Posts Tagged ‘junk mail’

Change the World Wednesday – 4th Jun

junk_mail

This year is really rattling along; June already!

Two CTWWs ago we talked about junk mail. I found this comparison a couple of days ago, it tells a story.

In the interests of conservation and saving paper, why can’t the government pass the same laws for your street or post office mailbox?

Last week’s CTWW, it turns out my milkweed isn’t, but I will keep looking. The story doesn’t end there.

We have a saying here in Brazil. “O Brasileiro não desiste, nunca!” The Brazilian doesn’t give up, ever!

Very applicable, especially with the FIFA World Cup only eight days from kick off.

While I am not Brazilian, I have embraced many Brazilian ideas. My friends say that I am quase (nearly) Brazilian.

So, I’ll keep looking for milkweed.

I just love butterflies, especially the regal looking Monarchs.

BoliviaButterflies

Some butterflies I encountered in Bolivia

I saw many more, and I have just realised that most of my travel photos are locked in my old hard drive. I couldn’t find the butterfly that I was looking for.

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On with this week’s CTWW.

Yes, here in Brazil we are at the end of autumn and the weather is definitely cooler than our 40ºC+ days of summer.

This week, plant something edible. Plant in a garden, raised bed, a container, etc. If you don’t have space outside, consider herbs or lettuce in a small pot placed in a kitchen window. Try placing some seed potatoes in the ground (dig a small hole and drop them in) … then sit back and watch them grow. If you’re moving into autumn, consider planting a fruit tree or perhaps a nut tree. The idea this week is to plant food.

 

OR …

If growing food just isn’t going to work for you, please offer other ideas for enjoying local, organic produce.

I am always planting something edible. Not specifically this week, but for me it is an ongoing process.

Usually the plants that find their way into my paint tins are self grown from scraps in the compost heap.

Orangeseedling

Orange seedlings sharing the tin with a tomato plant

Like the orange seedling above. I just noticed a second seedling has sprouted on the left, this week I will transplant it (my CTWW for the week) into its own tin.

My passion fruit vines have stalled for the winter, but they are well established and in the summer will spread all over, hopeful with a bumper crop of passion fruit.

It appears too late for my tomatoes to come to anything

It appears too late for my tomatoes to come to anything

But plenty more seedlings will sprout between now and then.

The parsley I planted last year, is now well established. I have two pots outside the kitchen door and it features in many dishes.

Curley Parsley

Curley Parsley

The parsley are the only seeds that I have bought.

Sadly, the attempts to grow pineapples from cut crowns has faltered. They got to the size of golf balls and ripened then rotted.

The goiabeiras (guava trees) have fruit, one for the second time; but they too have gone to sleep for the autumn. I have great hopes for them in the spring and summer months. The same for my acerola (West Indian Cherry), it hasn’t begun to flower yet, but I feel it will in the coming season. Acerola are great mixed with orange juice, but you do need sugar, they are mouth-puckering sour. While they are the size and shape of a cherry, they are not at all cherry-like in taste, but have an incredibly high Vitamin C content.

This week I will turn over the compost heap, who knows what treasures I will find sprouting within?

That about does my garden update.

Change the World Wednesday – 19th Mar

Clorinha’s first baby photo

Still crazy, this week I’m here at 1am. It’s too hot to sleep despite the fan. We had 43ºC (that’s hot, even in ºF – 110 something).

Let me introduce you to Clorinha. She’s still at home with Mommy, and will be for another two weeks. I have called her Clorinha because Daddy was Cloro (bleach), and she’s a little girl Cloro, she has the same markings as her Dad.

CTWW isn’t actually up yet on Reduce Footprints, but I was here, so you get the introduction.

Yes, in a can

Yes, in a can

One thing I have changed in my life since I have become more environmentally aware, cans. I avoid cans like the plague.

I restrict my cans to sardines, I love canned sardines in olive oil on toast, and I have an emergency ration of feijoada (black baked beans with meat) which is easily heated without having to cook a whole meal in the evening which also heats up an already hot house.

I use about one can of each a month, sometimes less.

At my advancing age, a little more BPA can’t do too much damage. My endocrines are already disrupted.

But I generally stay away from canned goods, including drinks and beer.

However, last week at the supermarket, I weakened. I saw these wonderful cans of Guinness. Now I live in Brazil, Brazil does not make a good beer.

Four cans just leapt off the shelf into my shopping cart

A few weeks ago I bought two bottles of Stout made in Brazil. It was so unpalatable that half the first bottle went down the sink, the other relegated to the shelf in the beer box. To call this product stout was criminal, it was no more stout than caramelised pigs’ swill.

Now to find a quality brew like Guinness is a rarity here, I weakened. I would have preferred bottles, but they weren’t available.

Oh, and the stout was like heaven.

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CTWW is up now, but I’m going back to bed. I have had a quick read and will visit some of your blogs later when  the head is a little clearer and I have coffee.

This week’s challenge is a little easier.

