Me, yabbering about climate change

climate change presentation

 

I’m giving my first official presentation as a Climate Reality leader next Wednesday. The idea is to spread the word peer-to-peer so I thought I’d start with an audience I know pretty well: mums! If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you at the Anne Shearer Kindergarten – it’s an open event and free, and I promise to keep it upbeat! Thanks to lovely Rebecca from 4 My Earth, I also have some awesome gifts to hand out to those brave enough to ask questions.

If you would like to come, pop over to the Facebook event page to RSVP or let me know my email or commenting.

And finally, once I’ve popped my public-speaking cherry, I am willing and able (and free) to speak to any audience about climate change. I’d absolutely love to speak to your tribe, no matter how small or large about this issue cos, in case you haven’t noticed, it means quite a lot to me [winks in a creepy, old uncle way].

Wish me luck!

 

 

 

 

Seven tips for Buy Nothing New Month

buy nothing new

How are you going with Buy Nothing New Month? We’re a week in and I hope you’re thinking, “Hey, this isn’t too hard!” You’ve probably realised you can save money, time and the planet’s resources and still have everything you need – and more.

Just in case you’re getting the urge to spend up on some virgin product, here are a few tips to keep you motivated and cruising through Buy Nothing New Month.

1. Know what you need

Keep a list on your phone of all things you need around the house, for the kids and for yourself, and keep an eye out for them in charity shops/garage sales. My hubby and I share an op-shop list using Wunderlist, but pen and paper works too!

Six eco-friendly activities for kids

eco fun at home

So it turns out that all kids want to do in the school holidays is hang out at home. Who knew? I always thought school hols meant Go-Go-GO! But when I asked my little man what he wanted to do he was quite clear: “I want to stay at home, make a mess, tidy it up, make more mess and then watch TV.”

Nothing says “mess” to me more than craft, but I am still quite new to this whole genre of fun. Thank goodness for the interweb! A quick scout through some of my favourite learning blogs yielded some great activities that required nothing from the shops, got us playing with and talking about nature, upcycling some rubbish and—shhhh, don’t tell the kids—learning something.

First up we downloaded some of the fabulous printables from Mother Natured (TIP: reuse paper that has been printed on one side!) including dinosaur masks for colouring in and this groovy turtle template for our nature collage. Collecting the leaves, flowers, grass and weeds was half the fun, we then glued these down using our Auro eco-craft glue.

Coal is not my future

Coal is not my future

My kids and I attended the People’s Climate rally on the weekend, joining thousands of people in Brisbane and hundreds of thousands around the world to demand action on climate change. Marching through the streets with a two- and a four-year old, a dodgy pram and  three cardboard signs is tricky, but it was well worth the effort. I’m not embarrassed to say  I was almost in tears at some points, feeling hopeful that the movement is gaining traction and we might actually get somewhere in time.

The signs we made for the kids said “Coal is not my future” and a discussion on Facebook over the weekend has prompted me to explain the meaning of this here today.

Encouraging green habits in kids

green habits for kids

This is my latest post over on Childhood 101 for the Easy Green Series.

Encouraging children to put the environment first develops skills in resilience and empathy. By gently teaching them to reduce waste, conserve energy and water, protect wildlife and consume less stuff, we set them up for a lifetime of connection to our natural world and prepare them for future challenges.

There are any number of easy green habits kids can develop from a young age, here are ten examples:

  1. Turning off the lights when leaving a room.
  2. Putting reusable shopping bags back in their place by the front door.
  3. Bringing toys in from the garden so they don’t get ruined.
  4. Fixing broken things (with the help of an adult).
  5. Checking all packaging for the recycling symbol.

Keep reading here

Join me for a day of global action

People's climate March Australia

This weekend, world leaders are converging in New York for an emergency summit on climate change hosted by Bahn Ki Moon. Needless to say, Tony Abbott will not be attending.

While the climate summit is an exciting step in the right direction, what’s got me more hyped up is the enormous grassroots movement happening around the summit. Across the globe, hundreds of marches and protests have been organised for real people like you and me to demonstrate that we want action on climate change NOW.

I will be marching in Brisbane with my kids on Sunday, join us as we walk through the streets!

