who are wanting to ban the use of plastic bags in their country. What amazing champions of their country.
I have visited Bali myself and it will make a huge difference to the place to be plastic free. :) I can't wait to go back and see the difference in a few years! :)
I hope This finds you all well!