Posts Tagged ‘compost’

Satireday on Eco-Crap

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Change the World Wednesday – 3rd Sep

Birthday week is over.

Downloading Birthday 64

 

The last of the BBQ - old bread used for garlic bread

The last of the BBQ – tending old bread used for yummy garlic bread

I managed a greenish BBQ on the Saturday.

Basically only bones and food scraps went out in the rubbish. We used no ‘one use’ products. It turned out I had enough plates, and I have plenty of glasses, mostly saved from cheese spreads, and then there’s my wine glasses.

Wine bottles went out yesterday for recycle collection.

Sunday lunch was salad made from BBQ left overs, Monday’s was the same. Yesterday, I grated the last of the cucumber and chopped the half tomato and some shredded cabbage with grated cheese and chopped celery sticks then mixed in two eggs to make vege fritters.

Total actual vege waste… looks like the last vestiges of cabbage will end up in the compost (it’s getting furry) along with scraps from the preparation of the salads.

You can read report of BBQ here.

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This week’s CTWW is Zero Waste Week.

This week, look for one more way to reduce the amount of waste you generate. Need some inspiration? Check out the Zero Waste Week Facebook Page and scroll through the posts for tips and ideas. Perhaps buy “naked” produce (items without any kind of packaging), carry a reusable bag at the market, or find creative uses for leftover food. If you have a baby in the house, try cloth diapers (nappies) and reusable wipes rather than the disposable varieties. Consider reusable menstrual products instead of single-use items. Find creative ways to upcycle “trash” or donate used items to charity. The idea, this week, is to find one more way to reduce waste..

.This week, I actually brought rubbish home.

thedump

Empty land becomes a local dump

Behind the recently complete apartment development is a plot of land. Brazilians use these as an informal  local dump. This area was cleaned by Comlurb (the council rubbish service) just over a week ago. Already it has entulho (building and demoliton waste), cut trees, and old furniture. Brazilians don’t have access to council dumping areas; they’re too far away, and many don’t have cars, and even less have cars with trailers.

Last week, Thursday on the way to work, I found a white cabinet. On the way home I lugged it home. The next day I went back to inspect what appeard to be a broken, relatively new wardrobe (closet). I took two of the larger pieces home (two trips, a walking stick does hamper one).

You can read about what I did and see photos on No Moaning Today.

So saving rubbish can be considered ‘no waste’….

Yesterday for the recycle collection, I put out glass, plastic, polystyrene and cardboard. The Yucky rubbish went out for the regular collection later.

So far today, it’s 2am, my rubbish has one milk carton, one plastic detergent bottle (both recyclable) and a coffee bag (sack). Now the coffee bag, I don’t honestly know if it’s plastic or some type of foil, or both, so it goes in the yucky rubbish along with a few scraps from my dinner plate..

Really, I don’t have much rubbish. I do try on a daily basis to control what I put out for the landfill collection.

I’ll never achieve Zero Waste, I know that, but I am conscious of what I chuck.

The celery I bought for the BBQ, none wasted, not even the base.

celerybase

The base of the celery

It’s in a pot with some water and it is already sprouting, once it’s established, I’ll plant it. So in the future when I need celery, I won’t need to buy a whole plant, just pluck what I need growing outside the kitchen

The suggestions in the Zero Waste challenge.

  • It’s very hard to find ‘naked’ produce here. I know of one shop where I can get some items, particularly spices and some bulk stuff like ketchup. But they don’t have bulk sugar, flour, etc; the stuff I need.
  • Creative food ideas, see above the challenge; I do that.
  • Upcycling trash, yup, I do that too.

Remember a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had a number of old PC items, keyboards and mice and my old cellphone that I was looking for a way to dispose of responsibly. Turns out that the weekly recyclable collection accepts these items too. I also collected a video player and DVD player from the regular rubbish, hopeful that they may be useful, if not I can dispose of them correctly and now they won’t finish up in the landfill as they would have.

Now, it’s back to bed, and hopefully to sleep.

