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Posts tagged ‘windmills’

Autumn Cleaning

I need to clean out all my ‘read it later’ links – seriously, it is the worst firefox extension ever, because I now have 14 pages of links, half read, half unread and all interesting.

So here is a round-up of some of them… hopefully after this firefox will run faster and so will my whole computer – maybe that is wishful thinking but it is all a part of me cleaning up my whole computer.

Teaching Kids to Argue
This page has good reasoning for teaching your children how to debate and reason. I really appreciated the wisdom because I think you should start giving kids responsibilities much earlier than we tend to in the West.

Radius around a Point
For anyone wishing to be a locavore to a certain distance, this tool is invaluable. You can enter any place – google maps style – and it will draw a circle around it to a radius of your choice, I was really surprised to find that a 100mile radius (as touted by many locavores) actually covers a lot of ground.

Sweet Music I have no idea where I found, as well as more sweet music.

Fair Trade shopping
I pick up many different links to fair trade shopping places, and then never spend my money there because I am trying to save for plane tickets – really environmental of me 😦

Potatoes as a staple
I’m not really sure why I saved this link, but there you go.

Windmill History
I prolly saved this so that I could keep up with my supersmart boyfriend, and yet I haven’t. 😦

Rainbow Wedding
The photos from this wedding a totally amazing!!

The Laws of Sustainability.
Always good to have these handy.

Letter to unbelievers
I thought this was really interesting, but didn’t know what to do with it.

Find the perfect gadget when you have a lot more money than I do.

If you really enjoy storing your food in plastic then don’t read this post.

A TED roundup explains how you can not get cancer by eating, or something.

Where to get reclaimed materials from (somewhat US centric).

My nalgene cap is about to die, I guess I have to do this when it does.

A curtain made out of old slides – superkawaii.

Who is responsible for feeding our kids properly?

Women who don’t have high expectations, don’t have high outcomes. Basically what we have always known about teachers and groups, if part of a group is expected to perform poorly/well, they will.

What will clothing be like in the future?

Have you ever thought about not calling the police?

Just in case you didn’t already know that coal wasn’t super-great, here is some of the history of it.

I would like to remember and plant this Australian pepper plant.

Walking = Coping.

Videos I want to watch:

Jon Stewart interviews non-violence advocates.

A child praying.

Cap and Trade from the Story of Stuff people.

A speaking Piano?

Growth vs Development

Watch, listen, same difference, I want to listen to this doco on copyright. This video I have already seen, but want to keep because it is awesome! Ditto this one on Remix Culture.

The second half (I would post the first half but I’m super tired and you are smart) of a woman’s hair journey.

I really want to show Scott the oak frame part of one of these videos. Not sure how to go about that really.

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Suburbia Take 2

Having lived in suburbia for the past year I have a few more things to add onto my original post. Plus a link-fest of relevant sites. I redid my house’s ‘walkability‘ and scored 46 compared to last year’s 55, even though I live in the exact same house (strange).

Anyone who has been to this site would know that I managed to start my own garden. It was only small, watered entirely with greywater from my showers, and it produced (is still producing) lots of booty. [disclosure: It did get watered occasionally on town water via a drip system that was turned on sometimes on watering days, but that only reached a couple of spots and the garden certainly did not rely on it.]
In doing this I did not use even close to all my shower-water, or even a quarter of it. I shower for less time than the save-water timers, however I guess my shower-head is probably putting out easily 15-20L/minute. What I am trying to say is that I could have watered a lot more veggies than what I did.

My resolve to do things that I believe in, like gardening, has recently extended to bike-riding. The station that previously I could walk to in 20 minutes is now a 5 minute bike-ride away. This also increases what I can take with me on a journey cos I have a fabulous bike-basket on the back. The other day I also connected lights which means I can ride home in the dark, this makes it a little safer for me to catch the train home late at night. I feel much safer speeding away from the station on my bike than walking away weighed down by stuff.
I’ve also found that church is within riding distance, as are some family member’s houses and many many shops. This is not only making me healthier but cutting down on my car use which not only saves money, but the earth.

