Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Creating Viable Urban Food Systems


Creating viable urban food systems is part of creating a healthy planet.

By using sustainable organic methods to renew soil and grow healthy food we can all be part of healing our planet.


One way to do this is at a community garden where people work together to grow healthy food.

There are so many levels individuals people can contribute to such a garden and each garden will have its own structure.


But in short community gardens which now exist in most cities introduce  the joy of growing food.

Knowledge of gardening is shared with members often from many different cultures and this diversity creates friendships as well as a wealth of food and production methods.



I was a founding member of my local community garden and all the photos in this post are from this garden.

In this garden members can have their own plots or help out in other capacities. Some more time strapped just bring in their food scraps to add to the compost.  

Members at this garden have a range of gardening styles from the more traditional to permaculture methods, but individuality is encouraged as long as members follow strictly organic methods and consider the needs of their neighbours.

We are all working together to create food and  we are learning from others round us as we develop our own gardening style. 


Knowledge and seeds are shared and each of us becomes enriched in the process.



Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Climate Change and My Organic Food Garden

`We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN'

`Urgent changes needed to cut risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty, says IPCC'



With headlines like the above in my head I head out to my block of land and put my heart and soul into creating good soil and an abundance of food plants.

We all have to do our bit and I see this as a way I can contribute.


 My journey towards living sustainably began to become healthy after a third breast cancer but now I see what I had to do to heal myself from a way of life my body could not sustain has also shown me what can contribute to a healthier planet.


I moved away from a designer apartment to find a simple home on land and then proceeded to create healthy organic soil and plant, plant, plant.

And when I look back I can't
believe how ignorant I was of what was required.



I had no idea of what soil was about or how to get plants to grow.


But doors opened as I find they do when you are following a true path.

When I brought my land a community garden started at exactly the same time and had ongoing talks on how to enrich and create organic soil.

From the community garden I met permaculture followers and they started a new center in my town and had weekly information sessions.

I met exciting and passionate people who understood the world needed to change and who were all doing their bit to create healthy soil and grow healthy food.

It was an exciting time and I learned so much from all these special people.

The physicality of putting this knowledge into action was another story but plant by plant, wheel barrow by wheel barrow I was able to achieve change and as I went about creating my garden my own body grew stronger.


All gardening takes time and this year many of my trees are fruiting for the first time. That is exciting.

But the biggest joy of all is being able to share what you are creating with others and knowing you are being part of making this world a better place.

The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Five Special Eco Friendly Gift Ideas for Your Favorite People

Nothing says gift like something unique and personal, and now can you buy such goods and still be eco friendly.

To make your  gift shopping easier this year I have done the research and found you five special gift ideas that are also friendly to our planet.

With the IPCC CH report on Global Warming  of 1.5°C being one of the most important climate change reports ever published we are all being asked to change our ways. Every half a degree of warming matters if we are to have a livable world.

 

`We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN' 

 

`Urgent changes needed to cut risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty, says IPCC'

 With headlines like the above in my head I have been searching for gift ideas that use sustainable materials and are not throw away items.


They are each something your favorite person could love while at the same time starting to look at new planet friendly ways of doing things.

The first is this wonderful durable, handmade watch. The wood for each watch is carefully hand-selected, hand sanded and polished to a smooth, durable finish that will not deteriorate due to daily wear. 

This is a natural product that will last the test of time and make the wearer feel connected to nature.






Men's wooden watch made of Real Natural Wood,Retro Style Lightweight Eco-friendly Handmade Ebony Wood Wrist Watches Fit For Gift Black Sandal Isabella's Clearly Oral Care 4-Piece Kit -wood
2PCS Eco-Friendly Bamboo Back Body Massager Stick with Rollers

The second gift idea is these great Eco-Friendly Bamboo Back Body Massager Stick with Rollers. 

They are made of  eco friendly bamboo material, safe and harmless to the skin plus their long handles and smooth texture so easy to grip and operate.

Isabella's Clearly Oral Care 4-Piece Kit
And here is an eco friendly gift idea to keep  teeth and mouths clean and healthy.

Isabella's Clearly Oral Care 4-Piece Kit - comes with GLOW Teeth Whitening Activated Charcoal, a  BAMBOO Soft Toothbrush with Charcoal Infused Bristles , a COPPER Tongue Scraper and a  Reusable Eco-Friendly Gift Bag. Natural, Food-Grade, Non-GMO, BPA Free. 

A great way to create a healthy eco friendly smile while enjoying the holiday season.

