Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Story of Stuff or Filling Landfills

As I've mentioned before, and will undoubtedly mention again, we need to stop consuming so much. After watching the video, The Story of Stuff, I was compelled to address this topic again. As consumers, we control the companies and their business models. In basic economics, there is the theory of supply and demand. Simply, if there is a demand (consumption), someone will meet it with supply (producers and products). However, if there is dwindling demand (consumption), then it follows that the supply (producers and products) will also fall. After watching the video, you will see how much the stuff we buy affects everything. Being a conscious consumer most importantly means consuming less and making better consumer decisions such as what we buy, who we buy it from, how much we buy, and how long it will last. The cheapest price doesn't always have the greatest value; in fact it rarely has decent value. Also the life of the product should be considered.

All you need to do is think before you purchase something, "Do I support the circumstances that made this product?" "Why am I in/directly supporting this company/product?"

After you ask yourself these simple questions, you can be considered a responsible consumer.

Why ‘Increased Energy Efficiency’ Won’t Save Us

This was an article taken from The Permaculture Research Institute of the USA, written by Craig Mackintosh

Why ‘Increased Energy Efficiency’ Won’t Save Us

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mother's Day Gift

This mothers day, I built my mom a small herb garden. We picked out a spot in the back of our house. It wasn't large, but enough for one person to easily manage. The total area was about 14sq ft.The area had decent soil but we decided to make a raised bed to give our herbs a good start, and to make it that much harder for slugs and snails to get to. The location isn't ideal, as it is blocked by a wall from the morning sun. But it still gets noon and afternoon sun and suits our needs well enough.

We used concrete blocks for a simple and sturdy boarder, and filled in with a mixture of compost, leaf litter, soil conditioner, and soil.

The initial planting included creeping thyme, Italian flat-leafed parsley, alyssum, purslane, nasturtiums, and cilantro. Some additions that will come later are: chives, garlic,

These are pictures taken about three weeks later. It has already provided fresh organic herbs for our meals. I encourage you to start a little (or large) herb garden. Herbs are often very easy to grow and maintain, and can make meals even more tasteful. Plus, fresh and dried herbs are often very expensive in the market, so you can save some money and guarantee freshness by growing your own. Ain't nothing better.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Getting on the Right (and left) foot

Okay, I took the bus about a week ago. It went pretty smoothly, as I expected. It was fuller than I thought it would be, which is promising. To show that there is demand for the service can only induce greater attention and funding towards it. Since the first occasion, I have ridden it one other time, which was also nice.

I have been busy (or feeling busy) lately and haven't had the energy or creativity to post as often. There has been alot going on in my head and don't know how to get it out. Over the next few days, I will try to get them down here.

I have begun riding my bike to work. From Pukalani to Kula Hardware, it takes me about an hour to make the roughly six mile uphill journey to work in the morning. I arrive refreshed and ready to work. However, I do notice that I tire sooner in the day, especially with the amount of moving and carrying I do. The best part of the day is the ride back down. The hour journey uphill in the morning now takes me 15minutes to get home. This is one uphill that is worth the downhill.

I will make it a daily ritual to ride to work. I was able to do it when I was in Taiwan and I will do it here too.

Challege #4: Use an alternate method of transport to get somewhere you usually go.

This could mean walking to the corner store, rather than driving. It could mean taking the train, bus, or bike to get to work. It will take you longer to get to point B, but don't think of it as wasted time, but time you can use to talk to a friend, read a book, get some exercise, catch some z's, or take it easy. Not to mention using less gas/oil/fuel. Sometimes we are so caught up with the speed of modern life, we forget we are alive.