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 Australia, conservation, Environment, growth mindset, keep active, keep fit, research, sustainability

What to do with all that plastic?

Germany has things called Schuttberge. They are made of all the rubble from World War II. The bombing was so severe and the subsequent rubble was so profuse, the Germans had to think their way out of it. There was nowhere to put it.  Much of the rubble has been turned into Schuttberge. There is one called the Birkenkopf in Stuttgart. It is a place for people to get outside in the fresh air, to walk and ride trails and then to reflect on the meaning of war. It’s both a place to relax and operate as a memorial. You can read about the Schuttberge at Spiegel online.  Why am I telling you this? Because I have been thinking about all the plastic, much of which will not break down. I blogged about how Adidas is recycling ocean plastic into sneakers – will they break down when their life is finished? Then there is much on the internet about the plastic bricks which may or may not be a fire hazard. People are thinking and we need to keep thinking. Plastic would be an insulator. Can plastic rubble not be turned into landscaping  or safe building material somehow? Bike trails, parks, mazes, hills, waterproofing ? Could we not use all this plastic and turn it into something good like they have in Germany?  Would it be suitable to stop degradation around beach and river areas? Could it be used to fill areas which actually need filling? Would it be safe? We need the scientists and environmentalists in on this. They would know what is feasible and what isn’t. Could it be used to build coral reefs?  I feel sure now we need to get rid of plastic unless we can invent one that is safe for the environment. With war we do destroy the environment but we are doing that knowingly now just by daily living. We need to change our ways but we also need to work out a safe way to upcycle the things we cannot recycle. For the next while, at least, until we get smarter, we need to focus as much on upcycling as recycling.

Posted in Australia, paraplegia, positive psychology, Project Walk, Tom Barbour, Tommy's gunna do it, training

Tommy’s gunna do it

This is so incredibly moving. Tom Barbour has a Facebook page which is equally inspirational. It is a humbling experience to see what he, his parents and Project Walk have been able to achieve. Tom is tackling his challenge head on. He has been surrounded by people who care and you can see his trainers have some expert skills. The way in which they can help him move forward is extraordinary to watch. Tom is showing us that 2013 is about getting stuck into it, setting your goals and dreaming your dreams. I feel sad it is costing so much money. When some is so willing to tough it out the really hard way, when someone, against the odds, will take their life into their hands and show they are determined to better themselves and then show it all online so others can gain courage and determination too, then it’s sad it costs so much. Makes me put the idle, the destructive and the disruptors into perspective. Why do we focus on them and not people like Tom? Our TV programme The Project picked up this story and it came up in my Facebook feed. That to me is what we should do. Care about those who are adding to our world. Spend time with them helping them and encouraging them. Go with the positives and pay no attention at all to the nay sayers, the negative people and those who would use our time and energy to feed their lack of capacity to achieve something as awesome as Tom Barbour, his family, his friends and his trainers. I look forward to seeing him walk.
Posted in Australia, Biggest Loser, Biggest Loser 2012, Margie, positive attitude, positive psychology, positive self talk, positive thinking

