Living Sustainably On Our Planet & Better Use Of Resources
North Facing Living Areas In The Southern Hemisphere
As a child growing up, my father was always reminding us to turn lights off in rooms we were not using, or was always turning the Hot Water off to save electricity, much to my Mother’s despair. So living sustainably and using our Resources wisely was something I grew up with. Our family home had been designed so that all our Living areas were North Facing capturing so much of the winter sun that we never actually had any heating in our house in winter (this was north of Auckland in New Zealand). As soon as the afternoon temperatures started to drop, we closed the curtains to keep the heat in, and if we were cold, we were told to go put some warmer clothes on.
Living In Cities Is Very Wasteful
After living in cities for many years, I developed an awareness of how much our Resources are wasted, and for a long time there was no opportunity to recycle anything, including composting our food scrapes at times. In recent years, local councils introduced Recycling Bins and even Green Bins for garden waste. But something about living in a city, and its wastefulness encouraged me to finally move to a Regional area, and it was the best move I ever made. City living in itself is wasteful and your local Council has to deal with the disposal of so much rubbish from so many people living so densely together.
Live More Sustainably In Regional Areas
We obtained 40 acres of forest four years ago, in a remote location where there is no Grid connected electricity, no water or gas services, no mail service and no rubbish service. The property had some small buildings on them, and we have utilized them to the fullest without having to put a house on the property. We upgrade the Solar System twice in order for it to reach our work capacities (as we work online), using only electricity from the Sun. In the winter months, where there are less sunshine hours, we modify our electricity usage to use less electricity, which often means reading instead of entertainment requiring high electricity usage, and we do not have television here and using candles for lighting. Worm Composting Septic System Takes Cardboard, Paper, Gets Rid Of Weeds & Plant Clippings
We had to finish off one building which is our Clinic and bathroom, and installed an environmentally friendly Worm Composting Septic System, so all the water used on our property gets used twice. The Worm Composting Septic System pumps out its end by-product as worm casting and water, which then waters the fruit trees or the vegetable garden. Our Worm Composting Septic System handles all our paper and cardboard waste, as well as all our weeds and garden pruning’s. This saves many trips to the local rubbish tip as we no longer have to take our paper waste nor our garden waste there any longer. The Tiger Worms in the Worm Composting Septic System soon break it all down very quickly.
Set Up A Vegetable Garden That Takes Care Of Itself
We set up a Water Wicking vegetable garden with plumbing pipes running down three channels so it only needs to be watered with the garden hose a couple of times per week, even during 40 degrees Celsius temperatures. The outlet hose from the Worm Composting Septic System empties into the base of our vegetable garden, watering the vegetable garden from beneath, and avoiding evaporation. The Water Wicking vegetable garden is designed to hold 10 centre metres (cm) of water in base of it due to the polythene plastic which holds the water in. We also place shade cloth over the entire vegetable garden in the hot summer months to prevent unnecessary evaporation of the soil, after first mulching the entire vegetable garden thickly with Lucerne hay either form the chook pen, or from fresh bales of Lucerne hay.
Make More Nutrients More Bioavailable To Your Plants
We planted around 20 fruit trees and placed Eco-Sacs around them, which hold around 30 litres of water that drip 1 litre of water on the fruit trees daily. The only time we water the fruit trees is in the hot summer months, which takes 15 minutes per day by hand with water from our dam. Before we placed the Eco-Sacs around our fruit trees it was taking us 1 ½ hours to water them per day, so the Eco-Sacs have been a great automatic watering system and time saver. All we have to do is fill them up around once per month. We also set up several Worm Farms and placed Composing worms around the base of all of our fruit trees. Every year we top these up with fresh cow or horse manure, and then all they require is water every day to keep them moist, so the Eco-Sacs also assist with keeping the worms moist around the fruit trees, also preventing soil evaporation. The Composing Worms make the nutrients more bio-available to the fruit trees, and provide them with most of the nutrients they need all year around.
Chooks Provide Enterntainment, Fertilizer And Food
We built a chook pen and obtained chooks which provide us with fresh eggs and great fertilizer for the garden. We have lined their sleeping quarters and laying beds with fresh Lucerne hay, which they also like to have a bit of a nibble at. Every three months, we sweep out the Lucerne hay from the chook pen laden with droppings and scatter this on top of the vegetable garden. Unfortunately chook droppings are too strong for the Composting Worms so this does not go into the worm farms. Our Kitchen waste is all recycled. What the chooks don't eat gets feed to the worms such as tea bags, coffee grounds, hair, dust, etc. Only a few things like citrus skins, onions and garlic waste goes on separate pile to break down, as neither the chooks nor the Composting Worms like these.
Keeping Warm & Using Less Solar Power In Winter
The Slow Combustion Wood Stove in the kitchen heats our hot water and provides warmth in winter and cooking. Only in summer, when it is hot, do we cook on a gas stove, as we do not need to heat the hot water as it remains at approximately 25-30 degrees Celsius on hot days. We also run our refrigerator on Gas, which is a more environmentally friendly option as there is not enough electricity in winter to use an electric refrigerator, and sometimes in summer we use a camping refrigerator instead of the gas refrigerator, which uses much less electricity. The camping refrigerator has a top opening lid, so it does not dump the cold air onto the floor every time we open it.
