I did a declutter challenge last year and it worked well. I find any challenges like the ones you find on the internet as a good way to move me out of winter and into spring. The weather has been cold and wet but now we are getting periods of sunshine so I need to get myself moving again. It is not particularly pleasant for outdoor projects so I thought a declutter project might fit the bill. I am using this 30 day declutter challenge. It is clear, simple and straight forward. It covers a number of areas too. I am not doing it as a thirty day challenge. I am doing it as a list so that as I complete each element I shall move onto the next. Decluttering the junk drawer was a good start. The drawer is now tidy. I found things to recycle and upcycle. I also found some treasures and some nice photos. Yes, I have family members who send me “snaps” on photo paper. Because this declutter is bringing me back to books and toys and the inevitable kitchen clutter then I am pleased to be able to follow through on it. Next on my list is a clothes purge. It won’t be a purge so much as a sort. I don’t want drastic but I do want to relook at everything on this declutter challenge so that I keep up the good work and approach of last year.
What have I been reading? The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
No spoilers. I loved this book. Every bit of it. It is a story which looks at mental illness in a very compassionate , inventive, interesting way. You get to see it from the point of view of everyone. It isn’t just about the psychiatrist treating mental illness. It is not clinical. It looks at relationships and how they emerge and develop and how mental illness impacts the person concerned and the people with whom they are involved. It becomes a puzzle and mystery story which makes for compelling reading because of the fine character development and then the attention to detail. Observations and hypotheses are made so that you become interactive in looking at the world of mental illness. I became involved in the story because there was a naturalness and reality about it but I also enjoyed how the book explored art, artists and the impact of art on people’s lives. It was a good book to be reading in winter. One I could just get lost in.
While I was participating in the Living Smart SA course one of the things I was committed to was getting rid of the e-waste I had at home. It had just accumulated and needed to go. In October I managed to collect the e-waste into one spot in my garage. That was a big effort in itself. I had to find all the e-waste stashed around the house and then move it outside. I felt really pleased with that part of it. The course then finished, life went on, we had Christmas, then New Year and now it was May and I still had not moved it. I tried to get it all picked up. There was less an a ute load and less than 15 minutes work. For me, I cannot carry CRT monitors easily , nor microwaves, so my first effort of getting it all in one place had been significant. Once this lot is all gone, then it will not be a problem. It won’t build up as it did with all the changes in technology and it won’t weigh as much because new technology is much lighter and less cumbersome. The quotes for removing it were $100-$130 . That’s $400-$520 an hour. I had been in the wrong job! It means I have had to wait and do some more planning. Older people go away , are sick or cannot carry things easily. Younger people are working long shifts most days and need a break. I feel pretty proud of myself that that I completely filled the boot of my car up with the smaller stuff. I had a microwave which was heavy . The rest was straight forward. It’s gone. Advanced Recycling Technologies took all the stuff and unloaded it for me. They were helpful, nice and right near the ocean! Great views. I have to wait now for help with 3 CRT monitors and 2 heavy microwaves. I can then say I met that commitment and it was my one and only promise to myself at New Year – that I would do something about my e-waste. I feel so relieved now I have done the right thing and so happy. A.R.T is part of the Unplug’n’Drop programme where a number of sites across Australia will now take electronic waste and seek to repair and repurpose rather just sent to recycling or landfill.
Sugar scrub is really good for your skin because it exfoliates and improves circulation. There are claims it is good for itchy skin. There are also claims it gets rid of wrinkles. My claim is that it makes your skin feel very smooth and a whole lot better. I don’t make jars of it. I make a small amount as I need it. For my hands I put in some lemon juice. When I feel my skin isn’t feeling he best I always find the sugar scrub gets it back into condition. It’s not something I do on a regular basis but I do it often during the course of a year. It means there are no chemicals on my skins and that’s important to me. It means there is no animal cruelty and that’s important to me too. It is easy on the purse and great for the skin! You can read about it on the home made sugar scrub site. Unlike the video, I add no fragrances. I just keep it to oil and sugar.
I wouldn’t eat eggshells , ground or not and I think medical professionals need to weigh in on this so we get some qualified and expert input. There was a study in Hungary where they found eggshells remineralised teeth. This has now grown into eating them and I am not sure our bodies were designed to process grit. I need proper advice on that. I have tried eggshell toothpaste, though, and use it on a regular basis. It has improved my teeth, is easy to make and it cleans my teeth really well. I have been using it for a couple of months. You do get gritty bits in your mouth but I rinse them out with water as I would do with regular toothpaste. Quora has some interesting answers about this sudden interest in eggshells. I didn’t expect them to be a cavity cure or to regrow teeth as some sites claim. That’s a bit naive, I think. I use a coffee grinder to grind the eggshells finely after I have baked them in the oven. The toothpaste recipe is on the undergroundhealthreporter site
Chair exercises are probably one of the least threatening forms of exercises you can do.They are also one of the cheapest because you need a chair and you can fancy it up with resistance bands. Something is always better than nothing. These exercises are good for older people to get started and for those who don’t think they like exercise. Something is better than nothing. There are plenty of these chair exercises on YouTube and so you can pick the routines you like and learn some of the moves. Great for those people who are stuck all day sitting at their desk to complete work. 5 minutes of chair exercises and they will feel like they are in better shape already. All that sitting is hard on the body and a few well thought out exercises will keep the body in condition. Chair exercises are especially good for core strength. They are also good for working on leg exercises.You can use the rubber resistance bands and what a difference they can make. Such a simple exercise aid and yet they make such a difference to developing muscle tone and adding resistance training to the exercises. Chair exercises are less intrusive on your time, too. If you are time poor they are a good way to keep in shape without feeling guilty because you don’t have time for a gym, basketball teams or walking.
