Thursday, 30 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #518 Make Your Own Glue

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #518 Make Your Own Glue


It’s easy to make your own glue at home using simple ingredients such as flour and water. Other recipes might include sugar, vinegar, cornflour or salt. A simple search on the Internet will provide you with recipes for various applications and complete ‘how to’ instructions. Commercial glues can be made from animal products (so if you’re vegan you won’t want to use it) or oil-based products (there’s that fossil fuel thing again!). Therefore, you can make a big difference to the planet by making your own glue, as required, thereby avoiding chemical concoctions, and saving fossil fuels in the product and in the plastic packaging. You’ll also reduce landfill.  Another small difference in how we do things that all adds up.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #517 Buy Wooden Coathangers

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #517 Buy Wooden Coathangers


Here’s another way to keep plastic out of your life – buy wooden coathangers. They will last a lifetime, saving you money in the long run, are made from sustainable resources and hold their shape. Plastic hangers become brittle and break easily and wire hangers are generally too flimsy. Wooden hangers make better sense, and they can be finished off with knitted or sewn padded covers that work better for your clothes by keeping shoulders rounded. Wooden coat hangers are an investment – financially and environmentally.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #516 Avoid Fads

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #516 Avoid Fads


Fads are a widely shared enthusiasm for something, and of short duration. Manufacturers love fads because it means they can keep taking your money time after time after time as one fad finishes and a new one begins. Fads can be things like buying the latest exercise equipment (each new machine is ‘superior’ to the previous and will get you those abs without any hard work at all – yeah right!), or the latest kitchen equipment (the ‘must have’ new colours; the machine that slices, dices and chops or the newest coffee maker), or then there are the clothes fads, the biggest industry of them all, which dictates that every six months you need a completely new wardrobe and all the previous season should be tossed (tossed where? I ask). Manufacturers know that the biggest bucks come from children (well, their parents hand over the money) with fads such as collectors editions, merchandise for the latest hit movie, swap/collector cards, virtual pets, pogs, rubber bands in crazy shapes – each generation has a long list.
Fads are also called ‘crazes’ and that leads to the idea that they are ‘crazy’ – a crazy way to waste your hard earned money, a crazy way to use natural resources, a crazy way to create pollution, a crazy way to generate carbon emissions, a crazy way to produce landfill and a crazy way to develop relationships with others and the world in which we live. Think of all the valuable things that could be saved or prevented if more of us avoided fads.

Monday, 27 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #515 Use a Push Mower

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #515 Use a Push Mower


Lawn mowers use petrol or electricity (fossil fuels), and are noisy (noise pollution) and smelly (air pollution). In many instances they are an evil necessity, but if you only have a small amount of grass that needs to be cut, consider using a push mower. These were the first types of lawn mower, and by using one you would be generating lots of benefits. For the person pushing the mower there is the benefit of exercise, a good workout that will assist in keeping fit and healthy, which has so many knock-on effects. Neighbours will benefit by the reduced noise pollution and air pollution – you can even mow the lawn in the early hours of a Sunday morning without making your neighbours cranky. The environment will benefit because you will not be using fossil fuels to make the mower work, there will be no carbon emissions, and fewer resources are used. A push mower should also last a lifetime because there are few parts to break down and the blades can be sharpened. His saves even more resources as well as saving you money. Lots of benefits all round.

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #514 Observe World Penguin Day

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #514 Observe World Penguin Day


The 25 April was World Penguin Day but as an Australian, with 25 April being Anzac Day, I decided to put up a suggestion a little more appropriate to the importance of life in general. So today we can revisit World Penguin Day.
By looking after them and their habitats we can celebrate penguins every day of the year. As Antarctica looks more and more appealing as a place for providing resources for humans (minerals, food, research) it is becoming increasingly important for people to become aware of what we have in terms of natural riches, and to protect Antarctica and its inhabitants forever. Penguins come to land to roost and have their young, so their land habitats need to be protected to ensure their numbers remain sustainable. However, penguins spend about 75% of their time in the oceans, which means that the oceans need to be kept clean and free of fishing trawlers, oil spills and any other devastation humans cause. Each of us can help today by signing a petition written to the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources asking them to establish protected areas and marine reserves, where penguins, and other Antarctic wildlife, will be free to survive. The petition can be found at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/getinvolved/Celebrate-World-Penguin-Day-by-protecting-their-homes/

