Simple Green Ideas

We are always talking about recycling…

Then we go and buy these to recycle:

Plastic Recycle Bins

Plastic Recycle Bins

Does that make sense?

Is that being green?

Have you got some old wood around, a pallet, maybe?

13286Then be green!

Make something.

20111020-1of1aIt doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t even have to be in the kitchen.

Homemade-recycle-bins jpgIt can be down the bottom of the garden, in or behind the shed.

But, please don’t use plastic and say you’re being green!

No Moaning Today

I’ve just had a great birthday weekend, so I’m not moaning.

Started on Friday with a BBQ at the botequim (local bar), continued on Saturday with a family BBQ, Sunday was rest and recuperation relaxation.

So I start the post off with a splash of some happy colours.

One of the bushes I have outside my gate

One of the bushes I have outside my gate

Thursday night after work, I retrieved…

Here’s an excerpt from the post rather than rewrite the story.

“Yesterday was a busier day than I imagined. The previous night I had saved an old cabinet of sorts from the rubbish, and I had set about making it suitable to use in the kitchen.

It was also going to replace the grotty old thing I have used for the last five years.

Grotty old thing, but it sufficed

Grotty old thing, but it sufficed

And the result of my labours…

A new grotty old thing

A new grotty old thing

When I got it home it was just the top, sides, back and runners for drawers. I added a base plate and two shelves from old wardrobe (closet) sides that I got from the same dump. It’s not fancy, but it’s better than what I had. By the time I had finished, I was exhausted and my back was aching from the exertions of carrying stuff; the dump was about a half kilometre from home, some 500 yards. Doesn’t sound much but when you are on a walking stick, it’s a bloody long way.”

So that was how my birthday started. I am quite pleased with my labours. *pats self on back*

You can read about  and see photos of the family BBQ on the post Back to Normal.

I had another stroke of luck last week. Some time back I got a twig of a beefsteak plant and it took; it is now a healthy bush outside my gate. Before I put it there, I broke another twig off it and put it in a jar on the window kitchen window ledge. But all the leaves fell off and I feared it had died. However, I forgot to throw it out. Last week I noticed this in the window…

A shoot!

So all is well.

Until next Monday, bound to be something to moan about.

 

Nature Ramble

Off into a far off country.

Madagascar…

No NOT the movie!

…and the world’s rarest bird.

Madagascar pochard, world’s rarest bird, needs new home

Madagascar pochard - I changed the image from the BBC video capture.

Madagascar pochard – I changed the image from the BBC video capture.

The Madagascar pochard, the world’s rarest bird, will not be able to thrive without a new wetland home.

This is according to a study revealing that 96% of the chicks are dying at two to three weeks old.

Conservationists say that human activity has driven the birds to one remaining wetland, but that that site has insufficient food for the ducks.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), which led the research, estimates that only 25 individual birds now remain in the wild.

Human activity, including deforestation, farming and fishing, has destroyed their habitat to the point that this last population is now restricted to one wetland in north-east Madagascar – a complex of lakes near Bemanevika.

After the rediscovery of the species at this site in 2006, the WWT and its partners, including the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Peregrine Fund, set up a conservation breeding programme and began to monitor the wild birds.

Dr Geoff Hilton, head of species research at the WWT, said that with such a small number of birds, keeping a close eye on the population was straightforward.

“We had about 10 or 11 females, [and] we were able to tell that most of those females were laying eggs, and those eggs were hatching,” he told BBC News.

But at the point when the ducklings were two to three weeks old, they would start disappearing.

Too deep to dive

Piecing the evidence together, including samples of food from the bottom of the lake, the researchers realised that the chicks were starving to death.

These diving ducks feed from the bottom of lakes, and this steep crater lake was simply too deep for them.

WWT senior research officer Dr Andrew Bamford, who led the study, said: “The last refuge of the Madagascar pochard is one of the last unspoilt wetlands in the country, but it’s simply not suited to its needs.

“Something similar happened in the UK when the lowland red kite became confined to upland Wales, and in Hawaii, where the last nenes survived only on the upper slopes of volcanoes because introduced predators had occupied their favoured grassland habitats.”

Dr Hilton added: “What we think we’re seeing is a bit of a classic wildlife conservation conundrum.

“The place where the species hangs on at the end is not a particularly good place for them – it’s just the place that’s been least badly affected by human activities.”

But the researchers say the species could thrive in Madagascar again if the captive-bred ducks can be found a new wetland home.

“We have been very successful in establishing a captive population,” said Dr Hilton.

“And we have recently identified a lake that we think has potential to be restored and become a reintroduction site.

“The main thing we have to do is work with the local people to reintroduce and restore the pochard, but also to restore the lake and help people to get a better livelihood from the lake they live around.”

Source: BBCNews see more photos and the links

Satireday on Eco-Crap

meathormones

Brazil dismantles ‘biggest destroyer’ of Amazon rainforest

The group is accused of logging and burning large areas of public land in the Amazon

The authorities in Brazil say they have dismantled a criminal organisation they believe was the “biggest destroyer” of the Amazon rainforest.