I can update this post now since I have been using my Bokashi bin since after Christmas. I am about to have it completely filled so will be putting that into the compost bin at the front of my house. The Bokashi tea mixed in a bucket of water has indeed kept my front garden in good condition. I have also used it in a very diluted form to water pot plants and then to water some of my plants out the back. It does make a difference. The plants like it! I used the tea in on of my shower drains too. It was always getting a bit blocked and since I have used the Bokashi tea in the shower drain and the bathroom sink I have had no blockages at all. For good measure I have put one lot of Bokashi tea into all my sinks. It’s magical how it easily clears drains. I am thinking I might give it a try on the black mould which grows on my concrete in winter. I have tried everything else. The Bokashi bran keeps the bin smelling okay but the tea itself is somewhat pungent! I use orange oil to clean around the nozzle and area after I have extracted the juice. I found a little container which sits neatly into the recess of the bin under the tap so it’s just perfect for collecting the tea. I spray that with orange oil spray after I have rinsed it after use. It does keep that smell under control. My next step is to see how it affects my composting and I should know that in the next quarter. The Bokashi bin has certainly been beneficial to my whole composting system.
I set my new Bokashi bin up after Christmas. I use my small compost bin to collect the food scraps over a week and then it goes into the Bokashi bin with the Bokashi bran. Could not be easier. I am getting the tea or juice now which is very exciting! The main use for it will be my front garden which has sandy, dry soil even though I have put so much organic matter into it. It just sucks it all up. I am hoping the Bokashi juice will take the strain off my front garden and help keep it well fed and more able to sustain itself through our hots summers in South Australia. The Bokashi bin contents will go into the the compost bin out the front and maybe once in a while I’ll put a binful into the compost bin out the back. Today I have also tried what was suggested in this video . I have put Bokashi juice into my sink drains and the toilet just to see what happens. I am now getting plenty of juice but was pleased to hear in the clip that I need not worry if I don’t because it will depend on what I feed the bin. I have also used the juice today on my pot plants to see if it improves them. They are pretty healthy but it would be nice to see them even lusher. In about a month’s time I should be seeing a difference in all these things and I shall report back. By then I should have my worm farm going and they love Bokashi tea!
It was only idly wondering which made me go to the Apple store on my iPad to see if there were any compost apps. They have apps for everything. Why not compost? A couple came up but I have done an online search and appcrawler has come up with a lot of paid and free compost apps. The benefit of having hem on a device is the device can go in a plastic bag if necessary and you can still use it. They are more portable than a book outside and lighter. I’ll try a couple of the free apps first but I was looking at Home Composting, which is paid because it looked like the sort of app I’d find useful. I want to see how they work first, though, so the free apps are the way to go.
I am sticking to my promise of getting my composting really well organised this year. I was given the little bin on the left for Christmas. That gets all my kitchen scraps. There is a plastic black pail with a handle inside. I just put my first pail into my bokashi bin today with the bokashi bran. My big compost bin in the garden is getting plenty of brown matter at the moment and I put soil in there as well as the canister of bits from my vacuum cleaner. The bokashi bin will empty into it and I shall have plenty for my worm farm too when I get that going in the cooler weather. At any stage I can break my compost chain and just dig a trench in the veggie patch and bury the organic scraps directly into the soil. Plan B for if I need to bypass the steps for any reason. As it stands my composting process just got a whole lot easier this year because I have thought about it. I am hoping the apps will give me some even better approaches.
Making your own almond milk is easier than you think and you will know exactly what is in it: almonds and water. No additives, no extras. Ensure the almonds are good quality. There are lots of good reasons for drinking almond milk. It is not just for vegans. It is a milk alternative. It is good for your heart, bones, waistline and blood sugar. It doesn’t have to be refrigerated so a handy alternative for outdoor activities or camping. The benefits are here on Lifehacker. The almonds need to be soaked so do it in the morning so you can make it in the evening or do it in the evening so you can make it in the morning. It’s super simple past that point and even that isn’t hard!! authoritynutrition gives you some more information about almond milk. You might like to read how it compares with cows’ milk.
Typology of Green Consumers – No Such Thing as a Green Consumer?: “The typology that we have developed from our research represents a breakthrough in understanding greener consumers.”
I didn’t even know there were such things as translators, exceptors and selectors. What type of green consumer are you because we have been analysed!! I think I am an exceptor…but irrespective of the label…we can all be greener!