Saturday, 25 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #513 Collect Experiences

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #513 Collect Experiences


The western world has too much ‘stuff’, families have too much stuff, individuals have too much stuff, and developing countries will probably, one day, have too much stuff, if we all keep taking the route we are on. Instead of focusing our efforts on stuff, on having more things, let’s collect experiences instead. Mostly, when people get old and reflect on their lives, they don’t feel joy at how much ‘stuff’ they have, they recall all the wonderful experiences they had – time with loved ones; commemorating special events like birthdays and weddings; travelling the world and experiencing other cultures in their own environments; overcoming limitations; laughter shared with friends. So if you want to help the planet, work on changing the way you think about life and collect experiences. It might be going scuba diving on the preserved Great Barrier Reef; contributing to the preservation of a rainforest; visiting all the magnificent cathedrals of Europe; walking along the Great Wall of China; joining in a festival of a different religion or inviting someone of a different religion to share in your festival; parachuting from a plane; having a picnic by the river; hosting card evenings with your friends and having a good laugh; growing a garden; helping someone else grow a garden – the list is endless. Whether it’s big or small, scary or tame, alone or with friends, the best things in life will always be your experiences, so go and collect them.

Friday, 24 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #512 Insist on Only 1,500 Chooks Per Hectare

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #512 Insist on Only 1,500 Chooks Per Hectare


Buying eggs is a tricky thing these days when you really want to do the right thing by the birds that provide all those lovely eggs for us to enjoy. The packaging on the egg carton is a minefield and understanding the phrases they use is important. Animal cruelty is becoming a more important issue to people and we no longer agree with factory farming. Battery farming is factory farming for chickens, where the chickens are kept in tiny cages in which they cannot even turn around. Barn laid eggs come from chickens that are kept in barns in very large numbers so they are unable to move anyway and that’s not much different from battery farming, except the chickens are able to peck each other more easily. So farmers are gradually being compelled to keep their chickens in better conditions and the new buzz phrase is “free range” which is supposed to mean that the chickens are kept in open fields where they can run around to their hearts’ content, feed on grass and enjoy the sunshine, but farmers still want to produce more and more and more, so they cram thousands of chickens into the one field. In fact the truth about free range in Australia is horrifying. “The Egg Corporation admits that a third of eggs labelled as free range are from intensive farms, some with 40,000 and even up to 100,000 hens per hectare.” [ source: http://www.freerangefarmers.com.au/hen-welfare.html] It’s a sad truth. So we need to keep fighting for the welfare of chickens by demanding producer only keep 1,500 chickens per hectare, the limit set by the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, and label their packaging correctly. Do the right thing – read the carton, check the information and put pressure on farmers to stop animal cruelty, now.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #511 Install an Ecolaundry

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #511 Install an Ecolaundry


“The EcoLaundry is an environmentally friendly appliance designed to work with your residential washing machine. It infuses cold tap water with ozone, hydrogen peroxide and ions and mixes them together through a static mixer to create the ultimate oxidizer known as the hydroxyl radical.” [source: http://www.ecolaundry.net.au/what-is-it]. Once only used in the commercial sector, now there is a version for the domestic market. And why is this so good? Because you don’t use detergent to wash your clothes when you have an ecolaundry. This is great news on so many levels: your clothes will be clean and virus free; no detergents are being put into the water system; you’ll save money; your washing machine will be cleaned too; no need to use hot water saving money and energy; the life of your clothes will be extended, saving money and resources; and for people with skin problems, there should be no chance of irritation from detergents and fabric softeners because you don’t need to use them anymore. That’s a lot of benefits for both you and the planet.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #510 Understand Earth Day