This week, do not use or buy any paper towels or napkins. Instead, use cloth napkins and cleaning rags.

 

OR … If you never use paper towels or napkins, please review your paper use and determine if there are other ways for you to conserve. Can you use less toilet paper? Could you say “no” to printed receipts? What about printer paper, gift wrap, magazines and catalogs … can you give them up? Choose at least one area where improvements could be made.

 

OR … If you’ve basically eliminated paper from your life, please share your tips and ideas for doing so.

Part One

I do have a roll of paper towels in the kitchen, I bought a double pack about two years ago, and have just started the second roll. The last time I used one was to hold a juicy homemade hamburger more than a month ago. In my defence, I will say that I bought them before the previous CTWW challenge not to use them.

Part Two

If I used less toilet paper than I do, I’d be using my finger. I generally use one double piece for a wipe, then have a bum shower with soap and water.

Other paper reduction, I have stopped paper bank statements, I use the net.

I don’t buy magazines or newspapers, so there’s no problem there. Junk mail is a problem, not a big problem as most of it is little A5 sized flyers, the plain paper ones go on the compost heap, but the bigger glossies come at the rate of about two a week. Brazilian delivery does not understand “No Junk Mail”, although I have had strong words with some when I catch them. Which is why I am the neighbourhood velho caduco (grouchy old man).

Part Three

I can’t make any claims there. I use scrap paper for notes alongside my PC. Old papers used on one side get folded in four. I have a printer, but only print essentials for work on recycled paper. It hasn’t been used for more than two months, it’s probably rusted up.

Well, there you have it; my CTWW.

Change the World Wednesday – 21st Aug

dynamite-alarm-clock1

I don’t need one of these, I have a bladder

*Looks at clock* 2am!

I am insane, yes this week I needed an early morning pee, earlier than normal.

One of the problems of getting old, your bladder loses it’s clock function.

So one tends be up at all hours, bladders don’t have any respect.

It’s a good thing my split days have finished, so I get to sleep in when & where. Time is again mine.

I had another sign that I am not getting any younger. Saturday night, I got dizzy lost my balance, and again more seriously on Sunday morning. My neighbours took me to a local medical centre where I got a jab in the bum and some pills and told to rest.

What’s this ‘rest’ thing? Teachers don’t just ‘rest’. If teachers just ‘rested’ whenever they wanted, the world would come to an end. I went to work Monday night, dopey but I managed to teach without falling into an undignified anamorphic heap on the floor. Although, I nearly did last night because my pill taking got out of kilter with my teaching times. Lesson learned; take pills to work.

Last week, I wrote about my modest garden and preserving. I snapped a few photos for you.

Tomatoes are ripening

Tomatoes are ripening

Already eaten one, made two lovely salad rolls, another is in the vege stand and I am looking forward to making a little ketchup.

You can't see them, but there are little peppers growing

You can’t see them, but there are little peppers growing

Just look at all those little white flowers, each one will become a robust red cayenne pepper.

Modest at the moment

Modest at the moment

But I have already plucked and used some of my parsley.

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Let’s get on with this week’s CTWW.

Canceling Subscriptions.

Cancel magazine subscriptions. Instead, read magazines online or at the library. Have any old publications sitting around your home? Donate them to libraries, medical/dental offices or recycle them.

 

OR …

If you don’t subscribe to any publications, get your name off catalog and junk-mail lists. Check out Catalog Choice, National Do Not Mail List or contact companies and ask that they remove your name from their mailing list or ADD your name to their “do not mail” list (whichever they use).

Okay, well, this one is easy. I don’t have magazine or newspaper subscriptions. ALL my reading is via the net. I work on the basis that if it’s not on the net, it’s not worth knowing.

I don’t get junk mail from companies, that’s rare in Brazil, but we do get little fliers (A6 size stuff usually). If they are on plain paper, they get tossed on the compost as I walk past (‘ashes to ashes’ theory); if they’re glossy, they go in the rubbish; if they are bigger supermarket fliers, they go back to the supermarket.

Problem solved, challenge met!

The world still needs real books

The world still needs real books

I do like books, though. If I had access to books in English, I would buy them (secondhand). I just love the feel and the smell of paper. I have read one novel on the net, and didn’t like the experience; there is something cosy about curling up with a book in bed for that twenty minutes before lights out. Laptops, etc, just don’t cut the mustard, they’re not comforting like a real book.

Just a language note here. I mentioned “books in English”, I can read books in Portuguese and Spanish, but because they’re not my first language and I don’t have the same intimacy in the other languages despite being proficient in both.

The world does need books. Electronic means for recreational purposes is just too stark and sterile for an old romantic.

Change the World Wednesday – Special VII

I am really annoyed, actually, make that a tad more than pissed off.

I had a FaceBook acct more than a year ago, decided after two months that it didn’t suit my purpose and closed the acct.

About two months ago I decided to give it another try. So I opened a new acct.

I just liked a page and went to refresh my page and they want me to confirm by a phone number my acct. There are no other options.

