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Showing posts with label Eco Challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eco Challenge. Show all posts
Sustainable House: Taronga Zoo

Sustainable House: Taronga Zoo


 When we were in Sydney we visited Taronga Zoo. They had a sustainable house that you could wander through and study all the elements.
 It was fantastic and I wished that my house was exactly like it. It wasn't a large house, but it was very functional. As you wandered through you came across signs and reminders about sustainable principles.
 There were also ideas that you could incorporate into your own home.

Basically, it had a well planned, functional kitchen with great systems for recycling and composting as well as using glass for storage, energy efficient appliances and green cleaning supplies.

A long hallway held wall mounted bikes, depicting the family's transport choices and hooks for their jumpers instead of using heating. Decorations such as picture frames and mirrors were made from natural recycled materials.
 Outside there was a rainwater tank, composting loo and then a pathway leading to a well planned out garden that also housed pets for the children.
 Once I got over the "i want to live here, now" factor I realised that anybody can 'work their home' to make it a more functional, sustainable place.

It is just a matter of slowly making changes that you feel are achievable. No one is asking us to jump straight into cloth re-useable toilet paper ( as I see on some blogs!) we are just making steady changes that hold great benefits for us all.

It's great for:
 - our families - we do projects together and involve our children.
- our budgets - 'green' living is so much cheaper!
- our health- gardening gives us exercise and great fresh produce to eat
- our community - nothing builds community like trading some freshly laid eggs for a jar of pickles over the back fence.
- our spirit slowing down and living intentionally brings a certain peace tot he soul.
- our planet - great environmental change starts in our own backyard.
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A Vision Splendid
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Mapping Out The Vision - A Spring Re-Vamp

Mapping Out The Vision - A Spring Re-Vamp



Today is the first day of the school holidays and I feel that I finally have a chance to step back and examine this splendid life. As I have mentioned briefly, a number of different family events have meant that we have been running here and there since June.

During the last few months we have spent a lot of time on the road, living out of suitcases with friends and family or staying in hotel rooms. Whilst I love the place we stay in Sydney and love the meals, it is just so nice to come home.

Even though we have now been home for about 4 weeks, those busy weeks have seen lots of activity. Both boys were away at different times on school camps and they have had various sporting finals and events, parent teacher interviews and social functions.

During the past few months I also managed to take on some work. Luckily it is work that I can do in my own time, meaning that I have the school holidays off and can work from anywhere, provided I have an internet connection.

So with all that busyness finally finished, I am so excited by the opportunity to stop, breath and re-group.

The first thing we did was to get back into our garden, which was sadly neglected while we were away. Luckily we had a fair bit of rain which meant that things were 'wild' rather than 'dead'. It is time to undertake our spring planting regime which I love because there is so much potential and life in this season.

I am working on a new schedule which will enable me to carry out some paid work but still keep my family life in balance. At the forefront of my mind at the moment is re-vamping the following aspects:

- meal planning: slow change of meals to reflect the warmer weather and the availability of different seasonal produce.

- new budget: I have noticed a drop in fuel prices and a rise in grocery prices. This along with changes in the activities that we do means a new cash budget is required.

- new household routines: as we change from winter to summer we have different household routines, particularly with the jobs that need to be done outside. The boys are also older and are ready to add to their job lists.

- papercrafting: handmade cards and stationery are becoming increasingly popular and I am teaching more and more classes. I need to schedule my classes well in advance and have creative time for working on my new designs.

- health: re-vamping my activity schedule to reflect the warmer weather and to get back on track ( after way too many restaurant meals!!!)

- re-establish our sustainable living principles: Being away has meant that we often had to 'default' to choices that I would normally avoid. Time to re-examine the steps we take as a family to live a more natural, sustainable life.

And finally.............time to be .................slow.

Don't you just love spring. It is a time for a fresh start!
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A Vision Splendid
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Re-Using Success.

Re-Using Success.



I still have a lot of plastic in my cupboards.

I have been making a real effort to re-purpose a lot of it because I don't think there is any sense in just throwing it all into landfill. It defeats the purpose.

Slowly but surely I have been changing over some of the storage containers in my cooking cupboard, a cupboard I have above my main prep area so I can just reach up and grab everything I need.
The large glass jars are from buying coffee in bulk and the smaller jars are from local oysters. They have a plastic lid unfortunately, but I still like to re-use them.

I have labeled the jars very simply with a permanent texta.

I enjoy opening the cupboard and looking at all the cooking supplies. I can see at a glance what needs to be topped up, often from a bigger supply in the pantry. I especially enjoy decanting the farmer's market honey into my little pour bottle which makes it easier to manage and easier to pour out a little for a cup of tea or to add to a recipe. I also like having my spices in bigger containers because I use so much of them.

But most of all I love the fact that the containers are NUDE. There are no brand names, no bold colours and no in your face slogans. It makes me feel all 'Little House on the Prairie -ish' LOL or maybe even a bit 'Waltons-ish' - knowing I can send John Boy to the store for a pound of sugar any time soon!

- Gotta love a spoon full of madness each and every day.
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A Vision Splendid
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