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #510 Understand Earth Day


Today is Earth Day, celebrated internationally as a day for events that highlight environmental issues and actions to protect our planet and to create peace. All sorts of information is at http://www.earthday.org/ to bring you up to speed. Basically, it’s a day for education and action – for doing things that will protect the planet, like reducing carbon emissions, planting trees, working on solutions to energy requirements, educating people, protecting wildlife and ecosystems, ensuring clean water is available to everyone – the list is endless. There’s so much work to be done, and today is a good day to understand the need to get that work done now, and not put it off. Spread the word.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #509 Observe International Creativity and Innovation Day

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #509 Observe International Creativity and Innovation Day


Today (21 April) is International Creativity and Innovation Day. It’s a special day designed to help us celebrate our ability to take the problems of the world and find creative and inventive solutions by letting go of stark reality and embracing our creativity, by setting free our imagination so we can see possibility instead of difficulty. Humans are extremely inspired – that’s how we got where we are. Unfortunately we’ve also created some co-existing problems along the way, so let’s take today and see it as the gift of possibility, the time to wonder at all that could be and devise, invent, create, inspire, muse, and visualize all the solutions, all the ways we can make this world a better place, and us better people. Spread the word that it’s International Creative and Innovation Day, check out some more info at http://wciw.org/ and together be inspired to take action, come up with new ideas and make better decisions – for the sake of ourselves and the planet.

Monday, 20 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #508 Save the Ili Pikas

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #508 Save the Ili Pikas


The Ili pika was only discovered in 1983 in the Tianshan mountain range in China. Its population declined dramatically after its discovery and then it was not seen again for twenty years. Recently the Ili pikas have been spotted again, only to learn that their numbers have dropped to a critically endangered 1000. It is a very cute little animal, rabbit-like and very small at about 20 centimetres, it lives in the cold climate high in the mountains where it burrows in the crevices of the rocks. Global warming may be causing their demise as the snow line rises on the mountain range, altering their usual habitat. Sadly, I cannot find any website that supports the conservation of these little creatures. It would be sad if they became extinct. Maybe if more people know about them a group will emerge who take on the fight for this cute species.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #507 Reduce Orphanages

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #507 Reduce Orphanages

The number of orphanages around the world has increased dramatically over the last 5 years, but it’s not because lots of parents are dying. Most children in orphanages actually have at least one living parent. It is estimated that there are 8 million children worldwide living in orphanages. Many of them are what is known as ‘paper orphans’ – children who have been taken from their parents and given new identities, with forged death certificates created for their parents and no visiting rights for family. They have been taken away from their parents under the guise of offering them an education and better healthcare, sometimes the parents are paid a small fee, sometimes the parents are too poor to care for their child and think they are doing their best by that child. Within the orphanages, children are often not cared for properly, with inadequate facilities, little food and precious little love. In Australia we have learned that orphanages are not the best solution, and we have closed them all down, placing children back into the community where they belong. Orphanages cannot provide the psychological needs of a child like the love and attention that comes from one or two permanent carers. It cannot be replaced by the short visits of voluntourists coming from rich countries to ‘do their bit’ of social service for a couple of weeks, only to abandon these poor children until the next bunch of tourists come through. Read these articles at [http://theconversation.com/the-business-of-orphanages-where-do-orphans-come-from-38485] and [http://theconversation.com/orphanage-trips-by-aussie-schools-are-doing-more-harm-than-good-38035] for well-expressed comment on the situation. Lumos [http://wearelumos.org/] is an organisation instigated by the author, J.K. Rowling, with the aim of closing down all orphanages worldwide by 2050. This is a better solution. Spread the word and help all those children.

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #506 Use a Metal Bucket


1000 Flowers for the Planet - #506 Use a Metal Bucket


Along with your plastic free, cotton mop, use a metal bucket. This is another item readily available which will help you keep plastic out of your life. The big bonus from using a metal bucket is that it should last you a lifetime – one life, one bucket. When you look after your tools they last for decades. The planet will be better cared for because there will be fewer resources pulled out of the ground to make buckets, the health risks from a plastic-filled lifestyle will be reduced, less reliance on finite oil resources, you’ll save money and you’ll look after your tools much better, ensuring they last. Small idea – big benefits.

