Posts Tagged ‘summer’

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 – 9th Nov

Yes, my last CTWW was a fail! Not only did I fail in the challenge, but I failed in getting the date right, I listed it as 2nd Oct…

I was so geared up to give it a try, but the idea was thrown into the ‘too-hard’ basket. But I did make some interesting discoveries. Mainly that anyone subscribing to vegan philosophies, and who drives a car is in all probability not vegan at all until they make paints, plastics and glues that are guaranteed ‘animal by-product free.’

Small Footprints did challenge me to have another shot and produce something exotically vegan, but I failed there too; work interfered.

This week’s challenge:
This week, prepare your home for winter. Do at least one thing which will ensure that your winter is Eco-friendly. Need some ideas? Click HERE.
Or …
If you’ve already prepared your home for the cold months ahead, we’d like to know what you’ve done. Please include tips, ideas and any do-it-yourself advice.

Small Footprints seems to have forgotten that half the planet is heading for summer. But I realise that Australia, New Zealand, most of South America and Africa as well as a good part of Asia are not really that important… *tongue-in-cheek*

So, being an intelligent person, I will merely invert the challenge and prepare for summer.

1. I have already cleaned the fan, a clean fan is more efficient therefore that must save energy.

2. I have taken the blanket off the bed, just use a sheet.

3. I have turned the shower down to its lowest heat setting, later I will turn the power off all together as we get hotter days.

4. Now that my papaya tree is growing tall enough, I have moved it to shade the kitchen window to lower the temperature in the kitchen. And when the other grows a little more, it is ready to shade the living room window.

That’s about it. There’s not really a lot one can do to prepare for summer here in Brazil, because there is little difference between summer and winter temperatures, certainly not the same difference you get in the US where you can get extremes in temperatures. Winter for us means average temps of 24℃ (75℉) with lows of 16℃ (61℉), while summer averages 36℃ (97℉) it can get into the swelteringly low 40s℃ (104+℉). So our main problem is not keeping warm in the winter, rather keeping cool in the summer.


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