Tag Archives: sustainability

Sorry I’ve fell off radar…

So sorry to my readers that it has been essentially six months since my last post.  Life has been a little crazy and I think in hindsight that perhaps I should have made time to write.  Writing for me has always been a good form of therapy and it’s free.

So a quick update on everything.  Firstly I was successful in rallying the troops and getting Riverland Fresh to deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to Morgan.  With that they also deliver to Cadell and Taylorville.  The best bit is they have recently announced they will soon be delivering meat, seafood and dairy.

I have become involved with the community through the Morgan Primary School Governing Council and the Morgan Community Development and Tourism Committee.  Two reasons I have put my hand up for these committees, firstly it gives me a chance to get to know some of the locals and secondly I believe my skills can be of benefit to the community.

With my skills I have also set up a page on Facebook called Sustainable Morgan.  This page has been established to promote activities, business and groups in the township of Morgan, while creating a sense of community and belonging.  It has been set up for just over a month now.  One of the local teachers has joined on as an admin of the page, which helps with a little time management on my part.

This town we have come to call home has so much potential and I would really love to have a role in getting the town and its community to realise that potential.  Hopefully my enthusiasm is contagious.

Signing off for now but I will be back shortly with some great articles, links and general updates xx

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Could a ghost city be turned into a eco-city?

Found this to be an interesting story about a ghost city by the name of Varosha and would like to share with you…

Inside a crumbling ghost town in Cyprus

As a town planner I would be very excited to be involved with a project like this.  If anyone who does end up working on this project and reads my blog I would love to hear from you as there appears to be many obstacles to cross.  Would also be interested in whether it goes further than just being a theoretical exercise.

Blog of The Day…

The Dumpster Project

What does home look like in a world of 10 billion people?    How do we equip current and future generations with the tools they need for sustainable living practices? We believe promoting awareness and education in an engaging manner are critical to answering this question – and that’s why we got a used dumpster.  With the help of Professor Dumpster and the Dumpster Team, the dumpster will transform from a barely habitable garbage container to a sustainable house and interactive teaching lab. From design to implementation, the lab will challenge students to apply their science, technology, engineering and math skills to every part of the renovation process.  Professor Dumpster will need all the help he can get because he’s about to make the dumpster his new home address!” – The Dumpster Project

Putting your money where your mouth is style teaching.  Love the concept and will certainly enjoy reading the trials and tribulations of this project.

 

The Lemon Tree Project

Came across this exciting project. Would love to see more of this in our urban landscape. Not only does this have a positive effect on food security, it has positive implications socially. Great way to get people to talk with their neighbours and other community members.

I strongly encourage my readers to check this blog out and start utilising their front gardens.

The Story of Stuff

I’m about to share a video that I can’t believe I have never seen up until yesterday.  I’ll admit I have heard of it but I have never made the time to watch it.

This is a great resource for those who educate and are passionate about sustainability, consumerism and social issues related to the production and consumption of stuff.  Please take the time to watch. I’m glad I did!

Related Links…

The Story of Stuff Project

Waste not want not…

I came across this article yesterday Do Australians waste $8 billion worth of edible food each year?

The title of the artcle was enough to disturb me little lone the content of the article.  So how many of us are guilty of wasting food?  I’ll be honest I’ve done it myself.  So why do we do it?  Quite often people don’t check the pantry or fridge before they go shopping,  we have lost the art of using leftovers, we cook too much food, we buy a take-away instead of using what we have at home or we mistakenly throw out food before the use-by/best-before date.

A couple of months ago, along with other waste management/sustainability officers, I met Jon Dee.

Jon Dee

Jon Dee (black suit) is located in the centre and I’m  on the side (in red)

Jon Dee known in my profession for being one of the co-founders of Planet Ark and has now put his energies into Do Something!. This is an organisation that empowers people to make social and environmental changes.  Jon Dee spoke of a new campaign ‘FoodWise‘.

‘FoodWise’ is DoSomething’s national campaign to reduce the environmental impact of Australia’s food consumption. The main ethos behind it is for Australians to become more educated and informed about the food that they eat.

Did you know?…

  • Australians discard up to 20% of the food they purchase.
  • Up to 40% of the average household bin is food.
  • For the average Australian household $1036 of food is thrown away per year.

The website that has been created for this website is great and is very informative.  One of my favourite aspects of the site is the Recipe Finder.  This is where you enter the ingerdients that you have in your fridge or pantry and it will give recipes that will use some or all of the ingredients that you have entered.

Food Security and Food Waste is certainly  a hot topic of discussion within my professional circle at the moment.  I do believe the more we educate the more aware people will become.  For some it is just a matter of changing bad habits for others it might be learning about using leftovers.  However we need to keep this topic out there.   Dealing with food scraps left on a plate I believe is a total different conversation.  We need to stop the waste before that stage!

iPhone App of the Day: Gardenate

Gardenate

Once again this is a paid app and will set you back $1.99.  However for the keen veggie gardener it is certainly a worthwhile investment.  I have been using this app for a couple of years now.  This app is easy to navigate and is great to keep on hand while you are out in the garden.