All Of Our Water Get Used At Least Twice & Is Always Recycled
We also use two large buckets in the shower. Firstly we run the first cold water into the buckets and use this water for the garden, and then we place a foot in each bucket whilst showering, to catch as much water as possible. This water is left to stand for 24 hours to biodegrade, before we use this to water other garden beds. This water does not go onto the fruit trees or the vegetable garden because of the soap content, and because we are growing all of our fruit and vegetables organically.
Living In One Room Uses Less Resource & Is Far More Environmentally Friendly
As we live in a one room cottage, we only have one small area to heat and keep warm in winter. This cottage is very heavily insulted, so we don’t need to have the Slow Combustion Wood Stove going all day in the winter, as the insulation keeps this room warm all day. On days that it does cool down, we often keep warm by putting thermals and warm clothes on, or by placing a hot water bottle on our laps, as it is our bodies we need to keep warm not the room. We have plenty of dead wood all around our property, so we never need to source firewood from anywhere else. In the
evening, after cooking dinner we keep warm by having our pet cat sitting on our lap – he is a very environmentally friendly body warmer. Get yourself a lap dog or a cuddly kitty from the local Animal Shelter, and train him or her to keep you warm in winter. This can save a lot of heating costs.
An Alternative Heating Solution That Is Clean, Mess Free & Very Environmentally Friendly
We needed a suitable environmentally friendly way to heat our Clinic in winter, and after doing much research online, we found a Water Heater that runs on Ethanol. It is the most environmentally friendly fuel you can possible get, and other than a bit of evaporation of moisture on the windows, warms the Clinic room up quickly and stays warm for as long as we need it. There is only a slight smell of the Ethanol, and so far no-one has really noticed it, reacted to it, nor commented on it, other than saying that it is very warm. In fact, often it gets too warm and we have to turn it down to low or even turn it off. The Ethanol Fireplace heats the bathroom too in winter if we are using it to have a bath.
Allow Yourself To Acclimatize, Use Less Air Conditioning & Feel The Heat Less
In the summer when it is very hot, we find it is better to acclimatize to the heat and not run the evaporative cooling or air-conditioning. Once you have acclimatised to the heat, you do not notice it as much. We often find people who use air-conditioning all day and night, often complain more about the heat them most, as they never allow themselves to get used to it. Hot weather is far less noticeable, and you sleep a lot better at night when it is hot if you allow yourself to get used to the heat. Drink plenty of water, cold if you must to cool yourself down, and if necessary take a cold shower before you go to bed to bring your body temperature done and you will sleep better. We only use Evaporative Cooling, as it is more effective, and uses less resources but only when it is absolutely necessary and quite rarely.
Heat Reflective Roof Paint Keeps You Home Much Cooler In Summer
We also plan to get our roof tops painted with “Heat Reflective” paint, however, the painter did not get around to doing the job last year, so now we will wait until next spring and have him do the job then. Heat Reflective paint can bring the temperature of your roof down by 50-60 degrees Celsius, keeping the inside of your home much cooler inside, even on hot summer days, reducing your need for cooling. Did you know that you can also get Solar Powered Air-Conditioning installed onto your roof?
Have You Notice What A Disposable Society It Is That We Live In?
Have you noticed that we live in a very “disposable” society? We are always encouraged to buy a new mobile/cell phone or a new computer before the old one has worn out, or buy new appliances to stay up to date with the latest technology. We even still some old mobile phones – one we use as a rechargeable torch (so we don’t have to use disposable batteries) and the other we use as an MP3 player.
Recycle, Reuse, Refuse
Personally, we always use every item we own to its fullest, and only when something is totally unusable would we even consider about replacing it. We even use out old buckets with holes and cracks in them, as they make great Worm Farms. We always ensure that all of our electrical appliances, when we have finished with them, are all totally recycled from our old mobile phone to the old vacuum cleaner. Did you know that your local council now provide “Wecycling” for all your old appliances including your old television?
Do You Really Need New Clothes Or Just A Change In Variety?
Why buy new clothes unless too you have to (such underwear of course)? If you have several friends who are your size, why not do a clothes swap with them? Often we are just tired of wearing the same things, so why not get yourself an entirely new wardrobe, at no cost at all, by swapping clothes with your friends. Also look in Op Shops for new clothes. We often find brand new items, still with their tags on that have never been worn, for a fraction of what they would cost new. They often sell top designer and vintage clothing, so you can have a totally Retro wardrobe and never be caught wearing the same as someone else is wearing that is shop bought, and always be totally original in the way you dress! Are You A Hunter & Gatherer?
When watching a movie recently about an Anthropologist who had been living in the jungle for some time, he put across a very interesting concept. He drew this incredible map of the world. He drew some races of people around the planet in Blue and other races around the Planet in Red. When questioned about this, he explained that the races of people in Blue are the Hunters and Gathers, who always used their Resources wisely and contributed back to the Planet as much as they took from it. The other races of people he drew in Red, he explained, where the Users of the Planet. He explained that the Users usually lived in cities and did not care about taking all the Planet’s resources, and everything to them was at their Disposal or was disposable.
So which one are you? Are you a User of this Planet or are you a Contributor. That is a very Interesting Point-Of-View isn’t it?
I regularlyspeak to Community Groups about healing, Kinesiology, EMF Sensitivity, Sustainability and how to use our Resources better, and can be contacted via this website.
Karen Winter Dip.HSc.Kin
Kinesiologist & Access Consciousness Facilitator
Orgone Products By Usage