Friday, December 30, 2011


Oh my goodness, I just came across an article on Tree Hugger about resilience and I love it. It is just what I was trying to discuss with my mother (in a round-about type of way) this morning.

Basically the article states that the environment is "up shit creek" and there is little we can do to change this path. However, if we build a future that is resilient, there might be hope for the survival of the human species.

My favourite quote from the article, although a little twisted, is "Environmentalism hasn't failed. It just didn't win yet. But blaming environmentalists for not turning things around is a little like bashing the foster parent for not eradicating child abuse".

The article is fabulous. Have a look at this resilience article by Sami Grover  at

I think 'resilience' is going to be the new buzz word and hopefully will be adopted into the mainstream as  'sustainability' has over the last decade. Pin It

Gardening Gloves

I have tried out a number of types of gardening gloves since I have become passionate about gardening.  My latest acquisition has been a pair of gardening gloves with a rubberised palm and a knitted back of the hand and fingers section (like the ones in the picture).

(Source: Glory's Garden)

I have been using these for about four months now and have found them fantastic for general weeding and digging around the garden. I particularly love them when I am weeding either early in the morning when there is a bit of dew around or after a sprinkling of rain. These gloves allow you to get out into the garden at these opportune times without getting your hands wet and muddy (as often happens to me with many of the gloves I have previously owned).

Also these gloves are pretty good at resisting prickles, but I wouldn't try and pick up a thorny rose branch without still having a little caution about the thorns. And the stretchy fabric on the back means your hands don't get too hot and sweaty even when working in the heat of the day (although I try to avoid this time of day at the moment).

Bring on the fine weather for more special gardening moments and achievements!

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Eco-Pirate: Story of Paul Watson

ABC2 showed Eco-Pirate: the Story of Paul Watson the other night. Certainly an interesting insight into the life and evolution of Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The one thing that particularly struck me was Paul's direct manner in framing his activities that will get most attention by the mainstream media. It makes sense once you think about it, but it almost makes it seem a little manipulative. But hey, that is the world we live in and the Society's actions certainly grab attention and therefore make a difference. 

I read one of Paul Watson's books about eight years ago and I certainly found his methods of activism different and confronting. Paul and the Sea Shepherd Society don't sit back when it comes to the protection of marine wildlife. They are active and sometimes aggressive in their tactics. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society boasts that they have sunk or "retired" a number of whaling boats and have stopped the killing of seal pups in Canada. Paul Watson certainly believes that aggressive tactics are sometimes necessary, given that the activities of many of these commercial operators are very aggressive. Paul also believes the "Greenpeace model" of "bearing witness" to such activities doesn't achieve anything.  

Paul and his organisation are currently very active in the Southern Ocean, where Japan currently undertakes "scientific" whaling. This area in which the Japanese are whaling is recognised by a number of signatory countries as the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, yet this declaration is not recognised by Japan. Thereby, allowing this whaling to continue without signatory countries' action. Furthermore, the Japanese "scientific" whaling is being conducted with "permission" from the International Whaling Commission. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is currently attempting to stop this whaling, with a crew currently in the Southern Ocean on the Steve Irwin

If you get a chance to either see the Eco-Pirate or read one of Paul Watson's books it is a great opportunity to see how some people are making a difference and truly standing up for the wildlife for no other reason that these creatures should be allowed to live on this planet too!

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy holidays

Wherever you are on the planet, I wish you and your family and friends a safe and happy holiday period! May 2012 bring you peace, love, inspiration and some environmental splendour!

Best wishes,
Green Dreaming Pin It

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ian Lowe's sustainable future

"A sustainable future will involve using resources more efficiently, maintaining natural systems, developing social cohesion, nurturing our cultural traditions and finding durable economic activities".

This a quote from Ian Lowe's Quarterly Essay called Reaction Time: Climate Change and the Nuclear Option. Issue 27, 2007. Pin It

BrisScience now online

What a Christmas present! You can now watch past presentations organised by BrisScience online. These are available at: Five presentations from 2011 are now available on this website, with more to come.