This application is great in its simplicity.  However I will share some screen shots.  Once you have your temperature zone (Adelaide is temperate) worked out everytime you press the icon on your phone it will give you a list of plants that you can grow for that month.  Plus with a swipe either way of your phone you can see what should have been planted last month and what can be planted next month.

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Once you have selected what type of plants you would like to grow the app will give you more detail on the plants.  It will give you information such as when to grow, any special instructions in regard to growing, crop rotation details and compatability with other plants.

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The app also has tools such as a garden diary (My Garden), an area to enter other notes and an extensive plant list with plant details.

As previously stated this app is a must for every keen kitchen gardener with a smartphone.

5 stars

Buying the app…

iPhone Gardenate

Android Gardenate

Supporting website Gardenate

Spring Has Sprung…

Well it’s that time of year when the garden starts to come to life.  Not sure if I speak only for myself but like the garden I start to come out of hibernation and really start to enjoy the sunshine and the garden.

My Dutch Irises have come to life in the front garden.  They look absolutely stunning.  I have managed to even plant some broccoli and zucchini in the front yard.  Much to my fiancé’s dismay.  He’s not quite convinced vegetables belong in the front garden.  I personally don’t believe there are any hard and fast rules on where vegetables (or even fruit) can and cannot be planted.

Dutch Irises

So in the backyard I have set up a new compost bin.  It’s the first time I have used a commercial bought bin.  I suppose I will be able to let you know how it all works soon enough.

The most exciting thing is my eggplants.  I have my first eggplant and I can’t wait to be able to start picking.  The type I am growing is a heirloom variety called Listada Di Gandia.  I have grown these plants by seed and planted last season and have survived the winter.

Eggplant

 

A quick update on the garlic… It’s not happening!  I think Diesel just had too much fun with it.  However I have plenty of herbs – oregano, parsley, thyme, mint (found out I have a summer variety and it is starting to shoot), bay and I still have some basil growing.  My chilli plants have also survived the winter months.

I am so looking forward to the next couple of months.  I want to make sure I can get as much as possible into the ground.  It may also give me some welcome stress relief as my wedding day is not far around the corner now.

 

iPhone App of the Day: Shop Ethical!

ShopEthical-icon

Now I will be straight up and this app is not a free one and will set you back $4.49.  In saying that I do believe I have certainly got my money worth from it and it has opened my eyes into how the corporate world works and is even linked.

This app is not really practical to take shopping with you as (depending what product or company you are researching) there can be a lot of information to read.  It is probably better to write a shopping list out and then research from there (otherwise it could be a long shopping trip).

There are several things I like about this app.  Firstly it is quite easy to navigate.  It will tell you if the product is Australian made.  It will also tell you who the parent company is eg. Uncle Tobys is owned by Nestle.

The information provided by the app is quite extensive.  There are different levels products are ranked.  The best ranked products have a bold green circle with a bold green tick.  If the products are Australian made they have a picture of Australia next to the ranking.

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The worse ranking products receive a bold red circle with a bold red line through it.

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Once you press the information icon detailed information becomes available.  For the following example of the detailed informtion I will use Nestle.

shop ethical

Nestle Australia is in fact owned by the parent company Nestle.  While Nestle Australia claim to be a GE-Free brand and are a signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant.  However Shop Ethical! are calling for a boycott of Nestle primarily due to the activities of the parent company.  These reasons include:

  • The irresponsible marketing of infant formula in developing countries leading to infant deaths.  The boycott was reinstated due to a perceived non-compliance to World Health Organisation Code regulations.
  • Control of water in North America.
  • Irresponsible marketing (especially in relation to baby formula).
  • Promotion of bottled water.
  • Child labour: for continuing to buy cocoa from the Ivory Coast, despite the use of forced child labour in that country.
  • Workers rights.
  • Water pollution in China.
  • Poor wages for coffee farmers.

While that may be enough to convince you to boycott the company, it is clear that educating people on these types of issues does place pressure on companies.  It was about 2010 when the pressure was applied to companies regarding the use of palm oil.  Since then and it has been noted that Nestle have made some changes.  In 2011, Nestle received a score of 8 out of a possible 9 in the WWF Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard.

As you may be able to tell the information is quite detailed.  It is an  interesting exercise to go through your pantry.  I was in fact quite horrified the first time around.  However the app can be quite empowering as it allows you to make an informed choice and it is relatively easy to find an alternative.  It also allows you to take your research  on a particular product further, as there are hyperlinks to other organisations for more information.

Shop Ethical! also has its own website that gives you further information about the community based, not-for-profit organisation and network, plus reinforcing product information.

For those that want to be informed about the products they buy this app is worth the investment.

5 stars