Change the World Wednesday – 15th May

NZ even has a stamp to commemorate early in the morning

NZ even has a stamp to commemorate early in the morning, I’m sure that’s a photoshop job

I am normally up at ‘sparrow’s fart’, but this morning they haven’t even started yet.

I’m up early because I was listed MIA last week when I hadn’t posted by midday.

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Temptation

This week is a beef-week, but I am doing penance… I was invited to a BBQ on Saturday (beefless week) and I succumbed to temptation… Sometimes it is good to sin.

On Monday, I bought another shark, so Tuesday – Friday, I will pay for my sinning.

I know, I am a terrible person.

Another update.

goiabatree

My goiaba tree growing where it shouldn’t

When I first moved in here and made my little gardens along the fence, a stray goiaba (guava) seed sprouted. I love to watch things grow, so I didn’t yank it out even though it was growing in the wrong place. I let it grow.

It is now quite a healthy brute, and I suspect it will fruit for the first time this season. I am watching for flower buds to form.

Goiaba is a wonderful fruit, it can be eaten, skin and all, straight from the tree, or put in the blender to make a great natural juice that needs no sugar. You must use the filter in the blender because the rock-hard seeds get shattered and make the drink gritty. When you eat the fruit whole, you just swallow the seeds… you’ll only bite them once; it feels like you’ve broken your teeth.

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Click on the banner for the full post

This week’s CTWW.

It’s a toughy!

Level 1 (The Green Grasshopper) – Eliminate plastic bags. Refuse them at the store and opt for reusable bags instead.

 

OR …
Level 2 (The Green Warrior) – Refuse plastic bags at the market, find alternates for lining trash bins and refuse any food packaged in plastic.

 

OR …
Level 3 (The Green Ninja, Amazing Eco-Superstar and Environmental Hero) – Refuse to bring ANY plastic into your home … no bags, no packaging, no plastic personal care items, no plastic furnishings, tools, etc. The exception will be items purchased for health (e.g. medicines).

I’m more like The Green Worm, some levels below a grasshopper. Plastic bags in the supermarket are unavoidable here in most of Brazil. São Paulo, biggest city, has made moves to ban them, it hasn’t reached Rio de Janeiro yet.

When I am doing a small shop, I take my reusable bag, which also gets used at the local shops. But a big shop, if the supermarket is busy they get annoyed when I asked for a carton/s, so I have to accept plastic bags.

The bags here are of dubious quality, sometimes they are strong, sometimes they bust open under load. This requires the bags being doubled up for security. I am constantly berating the baggers for doubling up unnecessarily, like two loaves of bread in a double bag, the bag is not likely to fail under that load; or using bags when other bags aren’t full, or worse, putting one item in a bag. I hate that.

lixonarua

Trash ready for collection

I do use the bags for my trash, our trash collection system doesn’t have an alternative. If I have an alternative, or a carton, I use it. But if you do have a trashcan, they chuck that in the truck too, nothing is sacred.

Our trash is left on the street. In my block, we have a collection point at either corner. We used to have two wheeliebins, but through rough handling by the collectors, two became one, which became none. This is pretty much standard practice throughout the country. So the plastic bags do get reused, but ultimately end up in the landfill, which is the problem.

The other recycle use, is I give them to Raimundo at the botequim (neighbourhood bar) for people to takeaway bottle purchases.

So at least my bags get double use. Which I know is not ideal, but as Brazil is third world, we don’t have the facilities of the first and true ‘greenery’ is made difficult.

Last week I bought a hammer. I was offered one encased in plastic, I refused it and asked for the one hanging on the display without plastic. They appeared to be the same quality tool, the one in the plastic was double the price of the other. Pay for annoying unwanted plastic… é ruim (like hell).

My new shelves

In a rare fit of madness this week, I bought a new set of shelves for the living room.

I don’t usually buy new furniture, I do with secondhand or makeshift stuff. But I took a fancy to this one and have a corner of just the right dimensions to accommodate it. I love the rusticky finish to it.

It will arrive on Friday as a package, almost guaranteed to be wrapped in plastic with each piece separated by bits of polystyrene.

The assemblers will come on Saturday to put it together.

In Brazil you can’t buy ready-assembled furniture, it all comes in kit-set form and assembled at home, so you have no choice. If the furniture is not wrapped in plastic and polystyrene, the chances are high (given the lack of work ethics of the average Brazilian labourer), that your goods will arrive damaged.

So, I can’t claim Grasshopper, Warrior or Ninja status, I am destined to remain a lowly ‘worm’.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by smallftprints on May 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Worm, huh? (hehe) I admire that you keep trying … buying the unpacked hammer was a great move! And yep, if we can’t avoid plastic bags we can, at least, give them double duty. I’ve noticed, here, that companies are starting to use Eco-friendly packaging rather than those Styrofoam “peanuts”. So hopefully Brazil is on the path … just a little slower getting there. I hope so!

    Mmmmm … I adore guavas. When I lived in Florida we found them growing wild in one of our favorite parks. OMGoodness they were delicious! I saved a bunch of the seeds and actually grew them for awhile. But in western North Carolina … in the mountains … they don’t do well. I hope you get fruit … that would be fabulous!

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    • >Small, the problem here in Brazil is that we are just STARTING the cycle. Wages have been generating a new middle class, poverty is being reduced, we are just entering the ‘consumer’ society; where the US was 30/40 years ago and it will take us that long to get out of it. Brazilians are holding their heads up high saying “We are now in the First world” because of the new found spending power, but sadly they have got a long long way to go.

      Guavas are definitely tropical.

      AV

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  2. I had to laugh at your cans being collected with your trash. That would never happen here. Most companies now make you use one of their cans with their logos on it or they won’t pick up your trash.

    I can see why you bought your shelves, I like them for their uniqueness, I’ve never seen any like it before.

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    • >lsf, nothing is sacred here. It wouldn’t happen in NZ either.

      I love those shelves, if you google ‘spand vintage’ you will see more in the same range. I have my eye on the coffee table next… wink, wink, nudge, nudge. The same finish with that black glass top…

      AV

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      Reply

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