Plastic Free July

 Plastics, Shopping  Comments Off on Plastic Free July
Jun 232017

Hi everyone,

Here’s a campaign that’s close to my heart.

It’s Plastic Free July again this year! This campaign is all about raising awareness of the problems of single-use plastics and challenges us to do something about it by avoiding them for a month. I’ve been gradually reducing plastics in my life over a number of years. I can’t remember the last time we had plastic wrap in the house or I got a plastic bag from the supermarket and I’m always on the lookout for alternatives to plastic when out shopping.

What’s the challenge?

  1. Attempt to refuse single-use plastic during July.
  2. Remember it’s not going to be easy! It is a challenge, not a competition so don’t worry about being perfect.
  3. Collect any unavoidable single-use plastic you buy. Keep in a dilemma bag and share it with the Plastic Free July crew at the end of the challenge.
  4. It’s up to you how long you participate. You might decide to go plastic-free for a day, a week, a month or longer! However long you choose will still make a contribution

If avoiding all single-use plastics sounds too hard, try what’s known as the top four challenge where you choose to refuse plastic straws, plastic bags, plastic bottles and takeaway coffee cups.

When you sign up for the challenge, you’ll receive tips and tricks, news and support related to the campaign. The Plastic Free July website is also full of new resources to help you live plastic free, including a nifty Action Picker. Check it out at:

For more information and to sign up, go to:

Source: Plastic Free July

Join me on the Plastic Free July challenge and help reduce the amount of plastics in our lives.

Many thanks


Resource Management Specialist,

 Posted by at 8:09 am

Green Skiing Tips

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Green Skiing Tips
Jun 122017

Hi everyone,

The ski season officially opens this weekend. The keen skiing enthusiasts amongst us will be hoping for lots of snow and already thinking about heading off to do a bit of skiing, snowboarding or tobogganing. Some of us might even be thinking about a visit to simply check out the lovely snow covered scenery and no doubt many have already booked a trip.

If you’re planning to hit the slopes this year, please consider the environment while you’re there.  Here’s some tips to get you started:

  • Transport is probably the biggest environment impact of going to the snow – avoid flying if you can, catch a bus, train or car pool
  • Choose ski resorts close to home rather than overseas to reduce the transport miles
  • Carbon offset your travel
  • Use public transport to get to the slopes and use public transport or walk to get around the resorts
  • Choose skis and snowboards from companies that follow green principles and make products from sustainable resources such as bamboo
  • Look for eco-friendly ski gear and vegetable- based snowboard wax
  • Recycle / Donate your old equipment and ski gear
  • Don’t litter, use recycling bins where available and carry a rubbish bag around with you in case there’s no bins when you need them. You could even take that extra step and pick up litter you see.  Note: At high altitudes, orange peel takes up to 2 years to break down and cigarette butts up to 5 years
  • Respect out-of-bounds areas and stay outside  national parks whenever possible
  • Consider cross-country skiing or snow walking as these activities don’t need cleared, graded slopes, chairlifts etc.
  • Choose environment friendly resorts – check environment pages on resort web sites
  • Turn down the heat to 20 degrees and wear an extra jumper etc inside to keep nice and warm and turn off the heat when you go out
  • Switch off lights when leaving rooms and electrical appliances when not in use, just like you would at home
  • Take shorter showers (e.g. 4 mins max), turn down the hot water pressure and be frugal with water usage
  • Reuse towels when you can instead of getting fresh ones every day
  • Take your own refillable water bottles

Source: G magazine, Issue 12, July 2008, pg 57,, How to Go Green: Skiing & Snowboarding, treehugger,

Practice green skiing tips when you next venture to the snowfields and do something good for our precious environment

Many thanks


Resource Management Specialist,

 Posted by at 12:30 pm

Christmas Gift ideas

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Christmas Gift ideas
Dec 112016

Hi everyone,


Christmas is approaching at lightning speed and there’s still so much to do before the big day.  Some of you have probably already exhausted your ideas of what to get some of your loved ones. How about something that hasn’t travelled thousands of miles to get here and supports our locals?


