Living a low impact lifestyle means you work to reduce your waste and your carbon footprint left on the environment .Now more than ever its so important to do in order leave some resources for our children. Here are some tips for you to start living a more environmentally sustainable life and ultimately save money and look after your health. Most of which I try to do daily so il share what i get up to as well as some extras
-Why buy new?
from toys to clothing we often buy second hand great condition items. Did you know one new cotton T-Shirt is responsible for nearly 5 ounces of pesticides to be dumped into the cotton fields?
Used products don't require new resources. Every manufactured product is responsible for resources being consumed - from farming cotton, clear-cutting forests, mining for metals, or pumping out oil. Save money, packaging, resources and support local businesses by buying second hand
-Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost!
If you fully do all of these four easy things you will only need to buy one pack of black bags a year (if your like the average Ashburton person this will save you up to $100 a year and will significantly lower your impact on the environment, after all you are putting things in your black bag that simply shouldn't be in there) we save loads by using one black bag every 2 months and its so easy to do
There is so many tips you can easily follow in order to keep the your bills down have a look at this site http://www.energywise.govt.nz/
-Support local businesses or make and bake your own.
From doing all my own baking and the majority of our food made from scratch or buying in bulk organically through a wholefoods club to making my own washing powder and buying homemade toiletries I have found a massive decrease in our food bill, increase in our health, knowledge of how to sustainably feed and care for my family plus the great feeling that comes from knowing that i have supported local businesses. Im not playing a part in the animal testing used in so many toiletries and cleaning products, Im not playing a part in extra deforestation, energy, water or carbon footprint required to supply the supermarkets and imported clothing shops with their goods.
A few months ago i started buying homemade toiletries of a local lady with the benefits of no nasty chemicals (did you no up to 60% of anything you put ON your skin absorbs right INTO your body) Just one reusable glass jar full will last me at least 5 months, when its empty i return it to her to refill (a very sneaky marketing ploy with other products is to in order to make you keep buying their product is to design the bottle and make you feel like you need to use alot, finish it quickly and buy more) The ethical side of it all sits well with me, i no that absolutely no animal testing or derivatives are involved and its a completely fair trade product AND you save so much money.
I love growing our own fruit, vegetables and herbs.
We save so much money plus gets us outdoors and we know that what we are eating is spray free. Just on apples alone you can expect to have had up to 20 dangerous sprays on them. Why support these type of growers that harm the environment and our health? Planting edibles is a great way of using your space in a logical cost saving way. I would love to see more edibles planted around Ashburton we have so many open community spaces to plant fruit trees and vegetables, maybe a group of us could make this happen?
Plant trees at your house if you can!
I love trees! they are so important!
Trees contribute to their environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife and did you know they increase your property value! a single mature tree can have an appraised value between $1000 and $10,000 and 99% of real estate appraisers concurred that landscaping with trees enhances the sales appeal of real estate. I cant plant any trees at our house due to space issues but wouldn't it be great to see more being planted in Ashburton in playgrounds and all of our other plentiful open spaces! It would be a great community project!
we have rainwater bins around our property that we use to fill our pet bowls, wash the car, fill up the watering can to water as much of our gardens as possible. any leftover drinking water is used to brush our teeth with. If anyone can help with tips on how to catch the 'greywater' from our washing machine, dishwasher, shower and bath id love for you to share!
heres a great site full of tips and information:
Changing your lifestyle to be more sustainable offers opportunities to save money, build a stronger local community, increase the quality of your home and possessions, be more insulated against the collapse of larger systems, simplify, continue learning, be organic and contribute to a healthier style of living on the Earth.
The number one thing required is personal commitment. We live in a world where we are being mind warped by advertising and large corporations that want us to 'buy' into convenience. Only last night there was a advert on TV, I better not name the company, but it went along the lines of "forget climbing (up fruit trees), watering and digging for little or no reward! the fruit and vege pro takes all the hard work out of getting fresh fruit and vege"
They don't want you growing your own organic veges and fruit, they want your dollars.
I would have worded that a little differently but thats just me.
By making sustainable choices, all the rest flows from that. It doesn't take more money, but it will take continuous effort and mindfulness. The best way to truly achieve lasting change in your lifestyle is to take small steps and change specific areas that really mean a lot to you. Then once you are adapted to that change, you will find it naturally lead to others. You can make a difference and inspire others.
