Posted in action, goals, good habits, wellbeing

Declutter challenge

declutter challengeI 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.

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Posted in action, Environment, sustainability

Bokashi Tea

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!

Posted in action, conservation, gardening, sustainability

Compost apps

compost binIt 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.

Posted in action, Australia, community, conservation, Environment, green cities, home and garden, managing change, nature, pesticides, sustainability

It’s all about the bees

 

 

Bees Image: Freepik

I was reading an article about a woman living in a Berlin apartment who is keeping bees. We do have a bee crisis and I know that Europe has different programmes to encourage back yard people to become beekeepers. Keeping them in an apartment block sounds very daring to me. I love bees and am concerned their numbers are dwindling but I understand it better now. Farms have basically become uni crop – just corn or just wheat or just lentils. Then farmers tend to use sprays which do not help the bees and are killing them. The farmers are dealing with difficult weather conditions and are doing what they can to stop their crops from being destroyed by pests or fungal diseases. If Europe can do it, we can do it. I loved watching that video. It is clever and inspiring and you can see that a back yard bee keeping exercise has turned into a business. It is well thought out and the level of care is obvious. There is also someone locally who provides honey from a back yard bee keeping establishment. I don’t know whether it’s good to keep back yard bees or not. I am going to find out. I wouldn’t want it to be a danger to myself, pets, children, people. Maybe I won’t be keeping bees. Maybe I can help someone? My plan for the new year to to find out what is offered locally by way of bee keeping courses. I then plan to find out where we have our local bee keeping people. It’s the sort of thing which could become a community project so that no one has the weight of carrying all those bees. I don’t know. I am creating a plan and then I am going to follow it through because it is not about me. It is all about the bees.

Posted in action, conservation, Environment, green buildings, sustainability

Eco friendly 3D printer

I want one. I want to be able to print green. I want to be able to print pots  and green decorations. Pretty sure these eco-friendly printers will take the world by storm once they get going and will transform landscaping and gardening. Designing green spaces with this eco printer or similar means there will be even more personal and creative input into landscaping. It will be a really great way to get children into gardening and will be very helpful for those who have mobility problems but still want to create green spaces. PrintGREEN was created by students Maja Petek, Tina Zidanšek, Urška Skaza, Danica Rženičnik and Simon Tržan, with help from their mentor Dušan Zidar, at the University of Maribor in Slovenia. The PrintGREEN website gives you more information about the projects of this team. They are involved with other eco-friendly projects besides this printer. The thinkingkinghumanity site gives more information and pictures to show how you can use this printer to create living prints. It’s ingenious.  I hope they are available and affordable soon. The best thing is it is all organic and can all be composted. That is sustainable living.

Posted in action, conservation, positive mindset, positive thinking, Recycling, recyling, sustainability

Recycling ocean plastic

Adidas with Parley have brought out some new sneakers made from ocean plastic. Should be water, shouldn’t it? We shouldn’t have to gather plastic from the ocean. The planet needs to get rid of plastic because as handy as it can be we are very bad at disposing of it and far too much ends up in the ocean. You’ve seen the fish. You’ve seen the videos. There are now attempts to put it right. I’d  like to think these sneakers can be disposed of properly when they come to the end of their life. People are trying to solve the plastic waste problem now and there are some very good discussions going on which give me hope that eventually we shall solve this problem. Adidas is trying to find a good use for plastic recouped from the ocean. They cannot solve the problem alone but at least they are making an effort. There is another company making plastic bricks for housing. At best it really ought to only be used for disaster areas or areas which need quick emergency housing. Even though the bricks are supposed to be fire treated there is no proof as yet that they will survive hot sun and plastic fires are hideous. We need to keep talking about that one. Where there is a will…and it’s not as if we don’t have the brains and technology to solve these sorts of problems. The conversations are highlighting the issues. Firstly, we need to clean up our act. Secondly,we need to dispose of this plastic wisely. Thirdly, we probably need to forget about plastic. It has done more harm than good. BYFUSION explains the plastic brick idea on its site.The discussions around it are on The Insider Facebook page .