Posts Tagged ‘Cloro’

Change the World Wednesday – 12th Mar

Cloro was a great one for licking his, apparently, he kept them in good working order

Cloro was a great one for licking his nuts, apparently, he kept them in good working order…

I am crazy. It’s 2am and I’m at the keyboard with a tankard of iced sparkling mineral water, it’s too early for coffee; and too hot (I’m sweating). But don’t expect me to stay up and finish this, it’s just until I get sleepy again… then it will be crash until coffee.

I am still catless, but apparently not for long. You’ll have to read Legacy to find out why.

Carnaval is well in the past, back to work. The garis (street sweepers) and council have reached an agreement and are back to work.

My PC is still behaving like a PC should, so it seems as though my troubles are over for the present, despite the fact that it looks like a gutted box beside me with its blinking lights.

I like the lights blinking on and in the PC, they’re a comfort, they indicate that things are as they should be.

I had an interesting conversation with a fregües (regular) at the bar during the week. He uses disposable cups for his beer, which I think is totally crass.

Blue Plastic Cup

The terrible convenience

The bar has them for the kids who buy soda to drink in the praça (park) and some of the regulars have taken to using them for beer.

I challenged him on it. He just considered a convenience. When I asked him how many barrels of oil would be wasted in his lifetime just for his convenience, he replied, “guilty as charged.” Now this guy is no fool, he’s a maritime engineer, but even for educated Brazilian, it’s hard to get the message across. The next time I saw him at the bar… yes, he was still using a disposable cup.

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On with this week’s CTWW. It’s a good one and I can get right into it.

If you haven’t already done so, replace at least one incandescent light bulb with a CFL or LED bulb.

 

OR … If you have switched all your bulbs to Eco-friendly varieties, please conduct a brief analysis of your home furnishings. Are items sustainable and Eco-friendly, made from materials like bamboo, cork, or recycled content? Were they made locally? How many pieces are second hand? Do any items contain foam (cushions, pads, etc.) which typically are treated with fire retardants (toxic chemicals)? Has anything been varnished or finished with lacquers (both contain harmful pollutants)? Do you have wood furniture? If so, do you know where the wood came from and whether or not the trees were sustainably grown? The idea, here, is to start thinking about the sustainability of our furnishings and raise our awareness on the types of items we should both support and avoid.

Part One I am in the process of changing over, as much as I was against CFLs initially, because of disposal and breakage problems, I have had to toe the line, because in Brazil this year incandescent light bulbs will become illegal, to make and to sell.

I would prefer LEDs, but I haven’t found them in our part of town yet, we do live out in the styx a bit when it comes to innovation. You see people think that Rio stops after you have passed the posh suburbs of Barra da Tijuca and Recreio, once you go over the hill Grota Funda (now you can go through it, we’ve got a tunnel) the world ends. But I will keep looking.

Part Two (This will have to wait until the real morning, you know with coffee and daylight)

Daylight

Coffee

Okay, we’re ready to continue…

At the start of summer I made a big purchase; not a thing I do often. I bought two new fans.

ana_pesquisa__17_Now fans here in Brazil, and probably everywhere, are big on plastic.

You can see them in all the stores.

In my efforts to avoid plastic, it was a criteria that I set myself.

ventidelta-coluna-premium-60cm-pretoI found what I was looking for a nearly all metal model.

One was an upright, the other on a tube base for a table.

The only visible plastic is the name plate on the front, the blades and the small clips to hold the front grill in place.

So yes, I consider the environment when I buy.

Now as for the rest of my furnishings.

In the living room, I have two new items, a coffee table and a bookcase stand; both are made of wood. But the wood is a composite type, which I consider more ecological that real wood because it is usually made from recycled wood.

beerboxEverything else is second hand and some is just boxes, like my beer box.

Oh, there is another one on the other side of the TV for my wine bottle candle holders.

