Plastic Free is a warmly personal narrative by the founder of Plastic Free July, a sustainability initiative which began less than ten years ago, almost by accident, in Perth.
Prince-Ruiz was working at the time as a community educator in waste management so she was well equipped to support the programme when it unexpectedly took off – and that was all it needed.
Her emphasis was always on community, on shared learning, and on doing what’s possible right now rather than aiming higher and missing the goal. It made Plastic Free July an achievable and therefore engaging challenge, which then became a gateway to engagement with other sustainability issues – avoiding other single-use products, reducing food waste, joining food co-ops, and so on. Continue reading “The story of Plastic Free July”
The meme at left turned up on my social media some time ago and I’ve been planning to share it here ever since.
Firstly because it is (a little) amusing and we all need a joke in stressful times like these.
Secondly because I have been cleaning up my own shed in the free time gifted to us by lockdown. It never quite made it to the top of my “To Do” list before that because other things were more fun – and then I suddenly couldn’t do the other things. In the end it was a satisfying job to do, so that’s a win.
Thirdly, and most importantly, because the shed is so central to the Three (or more) Green R’s – Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and the rest.
We all know the three R’s of conservation, of course, but I wondered recently whether more of them might be useful.
I shared that thought with friends on and off facebook; most of their suggestions were good but they tended to be refinements or extensions of the first three, and the only one which seemed to deserve an equal standing was Repair, although Refuse nearly deserves a spot at the top of the list.
One respondent suggested that we should Rejoice in what we have already, and that’s a good thought, too. If we can be happy with what we’ve got, we’re well on the way to all of the other steps: we will reduce new acquisitions, we will re-use and repair our belongings, and in the end we will dispose of them respectfully. Continue reading “Three Green R’s reconsidered”
We all know about recycling, re-using stuff which might otherwise have been thrown away (and we all know that there is no “away”, don’t we?) and “upcycling” is the next refinement of the idea. Many of my favourite examples are in the arts and crafts area – Waste to Wonder‘s inner-tube jewellery, for instance – but the National Gallery of Victoria’s Triennial (Dec 2017 – April 2018) had some extreme examples.
While I was putting together my suggestions on Negotiating Christmas three weeks ago I came across a tech website advertising its “Top Five Energy Saving Gift Ideas Under $50” and an “Energy-efficient slow cooker.”
I didn’t include either of them on my pre-Christmas post (and I’m still not going to give them free publicity by linking to them here) because I found them somewhat problematic, but they are worth examining.
Osram DOT-it Battery Operated LED Light
Know someone who is always cursing when they can’t find something in a dark cupboard or cabinet? This low-cost battery powered LED light could be the answer.
It’s a permanently installed strip light, so it’s ‘new’ only because the low power demands of LEDs will let batteries last long enough to be a sensible option. Continue reading “Energy-saving gadgets”