Here’s some more gift ideas:


  • Shout them a haircut at their local hair salon or barber
  • For the ladies, a bit of pampering at the local beauty salon would be a real treat or opt for the massage which everyone would love
  • How about  a gym membership to get them fit and healthy
  • For those who hate washing their car (that’s me!), a car detail gift certificate would be most appreciated
  • Do you know someone who has been putting off getting an oil change? A voucher from the guy at the local garage would be perfect for this
  • Give them a break from the lawn mowing, which comes around ever so quickly during Summer, and arrange for the local lawn mowing service to call around
  • What about a voucher at the local cafe or restaurant for a decadent leisurely breakfast or nice meal out during the holidays
  • To help them get rid of some of those things that have been on the To Do list forever, get a gift certificate from a local handyman
  • Who’s Mum wouldn’t appreciate getting a local cleaning lady in for a day to help with those big jobs like cleaning the windows
  • For lovers of live music, seek out tickets to an event featuring local talent
  • How about tickets to see a play or ballet at your local theatre
  • Handmade, local arts and crafts are a good option for those looking for something more personal
  • For a lasting gift, get them a gift certificate for a family portrait
  • Golf enthusiasts would love a round at the local golf course


Source: Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Tradition email – source unknown


This Christmas, consider giving gifts that are kind to the environment and helps our local community too.


Many thanks




Resource Management Specialist,

 Posted by at 11:32 am

GoodOnYou app for fashion brands and accessories

 Shopping, Social Sustainability, Sustainable Tools  Comments Off on GoodOnYou app for fashion brands and accessories
Oct 212016


Hi everyone,

We’re more than half way through Buy Nothing New Month and a good time to take a look at the companies that make the fashion products we buy.

The Good On You App has been developed to help us make better choices. The App rates brands using the three categories of people, the planet and animals. The rating are based on a set of principles and independent date sources. So far the App has rating for almost 1000 . The aim is to provide a rating for every brand you can readily buy.

When we decide to buy something new (after this month) we can support companies doing the right thing for our people, our planet and our animals.

You can download the App from Apple App Store or Google Play.

For more information, go to:

Source: The Good On You app makes shopping fairer, Buy Nothing New Month email dated 17/10/2016, Good On You web site,

Get more informed about the companies that make your favourite brands and help to support the good ones.

Many thanks


Resource Management Specialist,

 Posted by at 8:37 am

Buy Nothing New Month and the Online Op Shop

 Recycling, Shopping  Comments Off on Buy Nothing New Month and the Online Op Shop
Oct 172016

Hi everyone,


I think most of you know by now how much I love Op Shops. There is so much choice and I’ve found some really great stuff over the years. I’m a sucker for books and DVDs and have also found lots of really good quality clothes. I can’t remember the last time I went to a shopping mall or bought new clothing.


That’s why I’m excited to let you know about a great web site called And there’s no better time to check it out than during Buy Nothing New Month. It’s a one stop shop to find Op Shops all over Australia. Simply enter your suburb or postcode and a list of Op Shops will be displayed in your area.


You’ll find it at:


Give a go and have fun finding something special that also helps to get great stuff back into being used.


Many thanks



 Posted by at 12:21 pm

Old Tyre Recycling

 Plastics, Recycling, Shopping  Comments Off on Old Tyre Recycling
Sep 272016

Hi everyone,

Can you believe Australia discards almost 48 million old tyres each year? Only 16 per cent are currently recycled. The rest end up in landfill, stockpiled, illegally dumped or shipped overseas.

The good news is the Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme has been set up to tackle this huge issue. The main objectives of the scheme are:

  • Increasing resource recovery and recycling
  • Minimising the environmental and health and safety impacts
  • Developing Australia’s tyre recycling industry and markets for tyre derived products.

You can help support the scheme by dealing with Tyre Stewardship Accredited suppliers. This will ensure your old tyres are recycled in the most environmentally sustainable way.

