Posts Tagged ‘buy local’

Change the World Wednesday – 30th Apr

Vegan cheese - image: Bunny Kitchen

Vegan cheese – image: Bunny Kitchen

So, my secret is out. I can eat vegan… Like I said, I do from time to time, it’s just not planned, and it’s more likely to be vegetarian.

I was pleased to hear from die-hard vegans that the vegan cheese link I posted was good, or at least worth trying.

Because you are such nice people, I’ll share another link with you.

I guess old hands will now about this stuff already, but it may be new for some.

Cashew Cream, can be used as a dairy substitute in many dishes and recipes.

The comments have many useful links for the veganish.

Clorinha waiting for new sand in her box

Clorinha waiting for new sand in her box

I just had a Kit Kat and coffee break.

The coffee is real enough, but the Kit Kat, Clorinha, needed new sand in her box.

Last week’s CTWW was about bees, and one of the challenges was about making flowers available.

Well, good news for the bees, my main chili pepper bush has produced a new crop and is flowering again. It is dotted with lots of little white flowers.

Lots of Red Hot Chili Peppers

Lots of Red Hot Chili Peppers

Lots of little white flowers

Lots of little white flowers

So, my bees are happy. They’ll be even happier when the passion fruit vines start flowering.

Before we get on to CTWW for this week, São Paulo’s reservoir levels have dropped to 11.3% of capacity; down from last week’s 11.9%.

Click the banner for the full post

This week’s CTWW is about circling.

Circling is something I have never considered, and something I never do.

In my day when I drove, it wasn’t necessary. Apparently this is another sign that I am no spring chicken any more.

Do you circle? To find the answer you’ll have to visit the full post over at Reduce Footprints because I am not reposting that bit of the challenge today.

OR … If you don’t drive, or want more of a challenge, please focus on other ways to reduce petroleum use. Here are some suggestions:

  • Buy local products (they don’t travel as far to get to your market).
  • Go “Scent Free” or use essential oils (95% of the chemicals in most perfumes and scents are derived from petrochemicals).
  • STOP using plastic bags!
  • Air dry your clothing (saves energy which means reduced oil consumption).
  • Choose natural, Eco-friendly cosmetics (most lipstick and glosses are made with petroleum products).
  • Switch to soy-based printing inks (most inks on the shelf contain petroleum products).
  • Say “NO” to nylon and polyester (both petroleum based).
  • Avoid aspirin which contains … yep … petroleum.
  • Avoid hair color and opt for a natural dye like henna … or just go natural!
  • Grow and/or buy organic foods (fertilisers and pesticides contain petroleum).

Well, that’s quite a list. Let’s see how I measure up:

I live in an urban area, there are really no products that are local. Oh, and the bad news; the new sacolão that opened in our area has closed already, apparently the wife had to be hospitalised and the other family members found it a drag to continue. Even the owner of the building doesn’t know for certain if the closure is permanent or not.

Scent free, well, I’ve covered that with my orange and vinegar pots and spray, works just fine.

Stop plastic bags is a drag here. Generally I get paper bags from the supermarket, or shopping locally I use my carry bag.

Air drying… All my drying is on the clothes line, I don’t have a clothes drier and consider them totally unnecessary and a waste of resources in the manufacture.

makeupI don’t use lipstick or glosses… I don’t like women who do. I am a member of the ‘ban cosmetics brigade’.

I didn’t know that soya inks existed. I have a friend who works in a place where they recharge printer cartridges, I’ll talk to him about it, maybe they don’t know either.

I don’t wear nylons, for the same reason I don’t use lipstick… I don’t like polyester clothes, I don’t like the feel of the material, and in the summer here it doesn’t absorb sweat.

I don’t have Aspirin, but I do use Paracetamol on the odd occasion I need it; I’ll have to look into whether it has the same petroleum type base.

Hair colour is not a problem for me… No hair! What I have left goes natural. Once again, I consider hair colour in the same light as I consider cosmetics; a total waste and the epitome of vainty.

My fertiliser comes from my compost heap, and I don’t use pesticides in the garden. I do have fly spray in the house for mosquitoes (remember the dengue fever issue from last week’s post.

Get Out of Jail Free 1SidedYou can get dengue once and you are very sick for about eight days, if you get it again you can die.

I have already used my ‘get out of jail free’ card.

Okay, so I don’t measure up too badly. But, I am always on the look out to improve what I already do.





Change the World Wednesday – 9th Apr

Can’t a girl have a wash in peace?

First up this week, I have a new kitten. Those of you who are regulars will know that I love a cat in the house; and my last one disappeared some months back.

The full story on Got Pussy.

She’s had her morning play, 5am – 6:15am, that’s why I am here so early, and now she’s sleeping on the arm of the sofa which she seems to have adopted as her ‘place to be.’

Now that Clorinha has ensured that I am awake, I need my second coffee…

One flopped flip-flop

Last week one of my flip-flops flopped.

What do you do when this happens?

My story is on a post: Frugal or Stingy.

My second goiabeira (guava tree), which I didn’t expect to fruit until next year, has produced one small but growing goiaba. I watch daily for more, but so far in vain. My first tree has produced enough so far for several litres of fresh guava juice.

A couple of years ago I planted an inhame (cocoyam or taro) and it never did much except produce the distinctive dark green leaves which are at least decorative; well, I think so.

