Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sea Shepherd trial in Japan

It starts today. It is the trial of Captain Pete Bethune from New Zealand, who at the time was a volunteer for the Sea Shepherd organisation 'fighting' the Japanese over the continued scientific whaling activities in the Southern Ocean. This trial is being held in Japan, where Pete has remained in custody since 'boarding' a Japanese whaling boat in the Southern Ocean in February this year. He is being defended by a local Japanese legal team supported by the legal firm which assists the Sea Shepherd organisation generally.

Apparently Pete boarded the Japanese whaling vessel to deliver an invoice for the damage the Japanese whaling fleet did to one of the other Sea Shepherd boats earlier in the whaling season. I await to see how this one plays out in the courts, particularly as this is in being held in the Japanese courts...this could result in an interesting diplomatic power play. Pin It

Monday, May 24, 2010 my head in!

Today I was outside with my toddler and I heard something a bit out of the ordinary outside from front gates. It was a bird making a strange noise. My brain finally kicked into geared, opened the gate, just to see the next-door neighbour's cat with a figbird in its mouth! Arrrrrgggghhh!

I ran out of the gate and told the cat to drop it. The cat just looked disdainfully at me and jumped over the neighbour's fence into their backyard. No doubting the cat certainly had a tasty meal!

Cats whether they are loved pets or ferals running the neighbourhood are often responsible for the death of much of our native wildlife, particularly in the suburbs. If you have a cat:

  • make sure it is kept inside at night;
  • has a bell around its neck;
  • if you can afford it invest in a cat run, so your friendly moggy is keep completely separate from the native wildlife that makes our suburbs a little more friendly.
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No I'm not going to start discussing astro-physics or whether man has truly reached the moon, rather another episode in the life of my veggie patch.

I have managed to grow a fair amount of rocket in my garden over the last few months. I grew these rocket plants from seed, with them planted in well sunlight location. The rocket grew quite well without much intervention, apart from the daily water.

The thing I did notice about my rocket was the flavour. What a zing! Much more spicy than shop bought rocket. I don't know if this is a result of the type of rocket I bought and grew or the length of time that I left it in the ground, but if you're in for some truly tasty salad try some home-grown rocket! Pin It

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Books versus Ebook readers

I have a personal passion for books and love to read, but even more than that I just love looking through book stores. The onset of e-readers may see the end of my strollings in these wonderful commercial entities. There is however debate as to whether the e-readers are truly more environmentally friendly than our lovely paperbacks!

I read an article in the latest G Magazine today which compared the environmental footprint of our traditional paper books and the e-readers. The first portion of this article made me feel that there certainly must be an overriding detrimental impact from the e-reader, however, the conclusion of the article in fact was the total opposite (based on a number of assumptions). The e-reader despite needing to be powered by electricity and requiring new batteries on occasion has less environmental impact than our normal book, even when the book is sourced from local publishers and printed with vegetable dye on recycled paper. Ho hum!

Despite all this, I think I will probably continue to purchase the lovely paperback on occasion, but certainly will be utilising my library as much as possible and forward on to other people books that I have purchased and loved. I also love attending the annual Lifeline bookfest, a great place to purchase pre-loved books and help out a worthy charity organisation. Pin It

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pumpkins continue

Well I have self-fertilised a number of female pumpkin flowers in my veggie patch. It has been working fairly well, with most of these resulting in the beginnings of pumpkins. I have one pumpkin that should be ready to harvest in the next few weeks. From my research once the stem to which they are attached to the main plant rots away they are ready to harvest! Come on come on! Three other pumpkins seem to be growing, but the process of growing pumpkins takes much longer than I ever imagined.

Currently also harvesting rocket (really quite spicy), eggplants and capsicum. I have just planted seeds of beetroot, broccoli, climbing peas and some asian greens into seed trays getting ready to move them into the veggie patch once I get some space. Pin It

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bird nest relocation - Sunshine Coast

I was forwarded an article about an osprey nest being relocated from its original location to a new place to make way for development. Am I for or against this...hmmmm....not sure Pin It

Albatross - I love them!

I love albatross! They are so majestic and the idea of wandering the oceans, soaring over the waves and just scooting around the planet is just so appealing.