My sofas, 3 & 2 seat, were rescued from the street as discards by a neighbour, they have foam in them, actually they had foam in them, there is not as much as there should be. But to compensate for this, the one I use most is covered by a camp mattress and a blanket and the cushion is an old doubled over pillow.

So rather than rushing out and buying new stuff, I make do with what’s available. When I do, I do consider the environment as well as the cost, because I can be a real Scrooge.

Change the World Wednesday – 23 Oct

food-labelling-and-barcoding

Basic human right, we have the right to know what we are eating and putting on our bodies

Last week’s post was about human rights and the right to know what we are eating through labelling.

I am going to extend that thought with today’s post.

First my weekly update:

Cloro is learning that the kitty litter (sand) box is outside more than inside, she’s getting the meassage.

The second lot of chili peppers have been bottled and the third lot would have been picked today, if exhaustion hadn’t over taken me. Which is the reason I am running late with this post.

This is my beefless week. For those of you who have been following my posts will know that several months ago I decided that the first and third full weeks of any month are ‘beefless’. I have continued with this theme since then. This week so far: Monday, poached sole (halibut) fillets with potatoes in milk and a delicious parsley white sauce. Tuesday, leftovers. Today, chicken breast with the last of the parsley sauce. Tomorrow, curried pork sausages; this will continue until Sunday.

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On with this week’s CTWW challenge:

The subject is BPA.

This week ban BPA from your life. Need some ideas? Avoid canned foods, including prepared soups, vegetables, sauces, soda and beer. Don’t microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers. Say no to printed receipts; they contain BPA.

 

OR … If you live in a country which bans BPA (Canada and Europe both ban this toxin), then please consider other ways to ensure food safety in your home. For example, defrost food in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature (which encourages the growth of harmful bacteria). Take a look at your pots and pans and make plans to replace any, which may leach chemicals into your food, with safe cookware like cast iron or stainless steel (here’s a hint … any coated pans or “non stick” varieties are unsafe). Avoid packaged, pre-cut produce which may be washed in a solution containing chlorine.

Brazilian canned beer. I don't even buy the first one in bottles, hate it.

Brazilian canned beer. I don’t even buy the first one in bottles, hate it.

Principally, I do this already. I don’t buy canned beer.

I don’t buy soda, period!

I don’t buy prepared veges in a can, and I don’t microwave anything. Remember my thoughts on microwaves is that they should all be consigned to the dump. Search ‘microwave’ on this blog and you will find my thoughts there.

I do, however get printed receipts. I was totally thrown by the fact that they have BPA. I’ll have to look into that. But receipts here in Brazil are required when returning/exchanging purchases.

aspargosGenerally, I buy in glass, doesn’t matter if it is beer or asparagus (can’t get fresh asparagus here). This is acceptable, but they also have insipid white shit, that I have never tried, nor want to.

The only thing that I buy in a can are sardines in olive oil. I’ve never seen them any other way. But I don’t buy tuna nor salmon in a can.

I also shun products in plastic whenever possible. Cheese spread for example, if I can’t find it in glass, I go without. This attitude has been part of my life for years, even before I learned about BPA.

I’ll add a warning here. Many companies have done away with BPA, and say so on their products; they have replaced it with BPS, which is several degrees worse, but the furore hasn’t reached the public yet through companies being super-secretive about the change.

Aluminium saucepans

Aluminium saucepans

In the second part of the challenge, cooking ware is mentioned. One of the most contaminating materials in your kitchen is aluminium (aluminum for our American cousins). Aluminium pots and pans leach the metal into your food and this contamination has been linked to things like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

I have two aluminium pots in my kitchen, they bget used as little as possible, but then at my time of life I am silly enough anyway, a little bit sillier probably isn’t that important. But, for young families with kids, they should be consigned to the scrapyard.

In the main, I use steel or cast iron, although I do have a coated non-tick frying pan which produces the most heavenly fried eggs, which would be even more heavenly if I had a source of farm fresh eggs.