Friday, 17 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #505 Use a Cotton Mop

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #505 Use a Cotton Mop


There is a lot of choice out there when you go to purchase a simple cleaning tool like a mop, but for several reasons, this Flower suggestion is that you choose a cotton one. Many mops are made from plastic – plastic handles, plastic heads and plastic based sponges on the end. These are not a choice if you want to lead a plastic-free life. One of the newer styles of mop being touted as the best on the market is the new microfiber mop, but microfiber is a plastic based fibre and what happens with microfiber when friction is created is that tiny, tiny balls of plastic rub off the fibre, and these miniscule pieces of plastic go straight into the environment and our water systems where they are ingested by marine life – we then eat fish and consequently we are consuming plastic. We need to avoid this chain reaction. Cotton is a natural fibre and any miniscule fibres that break away from a cotton mop will biodegrade in the environment. This is a much better option for the health of many. At this website: http://plasticisrubbish.com/2009/04/26/freecycle-049/ there is a good article on cotton mops. Make it your considered choice when you need a new mop, and help the environment.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #504 Use Hankies to Remove Makeup

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #504 Use Hankies to Remove Makeup


Hankies, properly known as handkerchiefs, are a very old fashioned concept these days. People tend to use the throw-away version, the paper tissue, and I have to say I do agree that there is something somewhat gross about blowing your nose on a hanky and putting it in your pocket, or your handbag, or wherever, until it can be washed, but let’s not talk about that issue today. If, like me, you have a pile of hankies sitting unused in your drawers, pull them out, give them a wash and use them to remove your makeup at the end of the day. There’s no point whatsoever in letting all those pretty, unused hankies languish in storage where they never get seen or used – what’s the point? Use them for something useful, like removing your makeup and you will avoid using throw-away options which waste money, waste resources, take up space in landfill and produce pollution in their manufacture. This idea came from http://myzerowaste.com which is a terrific website where you will find lots and lots of wonderful ideas for reducing waste and recycling things. Meanwhile, use hankies that are otherwise not being used and help the planet in the process.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #503 Learn From Transition Towns

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #503 Learn From Transition Towns


I can’t tell you in two paragraphs how wonderful the concept and reality of ‘transition towns’ actually is. The whole package is about so much, but simply put (as well as I can) it’s about creating local communities (towns, villages, boroughs) that work together to build resilience to dwindling oil supplies, global warming and high-energy dependency. But there’s more to it than that. I like this quote: that every community … will have engaged its collective creativity to unleash an extraordinary and historic transition to a future beyond fossil fuels; a future that is more vibrant, abundant and resilient; one that is ultimately preferable to the present. [source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transition_town].
‘Transition Town’ is a concept that began in Great Britain – Totnes in Devon, where the people of that town work in a voluntary capacity on various projects that are devised to reduce dependence on outside sources. It’s about moving away from being totally dependent on oil and becoming resilient, self-reliant and full of possibility and opportunity. It’s a way of providing solutions to the world’s global economic and environmental problems from a grass roots level – YOU can take control and produce the change required to ensure a better future, without waiting for any outside body or corporation to make those changes on your behalf. You have the ability – yes, we can make a difference. Take a look at some of the world’s transition towns [http://www.transitiontowntotnes.org] and learn the way to a better future.