These birds are however, highly threatened. Mainly through longline and trawler fishing, but they are also threatened at their nesting habitats. There are many difficulties in trying to conserve these oceanic species. One of difficulties being that many of these species occur across a number of nation's national boundaries. In such situations there will always be differences in government opinion towards conservation and albatross specifically; the amount of financial support for research and conservation and general public interest in conservation.

Here in Australia we do support albatross conservation (broadly) and the government has a number of policies in an attempt to boost albatross numbers. The fishing industry also seems to be doing its part, but whether it is doing all it can I'm not sure.

Just thought I would bring your attention to this issue, as these creatures are probably my favourite in the world! Pin It

Ecofund - acknowledgement

Well today I finally received an acknowledgement from Ecofund regarding my financial contribution to offsetting my car's emissions. Now have to find the time to clean the car so that I can 'advertise' my effort with their dodgy looking sticker!

Despite the additional resource that the sticker advertising my effort and Ecofund takes to produce, I think that if I place it on my car and it makes one person think and act about their environmental footprint. Maybe it is worth it! Pin It

Thursday, May 13, 2010

World Turtle Day activities

Build a sand turtle to save our flatbacks!

Sunday 23rd May 2010 is World Turtle Day and we would like you to join us to build a sand turtle! All around the beaches of northern Australia, groups and individuals will be building flatback turtles from sand to send to Environment Minister Peter Garrett the message 'Save Our Flatbacks'.

What: Create a Flatback turtle out of sand on your local beach to save our flatbacks!
When: Sunday, May 23rd (World Turtle Day) at 3pm

DARWIN - Mindil Beach (casino side) Click here for a map, 3pm
Perth - South Cottesloe dog beach, 10 am
Broome - Cable beach, 10am
Cairns - T.B.A

Who: Australian Marine Conservation Society and Environment Centre NT (Darwin), The Wilderness Society (Perth & Cairns), Environs Kimberley (Broome), The Turtle Restoration Network (based in the USA).

Darwin Prizes: Awesome prizes will be awarded to the best turtle designs. Prizes include a trip for two to Bare Sand Island to watch turtles ley their eggs and see the hatchlings. This prize is kindly donated by Sea Darwin. Over $1000 in prizes to be won.

Don't live near any of the above locations? No worries - make your own flatback sand turtle on your local beach and email a photo of it (smaller than 100kb in jpeg format) to: (please include your names and location.)

This outdoor event will coincide with an online petition that will send a message to our Environment Minister Peter Garrett to "Save Our Flatbacks!", by creating a large network of marine sanctuaries across their home in Northern Australia.

For more information email or visit Pin It

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How to save the world whilst making a coffee

Do you think you can make a difference during the daily coffee-making ritual? Well you certainly can. Next time you are boiling the jug, check how much water is in it and only boil the amount of water that you need to make the required number of tea or coffees.

What difference does this make? The amount of water in the kettle determines how long the kettle needs to be running to boil the water. So the more water you have in the jug, the longer it takes to boil the water, the more electricity is required and more resources are needed to supply the electricity to your house.

Make a difference, boil only the water that you require. Pin It

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wrapping paper - reuse

Over the weekend I went to a friend's baby shower which was a lot of fun. Food, friends, a few silly party games and of course presents for the Mum-to-be! So, you may be thinking what aspect of a baby shower could she possibly relate to the environment or think of ways to reduce consumption, etc?

Perhaps it isn't the most obvious thing, but I asked whether I could have all the wrapping paper that was hurriedly being piled into garbage bags ready for dumping into the closest wheelie bin! Next question, perhaps logically, is what on earth am I planning on doing with a large pile of crumpled used wrapping paper. Well the bits that I can salvage I will re-use for other people's present, but my main motivation for asking is to cut the paper up either into shapes or cut out pictures from the paper and give it to my daughter (toddler) for either a collage type activity or just for her to do with as she pleases.

So perhaps you can think about your next event and see what things can either be re-used (that is incorporate some of your old things into the event rather than going out and buying purpose built products) or what things that would traditionally chucked out after the event could be re-used for any number of activities or purposes. I would love to hear some of the suggestions. Pin It

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico

That's right. Apparently BP has been up to its old tricks and spilt a bucket load of oil into the ocean again (with more currently still pouring in). This time as a result of drilling efforts.