DII 100% Cotton, Machine Washable Heavy Duty Canvas Reusable Shopping Tote Bag, Natural and Eggplant Damask, Set of 3


This set of three trendy and versatile bags with solid natural, solid eggplant(purple) and eggplant damask pattern design is also a useful gift now we no longer get our supply of plastic carrier bags from shopping outlets.

Not only are these bags attractive but also have QUALITY ASSURANCE for SOLID CONSTRUCTION: 

They are made of 100% sturdy machine washable cotton canvas able to hold up to 30 lbs. 


A beautiful gift that will see multiple uses.




Boar Bristle Hair Brush for Natural Hair Conditioning, Wooden Comb for Hair Detangling, Set Makes Hair Shiny and Silky

This used to be the way people kept their hair shiny and healthy before so many chemical products replaced all natural hair grooming sets. 


This brush has 100% boar bristles which.carry hair's own scalp sebum to be distributed to the hairs' ends, resulting in healthy hair with lots of volume.

The brush works with all sorts of hair and has a durable, eco friendly bamboo handle.

You also get a wide tooth wooden comb and a cleaning tool.

Good to see these great products returning.


I do hope these five ideas have set you thinking about ways you can be generous at Christmas while also exploring planet friendly ideas.

Without each changing our ways we simply will not have a world we can enjoy.

I have given up on our politicians. They seem to want to put their heads in the sand.

The scientists are giving us the facts. I trust them.

We all need to start breaking down old walls that have divided us and begin working together to find ways of creating a planet livable for all.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Stopping Global Warming: Finding Global Warming Solutions

A UN panel of scientists says every bit of warming matters, and we’re almost out of time to keep it in check. 

 

This panel of informed experts have given us twelve years to turn around what we are now all aware is happening.

You really would have to be blind not to have noticed our weather is getting wilder and more unpredictable, the fires more fierce, the storms more frightening and yet we continue to spew out  carbon dioxide, the main human-produced greenhouse gas, at a rate of 2.4 million pounds per second.

While sea levels rise, Arctic permafrost melts,  temperature rises globally and corals reefs die off on mass our leaders keep their heads in the sand. They don't seem to get the urgency the vulnerable , the wise and the everyday person who just does not feel safe anymore are feeling.

An official group of 47 at the United Nations of the most vulnerable countries have made the valid point they are the ones who will suffer the most yet have done the least to contribute to this problem.

 

While our leaders ignore the real and urgent petitions of these vulnerable people and continue to fight among themselves about power, control and greed the rest of us can individually find ways to create change in our own lives before it is too late for us all.

Even if there is only a .5°C rise the impact will be devastating with increased famine, disease, economic tolls, and refugee crises, I think that is motivation enough for all of us to do our bit.
Drawdown In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and activists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change


There are answers out there. Drawdown by Paul Hawken is a New York Times best seller giving a comprehensive range of solutions being implemented round the word.

This book shows ways we are and can use to avert this crisis and create a better world for all. 

 

We can all be participants in creating the solutions to Global Warming.


Kiss the Ground by Josh Tickell is about how we can heal the planet through regenerating the soil and creating healthy food.

As someone who has done this to heal myself after three separate cancers I am excited to see these ideas presented by one of Americas most celebrated documentatry filmmakers.


Kiss the Ground: How the Food You Eat Can Reverse Climate Change, Heal Your Body 






Two reviews of Kiss the Ground one by Wolfgang Puck and a second by Deepak Chopra are below.

From Josh Tickell, one of America’s most celebrated documentary filmmakers, comes a “fascinating, easy-to-follow blueprint for how eating in ways that nourish and regenerate the soil can not only help reverse global warming, but also bring greater vitality to our lives” (Wolfgang Puck).

“A must read for anyone committed to healing our bodies and our Earth” (Deepak Chopra), Kiss the Ground explains an incredible truth: by changing our diets to a soil-nourishing, regenerative agriculture diet, we can reverse global warming, harvest healthy, abundant food, and eliminate the poisonous substances that are harming our children, pets, bodies, and ultimately our planet.


Seeing books with such positive solutions gives hope and for myself further inspiration to work my soil and continue growing the healthy food I feel has renewed my own body.

While supporting our regenerative farmers and working ourselves to compost our waste we can further assist the renewal of our planet by working to eliminate the amount of meat we have in our diet.


Having eliminated both meat and dairy from my own diet after the three separate breast cancer experiences all I can say is I have never felt healthier and in a new energetic way.