It has resurrected itself

It has resurrected itself

My first encounter with inhame led me to describe it to my mother as a hairy potato, I didn’t know at the time that it was taro.


Hairy potatoes

I am in an artistic mood. It happens from time to time, I can’t help it. It’s an affliction that I suffer from.

This time I am recycling my oldest PC case, well beyond it’s ‘best by’ date. I want to use the case as a base for a small table for my laptop when I teach classes at home, because my present arrangement is rather precarious and threatens to send the whole lot crashing to the floor.

But that’s not the arty-farty bit.

A couple of weeks ago I rescued an old clock frame from the trash on the street. The clock was stuffed, but the frame was in good condition with the glass intact.

Having gutted the old PC – DDR266 which is so old it was steam powered and would grunt and wail if faced with today’s internet speeds, I was left with a circuit board and bits and pieces…

I am now preparing to combine the two and make a portrait of a PC.


PC guts loosely mounted behind frame

I still have to prepare the background which will be an oil painting of some description, haven’t decided yet and assemble. So it’s a case of recycle, repurpose and hang it on the wall. All in good time; you can’t rush art, some would call this procrastination.

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On with this week’s CTWW.

Last week we dealt with the ocean, this week is similarly a broad subject, the air.

But first, more coffee.

This week, for at least one day, leave your car parked. Instead, walk or ride a bike.


OR …

If you don’t drive or can’t do without your car, please choose other actions designed to reduce air pollution. Need some ideas? Avoid power tools (such as lawnmowers, weed whackers, leaf blowers, etc.) and use manual tools instead. Stop smoking! Choose water-based products (paints, solvents, etc.) instead of products which contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Avoid commercial indoor air fresheners. Drive smart (accelerate slowly, turn off the engine if the car is stopped for more than 30 seconds, combine errands for one trip, etc.). Reduce energy use (much of the world’s energy is derived in ways which pollute … think smoke stacks). Add house plants to your home. Plant a tree. Use natural, safe cleansers. Buy locally produced items (reduces transport pollution).


Part One:

I do… no car. I walk hobble everywhere, or take a bus.

Part Two:

I don’t have any pollutant machines. Last week I cleared the weeds from my gutter with a spade, nearly killed me, but I managed.

I am not this size now

I am not this size now

Stop smoking! I am a smoker, and while I have stopped at various times in my life, I am currently a smoker. At my time of life I have few enough pleasures, among them smoking, chocolate, wine and fine dining. I have long concluded that when I stop smoking I pile on the weight; last time 10kg (22lbs) in six weeks. So I have to balance, risks of being overweight with the risks of smoking. You may see this as justification, but it is a battle I have faced all my life, I don’t like being a bigger person.

I do have VOCs, well, I think they are VOCs… my oil paints and turpentine.  I don’t do water colours, my style doesn’t suit them. I tried them many years ago, in fact my first forays into painting were with water colours, but an accomplished artist told me to try oils, it was my style. I did and have never looked back.

Painted and sold some years back

Painted and sold some years back

So, I claim artistic license on this one.

I do use air freshener… One quick squirt, twice a week in the living room only. I am a smoker and when I have students at home for lessons, who don’t smoke, I prefer not to subject them to stale smoke.

Sansevieria trifasciata - known for purifying the air

Sansevieria trifasciata – known for purifying the air

Drive smart, I used to. But I haven’t driven for 20+ years.

House plants – Done, I have many.

Plant a tree – Done, I currently have five trees, four bushes and many vege plants in my yard.

Natural cleaners – generally done, I have few commercial cleaning products.

Buy local, except for the supermarket, I buy where I can walk. The latest example is the new sacolão (fruit and vege shop) that has opened near home. I now buy all my fruit and vege there.

Need more coffee, and I must change the kitty dirt box. Here I use sand, can’t abide these bought products.


Make you Fink on Friday

Going ‘green’ is more than shopping at Whole Foods and driving a Prius

Environmentalism in the US today has come to simply mean buying the right products. What if you can’t afford them?

Fresh produce at Whole Foods. Photograph: Damian Dovarganes/AP

As environmentalism goes mainstream, corporations are marketing the word “green” as a panacea for the world’s climate crisis. Today the word describes a set of prescribed, mostly consumerist actions: buy local, organic and fresh; go vegan; eat in season; skip the elevator, take the stairs. “Green” has come to mean shopping at Whole Foods and possessing a Prius. Meanwhile, leading corporate polluters like BP and ExxonMobil place commercials on CNN advertising their “green” practices.

It should come as no surprise, then, that “green” lifestyles don’t resonate with low-income communities; being “green” involves a set of behaviors that are financially or culturally inaccessible to millions of Americans. This presents a major problem for the environmental movement. If it is going to be successful, environmentalism simply cannot afford to be demographically segregated or isolated from the pathos of economic disparity.

The environmental movement needs to do a better job of connecting issues of race, class, poverty and sustainability; in short, it has to become a broader social movement. And people of color need visibility in the movement. By that, I don’t mean Barack Obama presiding over environmental policy from the White House or Lisa Jackson heading the Environmental Protection Agency during Obama’s first term. I mean the recognition that sustainable survival practices in poor communities are just as significant as solar panels and LED lights. Ultimately this is where the citizenry of the planet can and must come together in order to move forward.

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