#EarthHour2017 a decade of turning lights off…

#EarthHour2017 a decade of turning lights off…

Earth Hour 2017

Happy 10th Anniversary Earth Hour!

Congratulations to lasting the distance!

Congratulations Earth Hour  to one decade of persuading the world to turn the lights off for an evening or even the night. What commenced as a simple gimmick has turned into a world wide phenomenon stimulating debate about climate change and environmental issues.

Initially I viewed Earth Hour as a soft campaign making it easy and comfortable for people to indulge in a small gesture and feel good about themselves as they are ‘fighting’ climate change. [Read more…]

How to find Happiness?

How to find Happiness?

Why we need the International Day of Happiness

Some say that emphasising happiness actually makes us unhappy because we can’t be on a high all the time and might be putting too much pressure on ourselves. However, the definition of happiness is much broader than a particular feeling and relates to how content we are with our life.

“Happiness is about our lives as a whole: it includes the fluctuating feelings we experience everyday but also our overall satisfaction with life. It is influenced by our genes, upbringing and our external circumstances – such as our health, our work and our financial situation. But crucially it is also heavily influenced by our choices – our inner attitudes, how we approach our relationships, our personal values and our sense of purpose.” quoted from www.actionforhappiness.org

“Happiness is neither a frivolity nor a luxury. It is a deep-seated yearning shared by all members of the human family.” – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, 2014

[Read more…]

10 Tips How to Set up a Worm Farm – A Quick Guide.

10 Tips How to Set up a Worm Farm – A Quick Guide.

Why Farm Worms?

Compost is an essential resource in any garden. Even in a small space, container gardening will be easier when you can create at least some of your own growing medium. In larger gardens, compost is a necessity. It can help you make sure that your soil remains healthy and capable of providing high yields. Fortunately, you can create compost even in the smallest of spaces.

A worm farm is a great way to create compost and worm farms come in all sizes. Worms can help you to break down kitchen waste into a great soil-enriching material, full of nutrients that will help your plants to grow. [Read more…]

The First Day of Spring: Celebrating Wattle Day

The First Day of Spring: Celebrating Wattle Day

Spring

Most of us are aware that the 1 September is the 1st day of spring in Australia. (In the astronomical calendar spring begins the 21 September but we do things differently here.)

If we are walking through life with our eyes wide open we notice nature blossoming all around us during this time of year, in particular, the strikingly yellow blossoms of a vast variety of wattles.

Wattle Day & the Golden Wattle

The Golden Wattle in full bloomThe 1st day of spring is also Wattle Day and the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) is Australia’s official national floral emblem.

The Australian national colours of green and gold are derived from the Golden Wattle and are very well known due to national and international sport events – it would be interesting to find out how many Australians are aware of their origins.

The Wattle League Foundation

I was reminded last year when I was lucky enough to be involved in the launch of the Wattle League Foundation, a wonderful initiative aimed at providing supported transitional accommodation and support to veterans who find themselves homeless or at risk of homelessness as a result of mental health concerns.

As part of the background research for setting up this foundation I came across Wattle Day and loved that this common and humble plant is the national floral emblem of Australia. How very fitting and it wouldn’t it be lovely to make the wattle fashionable.

Plant a Wattle

Wattle Bush in Broken Head

Wattle Bush in Broken Head

I have planted quite a few in my garden and they are prospering and are much loved by bees and birds.

Why not plant a Golden Wattle or any other variety this September to celebrate Australia and all its beauty? You can find instructions on this fact sheet!

 

Sustainability education: educating young change makers

manthinkSustainability education: How do we ensure that future generation are equipped to deal with the challenges they will face? Climate change consequences and overpopulation are two of the major issues forcing us to take a good look at the way we live including our diets: the production and distribution of food; land ownership; the nature of work and the entire economic system.

One of the greatest tasks for society then is to equip children with the attitudes, values, knowledge and skills necessary to rethink and change current patterns of action and to secure healthy, just and sustainable futures for all. (Davis and Cooke, 1996)

Sustainability Awareness

Knowledge and information about the world around us is more available than ever before. Society is finding ways of solving social and environmental problems and making the shift towards creating change. But practical change is slow. [Read more…]

The best Mother’s Day present

The best Mother’s Day present

There is something unifying about Mother’s Day that few other commemorative days have to offer – we all have a mother and wouldn’t be in this world without her (our fathers have played a minor role of course… but that is a story for another day.)

Mother’s Day is for all of us and, regardless of circumstance, is an opportunity to cherish women for what they bring to the world. Women, like men are diverse human beings and come in all shapes and forms. Women are not perfect by any means however, today is not about a balanced discussion about the complexity and diversity of women. [Read more…]

Single on Valentine’s Day? Don’t stress – it has it’s benefits!

Single on Valentine’s Day? Don’t stress – it has it’s benefits!

You are single on Valentine’s Day – you are not alone!

World-wide, the single person household is growing rapidly in line with economic development and education. The more developed and educated, the higher the proportion of single person households…it is predicted that the lone person household will rise most of all households over the next 25 years and more than half of these households are females.  And the reason is simply that people want to live an individualistic lifestyle when they can afford it.

The economics of Valentine’s Day

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Green Valentine’s Day 2016 for greenie sweethearts

Green Valentine’s Day 2016 for greenie sweethearts

What is Valentine’s Day about ?

If love is an embrace, a kiss, caring and feeling – a fondness or affection, why then has the annual celebration of love – St. Valentine’s Day become a consumer driven machine worth an estimated $18.9 billion USD that leaves even the most reasonable of spendthrifts feeling a little sinful (estimate of figures by About News – that’s huge!)

In the 1850’s Esther A. Howland began mass producing Valentine’s cards in the US, from the 18th century custom of exchanging handmade cards to loved ones on St. Valentine’s Day and it has steadily gained momentum to the excessive holiday it is today that people love to hate and retailers unashamedly relish.

St. Valentine’s Day wasn’t always linked with love, it wasn’t until Chaucer’s Love Birds that the custom of exchanging cards began.

The history of Valentine’s Day:

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Reflections on Mother’s Day

vcm_s_kf_repr_640x448It’s Mother’s Day again. We take the existence of modern day Mother’s Day for granted and it seems a great idea. Because mothers mostly put their children first Mother’s Day is designed to put mothers’ needs first for a change. It apparently is celebrated in more than 45 countries. Because, surprise, surprise, everybody has a mother! Hence – this day is relevant to all of us. Whether we want to remember our mothers or still have the opportunity to spend time or money on our mother or whether we are a mother – Mother’s Day is for all of us.

The modern day version of Mother’s Day originated in the USA and is just over 100 years old. Unfortunately and allegedly to the despair of the women who advocated for the day, it is has been largely commercialised.

Mother’s Day gifts that Won’t Cost the Earth

[Read more…]

From speciesism to compassionism

From speciesism to compassionism

It’s time we exercised some compassion – we have become pretty sufficient at being passionate just about everything. Passionate about food, cooking, design, music our jobs and the list goes on.

Now it is time to be COMPASSIONATE and exercise compassion-ism!   Compassionism is the practice of compassion for ‘all living things’ as opposed to species-ism, a term which was coined in the mid 70 ties to describe ‘the idea that being human is a good enough reason for human animals to have greater moral rights than non-human animals’. On what basis? And why do we eat some and not other animals?

 Did you know that, every year 65 billion animals are raised and slaughtered for their meat. That’s nine animals for every person on Earth.

[Read more…]