Wherever you are in the world, you can find a march near you on the People’s Climate Mobilisation website (click on global mobilisation).

Learn how to green your spring clean

green cleaning

Some of you many remember my recent post  Three reasons to kick harsh chemicals out of your home. Well, I am thrilled to announce that our friend Laura has opened up the Sustainababy Home Detox Boot Camp one more time for 2014.

I’m really happy to promote this course for Laura for a number of reasons. For one, she really knows her stuff. With a masters in environmental chemistry, Laura not only understands chemical processes and their effects, but can explain them to regular ole people.

The second reason is that it took me years to accrue the knowledge and skills to create a home free from toxic chemicals and it was often a confusing and frightening journey. I didn’t feel empowered or like I was doing this amazing thing to protect my family and the environment. I felt like I was awake in a crazy dream world. I felt like I was being lied to. I spent a lot of time emailing companies about their ingredients, researching unpronounceable things on the internet and squinting in supermarket aisles as I tried to work out the safest option (here’s a tip: I was in the wrong place to start with!).

How to make baked beans from scratch

How to make baked beans from scratch

Homemade baked beans recipe

Disclaimer 1: Long before I started on the toxin-free, green-living path, I thought baked beans were the work of the devil. My baked beans recipe is not designed to replicate those frightening white things floating in tomato sauce but to provide a healthy, cheap, bulk dish that can be served any time of the day.

My kids aren’t that keen on meat, but they LOVE beans, lentils and chickpeas, including baked beans. Seriously, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen my two-year-old eat a whole bowl of baked beans with her chubby fingers in 2.5 minutes flat. I would YouTube it if I didn’t think it would come back to haunt her one day.

Anyway.

Like most mums, I call baked beans “dinner” sometimes because I’m super busy, under the weather, late or just don’t want a battle. It’s something I know my kids will eat and baked beans are a vegetable right?

Which is the best reusable coffee cup?

Which is the best reusable coffee cup?

It’s the age-old question… Okay, so actually a very new-age question. But it’s a big one. Important. Which is the best reusable coffee cup? Plastic? Glass? Ceramic? Or stainless steel? Before we go any further, let it be known that I have done extensive research into this topic and drunk A LOT of coffee to bring this post together.

Below I’m going to write about the four coffee cups in my life. Truth be told, I love them all. They meet a need for me, which is to avoid single-use anything (except for toilet paper). In Australia alone, more than a billion coffee cups are produced each year, generating an uncool seven tonnes of waste. Some takaway coffee cups are paper and can be recycled, but not all of these end up in the right bin. Some are lined with very thin plastic and can’t be recycled so end up in landfill where they release methane, which is 25 times worse that CO2. Some are mistakenly put into recycling bins and contaminate a whole lot of otherwise recycleable stuff. Boohoo.

Today, reusable coffee cups are widely accepted by cafes, well designed and readily available. Here is more info on the different styles… and I’ll let you know my favourite at the end of the post.

How to grow kale at home

How to grow your own kale

Due to its enormous popularity in recent years, kale is becoming hard to find. The cruciferous vegetable is revered by  green-smoothie lovers and single-handedly reinvented the humble chip, but growers have warned of a worldwide seed shortage.

To protect yourself against a world with no kale, I suggest you grab a pot or a bit of ground plus some vibrant soil and get planting. In Australia, you can buy curly kale seeds here, this variety is best planted in late summer or early autumn and will come to maturity over winter, ready to fight off colds and flu.

Kale is a kind of cabbage and it can grow up to 60cm tall, spreading out around the same width. Grow it in either a big pot or in rich soil in a full sun to partial shade position.  Be sure to keep it well hydrated and remember that pots dry out quickly. Remember the watering system I reviewed recently? It’s great for both pots and in veggie patches and there are various kits available.

You can raise kale seeds in seedling trays or egg cartons, but you will need to remember to water them very regularly. I prefer to put seeds straight into a larger pot or patch of soil, along with some seed-raising mix, then see which ones look like survivors and thin the seedlings out, replanting them here, there and everywhere to see which position works best. You should be harvesting leaves in around eight weeks.

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