Talking about saving the earth, I went to the Sustainable Living Festival (highly recommended), and Cecilia told me that to have a worm-farm is to save the world. After a little bit of thought I totally agree (although obviously not as the only thing one does). Worm farms can be made by anyone, anywhere – even if all one has is a balcony – and thus those in the suburbs have no excuse. However wormfarm costs seem to be generally in excess of $100 (after a quick google), the solution to this is to make your own. Most DIY worm-farms recommend using polystyrene, but I just can’t condone that, so I found one that also recycles old stuff. Now cynics (like young Joanne) claim that worm farms are so hard to maintain that even my Mum (aka gardensuperwoman) killed worms in her younger days, but she had younger kids in those days and rather than persevere she gave up. Cecilia says that everyone kills their worms every now and then, apparently they all die once they hit 30*C. Some tips for preventing that are to keep them in the shade on those killer hot days, and also to put a wet towel over the contraption. So, given the fragile vitality of a worm, my solution to not having to go out and buy worms everytime the weather hits 35*C in Melbourne (lots – here is a few tips on how to survive those days), is that people can share (a novel concept I know)! Worms take about 6 weeks to get to full capacity, so after that one can give half ones worms to someone who has lost theirs for whatever reason.
Related to worm-farms is composting. I recently made my mother’s sister a compost bin (a cardboard box weighed down with bricks after the first one blew away – whoops). I also wrote her up a list of what can and can’t go into the compost (for a good website – check this out). However I would say the basic rule is any raw chopped up veggies (bar onions – which apparently kill worms, or so I’ve heard… can anyone confirm or deny this?). Joanne and I disagree on a lot of compost points – I chop things up so they break down easier, Joanne doesn’t bother; I put seeds in (so they GROW without me doing anything), Joanne does not (she says they make stuff grow in the compost).
However look out! Some people are not very forward-thinking, and don’t think composting is necessary. Scary.

Talking about growing seeds, Corrente has a pretty intense series on growing seeds, this book by Nancy Bubel seems to come highly recommended from a number of sources. Still on the topic of seeds, leftover sunflower heads can be used as a cheap bird feeder.

Moving up from seeds, there is the food side of things. I have read a couple of things about urban foraging, and if anyone knows anything about what can be urbanly foraged in Melbourne I would be very interested. The Vic Market website has a great list of seasonal veggies (with pictures!), that I intend to make good use of, especially when I move out of home, and when you buy too many fresh veggies, you can read all about how to freeze them here. In my own life I made Nectarine Jam using about 10 Nectarines (and one peach) that were starting to go mouldy, I cut those parts off, and it turned out really well :).

Now, if one is to freeze all this excess produce that we have grown and bought, we are going to need electricity to power the freezer. At 15metres tall, these are probably not appropriate (or within the budget) for most people, however I know people (okay, my boyfriend) who can make a homemade windmill that works and everything. My father has suggested that the fact that batteries and the like still need to be used is problematic as that is not truly sustainable, but still, while we are doing the ‘use energy’ thing, wind power is so much better than coal (especially dirty coal).
Homegrown Evolution featured a bike-powered washing machine. Which takes away the need for a battery to store charges or a grid to feed into.

And of course, the wine cellar to end all wine cellars, one that doesn’t take up too much room as well. I would love one of those now, and I would have loved a cubby-hole like that as a kid! Something a little easier to create yourself is this handy little stool, this will help reach those high up jam-jars and other preserves that I have not yet worked out how to make.

This flowchart/brainstorm lists a bunch of good ideas that are worth researching and implementing.

And to finish up, if anyone is interested in reading more on the suburbs, this series by The Oil Drum is worth looking at.

Gah! I totally forgot to add the link that inspired me to write this post. Amazing to see good stuff come out of a tragic situation, it makes me want to move to the US and buy a $100 house.

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