What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

World Car Free day

Well, we failed at going carfree on World Car Free day. But we went car free yesterday and for the last 2 weeks we've had 2 out of 7 days in each week car free, so I don't feel so bad. We try to have at least one car free day each week which really isn't so hard to do if you just put your mind to it. I think as oil prices continue to rise over the long term we will see more and more people finding that making their lives more car free really is worth doing. The thing is, we already have a really good reason to drive less,  climate change. So why wait?

Friday, 9 September 2011

Wrapping up the summer garden. Winter seed ordered. Finally!

At last we have placed our order for our winter seed and bulbs from Territorial, Multiplier Onions (somewhat of a perennial way to grow onions apparently), Elephant Garlic (to add to the two other types of winter garlic already due for shipment in October), shallots, two kinds of fava beans (an edible nitrogen fixing cover crop that will also grow tall enough to function as a privacy screen when almost all else is bare), an ancestral purple carrot, broccoli, and rutabaga. We've already planted lots of brassicas (collards, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts), parsnips, turnip, turnip greens, beetroot, radish, and a fresh crop of mammoth red clover as a cover crop on a new layer of soil in the experimental bed. We also found more blueberries, grapes and kiwis on sale at Lowe's garden center which will need to go in the ground before frost as well as a tea plant and a fig tree. There is parsley, stevia and chamomile to prepare for the greenhouse. Recently we've dried basil, mint, lemon balm, stevia, and the tobacco is drying upstairs. We've canned over 20 quarts of tomatoes in addition to having eaten at lest that much fresh, frozen two quarts of tomato sauce, and are halfway through eating three quarts of salsa. We've frozen about a quart of pesto and there are heaps of basil left in the garden. The garlic, onion and leeks were extremely successful but are almost gone now. The pumpkins are harvested early due to the stink bugs (the little buggers left us with only one butternut squash!) we've 3 or 4 watermelons left to eat and a few more still growing. We've eaten about 6 big and delicious cantaloupes and there is one more still growing. The grapes were tasty but not prolific, the nettle, lambs quarter, NZ spinach, sorrel and chard were prolific but under utilized. All our fruit trees are still too young to bear and the blueberries too only produced a handful as they are still small. With lots of green beans to eat and lots blanched and frozen, we have fab greens for winter usage. Also frozen are several bags of cabbage and collards which produced surprisingly until the end of July! So all in all the spring and summer planting was successful. A beautiful six foot turmeric plant is in flower as shown in the photo! We will probably leave this in the ground hoping that after the winter it will sprout again.

Another two out of five car free days

Had a car free day today, that's 2 this week again. It feels really good to just leave the beast alone. I guess it helps balance off all those weeks we had without a single car free day.

Dual Personal Sustainability quote of the day

"When we examine our body, word and mind, we try in vain to find anything permanent there. The concept of an individual person is only sane and valid if we consider it to be one single aspect of global interdependence" - Matthieu Ricard. I really like this quote as it reinforces our oneness and the importance of cooperation rather than competition as well the completely ludicrous pursuits of satisfying the non existent self via consumerism, a pursuit which is not only bound to fail but is literally destroying the conditions upon which our physical nature depends. This leads to the second quote, "Renunciation contains an element of joy, struggle, enthusiasm, and freedom: it is the relief of finally being freed from dissatisfaction" - Matthieu Ricard. The pursuit of increased sustainability has brought joyful renunciation, primary of which is any type of paid corporate American television service. And now every time I am in contact with this pernicious form of propaganda I am extremely dissatisfied and can't imagine anyone being willing to pay for it. Why not spend the money on good organic seeds, rainwater harvesting equipment, anything to increase your personal sustainability.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Personal Sustainability quote of the day

We do not become angry with the stick that hits us, but with the one who wields the stick. But the one who wields the stick is impelled by hatred, so what we should truly hate is hatred itself. - Shantideva As we move forward in creating a more just, sustainable and resilient culture we must not fall prey to divisiveness and blame. It is so easy to exclude those we think are most responsible for creating the problems we face in the first place. But we in the developed world are all complicit. Hatred will get us no where.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Personal Sustainability quote of the day

Confidence is closely linked to how well our perceptions match reality - Matthieu Ricard