Tag Archives: sustainability

Doing the Sustainability in the Chaos

26 Jul

With a large contract to work on, blogging has taken a back seat over the past few weeks. It’s also been school holidays, and the entire family came down with the cold and spew bugs in the same week. Messy.

What is interesting is how all the little sustainability projects I’ve been experimenting with have helped me get through the busy times.

The apple cider vinegar drinks helped clear our noses.

The seeds on the mantelpiece and in the cold frame have been germinating well, left to their own devices and squirts of water – giving me a little thrill to look at every time I walked past them on the porch.

Aloe vera masks with a drop of lavender oil helped my stressed skin.

My hand scrub (plus I used it on my feet) was a lovely pamper treat tonight at the end of a very crazy (but successful) work week.

It took no time at all the clean the bath and microwave, and do a quick dusting session with my sustainable solutions. These were chores I had very little time to do.

Homemade greek yoghurt with a teaspoon of homemade lemon curd stirred through has become my fast, easy and deliciously tangy breakfast.

These busy times are when I thought I’d drop the ball on being a Sustainable Wench, but I’m happy to realise that I’ve set some positive habits for myself.  Didn’t stop me from spending the money and treating ourselves to fish and chips tonight however.


The Little Things

31 May


Being a Sustainability Wench is not just about growing veges, preserving fruit, and buying second-hand. Sometimes it’s making positive decisions about the little things.

I love coffee. Proper coffee. If I won the lottery, the second thing I’d buy (after a working beehive), is a fancy Italian coffee machine.

Last year I started to find that whenever I felt rushed in the morning, I’d grab a takeaway soy latte. Really not sustainable at all.

I’ve changed my ways, and now brew plunger coffee as I throw clothes on the kids, then put it into a takeaway KeepCup that can be washed and used again. It makes me value my soy lattes out with my friends even more. I bought my KeepCup from a local not-for-profit organisation which was fundraising. You can buy them from cafes. Best to buy them from a local cafe, so your money is staying in your community I reckon.

As I was out and about, I took this pic of the tree decorated by artist Peter Majende on Manchester St here in Christchurch. It highlights (ugh, bad pun) the creativity happening here post-earthquake. Heartening.


A New Mag on a Stormy Night

27 May

I found a new magazine tonight at the shop. After a gruelling day with a scratchy throat, ‘Green Ideas’ seems the right thing to relax to while I wait to see if it snows or just rains outside.

For starters, the $3.90 cost of the monthly mag is a winner. I have the luxurious ‘splashing-out-on-a-magazine’ feeling without breaking the bank. There’s a healthy mix of controversial subjects, worldwide and domestic issues, long term goals, and quick green fixes in the mag, accompanied with URLs to check out.

The back page is cool. It features ’10 things we learned while making this issue’. This month it includes:

  • ‘Green’ reusable supermarket bags are still made from a kind of plastic.
  • Sea water is naturally fluoridated.
  • Endangered native bats are living in Auckland’s suburbs.

There’s no talk of how how to get the perfect body, what the latest stars are up to, or how to decorate your house the fanciest way to impress your neighbours. It’s only the third issue, but I’m contemplating subscribing.


The Chickens Have Landed

10 Apr

So it’s hardly a small start, but today we got chickens. A Mum and her three teeny fuzzy chicks. By getting the chicks, we hope to:

  • Get free eggs – another thing we don’t have to go to The Supermarket for.
  • Educate our kids about chickens.
  • Have an efficient kitchen-waste system.

The second-hand hen house cost a hundred bucks on Trademe. The birds were free from a friend. I invested an extra $50 in sawdust, chicken wire, and the chicken equivalent of Sultana Bran. This whole project has been discussed by our family for over two years. In the end it was fairly painless . . . so far.  Turns out the cat is very interested. I will keep you updated on this situation.