Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Every Drop Counts

Water is our most precious resource, and although it may be easy to forget about following the summer we had, we should never waste a drop!

It is up to each of us to make a difference and help conserve water.  Thousands of litres of water go down the drains in our homes, there are a range of simple and hassle free changes you can make to save water and money on your water bills.

Water efficiency is a great way to start feeling good about the impact you have on the world you live in.  Save water in the kitchen by keeping a bottle of chilled water in the fridge rather than waiting for the tap water to be cool enough to drink, only run the dishwasher when you have a full load and defrost food in the fridge overnight rather than under running water.

Save water in the bathroom by brushing your teeth/shaving with a small amount of water in the sink rather than under a running tap.  Try replacing your shower head to a water saving model, three star rated showerheads use no more than 9 litres of water per minute, while old style showerheads use 15 – 20 litres per minute.  If you shower for six minutes, a water efficient showerhead can save up to 50 litres of water for each shower, or up to 20,000 litres of water per person per year.

There is a vast range of things you can do to limit the water you waste, so get educated and start making a difference to the environment and your water bills!

More info on water saving products here

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Cool Blog


Surfing the web and acme across this cool blog all about Bokashi Bins.

Check it out.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Plastic bags: serial killers.

Plastic bags are the world’s most notorious serial killers. Every year they kill thousands of mammals and seabirds, usually by asphyxiation or starvation when the animal mistakes the bag for food and tries to eat it. Turtles and dolphins in particular mistake the bags for a soft jellyfish. If the animal doesn’t die quickly, their flying or swimming abilities are weakened and they are eaten by predators. What’s more, the body of a dead animal might decay, but the plastic bag does not.  It can last over 1,000 years and when the animal decays the plastic bag is simply released into the environment to kill again. 
The impact of releasing one plastic bag into the environment is enormous. How horrifying is it then that the world uses around 1 trillion new plastic bags per year, with Australians using around 3.92 billion; tied together these would circle the earth 24 times. Plastic bags are lightweight and moisture resistant too, so they can easily travel great distances on wind and water. Its no wonder that in 2002 a young whale was found washed up on the Normandy Coast with over a kilogram of plastic bags in its stomach.  Plastic bags are also made from non-renewable resources including crude oil, gas and coal which emit dangerous greenhouse gases. They are simply a huge blight on the environment.
A better alternative for your shopping is reusable bags or biodegradable cornstarch bags for garbage. They are strong and leak proof and will breakdown in your compost heap or in landfill.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Eating organic on a budget

Most of us know many of the benefits of eating organic food – there are more nutrients and no strange and potentially harmful additives, it generally tastes better as well as being better for the land and the farmers who grow the food.
So why doesn’t everyone eat organic all the time then?  Basically, because it’s too expensive, or at least that’s how it’s perceived.  It’s true if you just walk into your local supermarket and compare organic and non organic produce generally the non organic will be cheaper, but if you look around, and know where to look, you can get some great organic food without the big price tag.
A few simple tips can help you to get better quality organic food more of the time, without paying too much.  Start off by prioritizing, think of the foods that make up the staples of your diet – produce, grains, dairy etc, these can often be picked up organically for similar price to the non organic version because of demand, however you can pay heaps for less popular things such as organic sauces or wine.
Be flexible with what you buy, look around and buy the produce that is in season.  This way you end up getting a great deal and you can be sure that what you’re buying is fresh and top quality.
Keep an eye out for local food co-ops and join up when you find one, you will have access to a whole range of great quality organic produce straight from farmers markets at the right price.  If there are no co-ops running in your local area you could even consider starting your own?
Buying in bulk can also cut down the cost of your organic food and is great for the environment too by removing the packaging involved with other food.  Give these tips a try and you will be able to source your own great quality, fresh and natural organic food at the right price in no time.

Get down to earth

A great way to start making an effort to be greener is to start an organic garden.  This can be as big or small a project as you like and a big plus is you get the pleasure of watching your efforts flourish before your eyes!  One of the best places to start making an effort to be greener is in your own backyard, quite literally, and reconnecting with the earth can be a very rewarding feeling.
If you have a decent sized backyard, you can start to plant some trees.  The value of planting new trees can never be underestimated, trees are the lungs of the earth, they put more Oxygen into the atmosphere and remove Carbon Dioxide.  They preserve water in the soil and atmosphere and provide natural habitat for many different types of native wildlife.
Not everyone has access to a big backyard to plant trees in, but that’s ok there’s still plenty of ways you can make a difference.  Try growing organic herbs or veggies in containers on your balcony, these can be grown in small apartments, you know exactly what has gone into and onto them and when they’re fully grown you can have the satisfaction of eating your own fresh produce.
Try making your own compost, it’s a great way to recycle most kitchen scraps and produces some excellent soil which is great for your garden.  Getting a bokashi bin system in your kitchen is an even better system for composting and is really fast too.
If you do have a big garden try watering it a little less frequently or using water efficient sprinklers.  Best of all try installing a greywater or rainwater system to recycle that water and keep your garden looking great.
If you are building up your garden, try adding some native plants, many of them look great and are really hardy, they are made for our conditions!
So next time you can’t think where to start to make a difference, step outside and get down to earth.