Posts Tagged ‘green’

Satireday on Eco-Crap

Turning the switch on the environment.

Change the World Wednesday – 19th Nov

Is it too early for seasons' greetings?

Is it too early for seasons’ greetings?

Christmas is just five weeks away. Somehow, I don’t seem that excited any more.

We finally had two days of rain, not torrential stuff, but it wet the ground and brought some new life to the praça.

The plants I donated to the botequim are doing nicely, better than they did alongside the house where they only got sun for half the day. They are all showing new growth.

My herbs are also doing well. The guava tree is full of fruit and I have harvested three lots of chillies. The passion fruit vines are growing prolifickly and I watch each day for signs of the first flowers

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With the silly season nearly upon us CTWW is seasonally appropriate.


If you are planning to entertain friends and family this season, and plan to serve “adult” beverages, do a little research and plan an Eco-friendly bar. Here are some things to consider:

  • Wine is the most Eco-friendly alcoholic beverage. Choose organic varieties which don’t include preservatives. While boxed wine may not look classy, it is the most earth-friendly of wine packaging options. Glass bottles would be the next choice.
  • If you’re serving beer, cans are better than bottles because they weigh less which gives them a lower carbon footprint.
  • Opt for liquors and wine with natural cork instead of synthetic corks or metal tops.
  • Avoid frosted bottles. Chemicals are used to create them.
  • Look for beverages which are distilled locally and check that the company uses minimal energy and water to create their libations.
  • Serve drinks in glass rather than plastic and use glass straws.
  • Use cloth cocktail napkins instead of paper.
  • Use local, organic fruits and herbs in mixed drinks. And don’t forget organic “munchies” to go along with the cocktails.
  • Make ice in an ice tray rather than use the automatic ice maker in the refrigerator. You’ll use less energy.

The idea, this week, is to plan ahead to ensure that your home bar is “green”.

OR …

If you aren’t including alcohol in your celebrations, make plans to “green” any get-togethers you are hosting or attending. Consider local, organic foods and reusable serving pieces. If you are traveling to an event, share a ride with others. Use natural elements to decorate. Supply visitors with comfy slippers or socks so that they will feel comfortable to remove their shoes at the door.


OR …

If you’ll be spending quiet time at home this season, plan to make the experience green. Use all the ideas above, on a smaller scale, to make your personal time fun and Eco-friendly.

Well, the purple bit doesn’t apply, that’s just plain silly. Imagine Christmas and New Year without a tipple ot two, takes all the fun out of it.

I’m not planning on anything extravagant, so I’ll do the blue bit with the green bits added.

Screw tops I leave on the shelf

Screw tops I leave on the shelf

Yes, wine will be included. Some orgnic wines are appearing here in Brazil, but they are invariably stoppered with synthetic corks or screw-tops, both of which I try to avoid, particularly the latter; I hate them. When I buy wine, it sometimes sits for years before I get to drink it, so cardboard is out; besides, I think that is so tacky. Boxed wine also has a plastic bladder, so I wonder at the environmental value of boxed wine.

I refuse beer in cans, mainly. With the exception of three options; Guinness, Murphy’s Stout (both imported as cans) and a São Paulo beer that is only available in cans. Beer cans are lined with BPA or BPS, and for that reason I avoid them.

Non-alcoholic drinks, soda, etc don’t feature in my celebrations, unless for the kids, that’s unavoidable. But I do make fresh fruit juice with no added sugar.

There are some beers here in Brazil that are made with GMO corn, I refuse to buy them as well.

Plastic, wouldn't consider it.

Plastic, wouldn’t consider it.

Plastic cups… I continue in my crusade at the bar to get the regulars to return to glass. Even at work, I encourage my students to drink from glass rather than the disposable cups provided by my bossette.

At the botequim, if there is a spill, we use cloths to wipe up. Generally speaking serious drinkers don’t spill their drinks, but it does happen, and there is the condesation that drips of bottles and glasses, that also gets the cloth treatment.

Pestiscos (bar snacks, munchies), I prefer to make my own at home and take to the bar, which I share around of course; they are always welcomed. Organic they may not be, but they are better than the flour-based commercial ones.

I wouldn’t consider using an auto-ice maker, all my ice is made in ice trays. Domestic appliances like this I consider a waste of resources that panders to consumerism.