 

Change the World Wednesday – 2nd Apr

Update

The fruits of my labour…

Orangetree

An orange tree has sprouted from seeds I threw in a box, and some garlic on the left

 

Ginger grown from the green nodules broken off supermarket root

Ginger grown from the green nodules broken off supermarket root

 

Self-sown tomatoes growing in the soil from an ornamental plant

Self-sown tomatoes growing in the soil (my compost) from an ornamental plant

 

Pineapples grow slowly, but still growing

Pineapples grow slowly, but still growing

 

Passion fruit growing up the side of the house, ready for fruit next year

Passion fruit growing up the side of the house, ready for fruit next year

Good News

On Saturday we gained a new little sacolão (fruit and vege store) in the neighborhood. It’s only small, but handy; and only 30 metres (32 yards) from home.

Sacolão, small, but handy

Sacolão, small, but handy

And the good thing is they don’t get their produce from CEASA, the state supplier. With CEASA you can’t guarantee the source. But they get their produce from a smallholder in Teresópolis in the north of the state. They have a choice of organic and pesticide-free veges.

A small range of produce

A small range of produce

And they’re not expensive.

They already know that I don’t like plastic bags and put the produce in my carry bag.

This morning when I took the photos, there was a big plastic bag of cauliflower trimmings, I asked and was able to take it to add to my compost heap. The bag… well, that will be used to put my recyclable water bottles in for the Tuesday recycle collection.

 

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On with this weeks CTWW.

This week it’s a biggie…

This week, begin by educating yourself on the ocean. Do a google search using the words “protect the ocean” and read some of the articles which come up. Visit the Marine Conservation Institute or NOAA for information.

 

THEN …

Choose one (or more) of the following activities:

  • Say NO to plastic, especially plastic bottles and bags. The world’s largest “landfill” is floating in the North Pacific Ocean and consists of plastic.
  • Contact your state officials and encourage them to vote against off-shore drilling.
  • Walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation this week. If you must drive, drive less.
  • Maintain your car and fix any leaks (oil on the pavement gets washed into storms drains and ultimately finds its way to the ocean). Never toss used oil down the drain.
  • Avoid fish and seafood this week. If you must eat it, make sustainable and healthy choices (look for the Marine Stewardship Council label to ensure that it is sustainable and environmentally friendly).
  • Take part in a beach clean-up.
  • Eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in your home.
  • Avoid the use of herbicides and pesticides.
  • Scoop pet waste. Letting it sit on the lawn means that it will enter our waterways.
  • Stay off the water. If you must boat, do so responsibly (don’t toss things into the water and use a human-powered boat rather than a gas-powered version).
  • Dispose of all trash properly and pick up litter if you see it.

 

Leaves me breathless just reading it.

Part One

The plight of our oceans is disheartening. I have eluded to this in the past. Just because we can’t ‘see’ under the ocean, we seem to forget that is is just as susceptible to pollution and predation as the land.

The ocean is threatened by plastic. Obvious plastic that we can see the plastic strewn beaches, the Pacific gyre are a public disgrace; and the less obvious the micro-pellets from our washing machines that enter the water chain. The ocean also is affected by the run off of pesticides and agro-chemicals from our farmlands. Then there are stupid politicians who make assinine decisions like the Australians to dump millions of tons of waste on coral reefs like the Great Barrier Reef. The oceans are subject to warming which is changing habitats, the you have massive problems with radiation from the likes of Fukushima in Japan; already 100% of tuna caught off the American coast have levels above the acceptable limits for consumption.

The oceans aren’t safe for anyone, let alone the fish. The governments have stopped testing (American and Canadian) because the results are just too embarrassing. The latest IPCC report classifies Fukushima radiation as an ‘extinction event’. Oh, don’t get that wrong, it’s not just the fish that are affected, ALL LIFE on the planet will be affected. Cancer/radiation related deaths in babies, new borns and foetuses are already increasing on the west coast of the USA.

Now that’s just a tad more than serious.

Why isn’t this in the news? The governments don’t want you to know.

Furthermore, there are problems with over-fishing serious straining the life-cycles of marine life.