As of yesterday, BP is planning on lowering a containment dome over the well to limit the amount of oil being released into the ocean. In the article I heard, up to 85%. What about the other 15%? Shocker.

This situation is just screaming environmental devastation as a result of commercial greed and sloppiness. No matter how much greenwash companies do, few really care about the environment. Let's get real!

Hopefully, BP will prove me wrong and ensure their works reduce the impact on the ocean, the creatures that rely on the ocean's resources directly and the entire planet, where everything is connected. Pin It

Worm Farm update

Well it is constructed and has a number of worms, babies and eggs, but is it working? I'm not sure. There has certainly been movement and the worms initial "soil" house is starting to move around and some of the scraps I have put into it have disappeared. But I don't seem to have any "juices" yet. I don't know how long this process takes, but I guess I am in it for the long haul!

Keep you posted. Pin It

Friday, May 7, 2010

Riding the black cockatoo

Wow, what a book. I am almost finished this amazing read in a very short period of time and I am truly enjoying the experience. The book is by John Danalis and is based on one of his family's stories. It is truly an incredible read and journey.

The story revolves around John's family having an indigenous person's skull on their mantlepiece and the family returning these remains to their traditional lands and the impact this process has on John and his family.

This book has enlightened me on a number of indigenous issues and made me once again recognise the impact that white settlement has had on both the land and the people who traditionally inhabited Australia. It also highlights the relationship that the original settlers had with the indigenous people as well how the broader population in the 21st century relate to both present and past generations of indigenous people.

I can wait to read the last few pages and start investigating some of the things that have really struck a chord with me. Highly recommended read! Pin It

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Farm Day

Watching the telly tonight, Getaway was on. They had a piece on "FarmDay". This is apparently where city families (which we are) travel to farm to visit farms and country families. The idea is for city families to learn about farms and farming activities. Whilst the country family in the Getaway piece said that they get to see their lives through the eyes of people fresh to such experiences and remember the reasons why they are on the land.

The Farm day website ( allows you to register your interest for the next farm day weekend (29 & 30 May 2010). The organisers of this service then coordinate the farmers and city families based on interests and children's age groups.

Let's see if we are successful in getting a farm. Keep you posted. Pin It

Monday, May 3, 2010


No matter what size your car is, it is doing some damage to the environment. The burning of fuel (atmospheric pollution), the use of resources (oil, tyres, etc), use of roads which have a footprint on the earth leading to all sorts of direct and indirect impacts, etc. Often we don't think about these things, particularly the less obvious resources, but recently I thought that I should at least do something about the impact my car was having on the atmosphere.There are a number of companies that can now assist you to do this. Basically they offer to "offset" your emissions by planting trees which will "inhale" the emissions you put into the air when you drive around!

I previously had Greenfleet offset my car's emissions. At the time they were undertaking tree planting in Victoria. This is a good cause, even though I live in Queensland because there are a lot of areas within Victoria that need to be have tree re-planting done because of the significant amount of vegetation that has been cleared from these areas since white settlement. I was happy enough with the service Greenfleet provided, they gave me a sticker and a certificate telling me how many trees they were planting and that I was offsetting my car's emissions for the year. At the time it was a standard fee for your vehicle no matter what size your car was (for example, whether it was a little, economical, zippy car or whether it was a petrol guzzling V8 or large four-wheel drive).

Since I last signed up and paid my dues, there has been a boom in this market and there are a number of companies that will offset your emissions and some of them don't even offer to re-plant trees as your emission compensation process. There is also a significant rise in the price of these private purchase carbon offsets. This time round I decided I would "try-out" the new Ecofund. This is a Queensland government initiative (not sure whether it is going to remain as a government-owned organisation or not). I felt that it would provide me with some "solutions" closer to home. Ecofund offers a carbon offset service by increasing the amount of national park in the Queensland protected area estate. Presently I can't seem to find anything that calculates my offset directly (ie the amount of national park I have basically purchased for the small amount of money that I have contributed to this 'program') and I certainly haven't received any official acknowledgement of them receiving my funds (except for the electronic banking receipt). But I will stick it out at least a year and see if I feel better about using my little car around the suburbs and my assistance in increasing the amount of national park here in Queensland. Pin It