Science in your lounge room. How can it get any better? Pin It

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Seed saving....chillies

I acquired a large number of what I know as birds-eye chillies from a friend the other day. As the family aren't huge "hot" food fans, I decided I would see whether I could salvage (or save) the seed from the fresh chillies with the objective of putting them into the ground and growing my own chilli plant.

My initial thoughts were to just chuck the chilli 'pods' (fruits) on to the ground at the location I want these plants to grow. I then decided perhaps I could give them a little more help than the complete lazy gardener. So after a little google investigation, I ended up cutting open the most ripe chillies and scraped out their seed on to some paper towel. I will now leave these seeds to dry for a week or two and then collect and store them in an envelope until I am ready to "plant" them out.

A gardener blog I just came across explains how they went about saving their chilli seed and it has some pretty pics as well. Have a look at the Suburban Tomato's blog post about their process.

What I will do with the chillies if I am successful in growing any chilli plants is another matter, but maybe the family taste buds will have evolved! Fingers crossed. Pin It

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Do you read books?

If you're still in the paper realm of books (which I love) a library is a great source of reading material and overall reduces your environmental footprint!

How you might ask? Well, instead of producing book material only for your personal pleasure, which once you've read it often ends up on your bookshelf, libraries allow many readers to access the same material, thereby reducing the number of times the book or reading material needs to be printed and in turn reducing the amount of raw materials required!

Other ways to improve your environmental footprint whilst still enjoying printed books:

  • purchase books/reading material for your collection but share them with friends;
  • if have books that you don't want anymore, hand on to friends, give to charity bins, hold a book swap, freecycle;
  • buy second hand books, particularly from charity organisations;
  • catch a bus to the library; or
  • car pool to library.
If you're worried that you're local library doesn't have the specific book or type of books that you like, quite often libraries can buy books that you like (if they deem them likely to be attractive to a wider audience) or alternatively they may have an inter-library loan service (this may attract a small fee depending on the location of the material you require). Pin It

Saturday, December 17, 2011

2011...what has been achieved by GetUp! and its members

If you'd like to see what the GetUp! campaigns and the members of this movement have achieved in 2011, have a look at the following short video.

Get Up 2011 summary video

I love this movement, their campaigns and their drive to re-claim the Australian political process!

Bring on the campaigns and success stories in 2012. Pin It

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Advertising gone crazy

I heard the funniest McDonalds advertisement the other day. The ad was for one of their new cold drink products, something along the lines of a fruit smoothie. The bit that I found funny was their catch cry which was "and it has real ingredients".

Wow, not real ingredients! I mean how foolish do corporations think we are? I believe the ad prior to this statement had been talking about the fruitiness of the drink and I guess the idea behind the statement and its placement was to confuse the viewer into thinking that real ingredients were somehow indicating that there is real fruit in the drink.

Certainly gave me a chuckle and have a "what the?" moment. Pin It

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Free Mulch

I have just come across Mulch This is advertised as connecting tree loppers and vegetation management people with people that want mulch.

I have registered in the hope that I will get some mulch for a revegetation project that I am hoping to commence on my property in the cooler months, but it seems that there aren't any loppers currently registered in my area.

Nevertheless, I think this is a fabulous resource and a great way to connect people and ensure that resources aren't going to go to waste (hee hee hee).

Maybe it might work for you in your area.

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WWF Earth Hour Awards 2012 now open

The WWF Earth Hour Awards nominations and applications call out is now open. The idea is to nominate grassroots activities that are going "beyond the hour" for the planet. Further details can be found at

Award categories are:

  • Education Award
  • Young Panda Award
  • Sustainable Small Business Award
  • EcoBlogger Award
  • Creative Arts Award
  • Futuremakers Award

Go ahead and nominate someone that you think is making a difference. Pin It

Growing Change

I have just found an interesting documentary trailer showcasing the Venezuelan food production revolution. The trailer can be viewed at You can buy the full documentary for $15 and organise showings, if you like the principles expressed in the documentary or have a group that would be interested. 