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #502 Save the Grey Nurse Shark

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #502 Save the Grey Nurse Shark


The grey nurse shark lives along the east coast of Australia, near Queensland and New South Wales. Their numbers have dwindled to 1,500 making the species critically endangered. This type of shark is completely harmless to mankind but is lumped in with the rest of the shark species as something to be feared. Bait fishing is their largest threat, but whilst recreational fishing practices are doing the most harm, grey nurse sharks can also get caught up in commercial fishing nets or suffer death from spear fishing. The nature of their species is that they take a long time to mature and they breed slowly, making recovery from low numbers a slow process. Their habitat needs protection to give them the opportunity to expand their population and come back from the brink of extinction. This may mean greater areas where recreational fishing is banned, but somewhere along the line the needs of the shark has to be weighed against the needs of mankind. Further information is available at [http://www.marineconservation.org.au/pages/threatened-spec-grey-nurse-sharks-142.html] with some background detail and more on how you can help.

Monday, 13 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #501 Protect the Daintree Forest

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #501 Protect the Daintree Forest


At [https://www.rainforestrescue.org.au/page/19/save-the-daintree-rainforest] the site states: “The Daintree Rainforest is of international conservation importance as one of the most significant regional ecosystems in the world.”
The Daintree Rainforest is in the north of the state of Queensland on Australia’s east coast. It is vital that we ensure the Daintree is protected and that its survival lasts into the future – forever. It may even be as important as the one place on earth that can provide us with our own solutions to survival into the future. It is the oldest tropical rainforest in the world, with prehistoric plant species. “It contains an almost complete record of the evolution of plant life on Earth, and has more ancient families of flowering plants than anywhere else in the world, including the entire Amazon jungle.” Despite its World Heritage status, in the 1980s some of the lowland forest area was sold and developed. Now there are programs devised to buy back this land so it may return to natural rainforest and preserve the biodiversity of the area and its rich ecosystem. You can help by making a donation towards these buy-backs and by spreading the word that this important work is being done.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - WOOHOO Half Way Through!

Today I have blogged Flower #500 which means I am half way through my 1000 Flowers for the Planet art project. I hope you are enjoying the suggestions I am gathering to help us all make the world a better place in which to live. Please continue to follow my progress as I make the downhill run to Flower #1000 - and spread the word.

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #500 Decorate with 100% Natural Fibres

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #500 Decorate with 100% Natural Fibres


Here’s another home decorating choice you might make to help the planet. If you always choose 100% natural fibres for all your curtains, cushions, carpets, rugs, furniture – anything with textiles – you will be choosing materials that are sustainable because they can be grown again. The natural fibres are wool, cotton (go for organic), silk and linen. All of these make beautiful, lush home d├ęcor items that will last a long time. Being able to grow these fibres means we can keep producing them when we manage our resources properly. Using only natural fibres also means that we are not putting more plastic into our environment when the material breaks down into tiny particles that get into the environment and our waterways – which is a huge problem. Choosing only natural fibres for our home also creates a healthier environment in which to live.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #499 Choose Recycled Rugs

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #499 Choose Recycled Rugs


If you like to purchase recycled goods then you may consider recycled rugs, mats and carpets when looking for flooring materials. Rugs and mats can be made of recycled materials such as polypropylene, plastic shopping bags and cotton, and carpet can be made from recycled plastic bottles, bottle caps and used tyres. The recycling of materials has the benefit of reducing landfill, reducing the amount of virgin materials required to manufacture product and the bonus of extending the life of resources. For some, this won’t be the way to go, particularly if you want to keep plastic out of your life, but others will look at it from a different angle, so it’s an option.

Friday, 10 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #498 Choose Recycled Wallpaper

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #498 Choose Recycled Wallpaper


Until you research the topic, few people would be aware that wallpaper contains harmful, and sometimes carcinogenic, chemicals. There is good news though – safer alternatives are available, with designers now producing wallpapers made from recycled materials, such as newspaper and other post-consumer paper, or from FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) materials. They also use water-based inks and the papers are VOC free. It may not have been something you thought about, but if you stop and ponder all the chemicals found in your house – the mattress, the plastic TV, the vinyl flooring, the paint, the cleaning products – putting a bit more effort into reducing those chemicals sounds like a good idea. Recycled wallpaper reuses resources, reduces chemicals in the environment, enriches your home and is better for your health. It’s a good decorating choice, in so many ways.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #497 Support Rewilding

