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  Thursday, 23 November 2006

I absolutely love doing this sort of thing with my xtracycle. Why? Because it messes with peoples heads. Forces them to think outside the square their petrol driven minds are stuck inside. I needed some straw for mulch on my garden. It keeps the moisture in, stops the blackbirds from digging to deep and uprooting plants, breaks down to 'feed' the soil for next season, keeps the strawberries of the ground, and it just looks good too. Ted had some organic barley straw at his house which was on the way home, and I just happened to have my wideloader bars with me today. So we traded two bales of straw for twenty litres of worm juice (compost tea) from my worm farm, which I will be riding in with tomorrow morning. Boy, did I see some rubberneckers on the way home! Some did a double take as I rode by, others looked at me like cows in headlights, and a few were belly laughing.

Ted had a wee test ride around Neale Park before I left.

Stopped at the Hira store. Now where am I gonna put the milk and bread!?

(ps. I apoligise for the quality of the pictures. They were taken on my phone since my dead camera has not been replaced yet.)

7:19:54 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 22 November 2006

About a year ago I was musing that if I cycled to work twice a week, and stayed in town, near to work, in my campervan one day a week, saving a trip home, I could almost half the amount of driving I do. Thinking back today I realised that setting that goal, and acting on it, has taken me much further... and quite naturally so. Since then, and especailly over the last 3 or 4 months (since I got my Xtracycle) I have virtually eliminated driving altogether. I used to make the 50km drive to work and back every weekday. Thats 250km a week, or about 1000km a month. Since August I have averaged about 2 drives a month; about 100km worth. A 90% reduction! And without being to smug about it... it was no great sacrifice, in fact it was almost easy. Not to mention the other positive spinoffs, like way better health and fitness, less stress, lots of money saved (I think I'm addicted to endorfins though). And thats just the benefits for me. However marginal, there are benefits for our planet too.

Speaking of benefits for the planet... try this for one day, you never know where it might lead you.

Buy nothing day is this Friday.

This year's Buy Nothing Day has a special poignancy. Never before have our emerging environmental crises been planted so firmly on the lips of the policymakers and the general public. Rather than screaming from the fringes, high-profile economists and scientists are sounding the warnings in respected journals and the halls of parliament -- warnings that our oceans are dying, that the ice shelves are melting, and that we are setting ourselves up for the most massive and widest-ranging market failure the world has ever seen.

All of this points to a profound need for a shift in the way we see things. Recycling, protecting our waterways, driving hybrid cars -- all the old environmental imperatives -- are great, but it's becoming obvious that they don't address the core problem: we have to change our lifestyles, we have to change our culture, and we have to consume smarter and consume less.

This is the message of this year's Buy Nothing Day, and there are only a few days left to get that message out onto the streets. From the quietly sublime to the crazily anarchic, the ways in which you can mark BND are only limited by the imperative not to spend. Strut your stuff as if the fate of whole planet is resting in your hands, because even if each of us only does one small things to contribute, 96,847 small things sure add up!

At the BND campaign headquarters - that's - we've already featured upcoming actions in Japan, the UK, Canada, and the USA, with more to come from all over the world, including Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, Hungary, Spain and Sweden. You can also download posters and other resources, as well as connect with activists in your own little corner of the globe.

Remember: Make a scene. Make people laugh. Make them think. If you have to, make them angry. Just get out there.


I'm planning on a Buy Nothing Christmas too (and that's not as grouchy as it sounds).

9:37:13 PM    Comment []

  Sunday, 12 November 2006

9:12:26 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 6 November 2006

You've heard of aquaculture (or fish farming) and you've heard of hydroponics (growing plants in liquid instead of soil). If you marry the two, you get aquaponics; an intergrated system that reuses water in a continuous cycle to produce an abundance of food. Some claim it is possible with this system to produce food for up to 300 families on an average urban lot.

The idea involves using nutrient rich efffluent from a fish tank to feed hydroponics plants which in turn clean the water to be returned to the tank. There is almost no water loss during the whole cycle making the system virtually drought proof.

I read about this type of system for the first time last week when I found this document on my web travels. Although fascinating, a picture is worth a thousand words, and today I found a short video of an aquaponics system up and running (very succesfully). It is of the Ecocity farm. Could this be the way of the future for our presently fossil fuel dependant food supply? I think it shows very strong promise for the cities of the future.

8:56:21 PM    Comment []

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