Happy International Composting Awareness Week 2016!

Half of the waste we put in our rubbish bin consists of food or garden waste. These organic waste get dumped into landfill where they decompose in the absence of oxygen producing potent greenhouse gas such as methane. The leachate produced by these organic waste also results in depletion of ground water quality.   By composting our food scraps we are not only diverting the huge amount of waste going to the landfill but also reducing carbon pollution.

Composting is a natural process by which the organic waste get decomposed into nutrition rich compost by the action of bacteria. In order to work effectively, composting requires the right blend of air, moisture and carbon & nitrogen balanced materials. Little bit of extra TLC (Tender. Love and Care) will work wonders.

Alternatively we can also get our food waste converted into the top quality compost by through worm farming. Worms munch on organic waste and produce casting which are high quality compost . Worm farming is the best way to manage organic waste within the small space and with no smell.

Here is a simple and easy step by step guide on worm farming and composting:

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Happy composting and do share your experiences:)

 

 

Happy Green New Year 2016

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First of all let me wish you all a very happy 2016. With New Year come new hopes, a new beginning and a desire to achieve something substantial. My recipe for this year is nothing new but to continue what I am doing, but with additional dose of enthusiasm, commitment and passion. And I’m hopeful that this will enrich my year with additional contentment, satisfaction and gratification. As my previous years this year too, one of my main focus would be to continue my sustainability journey and extend my commitment to environmental stewardship; at the same time Educate, Inspire and Empower (EIE) people to do the same. While saying that, I’m also so looking forward to unleash loads of energy and love in raising and nurturing my two little kids and spending more quality time with my family (hubby, our parents and siblings). With my heart full of love, compassion and empathy, I am all set to go on an exciting ride to make my home (my little world) as green and sustainable as possible. I whole heartedly would also like help you achieve the same for your home if you allow me to do so through this very platform of blogosphere. Collective efforts, be it small or big always matters.

So, let’s get started with few simple and easy actions that you can do to live a healthy and ethical lifestyle. Please be assured that sustainability is achievable without compromising your comfortless and spending lots of money. All you need to do is make little modification in your daily lifestyle. Here are 8 little things that you can start straight away from today that will not only help you live a healthy and ethical life but also make you feel great for being able to contribute for the betterment of the mother earth.

Identify the difference between need and want. Think twice before buying anything and ask yourself if you really need that item or you just want to add one more thing to your collection. Do not waste your money and generate additional waste buying unnecessary things; It will eventually end up in the landfill. Instead invest on your needs and buy durable products.

  1. Reduce your food waste. Think before buying. Cook the correct portion size and preserve the food well so that it doesn’t get wasted. Fruits and vegetable scrapes could easily be converted to compost through composting or worm farming.
  2. Commit to the 3 R’s. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is the best mantra to minimise the consumption and production of overall waste. Consider practising this at home and at work.
  3. Buy local. Locally made/ grown products generally have lower transportation cost and associated pollution. Promoting the local product will also help local economy and community.
  4. Make green and healthy choices. Make the habit of buying environment friendly products and avoid purchasing or using toxic products. Watch out for the labels saying Poison, Toxic, Hazardous, Warning and Explosive. If you can’t avoid using them for any reason, store them in the safe place and keep it away from children.
  5. Be energy efficient. You can save a considerable amount of energy by practicing various energy saving behaviors at home and work, and by using electrical appliances effectively and efficiently. This will also help you save lots of money in the long term.
  6. Be water wise. A lot of water and money could be saved adhering to simple water saving techniques at your home and work. A significant amount of water can also be saved by installing water saving devices.
  7. Grow your own food. Growing food in your backyard or balcony will not only give you healthy and organic food but getting yourself involved in gardening activities is also proved to be good for your physical and mental wellbeing. You can also be a part of community garden initiatives in your community if you do not have space to grow your own food.

Have you made any quick green New Year’s commitment for 2016? Please feel free to share them in the comments.

 

 

 

5 Permaculture Principles To Help You Start A Garden

Did you know Permaculture was theoretically developed by two Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren during the 1970s?

It’s one of Australia’s intellectual exports with a global network of practitioners and teachers.

Haven’t heard of Permaculture?

Permaculture is a set of principles that result in designing sustainable and productive systems. Systems for living, architecture, food production, land management and community.

Permaculture mimics patterns that occur in nature, to make these systems energy efficient, low cost and with high yielding results.

Recently, I joined a 2-day intensive course to learn about how to grow backyard veggies with Michael Hewins from Milkwood.

Michael’s methods of food cultivation are deeply based on Permaculture principles.

I got in touch with Milkwood to find out more on how Permaculture principles can help you start a garden, sustainably and harmoniously with nature.

If you don’t have a backyard space for a garden, you can even start a courtyard or balcony garden, which can still be productive while helping you to maintain your connection to nature. Another gardening option is taking part in a community garden, getting your own plot, and doing your gardening there.