I refuse to divulge my phone number on the net for anybody.

I can’t even get into my acct to shut the damned thing….. Arrrrrggggghhhhh!

My FaceBloodyBook acct is inactive!

Rant over, now on with our regular programme…

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On with Reduce Footprints‘ Change the World Wednesday Daily Lenten challenges.

CTWW Daily Challenge – 29th March

Address your “standby” habits. Unplug cell phone chargers, coffee makers, space heaters and other appliances and devices when not in use.

No vampires in my house, I keep plenty of garlic on hand. Actually, I do have one, the TV, but I switch that off manually every night. The remote control is too dicky and doesn’t always work, so it’s easier not to bother.

CTWW Daily Challenge –  30th March

Take some time to read Huff Post Climate Change, which includes blogs, news, and community conversations about Climate Change.

Huff post is a valuable source of information and I have used it as a source here on Eco-Crap in the past. If you want to keep abreast of national and international eco-concerns, then Huff Post is good.

CTWW Daily Challenge –  31st March

Celebrate Earth Hour TODAY with millions of people around the globe by turning off your lights for one hour, beginning at 8:30 pm.

A contentious issue with me. Turning off your house lights for one hour makes you use another light source, an electric lantern or candles. I have read that to replace a light with just one candle increases your carbon footprint. It is a different story for monuments and government or civil structures to do the same because they do not use an alternative light source.

I do bow to the fact, that Earth Hour does make people conscious of green issues, therefore does have a positive effect.

CTWW Daily Challenge – 1st April

Find the lowest carbon impact method of getting around today (walk, bike, take public transportation or carpool).

No car, no choice. I walk or bus everywhere.

CTWW Daily Challenge – 2nd April

Reflect on, and discuss, the fact that the richest 20% of the world’s population consumes 80% of the world’s resources, and those who contribute least to the causes suffer most from the effects of climate change.

The haves, and the have nots. This can be translated as the 1% against 99%, this is a part of what Occupy Wall Street is about. Many think that OWS is about banking and and raping the country financially; it’s not. It is about all inequalities.

The haves have always trampled on the have nots. It is the have nots that have suffered throughout history. And, it won’t change, unless YOU do something about it. This is not something that can be left to the neighbours, because they are leaving it to the neighbours, so nobody is doing anything. Everybody just sits back thinking “Someone will do it!” But they WON’T because YOU are the ‘someone’ who is supposed to be doing it! The only people trying were the ones from OWS, and YOU stayed at home, so they have become a non-event because YOU didn’t support them.

Americans spend eight months of their lives with junk mail

CTWW Daily Challenge – 3rd April

End junk mail that wastes resources. Stop unwanted catalogs

I take my junk mail back to the shops and supermarkets when I pass them. Or if I catch the delivery people, I refuse to accept. One of the biggest sources of junk mail in my box is the evangelical churches; I hate it.

In Brazil we do not have any orgs that will help reduce junk mail. I do wish they would print it on paper that you could at least light the BBQ with, then it could be recycled eventually as ash on my garden.

Farmer's Markets, the way to go. Brings communities back together too.

CTWW Daily Challenge – 4th April

Buy food that’s being grown or produced locally, using local farms and local farmers’ markets where possible – . Bonus: Grow some of your own food and herbs in your garden, allotment or window sill, or join a community garden.

We’ve discussed this before. In Brazil that’s difficult. I used to sell veges and herbs at my front gate, but I don’t have the garden I had then. I have found a place that sells fresh milk from the gate. It is on the way to work. But to stop and get 2ltres (about 3 pints+) for R$6 ($4) it would cost me an extra R$5 in bus fares, in effect doubling the price of the milk. But oh, what a luxury to have real milk, not pasturised, not homogenised, not adulterated, nor sold in a cardboard box. They are reforming at the moment, but I have resolved that when things are underway again, I will stop and get some. As for the bonus, I do grow a little, peppers and herbs, sometimes tomatoes and passionfruit.

Well, that’s it for this week. Can’t wait to see what Small Footprints has lined up for Monday 9th April. See you there.

Make you Fink on Friday

Does your mail box look like this at Christmas?

Full of fliers, brochures, pamphlets, magazines,  and junk mail all telling you what to buy and what you have to buy to make your Christmas and that of your loved ones happy; where to go and what to do and how to do it. Really it’s all aimed at parting you from your hard earned dollars.

Christmas Fliers

Basically, they’re full of bollocks and end up in the trash. Literally, they are a waste of paper.

But… wait!

Are they, is there a way to recycle these for the benefit of making your Christmas a little bit greener?

I never gave it a thought before I saw this blog post:

Junk Mail Gift Wrap

Go there, check it out, maybe, just maybe you think this is a good idea.

I wrote a Change the World Wednesday post during the week suggesting the use of newspaper to wrap your presents. I never gave junk mail a thought.

Fool the foolers, exploit them as they are trying to exploit you.

Sorry, this is a day late…

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