The gang is accused of invading, logging and burning large areas of public land and selling these illegally for farming and grazing.

In a statement, Brazilian Federal Police said the group committed crimes worth more than $220m (£134m).

A federal judge has issued 14 arrest warrants for alleged gang members.

Twenty-two search warrants were also issued and four suspects are being called in for questioning.

The police operation covers four Brazilian states, including Sao Paulo.

Five men and a woman have already been arrested in Para state in the north of the country, Globo news reported.

‘Impunity’

The BBC’s Wyre Davies in Rio de Janeiro says details are still sketchy, partly because the police operation is focused on one of the most remote and inaccessible parts of the Amazon region.

Political and police corruption is still rife in Brazil’s interior, our correspondent adds.

That problem coupled with alleged ineptitude on the part of the federal government means that loggers and illegal miners are able to operate with impunity, he says.

The Amazon rainforest is home to half of the planet’s remaining tropical forests

The police announced the operation in a statement: “The Federal Police carried out today Operation Chestnut Tree designed to dismantle a criminal organisation specialising in land grabbing and environmental crimes in the city of Novo Progresso, in the south-western region of Para.

“Those involved in these criminal actions are considered the greatest destroyers of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.”

‘Fifty years’

The group members face charges of invading public land, theft, environmental crimes, forgery, conspiracy, tax evasion and money laundering.

They could be sentenced to up to 50 years in jail, although the maximum length that can be served by law in a Brazilian prison is 30 years.

Last year, the Brazilian government said the rate of deforestation in the Amazon increased by 28% between August 2012 and July 2013, after years of decline.

It made a commitment in 2009 to reduce Amazon deforestation by 80% by the year 2020.

Brazil is home to the biggest area of Amazon rainforest, a vast region where one in 10 known species on Earth and half of the planet’s remaining tropical forests are found, according to the leading conservation organisation WWF.

Source: BBCNews

Change the World Wednesday – 27th Aug

Funny-Taco-Bell-01-300x300

The reputation

I am pleased to report, Montezuma has had his revenge and gone back to Mexico. Not sure if he’s actually from Mexico, but I have always made the connection… maybe that’s the influence of Taco Bell’s reputation.

I have been testing my water by boiling, it’s okay to drink, so I have stopped buying my water.

Birthday week BBQs planned for Friday and Saturday, trying to do it green.

So far I have homemade pickled onions and beetroot. Today looks like it will be the day (no sun) to make chimichurri and sauerkraut. Cheaper and greener than buying.

I still have serving problem for Saturday. I don’t have many plates or eating tools.

Made two jars of pickled beetroot on Monday

It’s going to be a busy week.

But it’s fun to do it once a year.

Friday BBQ at the bar, and Saturday for the family.

Onward, this week’s CTWW is about listening.

Click the banner for the full post

This week, spend 15 minutes listening to the sounds in your area. You may wish to sit quietly in your home or out in nature. Perhaps you want to find out what noises you hear in a shopping mall or on a busy street. As you listen, try to hear the sounds of nature. Can you hear them or are they drowned out by man-made noise? The idea, this week, is to simply listen and identify sounds.

Our praça is not a very quiet place, we have quite a bit of traffic, and the kids playground is in front of the house, so any wildlife is scared away. There is also a casarão (big house) being built on the side street, alot of construction noise from that. I have a fox terrier, Mary Jane, on one side and another dog on the right, at times it’s dogs in stereo.

So we suffer from urban noise pollution.

A dead bat in the praça yesterday

A dead bat in the praça yesterday

But we do have some birds and bats.

One of them died and finished up in the rubbish collection. It’s the first time I have seen on of them apart from flitting through the trees at dusk.

The most common bird is the bem-ti-vi (great kiskadee – Pitangus sulphuratus) with it’s distinctive call, hence its name. Bem-ti-vi means nice-to-see-you.

Bem-ti-vi

Bem-ti-vi

Another common visitor to the praça is this little brown and white fellow.

2725783-173404-1280

Viuvinha – Arundicola leucocephala

Don’t know the name of this one. (see update)

We also have hummingbirds, and yesterday I heard parrots screeching overhead which is rare.

But I often sit in the praça just to observe, observing includes listening.

Very relaxing, and a pasttime that I recommend.

UPDATE

The bird is a freirinha (little nun) Arundicola leucocephala or viuvinha (little widow), goes by both names.

Having a beer at the botequim (bar) is educational.

Here’s a photo of our praça

Our praça from in front of my gate

Our praça from the playground in front of my gate

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Simple Green Ideas

The days of newspapers is almost gone.

We don't have stacks like this any more

We don’t have stacks like this any more

But newsprint still finds its way into our homes, one way or another.

Most responsible people recycle, but there is another use.

The best window washer ever invented

The best window washer ever invented

Yes, a crumpled ball of newspaper makes the most efficient window washer, and a dry ball the most effective drier.

You don’t need a commercial solution, just soapy water and newspaper.

 

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