Look for the logo or go to our website to find your nearest supplier:

Source: RoyalAuto, Aug-16, pg 39, TyreStewardship Australia

Supporting a Tyre Stewardship Accredited supplier is a good thing to do for our environment next time you need to replace your old tyres.

Many thanks


Resource Management Specialist,

 Posted by at 1:43 pm

Green Message: “Ark of Taste”

 Community Gardens, Food, Shopping  Comments Off on Green Message: “Ark of Taste”
Sep 252016

Hi everyone,

The Ark of Taste is an international project run by the Slow Food Movement that helps protect food products from becoming extinct. There are over 3000 products on the list so far that are at risk due to industrial agriculture, standardisation and large scale distribution of global food markets as well as environment issues. In Australia, the Slow Movement Ark of Taste focus on our diverse climate, culture and unique flora and fauna. In particular, the food from the diets of indigenous Australians and culture e.g. Finger Limes from Australia’s East Coast.

Currently, the Australian Ark has 23 products with more at the nomination stage. Anyone can nominate a food for the Ark of Taste.

The categories include:

Endangered – produced in limited quantities and may not be around in next one or two generations

Good – prized for their special taste or process

Clean – not engineered and can be grown, raised or produced without harm to the environment

Fair – food that anyone can champion, produce, sell or share – no commercial or trademark items

To nominate a food for the Ark of Taste, go to:

For more information, go to:

Source: Ark of Taste – Protecting Biodiversity, Slow Food in Australia,


Hop on board the Ark of Taste to protect our food biodiversity.

Many thanks


Resource Management Specialist,

 Posted by at 1:39 pm

“Buy Nothing New” month – October

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on “Buy Nothing New” month – October
Sep 232016

Hi everyone,

I’m getting in early to let you know about “Buy Nothing New” month which kicks off on the 1st of October as there’s a public holiday in Melbourne next Friday and I didn’t want you to miss it. A month-long buying fast that makes a whole lot of sustainable sense. Beg, borrow, barter, swap, rent, share, repair or buy second hand to be a part of this great challenge.

The Buy Nothing New challenge is asking you to stop shopping for JUST four weeks. This doesn’t mean you can’t buy anything.  Obviously you’ll still need to buy food, drink, medication and anything you need to maintain your health and wellbeing. During this time you can learn some new buying habits, reassess how much you really need, look at where our stuff comes from and make wiser decisions when you do head out to the shops.  It’s also a reaction to our “throwaway society” where we see precious resources turning into landfill all too quickly. No greater evidence of this is around my neighbourhood at this time of year as it’s the annual hard rubbish collection. Masses of stuff in good condition gets thrown out on the nature strip ready to be collected and taken to landfill.

Buy Nothing New month aims to extend the life and maximise the value of existing stuff by promoting recycled, free-cycled, up-cycled, second hand and eco-friendly alternatives to buying new. And, by not spending on stuff we don’t need, increasing our savings for the things we do need.

To make your pledge, go to:

Source: Buy Nothing New Month

Pledge to Buy Nothing New during October and challenge over consumption.

Many thanks


Resource Management Specialist,

 Posted by at 11:18 am

Spring Cleaning Naturally

 Shopping  Comments Off on Spring Cleaning Naturally
Sep 022016

Yippee! Spring is finally here. This is the time when many of us think about having a big clean-up. The weather is improving and we all start to get out of our Winter Hibernation mode.

If you’ve caught the Spring Cleaning bug, instead of reaching for cleaning products made of a cocktail of stuff with long names there are many environmentally friendly alternatives that do just as good a job without harming our environment.  I arm myself with some micro fibre cloths, spray bottles of water & vinegar and the most versatile cleaning agent of all bi-carb soda

Here’s some ideas for those big jobs:

Windows & Mirrors:

  • Remove dust with a broom or dry cloth then use undiluted vinegar in a spray bottle & wipe over with a micro fibre cloth, tissue paper or newspaper

Tip: It’s best to clean windows on a cloudy day to avoid streaks

Bathroom Tiles:

  • Make a paste using liquid castile soap and bi-carb soda and apply to tiles, leave overnight then rinse off

Tip: You should do a bit of a test on modern surfaces before going all out with the bi-carb just in case it doesn’t like it.