Products packaged with BPA or BPS should be labelled as such.

So, yes, I do participate in this week’s challenge, and in some aspects have done so for years.

Change the World Wednesday – 2nd Oct

uhoh humpdayYes, it’s Humpday!

CTWW is always on Humpday.

This morning, I woke up at 7, looked out the window and it started raining, so I went back to bed.

Only logical thing to do.

Got up two hours later, still raining. I fought the urge to go back to bed, luckily the need for fresh strong Brazilian coffee overcame the urge.

Cloro has bedlamed, breakfasted and peed in the right place, so I have a few minutes of peace and quiet in which I can CTWW while he does the snooze on my our his bed.

Most of you are/have been parents, you will recognise those moments of bliss when baby finally falls asleep after a morning of mayhem.

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This week’s CTWW, easy peasy.

This week give your home a thorough clean. Preparing for winter by checking the seals on windows and doors ensures that warm air stays where we need it … indoors. The downside to that activity is that any toxins are also trapped indoors. So, cleaning our homes using non-toxic, safe cleansers will ensure that the air we trap inside will be pollutant free!

 

OR … If your home is spotless and doesn’t need cleaning, take a bow and relax. You deserve a break!

1a

My cleaning kit

My house is never clean, that’s impossible, especially when you’ve got a high adrenaline kitten hurtling around the house like a white rocket. Soil magically gets out of the pot plants, he’s learned he can push the kitchen trashcan around the floor, he loves the little plastic/wire tabs from the bread bag, the top of my printer has little muddy paw-prints, the TV remote is always on the floor, you know the stuff.

My cleaning kit consists of a broom and a mop. I don’t use fancy shit, if you can’t make the house smell nice with bar-soap and water, you’re not doing it right. The only fancy shit I have is disinfectant for the bathroom.

Oh, that’s not my bathroom; mine has grotty blue/green paint and a slate floor. Oh, my mop and broom aren’t that fancy either.

Sansevieria trifasciata - St Georges Sword

Sansevieria trifasciata – St Georges Sword

Of course, here in Rio with our springing into summer, we don’t have to worry about window seals etc. The windows are all open all day, and soon, most nights, so we don’t have a great buildup of toxins.

House plants are a good natural way of ridding you home of them. Sanseviera is good for this. I have seven pots in the living room along with ferns.

So my house, while not spotless, it is livable.

You don’t need expensive fancy shit to have a clean house.

Change the World Wednesday – 25th Sept

Hailstones big enough to damage cars and destroy house roofs

Hailstones big enough to damage cars and destroy the roofs of houses

Well, here we are, cold weather, and Small’s autumn advice from last week almost seems relevant.

The south of Brazil has been hit with terrible weather, even a tornado, and we are experiencing the tail end of the cold front here in Rio de Janeiro.

Yesterday, I cut down my hopeful tomato plant, the aphids were preventing the flowers from fruiting.

Sunday, I used my newly acquired spade (yes, I finally bought one) to turn over the compost heap.

For those of you who are vege/vegan minded I have just posted a recipe and story about aubergine/eggplants on Things that Fizz and Stuff.

Last week I promised a photo of my chilies.

You don't need a big garden, just an old tin by the kitchen door

You don’t need a big garden, just an old tin by the kitchen door

There’s a lot more now, that photo was taken last week.

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On with CTWW for this week.

This week head into the kitchen and give your refrigerator a little TLC (tender loving care):

Did it already. I must have had my crystal ball out.

I defrosted the fridge Sunday night Monday morning. Woke up to a flooded kitchen and a confused kitten; as I squeegeed the water out the door, Cloro couldn’t understand why his polystyrene cat food tray was floating across the kitchen; it was really one of those “wish I had the camera ready” moments.

But the fridge is clean and the door seal good, didn’t do the coils though, that will need to be done.

So, I’m on a winner.

