Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Most Disturbing Thing On TV I Have Seen In A Long Time

In conjunction with Plastic Free July I would like to recommend that everyone makes time to watch this documentary.
I aired on Australian TV last week and at the time I did not see it so tonight I watched it online.  Within 10 minutes I felt ill, angry, revolted and ashamed to be part of a so called evolved and intelligent species.

The documentary which you can watch here (until the end of the month) is called 'The Men Who Made Us Spend'.

It is an eye opening account of how products are designed to fail so that we need to replace them and how we are encouraged to spend.
Sadly there is some graphic evidence of what happens to all the electronic waste as our society constantly upgrades, including all of the brand new un-opened boxes of computing equipment, that is thrown out as it becomes 'outdated'.

I know how different the life we live is compared to many people and that we are quite a long way removed form what is the norm (although far from what I call normal).  But one of the facts I found staggering was that over the 1990's to 2000's people in America went from buying approximately 34 pieces of clothing a year to 67 pieces which equates to a new piece of clothing every 5.4 days.
I don't think I have purchased that many new pieces of clothing in the last 5 years.

In the next episode they will explore how our emotions are manipulated and our anxieties exploited so they can sell to us which I think will be very interesting.

If you have already seen it what did you think?

Monday, 21 July 2014

Plastic Free July - My KeepCup

This month I am participating in Plastic Free July and this week I thought I would let you know a few of the things I have started or been doing differently this month.

Recently I was lucky enough to win a KeepCup from Bruise Mouse over at Living a Little Greener and it has been getting a bit of a workout.
The KeepCup is such  great Australian product and you can completely customise yours by picking the colours for each part.  There are a range of sizes to choose from and they are designed to be the same as a regular take away coffee.
I mostly work from home but even at home I love the fact that because of the cups design (and it has a lid) it means my tea/coffee stays hot for ages.  Every month I go into the office for a few days so last week when I worked in the office I took my cup with me.  Not only was it coveted by a number of my colleagues but I also got a 60 cent discount at the coffee shop for using it.  So now if I do want to buy a coffee when I work in the office I do not have the dilemma of crating waste.
The other great use I have found for my KeepCup is for tea/coffee on the road in the car as the passenger.

Here are some good reasons to get yourself a KeepCup.
  • 500 billion disposable cups are manufactured globally every year; that’s about 75 disposable cups for every single person on the planet.
  • Half of the plastic used in the world today is for single use items.
  • On average, each disposable cup contains 5% of the raw materials involved in the process of making and delivering it.
  • In the United States alone, 58 billion disposable cups are thrown out annually, with the majority ending up in landfill; that is, 158 disposable cups for every US inhabitant.
  • The 500 billion disposable cups used in the world each year placed end to end could circumnavigate the earth 1,360 times.
  • World paper use has exploded by 400% in the last 40 years. Now nearly 4 billion trees or 35% of the total trees chopped down are used in paper industries on every continent.
  • 98 tonnes of resources are used to make 1 tonne of paper.
  • Globally, we go through about 300 million tons of paper each year. Most of that paper is made from virgin pulp.
  • Very little recycled paper is used to make disposable cups because of contamination concerns. Because most disposable cups are coated with plastic, both composting and recycling of disposable cups is uncommon.
  • Most of the world’s paper supply, in fact about 71%, still comes from diminishing forests, not tree farms or the recycling bin.
  • Urban rubbish has increased tenfold over the course of the twentieth century, from 92 to 1242 pounds of pure product waste per person per year. At this rate, we discard approximately 14.4 times our body weight in waste every year.
  • Taiwan discards 1.5 billion disposable cups annually. Landfill issues have given rise to new rules for establishments, to give discounts to all reusable cups. It is expected to produce a 30% reduction of disposable cup use annually, or 450 million cups, saving 110,000 trees and reducing carbon emissions by 15,000 metric tonnes.
Are you as staggered as I was when you read those facts?

Friday, 18 July 2014

Stuffed Mushrooms - A Frugal Dinner Option

This week we have been having some easy frugal meals with a focus on using up bit and pieces and last night it was stuffed mushrooms.

I started with large mushrooms, one for me two for hubby.

I removed the stalks and chopped them finely.

Then I added the last few pieces of goats feta and used the oil to dress the insides of the mushrooms before adding the stuffing.

I added a few steamed and chopped spinach leaves, some chopped garlic chives as well as some diced walnuts then mixed it all up.

After stuffing the mushrooms I topped them off with sliced cherry tomatoes and some Parmesan before baking.  A very tasty and frugal dinner.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Rosella Cordial

In the anticipation of filling or freezer with beef I have been using up as much as I can.  On the hit list last week was a large container of frozen Rosellas.

I decided on cordial as it is something that would last a while.  I boiled the calyx's in water before straining off the pulp which I have re frozen to mix with apples and make pie filling.

Then I added sugar and reduced the liquid to a cordial consistency and since it is concentrated you only need a small amount.

We have been enjoying it ever since.