Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Great Kilowatt Challenge

We are joining Gavin's Great Kilowatt Challenge - should be fun and an interesting follow up to our recently finished Energymark group.

Visit Gavin's blog for more info on reading you meters and recording your consumption data and working out your baseline power consumption.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our wetland is filling in this week of rain

In a Permablitz on our front yard in October 2010 we constructed an ephemeral wetland (or dry creek bed) in our front yard native plant section.  The photos below shows how it has developed over the last year - I think it should be inspiration enough for anyone to make their own wetland - dry creek bed.  We are now waiting for the frogs to find our secret wetland and make it home.

Building the dry creekbed / wetland October 2010

After rain - November 2010

Putting native pine mulch up to the edge of the creek / wetland  April 2011

The wetland now after naturally filling with rain - November 2011

Have you ever been inspired to include a wetland in your home garden?

Friday, November 4, 2011

No foil or plastic wrap for two years now

When we moved to Orange nearly four years ago I stopped buying aluminium foil and plastic cling wrap.  It took nearly two years to use up the last of my rolls of each in the kitchen draw - but for about the last two years we have been aluminium foil and cling wrap free.  I get asked many questions as to how I do it.  So here are my strategies.

  • We have been using reusable sandwich wraps for packed lunches all this year - I have been very happy that the kids have not lost a single wrap over the year - even if I have to search for them in the school trouser's pocket or at the bottom of the school bag.  I find that these reusable wraps are great - I wipe them down with a cloth and tea towel daily and put them all through the washing machine at the end of the week. I have had Mum's from school ask about the warps the kids use - along with work colleagues commenting on Dad's wraps in his work lunchbox.
  • The kids lunchboxes are designed to be rubbish free as well.... having many little compartments that we can put unwrapped biscuits, cheese and fruit into.

  • When we have left overs from the evening meal I pack them directly into a lunchbox for Dad to take to work the next day or simply put a plate over the top of the bowl of leftovers before putting it into the fridge.
  • When we cook cakes for the kids school we use an old cereal box - cut to make a lid.

  • In the microwave (although we are doing without one at the moment as it is not working) - we use ceramic bowls with a plate on the top instead of using cling wrap.
  • The other day we cooked a fresh trout on the BBQ - wrapped in silverbeet from the garden instead of foil.  The dogs loved the fish infused silverbeet as an add-on to their evening meal.  

We have certainly adjusted quickly to not have aluminium foil or plastic cling wrap in the house - and that is now another aisle of the supermarket that we can avoid - which I find empowering.