So within limits, I do adhere to green principles, even for the silly season; and beyond.

Simple Green Ideas

greenpaintJust as a matter of interest, I googled ‘simple green ideas’.

I was confronted with 10 pages (I didn’t go any further) of some of the most expensive ungreen green painted kitchens. Obviously some people’s idea of ‘green’ goes as far as the paint tin.

While in some cases painting an old item to reuse can be green.

Painting an expensive fitted kitchen green is not being green.

It really gave me something to reflect on.

Just how few people are really trying to be green. It made me feel as though I have been pushing shit uphill with a garden fork with my humble efforts.

Honestly, I feel deflated.

Just some thoughts for today, back with ideas next week.

Satireday on Eco-Crap


Simple Green Ideas

You got kids?

No, I’m not going to suggest you recycle them, although there’s a thought…

Kids have games and toys. Kids grow up and play different games with other toys.

Forgotten are things like this…


So you could give it away, or you could repurpose it.

Do something crafty.

Repurpose and reuse 10

If that’s too arty.

Make fridge magnets for the grandchildren…


or google recycle/repurpose scrabble tiles, you’ll find everything from cuff links to earings and more.

Monday Moaning

It’s time these were taken off the road.

At a time when the world is fighting over oil and the price of petrol (gasoline) to have these behemoths guzzling petrol on our roads is preposterous.

Until our governments grow balls and call out the auto industries we will have problems with supply and horrendous prices.

We do NOT need cars like this, I don’t care how rich you are or if you are a CEO or some other self-important dickhead, these monstrosities are indecent.

The advertising blurb is meant to entice one into buying, to me it reads like a horror story.

Cadillac Escalade: The bling king’s new clothes

The year is 1999, a time of bliss and abundance for SUVs. The rectilinear giants roam the land, stopping only to drink deeply at roadside springs and billabongs. It is a mid-Jurassic golden age, and conditions are ripe for the emergence of an alpha-beast, which they would call Escalade.

Fast-forward to 2014, and the ranks have thinned. Among the first casualties was the Ford Excursion, a four-tonne thumb in Greenpeace’s eye. Though no extinction event is on the near horizon, these vehicles are firmly in their third act, buffeted by volatile oil prices, buyers’ post-recession pushback against ostentation and the sense – not unfounded – that lumbering American SUVs are a bit déclassé. The token refresh granted the 2015 Navigator has done little to suggest large SUVs were ascendant.

Perhaps that’s because the Escalade had yet to speak.

The 2015 Cadillac swaggers into frame with more chrome, more power, more leather, more wood, more LEDs, more cargo room and – surprise – less thirst, yet it is still unabashedly, unapologetically a colossus. Even Cadillac gives its flagship SUV a wide berth. “Escalade is almost a brand unto its own,” said Andrew Smith, head of Cadillac design, at the vehicle’s US media launch. That said the 2015 model toes the Caddy party line more than past generations did, to its benefit.

Source – BBCNews Read more

Monday Moaning

All over the planet there are people who care about our little dirt ball.

Individuals, whole families and some responsible business are involved in reducing pollution and lessening their carbon footprint; doing every little thing to try and make a difference.

Even some governments are involved making laws for this and that to help.


But there is something very, very wrong!

There is an element that is not even trying:

It makes the efforts of the little people akin to pushing crap uphill with a fork.

biggest polluter on earth libertarian meme

Yup, the military machine. Not just the USA I would wager, but every military service in the world.

I don’t have an answer.

Just thought I would bring this to your attention.

Next time you’re at the ballot box, think about the military objectives of your governments, and do something about them.

Vote them out!

Your vote is the greatest green maker there is!


Change the World Wednesday – 9th Jul

brazil-loss-to-germany-memeI’ve had a few days off, more than I realised.

An inspiration problem with a sprinkle of lethargy and a cup of laziness also played their part.

Then there was football (soccer) on Tuesday with a catastrophic loss for Brazil, 7-1 against Germany which put me out for yesterday (moping).

You can read what’s up on my recent posts on Life is but a Labyrinth. Like the news about my guava saga.

Apart from my guava, there hasn’t really been anything ‘green’ to summarise for the week.

