Sustainablog

Can one person really make a difference? Join Kate as she strives to make her everyday life a little more sustainable, one small green step at a time.

Give me a boost

05:00am 08 Aug 2012 1 comment

KATE RUSSELL

Last week saw me struck down with the worst flu ever. I was in bed for four days straight, pumped full of panadol, coldrex and any other pill that people said might help in some small way.

The problem with me is I have the worst immune system around. I catch everything sneezed in my direction and I pick up whatever bug is doing the rounds at kindy far more often than my germ-carrying children do.

So after surviving my four days of bed-ridden hell I've decided to look at some sustainable ways I can boost my immunity and hopefully ward off illness in the future. The most obvious way I can think of is boosting my fruit and vegetable intake, which is already quite high but may need improving.

After a bit of investigation I have come up with a power list of things I should be growing and consuming to keep myself in optimum health.

First off I discovered that one of the vegetables currently doing nothing in my boggy patch is a great immunity booster. Cauliflower is a beneficial food to eat when ill as it helps the body fight off infection, due to high levels of glutathione. Its unfortunate my plants never managed to provide me with any vegetables to sustain me through my worst flu ever...

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A fishy situation

05:00am 24 Jul 2012 3 comments

KATE RUSSELL

My recent trips out to the vege patch have been depressing ones. The bok choy has been attacked by something, the leeks have turned up their toes and the cauliflowers don’t seem to have done anything. At the most they’ve doubled in size.

Each trip out is followed by a dejected trudge back to the kitchen, usually with a clump of coriander in my hand, because that’s the only thing healthy enough to be picked.

I’m in a grow-your-own-food rut of epic proportions and not even a visit to the farmers market can cheer me up.

However, it seems the humble fish can raise my spirits.

I’ve recently changed my ways and gone from being a full blown vegetarian to a full blown fish eater and the new world of flavours and dining options it has presented me with are pretty exciting. I just can’t seem to eat enough fish these days much to the joy of my family.

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To market, to market

05:00am 03 Jul 2012 0 comments

KATE RUSSELL

The family, some friends and I were all lucky enough to ditch the big smoke last weekend and head down to my mum's house in the Waikato for a bit of R&R.

And while Cambridge may not be the most exciting spot for a weekend away, we found plenty to do (as in copious amounts of eating and drinking). And it's my personal belief that the pretty little town does have one big draw card, which is its weekly Farmers Market.

Ever since my mum moved to Cambridge, she has raved about this market and it has become the 'thing we do' every time we visit.

The market sits on the village green and is packed with stall holders selling locally produced goods. There's bread, cheese, meats, smoked fish, and seasonal fruits and vegetables. It all looks and smells so good it is impossible to leave empty handed.

Farmers markets are more than just a fun way to kill time on holiday. They provide a portal through which small farm holders and artisan producers can share their goods with a local audience.

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Power to the People...?

05:00am 27 Jun 2012 0 comments

So, last week I asked what you thought would be the best sustainable power-play move; the one thing that would make the most difference to state of the planet.

This question led to an interesting point made by my cousin about population control. One of her lecturers recently suggested that the single biggest thing all of us could do to mitigate our effect on the planet was to have one less child than we had originally intended.

It's been noted that Earth has become 'planet humanity'- a place dominated by the needs of humans. For the first time in our planet's history it appears that one life form (us) will condemn significant numbers of other species, both plant and animal, to extinction.

The U.N projects that global population will increase 41% by 2050 bringing the population to 8.9 billion people, nearly all of whom will live in developing countries.

There are those that argue it is human consumption not population that puts the largest strain on natural resources and to say that population must come down is simply a convenient way for those of us 'over consumers' in rich countries to place the blame on others in developing nations, whilst changing nothing about the way we live.

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How to save the planet....

05:00am 19 Jun 2012 2 comments

I noticed on a previous post here, that someone commented about how all my sustainable steps in the past were simply common sense moves and hardly the work of an 'eco-crusader'.

First off I think I should clarify, I in no way consider myself a crusader of any sort- in fact I'm quite the opposite.

The point I was trying to make in the aforementioned post was that my previous attempts at changing our lifestyle for 'the good of the planet' were marred by my overzealous approach and constant nagging about the smallest things (i.e. tins in the recycling), which in turned exhausted the people that I live with. 

This in turn created some resistance, which tired me out, life got busy and plans fell by the wayside. So actually I'm a total eco-failure - a 'how not-to save the planet' guide, if you like.

The point is I'm trying this time to make changes that we can actually stick to. Ones that will help to reduce the amount of waste we create and the resources we use. Of course they are common sense moves, but isn't that what sustainability is all about? What's not sensible about living within your means? 

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