Oven Cleaning:

  • To clean the oven, mix bi-carb soda with water to make a paste then apply over racks, walls and base with a pastry brush. Turn oven on low and cook for 10 mins then turn off and allow to cool a little. Remove racks and take to sink area. Lightly buff bi-carb soda from racks while still dry with a stainless steel scourer then wash with soapy water. Scrape inside of the oven with a plastic spatula, then wipe over with warm soapy water

Washing glass:

  • To remove stains from flower vases & glass water bottles, soak them in warm water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of salt for a few hours

Fridge Cleaning:

  • Wipe the inside of the fridge with a solution of 1 part bi-carb soda and 7 parts water. Wash removable parts in hot water and environment friendly detergent. To finish off, wipe over with a damp cloth and a few drops of vanilla essence

De-scale Kettles:

  • Cover the element with vinegar, top up with water. Bring to the boil and leave overnight then rinse. I’ve also used slices of lemon which works a treat

Carpet Cleaning:

  • To deodorise carpets, sprinkle with bi-carb soda  then vacuum

Furniture Polish:

  • Use 1 part lemon juice and 2 parts olive oil or beeswax. I used the lemon and olive oil option on some wooden stuff and it came up beautifully

Tip: You should test an area that can’t be seen first

Metal Polish:

  • To remove tarnish or rust from copper, brass or steel, make a paste of salt and lemon juice and apply with toothpaste

Tip: As per above, you should test an area that can’t be seen first


For more hints & tips from Planet Ark courtesy of the NSW DECCW, go to


Source: Organic at home, Murdoch books, 2005, ACF GreenHome Guide, pg 50, 21 Ways to Spring Clean your Whole House Naturally


Let’s all spring around our homes naturally and do something really good for our environment.

Many thanks


Resource Management Specialist,


Spring Flowers By Anita Martinz from Klagenfurt, Austria (Colorful spring garden) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

 Posted by at 7:46 am

A sustainable Father’s Day

 Events, Shopping  Comments Off on A sustainable Father’s Day
Aug 262016

Hi everyone,

It’s Father’s Day on Sunday 4 September. If you observe Father’s Day, here’s some ideas to give it a bit of a green theme.

  • If ties, socks or clothing is on the list, look for organic cotton, bamboo or hemp items
  • If giving shaving products is a preference, avoid synthetic and chemically based and choose items with organic and natural ingredients
  • If your Dad enjoys a drink, choose from the ever increasing selection of organic wines or green beer ranges
  • Lots of Dads are into gadgets – there’s a great range of solar powered chargers, clocks, watches and even wind-up gadget options available these days
  • If your Dad is a keen gardener, a tree or shrub will be a long lasting gift to enjoy
  • Check out antique shops, op shops and garage sales to find that extra special vintage gift
  • Opt for a service instead of a gift such as a massage voucher or movie tickets
  • Give an experience such as a BBQ cooking class, Barista course, winery tour or sailing trip – the Internet has a stack of sites that offer gift experiences
  • Consider a sponsorship or a donation to your favourite charity e.g. Oxfam Unwrapped, World Vision Gifts, Greenfleet, Fuel for Father’s Day
  • Grab a green gift certificate from the many online eco-stores available on the Internet
  • For the avid readers, consider a subscription to an eco-magazine or online newspaper
  • Homemade gifts are a good choice or offer to spend an afternoon doing something that your Dad chooses to do or even a disliked chore like cleaning the car or mowing the lawn
  • Serve local and/or organic food at your Father’s Day lunch and avoid disposable cups, plates etc

Enjoy Father’s Day and help to make it a green day too.

Many thanks


Resource Management Specialist,

 Posted by at 10:03 am