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #497 Support Rewilding


Rewilding is about improving natural landscapes by returning apex species into those environments where they belong and ensuring ecosystems are able to naturally survive into the future. Humans have been excellent at taking from nature, stripping systems of entire species, and this has come at a huge cost. Now we recognise the need to restore things back to their natural state, because nature knows best. Apex species are required to ensure the balance of all things. The smaller species do not survive without the larger ones. In Australia they are reintroducing animals such as the Tasmanian Devil and the quoll. In America they have successfully reintroduced the wolf and bison, and in Europe they are reintroducing the wild horse. These are just a couple of examples of what rewilding is all about – there is so much more to it than this paragraph allows. It’s also about leaving nature to look after itself, rethinking how we use timber from forests and how we take other resources, and how much human activity encroaches upon those areas that would otherwise remain wild. Be encouraged to look into this more: Australians at: https://www.rewildingaustralia.com.au/ , Europeans at: http://www.rewildingeurope.com/ , and Americans at: http://rewilding.org. If we want this planet of ours to support us we have to support it. Maybe you can help out by volunteering, giving your time, making a financial donation and spreading the word.

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #496 Use Natural Toothpaste

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #496 Use Natural Toothpaste


How we clean our teeth has become completely dominated by the toothpaste companies, but toothpaste has become very industrialised and commercial over the last century. Modern toothpaste contains ingredients that are now being put under the microscope of question as we become increasingly aware of the effects of chemicals on our health. So it’s good to know that there are alternatives available to us, if only we can let go of all the (mis?)information we’ve been fed by the marketing people for decades. A full list of possibilities is available to you with just a little effort and an Internet search, but in brief you can use things like sea salt, baking soda, essential oils, hydrogen peroxide, herbal tooth powders, pure water or even nothing more than a toothbrush. Take some time to get educated about oral hygiene, what’s true and what’s myth, and make up your own mind, but the planet will do much better without all the chemicals we keep pouring into the water systems – and our health just might, as well.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet # 495 Observe World Health Day

1000 Flowers for the Planet # 495 Observe World Health Day


Today is World Health Day and the theme for this year is ‘food safety’. To prevent food borne disease you need to remember 5 things: 1) Keep clean by washing hands before handling food. 2) Keep raw food and cooked food separate. 3) Cook food thoroughly. 4) Keep food at safe temperatures i.e. hot for cooked food and cold for stored foods. 5) Use safe water and safe raw foods.
When all of us, worldwide, use best practices when handling food, we prevent the spread of disease throughout the community, and being the global village that we are, we need to prevent diseases travelling from one country to another as well. The World Health Organisation has a lot of information for you at http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2015/en/ . Check it out, observe the special day for World Health and play your part.

Monday, 6 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #494 Darn Your Socks

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #494 Darn Your Socks


It’s a very old-fashioned idea, but I’ve heard it’s coming back into fashion – darn your socks when they get a hole in them. Maybe it’s because knitting socks is now such a hugely popular thing amongst knitters these days, and hand knitted socks provide more incentive to darn them when they get a hole in them. Commercially manufactured socks can also be darned. If you don’t know how to darn then look for a how-to video on Youtube and teach yourself. You will need a darning mushroom – a wooden tool shaped like a mushroom that assists in the darning process – and a darning needle, plus some matching wool. This last requirement, however, is negotiable – it doesn’t have to match. My great-great-granny knitted into her late 90s, and would darn the boys’ socks with pink wool if that was all she had to hand. After all, no one would see the darn, it would be hidden inside the shoe. It was all about making the most of what you had.
Darning your socks makes them last longer, reduces waste, reduces landfill, makes better use of resources and saves money – all helpful things for the planet.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #493 Demand Product Stewardship

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #493 Demand Product Stewardship


