Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sew your own clothes

Why? Well my logic is that I know that it isn't made in a sweat shop. I am pretty sure that most of my clothes are currently made in such circumstances as I haven't made the effort to seek alternatively made clothes and/or don't want to spend a bucket of money. As such this is an exercise that challenges me and will take a bit of willpower.

I have started to implement this through inspiration from my mother (an avid knitter and excellent seamstress). So far I have made my daughter a basic skirt with cute pockets. It seems I overestimated the size and she will grow into this skirt rather than just walking out of the study (where the hand-me-down sewing machine lives) with it on. I also made myself a skirt from the same pattern. It is alright when you hold it against yourself, but I think the style isn't something that a modern female would wear anywhere outside the bounds of their house. But hey I have started and it gives me an idea of the type of clothes that I might be able to make (in terms of skill) and style (you can't try it on before you create it).

I think my comfort level (that is, whether I will be happy to walk out into the world wearing these clothes) with the finished product is currently low because I lack any sewing skills. I will just have to accommodate these flaws whilst learning the craft and figuring out how to properly cut the material prior to the sewing process.

Let's see whether my passion for undertaking this task lasts very long. Have to remember that the costs of the fabric and patterns are likely to be less than I would spend on clothing purchased in the store (surely that has to be a motivating factor), it is an original one off product, not made with slave labour and maybe in the future will be nicer than the clothes you can buy off the shelf in any of the stores. Pin It

Sustainable Seafood

Fish for dinner....yum!

Perhaps I am just following the massive marketing/health push in the last few years to get people to consume less red meat and more fish/seafood products. That said though I'm not sure that the world's oceans can handle the world's demand on its resources. There are some useful resources to assist you make the right decisions in regards to your seafood product choices to make sure they are sustainable.

The one that I usually have at least in my car, if not in my wallet when I am purchasing seafood is the Australian Marine Conservation Society's Sustainable Seafood Guide. This can be downloaded from their website:

I have been a member of AMCS for a number of years now and I think I got this seafood guide when I first joined and since then I recommend it to people that are interested in this stuff, just because it is easy to understand and easy to carry around (fits in your wallet) and refer to when you're actually making the decisions about which fish to buy for dinner.

I think I might have to look further into this stuff, but thought this might be of interest to some people. Pin It

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Climate Smart House Inspection

I have booked in to have my house "assessed" as part of the Queensland Government's climate smart house inspections. This program checks your house to determine the appliances consuming the energy in your house.

I have my suspicions. My bet is the ratty old chest freezer and little fridge in the garage. I have energy efficient light bulbs, I turn most of the appliances off at the wall, I have a fairly small house and only a small LCD tv (the smallest one you can really buy that isn't a computer screen and only bought after the last tv died). Perhaps also the air-conditioning in my daughter's room that we run overnight might add to the power bill as well.

So next month they will come (yes there is a bit of a wait) and install my wireless power monitor, replace light bulbs (although I don't actually have any they will need to replace) and give me a water and energy efficient showerhead for my $50. I am really just paying for it for the power monitor the rest as I said have either replaced myself or got when they were doing the waterwise house inspections (they checked my showerhead then and said it was as water efficient as the one they were going to give me).

My hope is that we will become aware of how much energy each of our electrical items consumes and costs us and then may make some appropriate decisions to either down size or upgrade to more energy efficient appliances. Pin It

Monday, March 29, 2010

Worm Farming

I have always thought having a worm farm would be a great idea. Until now though I really hadn't got anywhere in my mostly native garden that would benefit from the nutrient rich output. But now that I have a veggie patch, I will actually be able to utilise the riches that result.

In my droolings of wanting a worm farm I have seen a number of commercially available worm farms, but surely it isn't necessary to spend all that money and utilise new products when I could 'reuse' some older products.

I have done a little bit of research and today went to the green grocer and got some styrofoam boxes (previously stored corn apparently). I got ones with holes in but it seems it would have been better if I had got some without holes (broccoli boxes for example) and perhaps with a lid. So that is my start.

Now I have to purchase the worms and invest in a hessian bag or at least find an old one (for a lid). Once I have managed to source these essential requirements and constructed the worm farm I will post some photos and provide some insights into the building process. Pin It

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Consume less

Well this seems obvious and yet in a society which consumes many more products than they actually need the desire to keep up with the Jones's because it is the societal norm seems to make this one tricky.

Consume less of what?..everything. Less food. Portion control is a great saver of food, so is appropriately planning shopping. How many of the food products that you pay hard earned money for go into the bin or compost?

Do you need another skirt or can you make do with the last one? I don't know...this can be tricky sometimes. I know that boys are pretty good at not needing a new pair of undies....when they actually should have purchased a new pair 6 months ago!

The motto that many are familiar with is "reduce, reuse, recycle". So reduce is the first point of call.

Food for thought. Let's see if I can make any changes to myself and my lifestyle that picks up on this theme. Pin It

Saturday, March 27, 2010

First post

Welcome to Green Dreaming. I have been brainstorming and researching topics that might make my life a little greener and perhaps more socially conscious.

I currently have a veggie patch, I have 'enviro' bulbs for lights around my house, have a water tank, insulation in my roof, occasionally ride a bike instead of using the car, buy the Big Issue when I am in town, have a green superannuation option but what more can I do. I don't want to invest my money in something that is just greenwash because I don't have heaps of it (money that is), but want to try and do my bit.

Tonight, I will be participating in Earth Hour.

The plan for this blog is to document some of the things that I have researched so I can make some appropriate decision. Maybe this should be considered as my note book of ideas rather than providing all of the solutions.

See how I go! Hopefully this blog might cut out some of the leg work you might otherwise undertake to make your life a little greener.

Happy reading

Susan Pin It