This week there was good news. Japan has been banned from it’s ‘research whaling’ (read commercial whaling in disguise) in Antarctic waters. Japan has said it will bide by the ruling, but are already looking at loopholes like reduced quotas.

the_world_in_a_nutshellSo to put it in a nutshell, we have totally destroyed the planet.

Not only the visible portions, but the invisible as well.

Man’s irresponsibility is drawing us closer and closer to our own extinction.

It’s time we woke up!

It’s time we let the governments know!

It’s time we got rid of the incumbent arseholes and their pandering to the corporations.

We need to take the dog by the tail and wake the bloody thing up, because until we do, we’re f**ked!

This CTWW by Small is probably one of the most radical we face; certainly it is the most global.

We really need to educate the masses, because most of the populace is just sitting on its sanctimonious backside saying “oh, it’ll never happen!” They are lulled into complacency by the lack of news, the government’s ‘do nothing’ approach. And, worst of all the blatant bullshit of the deniers!

Well, I’ve got news for them: It is happening, here, it is happening now!

Part deux:

  • While I am not perfect, there is plastic in my life, but I go out of my way to reduce it to a minimum.
  • I am bound by public transport, no car; no car, less planetary resources used and wasted.
  • I will not avoid fish, I consider that fish is an important dietary aspect. I do however, spurn fish like panga produced in the Asian sewer known as the Mekong River in Vietnam.
  • I don’t go to the beach, but I am active and vocal in keeping our neighbourhood clean.
  • I use products that are non or less toxic where possible.
  • I am now shopping at the new sacolão who are supporting fruit and vege with no pesiticides and organic produce (this is a new aspect in my life).
  • My pet waste is composted. The worms do a good job.

There you have it, my CTWW.

The Pacific Gyre

greatpacificgyre

If you get closer, it looks like this…

pacificgyre

Some of those plastic bottles may be yours…

Makes you proud, doesn’t it?

 

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 – 11th Sep

The last of the crop

Well, my tomatoes did great.

A photo of the last day’s crop. There’s still a few stragglers that will come o next week; but the hiss & roar is over. Five weeks tomatoes grown from a squished tomato on the compost heap.

I have two more plants, yet to do their thing, one is flowering now.

The secret, just squish a rotten tomato over a quiet corner of the compost heap; you can wash your hands after, it won’t hurt you to get your hands mucky for a few minutes.

Update: I was outside a few minutes ago and found that the original plant is not finished yet, it’s covered in new flowers this morning.

My compost heap is benefiting from Cloro’s presence. I don’t buy ‘kitty litter’, waste of money. I use dirt or sand and empty the contents on the compost heap. Once the worms have done their bit, I just spade it over to mix the contents.

My health and beer consumption have returned. Still taking things slowly but no more Dizzy Lizzy. Still, it has given me a ‘wake up’ call. My sugar level was up a bit, so I am working on that.

Veges and vegansDon’t look, just read!

Picanha, a Brazilian cut from the sirloin

Picanha, a Brazilian cut from the sirloin

And, here’s a message for all. My cholesterol level is just great, why?

Because I don’t use margarine, I don’t use cooking oil, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t. I try to avoid ready-made products that have these.

I use butter (salted) and lard for frying and making pastry and I eat the fat on pork, bacon and beef that so many are frightened of.

My main complaint at a BBQ restaurant. “Com gordura!” (with the fat) as the waiter slices the meat and tries dutifully to avoid the fat that most people unnecessarily avoid.

Half a cabbage in jars

Half a red cabbage in jars

My latest effort, pickled red cabbage.

The last lot of pickled cabbage went at the BBQ, so I made some more, this time with red cabbage.

I love pickled cabbage (and beetroot) on the side with most meals.

It’s so easy to make: shred the cabbage, leave overnight mixed with rock salt, wash, bottle with a few black peppercorns and a few whole cloves, screw on lid and refrigerate. Ready to use in three days.

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This week’s CTWW is one that I won’t be participating in, other than by saying I don’t.