Here are 5 Permaculture principles to help you start a garden

1. Catch and Store Energy – “Make hay while the sun shines”

By developing systems that collect resources when they are abundant, we can use them in times of need.

Try this: Planting for your site – figure out where the sun falls and doesn’t, and when. The sunnier spots are always the best place for veggies to reach their peak of flavour and nutrition.

2. Produce No Waste – “Waste not, want not”

By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.

Try this: Nutrient cycling, which means employing methods that help you close the loop and feed your garden at the same time. Ideas include worms, bokashi buckets, compost e.t.c.

3. Integrate Rather Than Segregate – “Many hands make light work”

By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.

Try this: Companion planting is a technique that can be used to stimulate plant growth and productivity, increase resilience to pests and diseases, hide your plants from pests or mask their scent to make them harder for pests to find, and attract beneficial insects which act as pollinators, such as bees, or attract beneficial predatory insects that will eat pest insects, such as ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies.

4. Use Small and Slow Solutions – “Slow and steady wins the race”

Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and produce more sustainable outcomes.

Try this: Propagating your own seedlings! Not only will it save you money but you become self-reliant when you grow your own seeds for food.

5. Use Edges and Value the Marginal – “Don’t think you are on the right track just because it’s a well-beaten path”

The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.

Try this: If you wanted to emphasise the Edge Effect Principle, you would perhaps lean toward curved edge garden beds, mandala design garden beds, or just use a large number of smaller rectangular beds.

These 5 principles are originally based from David Holmgren’s 12 principles of permaculture design.

Why is growing your own food important?

Growing your own instills a true sense of the value of food. It’s also a great way to reduce carbon pollution emissions that occur in the food supply chain, areas including transport, processing and food waste.

You can maximise the use of home-produced compost & ‘worm juice’ from your worm farm as fertiliser, rather using than artificial ones, and chemicals such as insecticides and herbicides.

Growing your own also makes a surprisingly powerful statement about reducing our reliance on others for basic sustenance.

So are you ready to start growing seriously great vegetables in your backyard?

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below:)

Source: http://www.1m5 permaculture principles help you start garden

By: Bronte Hogarth

4 Simple Tips to Living Ethically

Living a sustainable lifestyle that doesn’t put too much pressure on our environment is really not as hard as it seems. Here are 4 really simple tips for ethical living for the time-stressed, space-constrained individual

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Buy local and in-season

It’s spring time here in Australia! From asparagus to blood oranges and zucchini (oodles of zoodles anyone?), this is when an abundance of fruit and vegetables become available. Buying local and in-season means that the produce travel less distance from the farm to your table so you get the best of what’s available taste-wise and price-wise. Check out our handy guide to fresh seasonal spring produce.

If you want to go a step further, consider starting a compost bin in your backyard to turn all the bits and ends into natural fertiliser.

Recycle

In Australia, we consume around 3 million of single-use coffee pods a day. 95% of these are not recyclable which means they are sent to landfills to sit there forever. While we hope that someday, these coffee pods and takeaway coffee cups will made from biodegradable materials, we can take a stand against this single-use mentality by investing in a reusable coffee cup for our daily brew.

Minimise wastage

Food waste is a big issue not only in Australia but also worldwide. Do you know humans never eat almost 40% of all food? That’s a ridiculous amount given that food insecurity and starvation is a real issue around the globe. The United States are starting to take implement laws to reduce food wastage and hopefully more countries will follow suit.

Buy consciously

Approximately 80 billion garments are produced new every year. Can you imagine the amount of resources needed to create this much garments for the fashion industry? By shopping consciously and buying less, we consume only what we need and nothing more. We suggest fixing stuff instead of dumping them (psst, it’s good for your wallet too).

Any other tips? Share with us in the comments below!

Source: 1 Million Women

Happy Environment Day 2015 World..!!

Happy World Environment Day

World Environment day is celebrated on 5 June every year to raise global awareness to take positive environmental action  and reduce negative impact to protect the planet earth. People organise various programs globally to mark this day. Ideally, we should be grateful to environment every day  and should curtail any actions that have adverse impact on the environment and not limit our action to only one day of the year. However on this special day, we take this opportunity to thank and honour environment for all the privileges it has provided to us all. The theme for this year is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care” in short  “live sustainably”. Due to urbanisation and modern lifestyle, people are consuming more products than ever and subsequently creating more waste. In order to meet the growing demand of ever increasing population, we are not only exploiting our valuable natural resources but also limiting the access to these resources for our future generation through over extraction and pollution.

Below are  5 simple yet doable things that we can opt in our daily life to live sustainable life. What better day can there be to start this than today… Happy World Environment Day World!!

Reduce your Waste:

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1.Before buying anything , THINK and identify if you really need or just want that item. Don’t buy if you don’t need them.

2.Reduce your waste by refusing, reusing and recycling the waste.

3.Put your household waste in the appropriate bin provided for general waste, recyclables and green waste so that more waste is diverted from landfill.