See you all next week.

Change the World Wednesday – 18th Sept

Just two tomatoes left and unfortunately the new bush that is flowering is not producing fruit, maybe because of a small infestation of aphids.

He's a little bigger now

He’s a little bigger now

When I mentioned Cloro’s dirt box being emptied on the compost heap LivingSimplyFree expressed concern about cat poop having a parasite. It’s true, cat poop does have a parasite, “Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most common parasites to infect humans, with some studies suggesting that up to a third of the entire human population may be infected with it. The usual transmission vector is through exposure to cat feces, and while for the most part T. gondii is pretty much symptom-free, there seems to be growing evidence that it may be implicated in certain diseases and disorders such as schizophrenia and depression.” – Our complicated relationship with cats on Some Animals are Crackers.

My own observation to this is that I have been around cats since I shared a cot with one as a baby; they have been ever present throughout my life. I have no doubt that I have been exposed to the parasite and I am neither schizophrenic nor do I suffer from depression, despite having used their dirt in compost heaps all my life.

My chilli peppers are turning red. Hopefully I’ll have a photo next week. It’s raining at the moment and I’m not going to get wet.

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This week’s CTWW.

Today is National Ceiling Fan Day. I didn’t know that ceiling fans had their own day. I just found out that Rhinos have their own day too, that will be a Nature Ramble for next Sunday. I made an observation on my blog yesterday about Rhino Day, if you want a giggle pop on over for a read.

This week we are joining my friends at Fanimation in celebrating the the first ever National Ceiling Fan Day (NCFD). Did you know that the average central cooling unit draws anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000 watts of energy? Compare that to the 6-30 watts used by a ceiling fan and we quickly see why ceiling fans are energy efficient. So, for at least one full day this week, power off your air conditioners and rely on ceiling fans and/or portable fans to keep cool.

 

OR …

If you don’t use/have an air conditioning unit, please offer tips for staying cool in Eco-friendly ways.

 

OR …

If it’s cold in your area, please turn off your heating system and find alternate ways to keep warm (put on more clothing, use blankets, reverse the direction of your fan, adjust curtains, etc.).

Well, as I don’t have air-conditioning, I fall into the second part of the challenge.

My fan/s (I have two, but one is broken at the moment) are only on when necessary. As the year progresses that will be more often because we are in Spring (this weekend) and heading for a hot, hot summer with temps well over the 40°C (104°F for our cousins who have not been decimalised) begining in November. We have already had our first 38°C day last Saturday, that’s 100°F; signs of times to come.

One of the ways I use to combat the heat on oppressive nights is to have a cold shower before bed and lie on the bed sopping wet under the fan allowing the principles of refrigeration to do their bit. For fifteen minutes it’s better than any air conditioner before you are totally dry. If I am still awake, I repeat the process.

During the day I take a backyard shower under the hose. The water comes directly from underground and is quite chilled. I stand in a large basin for this, the water collected is then used on the plants.

So, my penny’s worth, for what it’s worth.

 

 

Change the World Wednesday – 4th Sep

I make a lot of banana smoothies

I make a lot of banana smoothies

Last week was Zero Food Waste countdown. So here’s what I wasted…

Wednesday: 2x banana skins and coffee grounds to compost.

Thursday: (Birthday BBQ): Salad vege scraps on the compost, Plate scraps, not much probably less than a kilo (2lbs)

Friday: Half a bowl of coleslaw left over from BBQ. 3x orange peels from juice and coffee grounds to compost.

Saturday: Potato peel, pineapple trimmings and outer cabbage leaves on compost.  Last scraps of meat (500gm – 1lb) from 2nd BBQ (using the leftover meat from Thurs)

Sunday: Vege trimmings from roast vege – potatoes, stuffed tomatoes and carrots on to compost with coffee grounds.

