Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Whilst we all have urban gardening in common, are there any other measures you take in your household involving sustainable living?

My urban gardening has been with me for some years now but the 'lifestyle choice' of sustainable living has really captivated me in recent years.

I've been eating organic meat for years and due to the large amount of produce coming out of the garden i'm finding my meat intake is far less than what it used to be. I personally don't buy into angle often spruked by vegans about land degradation and depletion of natural resources. Sure it's true on large scale operations but the same can be said about the fruit and vegetable industry. Buying organic and locally from small artisan producers is having a positive impact for sustainability.

One thing that really irks me is unnecessary waste. Between the chickens and the worm farm all the kitchen scraps are accounted for meaning not much makes it to the general bin. The recycle bin is another story as it's often full in a week. I know it's all 'recyclable' but with all the labor and machines involved it's sugar coating it a bit too much for my liking. This is something I'd like to address.

Having been living in My house for only 2 years (previously in a unit) I was unable to take advantage of the many government grants for solar, insulation and water tanks. This is something that I'm saving for at the moment.

Does anyone have a hybrid car? I have a company car so I can't do much there.

What else do you do or could you do?

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I've been interested in the sustainable lifestyle thing for a while now too.  We have solar (and get plenty back for it but it's still paying itself off in outlay), a water tank (11500L), chooks which I also feed with scraps from work, a worm farm and compost heap.  

I've stopped buying cleaners aside from dishwashing liquid and laundry liquid and have started using vinegar and bicarb instead.  I've also stopped using shampoo and conditioner and use bicarb and vinegar for that too.  

We have a greywater hose for the washing machine and I am currently bucketing water from the shower.  The shower has almost a bath thing at the bottom so we can put a plug in and save all the water.  

I try to avoid plastic bags and have made my own vegie bags to take to the shops.  I make all our bread and avoid packaged foods like chips, muesli bars etc.  We buy our veg that we can't grow ourselves from the markets and buy organic where possible.  

I take public transport part of the way to work and hubby now takes the bus which he can walk to.  I have a car but he has a motorbike so that uses less fuel.  I don't buy ethanol because it 10% ethanol decreased my fuel efficiency by over 10% therefore making it worse for the environment plus I have an problem with how the ethanol is produced and don't personally think it's all that sustainable itself.  Instead I try to use the car as little as possible and walk to my local supermarket.

We don't have airconditioning just one ceiling fan.  We had insulation installed when the rebate was going and got the recycled newspaper option for that.  I've been trying to change how much the house heats up with my planting scheme - fruit trees on the western side and a grape vine on the north.  On the days I really need to cool off I put my feet in a bucket of water.

In terms of the rubbish we make maybe 1 bag of normal rubbish per week so I try to only put the bin out once a fortnight provided there's nothing smelly in there. We still manage to fill our recycling bin but I think that's more because I bring veg scraps home from work in bulky cardboard boxes.

I think the main area that needs improving is how much fruit and veg we grow at home.  I'm working on a proper crop rotation system now but it's been too hot to plant anything lately and our tank is nearly out of water.

Good luck with your sustainable conversion!

The old moto : Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I have just sent this message to Woolworths - yes I do shop there we have to go somewhere!

Re Brown Rice Crackers.I will not be buying this product again because it is over packaged, 1 cardboard box, 4 inside plastic packets. Totaly unnecessary, as it just makes landfill. also I note they are made in China, another reason not to buy.

Do look at country of manufacture on biscuits you will see that most these days are made overseas, perhaps I should be making my own as we do bread with Kialla flour. I grow fruit & veg, have solar hot water, electricity, large rainwater tanks & try to buy as close to home as possible.

Check the label on your Kialla flour.  It is often imported - particularly their spelt flour.

From what I have seen, Spelt or organic Spelt anyway, is grown in Canada. Kialla used to be a small business based on the Darling Downs; it was sold many years ago now and a trusted brand has now become one where the labels are inspected minutely to see where the stuff is from.

Some good ideas here, thank you!

My interest area is in sustainable transport or more particularly human powered transport. While I still own a car, have aircon in the house, have a pool and generally transgress unsustainably in lots of ways, I do have a garden, an aquaponics setup and try to minimise my car use by use of my bike fleet.

My pride and joy is my velomobile, while expensive to buy, it is a real individual transport option instead of a car. I am a shiftworker at the airport (not for much longer!!) and regularly commute in my velomobile. On a door to door basis it is only 5 min longer than a car, except on a Friday afternoon, when it beats the car hands down. There are 3 of these machines in Brisbane, but I am the only one on the northside-give me a wave when you see me around, I'm more than happy to stop and have a chat to spread the message about these great bikes.

If only we have the bike infrastructure they would really take off....!

A You Tube video giving an overview

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65ssP0vJ5s4

Blimy! No skid lid either ... great idea but perhaps a tad scary with all the motor-powered vehicles around.

Despite the common perception they are hard to see, they ARE very visible! I certainly feel much safer in this than on my normal bike-cars give me a much wider berth than on my other bikes.

Re the skid lid, not the appropriate forum for a discussion, but -Helmets are great, Helmet Laws are not!

I take it that this is a recumbent with streamlining on steroids ;-)

Its basically a recumbent trike with a fibreglass fairing. But with full suspension, lights, indicators. They are also available with electric assist, which I will probably get when I'm a bit older!

That's pretty cool! What sort of coin are we talking here?

They are not cheap, but around $10k. They are handmade in the Netherlands, freight is about $2k out to Aus. But as a car replacement it would pay for itself pretty quickly. A completely weatherproof hood is also available, so they are rideable in all weather.

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