Do you have any tips for living a sustainable environmentally friendly lifestyle?
Wheelie Bins.......... could be a wheelie big problem.............
ok all jokes aside! The team at Wastebusters Recycling and Reuse Depot do wonder if the public of Ashburton really know the true ins and outs of this imposed system.
If you came and spent a week at Wastebusters you would soon see that some of the people that come drop off their recycling still haven't mastered the difference between rubbish and recycling......a toaster to me isn't a plastic bottle and old dirty clothing isn't paper and why is all that rotten food still in that container?? questions the staff ask themselves on a daily basis. This leads me to my next point. The trucks that are going to be needed to pick up your yellow recycling bin, green greenwaste bin and red rubbish bin. Have you been told how much these things are going to cost?! not cheap! And have the cameras used to catch the rubbish getting mixed in with the recycling worked in other cities? must be a fancy amazing camera to pick up those baked beans still in the baked bean can.....or that hidden bag of rubbish that looks like a plastic bag full of paper............didnt think so. fines dont work.....random spot checks like they did in timaru dont work - im guessing cos the people doing the spot checks dont have laser eyes that can see all the way to the bottom of the bins and through all the containers.
Markets for recycling are always changing and its important to understand that in order to get a good market we need a clean product.
Think of these proposed recycling trucks as being big washing machines. Ever put a red top in with your whites? uh oh now everythings pretty pink. Same principle happens with the recycling trucks. One household on your street has decided to be lazy and chucks in rubbish in their yellow recycling bin and whoops now its been tipped in the truck and yup you guessed it the whole truck load is now contaminated and off to landfill it goes.
In todays unstable environment we really cannot risk even one truck load or recyclables going to landfill. The same lovely story applies to greenwaste as well. Some rubbish in with that is enough to send it to landfill. Heres your homework go do some research on the implications on the environment of sending just one truckload of foodwaste and greenwaste to the landfill. let me know how you sleep that night.
Another point and a painful one at that, is the cost of your rates..........now your rates are going up 9% due to other bits and bobs happening around ashburton so keep that in mind. Your rates could to rise up to $290 annually to cover costs and the overall system will cost millions. How can we afford this? we are struggling to pay for a hydro slide!
The organic wheelie bins will only hold a small amount of greenwaste. The small grass area in front of Wastebusters when mowed fills a 240 litre bin. How pointless. Did anybody tell you that the greenwaste will be trucked out of Ashburton at extra cost to you rate payers when we have a facility we could be using here in Ashburton? Don't contradict recycling by bringing extra emissions into the picture by trucking it out of our town. Im a fan for supporting locals!
So Wastebusters and myself are not saying a big fat no to Wheelie Bins we are just saying that as one of the fastest growing places in South Island heres our opportunity to not be copy cats (the world is full of too many copy cats for my liking) and think outside the square. Lets start to invest in a local, sustainable, environmental system. Ashburton is not ready for wheelie bins, seriously anyone who disagrees needs to come work in a recycling factory. So we encourage people to say "yes but not yet. We aren't ready. Educate people and put the appropriate systems in place"
If anyone is tired of paying for black bags, heres some good news for you. You dont have to. The great thing about this 'user pays' system as you can choose to recycle and compost and use one bag a month (its not hard and i can help you. it wont hurt i promise) put your black bag in a metal rubbish bin so the kittys dont rip it open or you can choose to not care and fly through your black bags. but you have a choice thats the difference.
Katie and the rest of the Wastebusters team
Who has time for that? its totally unpractical! I have a big family! She's got way to much time on her hands! She is just nuts!
Yup. Nuts for the environment. Your environment.
I can hear all the excuses already and I know them all to well as iv had them and many others directed at me when I ask "What's stopping you from starting a goal to try not to put anything in your black rubbish bag"
I'm a very busy mother, involved in the community and work various jobs and I hardly have to be responsible for putting anything in the landfill. Its quite a cool thing to brag about. Others would disagree and prefer to show off their new cellphone or pair of shoes.
I'd be lucky if my family use one black bag once every 3 months. It saves money and the fact everyone forgets about, it will save our planet.
So what do I do? I recycle anything recyclable (the amount of people who still don't do this is astounding) I have a food recycling system and compost mostly everything else from garden waste, worn out clothing, cellophane (not recyclable) to the contents of my vacuum, pet waste and my childs nappies! Shopping wisely also plays a part.
