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.
It is never too late. There are lots of strength training programmes now and many are based on decent research to show the benefits of strength training for older people. Not all of them are gym centred. Some are chair exercise classes and others are strength training around simple props like the stretchy bands. It makes a difference. It means older people are taking control of their health.It means they are stronger and more mobile. They are more comfortable walking around and doing their daily tasks and some are even participating in marathons and high level sporting activities. The research being done has provided solid information as to the benefits but it has also looked at the best ways to help older people engage in strength training. COTA is one of the organisations which offers strength training classes for older people. Older people need to keep their muscle tone and bone density. They need to keep their flexibility and balance. All these things are achievable with help and proper guidance and it is making life for older people more independent and positive.
I first heard the word “stuffocation” at the Living Smart course I attended last year. It’s a brilliant word and says so much. We are forced too much into consumerism. There is a frenzy about it and we are stuffocating in it because we now have rubbish disposal problems which have become nightmares. Our stuffocation has affected oceans , in particular, we have created great piles of e-waste which are hideous, our plastics are blocking waterways and decorating our landscape inappropriately and much of this plastic cannot be broken down easily or at all. There is no easy fix for this. Stuffocation is then a good word to remind ourselves what we are doing to ourselves. It is also a reminder we need to keep thinking and address the issue in a logical fashion so we can change our lives and world around and get the balance back. James Wallman has done much to get us thinking about the implications of all this stuff and then what we can do about it. For some reason I am not allowed to find the interview via WordPress on YouTube which features James Wallman and Lily Coleman. Treehugger explains the stance and rationale of James Wallman well and you can see that he advocates swapping things for experiences in order to create a better life with less waste. My own personal preference is for upcycling and repairing. Europe has gone big on repair cafes and I am hoping the trend will take off here. I love repairing things or repurposing them so they function in a different way and upcycling for many has become a very creative outlet for their skills and knowledge.
I have just made my own eco lipbalm and am more than happy with it. I found a few empty containers . I decided not to use old lipbalm tubes I had because I am getting rid of plastic in my life. These containers I can refill and you can see how much you can make with the recipe. I shaved the beeswax off the block. The beeswax took longer to melt than the other ingredients so next time I shall melt that first. I zapped the mixture in 20 second bursts in the microwave. In between I stirred for a little while to melt the beeswax as much as possible. It look 3 lots of 20 seconds in a ceramic dish. I could then pour it into the containers. I had a little bit left over so I mixed it with an old lipstick and it has made great lip gloss. I used half and half because that’s how it worked out but I like what I have made. I have a bottle of Vitamin E oil but you could just as easily use a Vitamin E capsule and pierce it with a pin to get the oil. I used coconut oil and will try this recipe with almond oil next time I buy almond oil. I bought the shea butter from the Honey Shoppe in the Adelaide Markets. It doesn’t cost much. Now for the recipe:
1 tablespoon beeswax
3 tablespoons almond/coconut oil
2 teaspoons shea butter
5 drops Vit E
You can use a couple of drops of essential oils if you like. I just left mine plain.
I am not going to use a bokashi bin because I am short of composting space. I want to make my composting more effective. I have decided to remodel what I do with kitchen scraps. I now have a small compost bucket with a lid to use for peelings etc as I go. That will be emptied into the bokashi bin.When necessary the bokashi bin will be emptied into my big compost bin out the back or be dug directly into my veggie patch. I am still investigating it all so this is by way of the first post .
My bokashi bin arrived yesterday and so I am set to go. Unfortunately, we have storms forecast for tomorrow so I guess that will be research day and I should be able to get my system in place over the weekend. The old indoor compost bin will be repurposed into an inground worm farm.Bit by bit I have got my garden to be better . I do it gradually and plan the things I want to do and as I talk about them I get other ideas so by the time I am doing something I feel ready and confident. I am excited to see how the bokashi bin works.
Image : Sustainability for all
I am big on reusing, repurposing and repairing. In the end it’s a habit which you can develop and a way of thinking. I also have got my friends and family into that style of thinking too. We help each other repair things, or find a new use for things or a new home. I collect things to recycle and to hand on to charity organisations so I know that they will get good use. One of my friends said that was a good way of thinking because it gives you a sense of purpose. He is helping to rebuild things to be handed on to charity organisations and refugee camps. As a world we have improved our capacity to redistribute and that is because we have thought about it. Organisations like OzHarvest build the relationships so they can redistribute food to the needy. Adelaide has a number of artists who have created wonderful pieces from leftover and excess materials. Some are beautiful and intricate art works. Others are metallic sculptures which are as impressive as they are inspirational. Greenpeace has a good post about getting beyond reuse, recycle, reduce. We are doing that, but we need to keep thinking about it. We cannot live sustainably on a planet which keeps producing more and more and more. In the end you have enough and enough is plenty.
The Living Smart program started in Western Australia and has been well loved and well endorsed. It has made a difference to how people perceive sustainability and the environment. It has managed to allow people to see that working together as a community preserves an environment for the future as well as allowing an opportunity to live in a healthier more welcoming environment. There is a disconnect between the people who just want to make their money and run and those who want to be part of a growth mindset which enables us to live healthily and well on this planet for generations to come. The short term , quick reward approach is hard to counter since people find it very hard to resist riches and money. It is also really hard when working conditions make it so hard for you to relax and have free time. You just want to survive and follow the path of least resistance which largely means ignoring your footprint on the earth. Living Smart has allowed people to take a step back and get rid of the fear and procrastination and just do: find out that networking and being with others is how you manage some of it, if not all of it. We now have this course in South Australia at McLaren Vale, Unley and Glenelg. I have been lucky enough to be in the McLaren Vale course and already I can see I am in a room full of people with ideas, experience, a nice way of being and that invaluable attribute of enthusiasm. It’s that enthusiasm which forges a positive road forward in terms of sustainability and the environment. It’s not an alternative. It is. It is, because you can see and implement the options and find a way of doing that so that others can do it. I grew up in an Australia which cared about the land and knew so much about natural environments. We were then submerged in suburbs but that connection with the land is unstoppable. It is now burgeoning as ecoburbia.