Monday: Nothing. Made Bread ‘n’ Butter pudding from BBQ leftover bread rolls

Tuesday: Coffee grounds, a slice of bread that I had left on the counter. Made omelette using leftover tomato stuffing and two extra eggs. Had leftover B ‘n’ B for dessert; and there is more for tonight.

Wednesday: (while writing this post): Nothing yet, although a quarter small cabbage will be destined for the compost later. Drinking leftover coffee from yesterday (I always do this)

My coffeepot is not this shiny...

My coffeepot is not this shiny…

About the coffee, I make fresh coffee sometimes daily, sometimes every second day. If there is coffee left over from the previous day, I reheat it in a bain-Marie (to avoid that burnt taste if the fire has direct contact with the bule (coffeepot). I never throw coffee out, that would be like chucking the baby out with the bathwater…

You can read about my B ‘n’ B pudding and omelette on Felis piddloraptordactylosaurus.

So that was my week, I didn’t chuck out much in the way of viable food. My weeks are usually pretty much like this.

The link above and previous posts will give you an update on Cloro’s antics. I discovered she’s a Ragdoll cat; I had no idea that this breed existed, details in the post A Lazy Sunday Afternoon.

My Dizzy Lizzy spells are all but gone. This is the third day feeling great, although I still have to move slowly with the turning and standing motions. Started back at work as normal last night.

Still gathering tomatoes, one or two a day, just right for my usage. Looks like I will get another week of tomatoes, then the next plant will be ready in about three weeks.

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On with this week’s CTWW.

Our challenge is twofold:

  1. Check out the fruit bowl and come up with an idea for using bananas (which is the 3rd most wasted food according to Mrs. Green’s “Zero Heroes”). 
  2. Clean out your fridge and check the temperature (to ensure proper food storage). When cleaning the refrigerator, move items around so that the oldest (and still usable) foods are front and center … and make plans to use those things up this week.

Fruit doesn’t stay in my bowl long enough, green bananas ripen quickly and usually look like this;

The more black bits, the better they are for you

The more black bits, the better they are for you

So the first bit is taken care of.

Number 2: I do need to defrost, so that will be this week. It is my practice to put older produce to the front. It’s part of food hygiene regulations, use old stock first.

So this week’s CTWW is all but done.

See you next week.

Change the World Wednesday – 28th Aug

Unusual-excuses-for-running-late-300x199Running late again.

My day was divided into three halves, and time just went out the window.

I first saw CTWW challenge at 6am, but to no avail. Now I am trying to catch up on a days blogging.

My name is Cloro, not Inigo Montoya, just prepare to be loved

My name is Cloro, not Inigo Montoya, just prepare to be loved

Firstly, I would like you to welcome my new playmate. His name is Cloro, he’s about five weeks old. Neighbours who knew of Lixo’s demise brought him round on Saturday, so I am no longer catless, I have an outlet for my caternal instincts.

Secondly, I would like to admit to an error. Last week I posted a picture of my ‘cayenne’ pepper bush. After discovering that the peppers weren’t growing to size, I realised that it is a chili pepper bush. So I have both growing now.

My tomatoes are doing great, harvesting two each day, wonderful because that matches my usage.

.

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This weeks CTWW is preparing for Zero Waste Week.

This week conduct a daily food waste audit. Pay attention to what is being tossed out, how much is thrown away, where it’s ending up (compost, city compost, trash bin, etc.) and why it’s being tossed out. You might find this Food Waste Diary helpful. If you’re feeling truly ambitious, sort out the food waste and weigh it. This challenge is all about realizing just how much food we waste.

So there’s not actually much to write about at the moment, other than to say that I will be participating and report back next week.

New recycling collection

New recycling collection

There is some local good news. Comlurb (city rubbish collection) has begun a selective rubbish campaign. Apart from our normal rubbish truck which passes in the evening, we now have coleta seletiva (selective collection) truck passing each Tuesday morning for recyclable rubbish. So far I have left glass and plastic bottles out.

So until next week.

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