If everyone in the world disposed of rubbish like we do in New Zealand we would need 3 planets to sustain our demand
A lot of people complain about the cost of Ashburtons black rubbish bags. why? you don't have to buy them so why complain? You don't leave your lights on all day then blame the power company for the bill so why fill your own black bag with recyclable or compostable items then blame the cost.
A lot of the items you put in your black bag take hundreds of years to disappear in the landfill and during that time release dangerous gases into the air and leach poison into the soil which ultimately leads to waterways. We cant keep finding space for new landfills. Once a landfill is full and covered over the land will always be toxic and continue to poison for years to come.
It really is so easy and cost effective to recycle and use compost systems. They take no time and what a great example to set for your children after all its their future and yours that you are putting in jeopardy each time you use an excuse or cant be bothered.
So I forward you a challenge. Ring Wastebusters to organise a time to bring your black bag into the recycle centre and I can help you with could have been recycled or composted or change any shopping habits. I'm not perfect, sometimes there is the odd thing I do have to put in my black bag. I just care for our planet and sadly these days that doesn't put me in the "norm" It makes my situation seem unbelievable because is not normal to care anymore. Its not normal to think anymore. But that doesn't mean that's the way it has to be!
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!! please visit Wastebusters for any information on recycling and composting information.
Written by Katie Esler
A Christmas that's easier on the environment ends up being easier on the pocket too!
GREEN YOUR LIGHTS choose LED lights to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs
GREEN YOUR DECORATIONS create your own
GREEN YOUR XMAS CARDS send e-cards... or make your own from recycled wrap
GREEN YOUR XMAS DINNER choose locally grown foods with minimal packaging
GREEN YOUR GIFTS think locally made, second hand, home made
GREEN YOUR GIFT WRAP use drawings, paintings, magazine or calendar pictures
MAKE YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS CRACKERS!
save the environment and save your pennies
-recycled gift wrap/paintings/calendars
-small wrapped chocolates/lollies/gifts...
-cracker snaps found in craft stores
-jokes on scrap paper
-ribbon or wool
wrap your chosen paper around toilet roll secure with tape. push the snap through so there is an even length sticking out each end. screw the paper at one end and tie with ribbon or wool. place your jokes, gifts or lollies inside then tie up the second end to secure the treats inside.
Is the right choice to purchase an artificial tree and use it year after year, or go in search of the perfect living tree to be the centerpiece of our holiday decorating? THE ANSWER MAY SURPRISE YOU!!!!!!
Living trees absorb pollution and CO2 - but throughout its lifetime could require pesticides/herbicides/fertilisers transportation to be sold. Artificial trees are non-recyclable (would sit in landfill for centuries) non-biodegradable, oil based and shipped around the world (carbon footprint)
THE ANSWER SEEMS TO BE...... REAL TREES WIN THE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD FOR THEIR
CARBON NEUTRAL NATURE AND THEIR EASE OF RECYCLING!!!!!
You know that much loved t-shirt you’ve had since the early ’90s? It’s thin enough to see through, and now looks like Swiss cheese from all the holes. This is the kind of shirt you can’t donate, since after all…who would buy it?
So, it often gets thrown in the garbage.
What many people don’t realize is that a lot of clothing can be composted. Yeah, you read that right. You can compost clothing! Not just food and garden waste!
You can compost pretty much any fabric that’s made using natural ingredients. For instance, cotton, hemp, bamboo, wool, etc. You can compost towels, jeans, tshirts, socks, handbags…anything natural!
The key to successfully composting old clothing and fabrics is to cut it up into small pieces. The smaller the piece, the faster it’s going to break down in your compost pile.
Other items you can compost are old masking tape, white glue/plain paste, cotton balls, drier lint, domestic bird and small pet droppings, used tissues, cellophane, saw dust, fireplace ash, pet hair, coffee grounds, coffee filters, contents of your vacuum bag, contents of your dustpan (check carefully) matches, skewers, toothpicks, wine corks and SHOES!!!!!!
minimizing waste is one significant benefit of composting, gardeners can delight in scores of other perks by utilizing nutrient-rich compost to improve soil composition. Grow healthy plants, reduce need for water and chemical fertilisers and improve soil properties!
'Home Composting Made Easy' is a great site with step by step instructions, resources and products for backyard composting