Save Water:

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4.Turn off the taps when not in use especially while brushing your teeth or shaving

5.Fix all the leaks including taps and toilets.

6.Take shorter shower and minimise the use of bath tub.

Save Energy

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7.Turn off the light when not in use and replace your bulbs with CFLs

8.Use your washing machine only when it is full load and go for cold washes.Dry your clothes in the sun rather than dryers.

9.Make sure your refrigerator is in good condition. Get rid of second fridge or only use when required

Grow Your Own:

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10.Grow your own vegetables or buy locally grown food to reduce food miles and stay healthy.

11.Use natural pest controls and minimise the use of harmful chemicals

12.Turn your organic waste from garden and kitchen into compost and use them in your garden

Let’s Take A Pledge This World Environment Day 2014

Sharing a blog post from last year..!!
Happy World Environment Day all..!!

Ethical Living

As we are all aware that June 5 is globally celebrated as World Environment Day every year. The day that is designated to thank environment for

– sustaining human life on earth

– providing us with the valuable opportunities to enjoy its beauty

– being generous enough to make us use its precious resources to meet our basic needs and never ending desires.

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For the amount of benefit that we receive from the environment and to the extent we are exploiting its resources and on top of that polluting it, celebrating an Environment day for one day a year is nowhere close to enough. However it is a good opportunity to remind and aware people about their responsibilities towards environment. It’s a day to thank environment for its generosity and conduct some significant deeds to preserve mother earth. The collective efforts made by millions of people worldwide on this day…

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Summing up the past thirty days- Nepal earthquake not to be forgotten as yet

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It has already been a month since the devastating earthquake of 7.8 magnitude struck Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal. When I first heard that there was an earthquake in Nepal, I was hoping that it was just a small one and praying for no destructions and casualty.  One of our relative told over the phone that Kathmandu is badly hit and there might be lots of damages. My heart just sank as I heard this and tried calling my family and relatives who lives in Kathmandu. After several attempts I was able to connect to my sister’s phone. I felt relieved to hear that they are all safe, however it was way beyond my capacity to imagine what my sister was telling me about the extent of shake and its impact. As I hung up I logged on to my Facebook, the daunting images of Kathmandu after the earthquake has started making its way to my news feed. As I scroll down more terrifying photos started appearing. . I had no idea what to say or react. I became numb as I see beautiful Kathmandu, my birthplace turning into pile of debris just in a matter of few seconds. Tears rolled down my eyes as I try to comprehend what my family, friends and others might be going through and it was even more  terrifying to imagine  what might be happening to the people trapped inside those  collapsed building. As more and more people started posting photos and updating their status on Facebook,   it was getting apparent that Kathmandu valley is in real danger. On top of that the aftershocks have been continuous  following the main quake.

I was grieving for my city, where I grew up; the heritage that I have always been proud of; and the the people who are always so humble and diligent … but only until I came to hear that the situation near the epicentre and  other little towns and VDCs are no better than Kathmandu but far worst. And the extent of damage is just not possible to predict as most of these places are remote and take many days to get there or possibly only helicopters could reach there.

It’s almost 8 years that I came to Sydney and  never in my life had I felt so helpless for being away from family.  I went through many sleepless nights thinking of the people and places back home. Being physically away from home neither helped my mind to stop thinking about them not stop my heart beat for them. For days and weeks my eyes were literally glued to the news and the updates about the earthquake.

Two weeks after the earthquake, as life in the least affected areas in Kathmandu and other places were just about to come back to normalcy, another earthquake of 7.3 struck Nepal, destroying already weak foundations and killing additional people. The aftershocks that started soon after the first quake  was still on and  continued to  be a threat to the people who are already scared and traumatised.

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The help and support from international community within the short  period after the  quake hit Nepal was truly appreciable and praiseworthy.  Small country like Nepal with limited resources and man power would not have capacity to deal with this massive catastrophe. However, the solidarity, enthusiasm, patriotism shown by the self-driven local youth and organisations are really commendable. The help and support Nepal received from people all over the world in various means and forms is overwhelming.  Everyone tried their best to keep up with their rescue and relief efforts. Though the relief efforts managed to  reached the remote areas, there are still places who haven’t received anything and still waiting for help and support.

Following the massive destruction, rebuilding and rehabilitation would be the next big step. Various organisations are helping in their own way. I helped my friends working on the grounds in different affected areas. The country is still in biggest trouble at the moment and requires support of any kind to spring back. Considering the extent of the damage caused, Nepal have long way to go and she will need more support for months or year to come . If you have every wanted to help Nepal, this is the best time to help.

A group of friends are in the mission to rebuild the  semi- permanent to permanent shelters  to the victims and  they are committed to get this started before the monsoon (rain) starts. For this they have recently started a fund raising campaign. Inability to develop temporary or permanent shelters before the monsoon will add more misery to those without shelter.

If you would also  like to support, please consider donating by clicking in the link below.

 http://www.gofundme.com/rehabilitatenepal