I believe the principles behind what is being done in Venezuela is what many people believe should be happening around the world. That is, removing the dominance of multinational companies from our food chain and providing a food production system which is fair and appropriate to the people producing the food and those buying the food. 

Another interesting article of linked relevance can be found at: This article shows how how food production and importation can be affected by government policy and how innovative government policy can provide protection for local industry whilst still providing its people with the relevant and "required" resources. 

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Greenwash article....big brands "using" the environment

I just read an interesting marketing article defending "greenwash". Have a look and see what you think. See whether you think we should be offended by the idea of big brands using the environment to encourage you to buy their products or not.

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Another useful blog...development watch

I came across an interesting blog today which is providing residents of the Redland Shire Council area (in Brisbane city, Queensland) information on development occurring within their shire and giving them a useful and easy reference point to link in with the development process. The blog is called "Development Watch - Redlands" and is located at:

I think this is a fantastic idea, allowing the average Jo to access relevant information about developments in their area and also provides useful links to things that can affect or impact development and development applications in their early planning and approval stages.

My philosophy has always been to get connected and make a difference in this process. This is certainly a useful tool that could be applied anywhere. Maybe you might be interested in creating something like this for your local area. Pin It

Friday, December 2, 2011

Worm farm maintenance

As the warmer weather is upon us, my worm farm seems to need some tender loving care. I currently have two "stacked" active worm digesting layers, with the worm juice collecting tray below these.

The "first" worm containing layer (the bottom of the two) has mostly worm castings, but I still seem to have quite a few worms wiggling about and I am hesitant to start harvesting the castings for fear of losing some of my precious worm population into the garden, where they currently won't be much use to me. And I am certainly not desperate for this enriched soil in my garden at present (despite my previous post about poor soils).

The "second" worm containing layer is still to build up in significant worm numbers, but nonetheless is churning along. However, it appears I have an extra (unwelcome) visitor in this layer, which appears to me to look something like maggots. After some research, it turns out that these white pupae looking things are in fact entrachyadids. They aren't harmful to my worms or my worm farming, but they do indicate that my worm farm's conditions may be a little acidic at present.

Another thing I have noticed recently is a trail of small brown ants entering over the lip of the "first" worm containing layer. I figure these little creatures certainly have the potential to prey on my worms and so they have to go.

So, what am I planning in the way of maintenance. Firstly, I am going to add a handful of lime to my worm farm once a week in order to neutralise the acidic conditions. Secondly, I am going to add some small "trays" (bought some small terracotta pot trays) under the legs of my worm farm and place a small amount of water in them to discourage the ants. Thirdly, I will move the worm farm a little to try and trick the ants (whoops I lost a worm farm). And lastly, I have read that placing a piece of wet white bread in the middle of the layer will act as an attractant to the entrachyadids, which then allows you to easily remove them. So this will be done in due course.

Will keep you posted to see whether any of my tricks work.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Transition Town documentary - SBS

Friday night (7:30pm) on SBS, "Town with Nicholas Crane" visits Totnes in the United Kingdom. This is a community which has significantly adapted their town to follow "environmentally sustainable" principles that are sometimes grouped under the banner of "Transition Towns".

What is a Transition Town?

Basically, a community group or town determines they will work together to build resilience in their economy and general community in light of the peak oil, climate change, reduced happiness and economic instability.

A lot of it relates to people re-connecting with other members and skills within their community, bringing their economy back to the local or regional scale (by supporting businesses within this geographic area) and attempting to reduce their reliance on oil. Some websites also link this concept in with permaculture.

Anyway, back to the subject of the documentary. Totnes has undertakes numerous activities under the banner of Transition Towns, including co-housing, cycling, eco-construction, gardening, skill shares, seed saving and a solar thermal challenge just to name a few. It also has its own Transition Town website, which can be found at:

Further information on Transition Towns generally can be found at: This webpage also includes useful resources for people and communities starting out!

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