Getting our protein from plants is one of the best ways we can save our planet and if you still do crave meat why not just have it less or try to buy sustainably produced meat.

Every bit we do helps
OMD: The Simple, Plant-based Program to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, and Save the Planet


Thursday, October 4, 2018

Fair Trade The Human Journey


Why Fairtrade


Fairtrade is about Sustainable Development, it supports workers in developing countries to produce products at internationally agreed Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards.



Fair Trade A Human Journey by Eric St.pierre  Author,‎ Emerson da Silva Contributor,‎ Mathieu Lamarre Contributor,‎ Barbara Sandilands


The standards include protection of workers’ rights and the protection of children, the preservation of the environment, payment of the Fairtrade Miminum Price and an additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in initiatives to support local communities or business development.

Every time you choose a product carrying the Fairtrade Mark you are making the choice to give a fair go to farmers, workers and their communities in some of the world's poorest countries.

By purchasing Fairtrade Products you are being part of creating a more equal world. 


The Fairtrade Mark   


The Fairtrade Mark shows you that the Fairtrade ingredients in the product have been produced by small-scale farmer organisations or plantations that meet internationally agreed Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards.

Some products, such as coffee, cocoa, and cotton, can only be certified by Fairtrade if they come from small-scale farmer organizations.

By working through democratic organizations of small-scale farmers, Fairtrade offers rural communities the stability of income which enables them to plan for the future and invest in developing their organisation.

For some products such as bananas, and tea, Fairtrade can certify plantations (companies that employ large numbers of workers on large areas of land called estates). Standards for large-scale production differ from those for small-scale farmer organizations by focusing on the protection of workers’ basic rights; keeping them safe and healthy, allowing them freedom of association and collective bargaining, preventing discrimination and ensuring no bonded or illegal child labor is present.

Fairtrade Standards also require employers to pay wages that progress towards living wage benchmarks.

Advocating for fair working conditions and worker rights is integral to Fairtrade’s mission.



The Fairtrade Minimum Price  

Well Made, Fair Trade My Chocolate Paperback – Illustrated,by Helen Greathead
For most Fairtrade goods there is a Fairtrade minimum price which is set to cover the cost of sustainable production for that product in that region.

If the market price for that product is higher that our minimum price, then producers should receive the market price.

 Payment of the minimum price is regularly audited and checked by FLO-Cert.

This acts as a vital safety net for farmers and workers and protects them from fluctuations in the market prices of the products they grow for a living.

 This protection ensures they can have an assured and stable income and plan for their future. Fairtrade is the only certification scheme that offers this unique minimum price protection for farmer


 The Fairtrade Premium


Over and above the Fairtrade minimum price, the Fairtrade Premium is an additional sum of money which goes into a communal fund for workers and farmers to use – as they see fit - to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions
.
Producers determine what is most important to them; whether this is education or healthcare for their children, improving their businesses or building vital infrastructure such as roads and bridges for their community.


What makes Fairtrade different?  
Chocolate - WEI RADIANT Super Dark Chocolate. Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Soy-free, Paleo-friendly, No GMOs, Organic, Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa fair-trade. 180g box.


Fairtrade supports farmers and workers in gaining more from trade and through this they are empowered to control their lives. It is an alternative approach that is based on partnership; one between those who grow our food and those that consume it.


Fairtrade is 50 percent owned by producers

Fairtrade works with a range of stakeholders but the global system is 50 percent owned by producers representing farmer and worker organizations. With an equal voice, producers have a say in decision-making within the General Assembly and Fairtrade International Board of Directors. Through the Board and its committees, they are involved in decisions on overall strategy, use of resources and setting prices, premiums and standards.


Fairtrade works for gender equality

Women working in agriculture in developing countries produce 60-80 percent of the world's food, but make up only 10-20 percent of land owners. Women can be excluded from decision making, and traditional and cultural gender inequality can reduce their access to property, money and other resources they need to earn living. Fairtrade incorporates gender equality and women's rights into its programming, to make sure we're working together towards a better future for all.


As well as enabling stable prices that cover the costs of sustainable production and fair working conditions Fairtrade creates market access that enables buyers to trade with producers who would otherwise be excluded from the market. 

Fairtrade creates a fair and sustainable marketing model that alleviates exploitive practices and poverty and allows people to feel empowered to create positive changes in their lives and those of their community.



Where Am I Eating An Adventure Through the Global Food Economy by Kelsey Timmerman.This book shows how what we eat affects the lives of the people who produce our food. Through compelling stories, explores the global food economy including workers rights, the global food crisis, fair trade, and immigration.