The best explanation for this Flower suggestion comes from http://www.thesecretlifeofthings.com/#!product_stewardship/c1qvp
Product Stewardship is about taking responsibility for the entire life of product, specifically its disposal. It encourages all of the participants involved in a products life cycle to take shared responsibility for the impacts to human health and the natural environment resulting from a products production, use and end of life.
 There are three key features of product stewardship:
       1.Shifting the burden of waste management (either physically and/or       
          economically, fully or partially) upstream, away from municipalities and
          consumers and back to the producers
       2.Providing incentives to producers to design-in environmental
          considerations through eco-design
       3.Recovering valuable materials that would otherwise be lost to landfill.
​How does it work?
The product stewardship approach gives manufacturers incentives to take responsibility for the entire life-cycle impacts of their products, including packaging. Product stewardship requires companies to take back their products at the end of life. It inspires companies to address energy and material consumption, air and water emissions, the amount of toxins used, worker safety and waste disposal options. If all these impacts are taken into consideration from the design stage of a products development, then products will be created with a reduced social and environmental impact, and will be easier to recycle at the end of life.
So demand product stewardship wherever you can to ensure we improve the way we do things and benefit the planet.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #492 Keep Your Phone

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #492 Keep Your Phone


E-waste is a huge problem – read all about that at Flower #316 Avoid E-Waste. One way of reducing the problem is to keep your phone, instead of upgrading to a new one every 12 months or even every 24 months. Phone companies want you to upgrade so that you will sign up to a new plan and they can charge you for the new handset – it’s all about taking your money and creating record profits for them. This isn’t good practice for helping the planet. The amount of human thought and time spent inventing the modern phone is amazing – shame it’s not spent on solving more important problems, like how we’re going to reduce carbon emissions whilst generating energy for our modern lives. Your phone already does what you need it to do, so why keep changing for a new model all the time? Learn to look after what you have, or you may end up not having it at all if we keep consuming resources at the rate we are currently consuming them. Start by keeping your current phone for one extra year, preferably longer, and do your bit to reduce waste.

Friday, 3 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #491 Schedule a Weekly Fridge Day

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #491 Schedule a Weekly Fridge Day


With 30 to 40% of waste being food it’s important we work at different ways of reducing that figure, preferably to zero. Already suggested were: Flower #6 Compost Vege Peels; Flower #15 Create a Worm Farm; Flower #116 Use a Bio-Fermenter; Flower #274 Serve Smaller Portions; and Flower #382 Avoid Food Waste. All of these ideas help keep food out of landfill. Another is to schedule a weekly fridge day, where you devote time to taking everything out of the refrigerator to see what is there and what items are close to their use-by or best-before dates. Fridges can be very good at hiding these foodstuffs, so seek them out weekly and use that older food in your cooking within a day or two, to ensure it is eaten rather than wasted. You can give your fridge a quick wipe as you do this, keeping everything clean and fresh. It will simplify your life, save you money and help the planet.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #490 Read Care Labels

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #490 Read Care Labels


Have you noticed that every piece of clothing you wear has a care label attached to it? They come with instructions for how best to look after that item of clothing. When you read and follow these care labels you look after your clothing in the best way possible, and this means your clothing will last longer. It’s so much better to ensure the longevity of clothes so that the resources used in making them in the first place are used to their fullest. It also means you need to buy fewer clothes, saving money and resources, and less clothing will go into landfill. It might seem to only make a small difference to the planet, but every bit counts – and remember the value of multiplication: if we all do it then the difference is multiplied by millions.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #489 Demand Repairable Goods

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #489 Demand Repairable Goods


These days, most household goods are made to last only a couple of years. As well as being poorly made, they are structured in such a way that they cannot be repaired. Televisions are made with closed cases so they cannot be opened to access the workings and repair what may have gone wrong. See the story at http://www.thesecretlifeofthings.com/ where you can gather a lot of information. It’s time we put an end to this wasteful practice. It is only designed to put more money in the pockets of corporations. Think of the amount of resources being mined out of the ground, the energy that has to be generated to do that, the water that’s used, the transportation of everything, only to waste it all in a couple of short years by chucking it into landfill. We need to demand better quality goods, ones that last a long time and that can be repaired when they break down.