Biggest Loser 2012

Before we get too carried away with the joy and excitement of Margie winning The Biggest Loser title for this year, we need to take a step back for a moment and pause. I started watching the series the week Michelle was eliminated and how wonderful it was last night to see a beautiful woman with so much talent reach her potential and her dream because of this show. Margie’s story was very painful. It was clear she was hugely at risk and had she not gone  on the show, who knows what might have happened. Look at her now. She is funny, confident, an elite athlete, very thoughtful and full of the joy of living. The story of last night’s finale was one of true inspiration and dedication. Every single one of the trainers had taken a holistic approach to their charges. Everyone one of the trainers can be enormously satisfied that they have literally saved lives. You do not have to listen for long to some of these stories to know how crippling and devastating living in the real world has been for so many people. They were dreadfully at risk. Now we can look at Margie, Brenda, Graham, Lydia, Alex, Kasey and a whole host of others and know that this particular series has gone out of its way to make people well. Not just fit. Not just the body beautiful and not just an image. Healthy, happy people with the right to dream. Something our world had taken from them in a dramatic way. Daily living is driving people to depression and the edge. What you could see in exchange in the eyes of the trainers this year was a real warmth and genuine happiness. They had given these people their all to balance and then tip the  negativity scales so each person could then drive their own destiny and outcome. Hayley, their compère, was a part of that positive psychology too. So it wasn’t just about beating it out in the gym or the cross country event. It was about working with the whole person. Michelle called Margie a machine. She was. She gave it her all once Michelle broke down the mental barriers. She came up trumps. Margie is now one of those people who could single handedly change the world. She could train Australia. She could take us all on and make us want to go the extra mile. To think that might have all been lost is a sobering thought. To think Michelle might never have been heard when she has such a beautiful voice. To think Alex would have been that man in total , black despair in front of the mirror. This series got back in touch with people in the same way as it had got in touch with Adro – and hasn’t he rewarded their effort? He looks and sounds brilliant. Margie is a deserving winner and her powerhouse of energy and good humour can now take her a long way. It just goes to show how much care can do as well as action. I have never seen the trainers look so well. It works both ways.
Posted in Australia, body image, models, underweight models

Underweight Models

Designers will be asked not to hire either models with a dangerously low body mass index (BMI) or excessively muscular men

Read more: Article
Australia is set to overhaul the conditions under which models can be hired and work and it is about good health and good practice. Models need to be 16 and women need to have a reasonable weight. The industry is highly competitive but western culture keeps going for the touched up images, the underweight mannequins and the unhealthy lifestyle. We can do better than that because no one should be asked to sacrifice their health or their  healthy image just to be hired in an image industry where looks are everything. We do need to question what these looks might mean and then take action.
Posted in Algal bloom, Australia, Environment, Health, Water, Water filter, Wellness

Algal Bloom

Algal bloom in village river. Taken in a small...Image via Wikipedia

They are using ‘solar bees’ to filter the dam water in Warragamba. Algal bloom has become increasingly a problem in our water ways, but it is also a problem for our dams and swimming pools. The climate has changed and the algal bloom growths have been a constant , nasty nuisance. It would be good if we can now have the technology to filter water so that the algal bloom cannot grow. Treating it is not really a safe option for drinking water. We are not the only country to have this problem as you can see from the picture of a waterway in China. Australia is a good place to test technology though because we have a smaller poepulation so should things go wrong or not according to plan it does not usually impact significantly. It also means equipment can be tested before there is a large capital outlay for more populated coutnries.
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Posted in Australia, Green Awards, Magazine, Newspaper

Green Awards

Relative directionImage via Wikipedia

The News is announcing its Green Awards winners and you can see the finalists on the site, get some other information about our Green Awards winners and you will be able to click on the categories and see the winners. It’s actually a very enthusiastic, attractive little site. Our radios, newspapers and magazines have done such a lot to get us all involved and doing. The snowball effect has been amazing. We are now good at this because we have been pointed in the right direction, encouraged and then rewarded for our efforts. It is just fantastic that the media have taken such a good leadership role in this to make it possible. They have been positive and practical.
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Posted in Australia, Food, Wine, Winemaking

Wine Yeast Mapping

Assorted wine corksImage via WikipediaMapping wine yeast is a major breakthrough in technology and wine production. The northern hemisphere is ahead of us on this one, but the fact we have got it off the ground is fantastic and good news for our wine industry and consumers. It will mean they can produce low alcohol wines and they can perfect aromas and flavours. A nation of wine drinkers will appreciate this I am sure. As long as it is in keeping with a sensible lifestyle, wine with your dinner is not only civilised, it does have health benefits. The lower alcohol wines will give us that extra bit of choice.

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