This week, green your hair removal routine. If you can, simply don’t shave … that’s the most Eco-friendly option. If furry body parts aren’t your thing, consider body sugaring or use environmentally safe shaving equipment and non-toxic shaving lotion. Avoid disposable razors and lotions in canisters. Joanne’s recommended reading, which includes several tips, can be found HERE. For a discussion on razors, check out my post entitled The “Best” Shave.

No hair, no shave

No hair, no shave

This photo will explain:

As you can see, I have no need for razors, disposable or otherwise, the last thing I am interested in a ‘hair removal’, Mother Nature has already taken care of that.

I don’t use shampoos, body lotions, shaving cream or any other product apart from plain soap and water.

When it comes to products of this nature my bathroom has got to be amongst the most spartan on the planet.

Great challenge, and one that is not often thought about.

Make you Fink on Friday

Cooking from the Compost!

So for years I have been a scavenger, scrounger penny pincher when it comes to food. So what it has a blemish. If I don’t have to pay full price, it’s cool with me! For years, i worked at an organic market, in the produce department, that holds high standards for the quality of their produce which means a lot gets thrown away! What a wasteful place America is. At least where I work they compost it. Meaning there are bins where they take the bagged rejects out to for people to use as compost. A perk for working in the department is first dibs on the rejects! Awesome!! Free organics?!? Um, YES!

throw aways!

I’ve been cooking out of the trash for years and I thought I would start sharing some meals with you. Here is a grilled veggie pizza I made the other night.

Reblogged from: Grace Alley Treasures, you want to see the pizza, then roll on over there.

I have posted on this before.

We don’t need to have perfect veges and produce.

aFruits & Veges

The supermarket lines them all up with nary a blemish

Your fruit and vege don’t need to be perfect. If you shop for perfection then you are one of the ones responsible for food wastage and shortage.

Your apple doesn’t need to be perfect.

apple

It can have a spot or blemish…

apple-blemish-300x252

Cut out the blemish, it tastes just fine.

You too can eat well from fruit and vege destined for the compost heap.

 

 

Make you Fink on Friday

Cow poo – fresh ‘feel good stuff’

Mycobacterium vaccae

Cow poo

Yes, cow poo. Mycobacterium vaccae was first discovered or recoginised in cow poo hence it’s name vaccae.

It’s a bacteria, it’s a mind altering bacteria. It’s a ‘feel good’ substance. If you live in a concrete jungle and feel stressed, there’s a good chance that you are missing out on the cow poo smell.

Have you ever wondered why you feel good in the country? Why the agricultural aromas (cow poo) smell wonderful? When in all reality they should smell repulsive.

It’s because of Mycobacterium vaccae it’s everywhere in nature and is an antidepressant with the ability to enhance intelligence. Now I understand why so many bankers in their ivory towers are just plain stupid.

Mycobacterium vaccae is present in all natural soil, in compost and we breathe it in the air. The bacteria stimulates neuron growth and reduces anxiety, which increases the production of serotonin (a type of neuro-transmitter) and in turn increases the ability to learn.

Now you can see why gardeners are happy to garden, hikers are happy to hike, while the rest of the world live in their concrete jungles stressed and anxious.

Could it also be that country kids are less stressed at school than city kids?

Maybe we need the germs

Could it also be that getting kids into the country regularly to smell cow poo is important. Let our kids get their little hands dirty to improve their academic and social performance. Perhaps we should stop listening to all these soap manufacturers that tell us that their product removes 99% of the bacteria. Because to me it seems as though we need some of that bacteria. Our super squeaky clean lives might just be a major part of our downfall both as a society and in academia.

The effects are not permanent. Freshly doped up on cow poo makes learning new things easier. If the stimulant is removed, you still learn faster than those who have not had the cow poo pleasure, but not as fast as when you had had a good dose of cow poo. So there is a definite sign that you need cow poo regularly.

Cow poo, it’s the odour  of life.

That’s my thoughts on the matter, hop across to TreeHugger and read some more there, follow the links, you may just be surprised.

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