Reduce your chemical use

Quite a few years ago I invested in a number of Enjo products to assist with minimising chemical cleaners in the bathroom and kitchen. I must say I have been very impressed and was happy to be re-educated. The two big benefits to reducing toxic chemicals in the home are of course; your health and the hip pocket!

Sometimes you just need a little elbow grease and hot water. Other situations call for reinforcements. Take my microwave for an example, the internal walls replicated something similar to a crime scene! So I picked a lemon from the backyard, squeezed it, added a cup of water, microwaved the concoction on high for 5 minutes and wiped it clean. Really little effort! Other natural cleaners include baking soda, salt and vinegar. If you want to get fancy you could look into incorporating essential oils too.

Admittedly I still use a commercially produced laundry liquid and dishwashing liquid called Earth Choice which is Australian made and owned and claims to have a minimal impact on our planet. So our house is not entirely ‘chemical free’ yet.

There are plenty of blogs and websites out there to help you find alternatives too. Who knows tomorrow I may tackle the oven!

My Ocean Harvest

With the salty sea breeze caressing my face, the cool water licking at my feet, whales frolicking on the horizon and the osprey circling  above I was transported away to a moment of happiness.  I could here the kids squealing with delight as they constructed a pool and then later entombed their older cousins in the sand. Yes people I was at the beach, Noosa North Shore to be precise.

Now please don’t be alarmed by what I am about to tell you next…..Are you ready?….Okay…..Sure?……So beside the fact that I was having some well deserved R & R with my family, I was also on a mission to catch a fish!  Earlier on in the day we had collected a couple of dozen pippies in hope to entice our dinner to join us.

So after a few unsuccessful attempts at casting a surf rod beyond the first breaker, my darling husband, Reece, decided to man up and help me out. (He’s so strong!) Shortly after I hauled our first dart of the day. Reece stepped up yet again by dehooking, rebaiting and casting my line. Over the course of the afternoon I caught three more dart and a bream (all legal size). I was happy.

I felt it was important to write this blog as this is part of who I am.  Ever since I was old enough to hold a rod, my parents would take my brother and I fishing in the passage near Bribie Island.  These were magical times.  For not only did we connect as a family, it was an opportunity to connect back to our roots. Yes we are all descendants of hunters and gatherers and depending where we lived would determine our diet.

Today it is a  completely different story.  It’s convenient food for our fast paced lifestyles.  Too tired to cook? Busy day at the office?  Nothing in the Fridge? Food these days for the affluent, comes premade, precooked, packaged, frozen, chemically altered and potentially has travelled more times overseas than I have.  Getting all your meals from a grocery store, dining out or take away conveniently also disconnects us from the source. Take for instance the frozen prawns my friend bought the other day.  Caught in Australia but packed for your convenience in China.  My friend had made the innocent assumption (like most of us who have any nous of common sense) that being Australian it would be packed here.

I honestly believe that if you source food directly from mother nature you will reap the benefits.  So what does one learn from a fishing experience? Catching a meal takes time, patience, respect and knowledge. That afternoon helped me reconnect with ocean. The fish that I caught we were grateful for, we only took enough for a meal and the osprey who had been patiently circling above graciously accepted the frames which we shared with him.

World Orangutan Day

Did you know that there are approximately only 7000 Sumatran and 45000 Bornean Organutans left in the wild?  According to the experts orang-utans have 97% DNA in common with humans. Over the last 20 years these beautiful animals have had a massive decline in numbers mainly due to habitat loss. Sumatra alone has lost nearly 80% of its natural forest. Orangutans are one of many species threatened with extinction.  It is estimated that if nothing is done they will be extinct within the next ten years. For me, they represent ALL species that face extinction in Borneo and Sumatra due to habitat loss.

Their rainforest homes are being wiped out for mainly palm oil and paper pulp plantations. Palm oil is something I’ll blog about later.  In brief, it is a used in many food products and personal hygiene products. Not all companies disclose its use in the list of the ingredients either.  There are a myriad of names it is listed as but most commonly in food products it is simply listed as vegetable oil.

So what can we do to support World Orangutan Day?

Without spending a cent you can help the orang-utans and the many other species who are facing a grim future by;

  • Spreading the word through social media
  • Spend some time in your pantry/bathroom checking out what products you use that contain palm oil and start buying palm oil free products or make your own
  • If you’re unsure whether your products contain palm oil email or message (via facebook) the company
  • Sign a petition about labelling, logging or palm oil
  • Find out more about the plight of orang-utans by visiting one of the many organisations that are doing amazing work to save them.
  • The following websites are a good place to start;

Just remember you can be part of an eco revolution. You have the power to act especially through social media and as a consumer. Your contribution may seem small but together we can make a positive change.