So I’m Changing my World on Thursday this week.

On with this week’s CTWW, brought to you at 3:30am, with the help of a lot of coffee…

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Greening the Kitchen…

This week, go into your kitchen and look for at least one way to make it greener. You might choose to do something simple like add an aerator to the faucet, convert to cloth towels instead of paper, replace a light bulb with a CFL or LED, or unplug an appliance (especially those with clocks). Maybe you are in the market for new cookware, dishes, etc. and could look for green options. Does your kitchen need paint? Perhaps you grab a brush and use non-VOC colors. You might even be considering a kitchen remodel and could search out the most appropriate Eco-friendly cabinets, counter tops, flooring, etc. The idea, this week, is to look around your kitchen and make a green improvement.


Well,  first up, my kitchen light blew out two weeks ago. It was my second last incandescent bulb. Replaced it with a 9w CFL; just the bathroom bulb to go.

In the news, Brazil’s new laws about incandescent light bulbs take effect this year. Basically, they are no manufacturing, no imports, no sales.

The only appliances I have in the kitchen are the fridge, the stove (gas, but electric start, standby and lights) and the blender.

The fridge, by necessity is always plugged in, the stove is never plugged in and the blender, while it remains plugged in, it doesn’t use standby power. I light my stove with the flints from my old cigarette lighters; an old lighter can light the stove for 6+ months after the gas has finished.

The kitchen does need painting, but that’s a long way down the ‘To Do’ list.


My pride and joy

I have two bought items in my kitchen, the rest are second-hand, off the street or donated. The small counter I only considered the price; shop demo reduced from R$250 to 99, there was no green consideration.

The stove is a new five-burner and I did check the power rating over various models before I bought it, it was top-of-the-line A. I got the stainless model for easier cleaning.

My fridge was second-hand, I got it from an ex-student who was moving. R$200 for a R$999 model; it was one year old and hardly used (he was a bachelor and kept his water cold and didn’t cook), green options were considered, because it replaced the power-hungry inefficient beast that I had.

So yes, when I buy, generally I consider price first, then green factors, although the stove was a ‘want this’ and the price was considered, but the ‘green’ came first.

Because of my scroogish instincts, and the fact that I rent. I am not considering a re-model.

I look around my kitchen and all I see are the dishes sneering at me from the sink…

So, do I meet this week’s CTWW in general term?

I think so.


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.

Read more

Read more


Not a CTWW Post – 4 Dec

Here we go again with NOT a CTWW post.

But this week I am going to set a challenge.

Each week, in fact I am sure each day, we all do something that maybe considered ‘green’ and probably don’t even think about it. Well, I want you to think about it, maybe photograph it, and post it.

I have done a quick stocktake of things that have happened.

Firstly, four years ago I planted goiaba (guava) seeds, some of them sprouted, and I transplanted one to grow. The tree is now three metres (9 feet +/-) tall and there are a couple of fruit for the first time. I noticed then this week.

See it, half hidden behind the leaf?

See it, half hidden behind the leaf?

A few weeks ago, I had some pineapple, one I thought had died, and I yanked it out and threw on the compost heap where it took root, and now there is a pineapple growing; one of five that I have around the yard.

This is the biggest

This is the biggest

The last bunch of fresh mint I bought at the sacolão (fruit & vege shop), one piece had a sprig of root, so I put it in a glass of water, then when more root had grown, I transplanted it in an old paint tin.

Most of my plants are in old paint tins

Most of my plants are in old paint tins

So soon I will have fresh mint for the kitchen.

Yesterday I put out my rubbish, someone had thrown out an old dead cactus still in its planter.


Just waiting for something to grow in it

Bit of a brush up and it’s ready to be the home for a new plant.

In the late afternoon, I stopped off at the botequim (bar next door) for a well deserved beer after a hot day, and saw that someone had thrown out an old PC. Home it went. After a refreshing beer, I opened it.

All good spare parts

Less to go to the landfill

Spare parts, two memory sticks, a hard drive, a CDROM, cables, all good spare parts.

So, what have you done this week? Or done earlier that has become apparent this week?

Write a post about it, and leave a comment here.

This is your official NOT a CTWW post, brought to you with two cups of coffee. No animals were tested here.

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