What Have I been Doing? Part 1

It feels like I’ve been doing a lot because time is just flying by. I didn’t think it had been that long since my last post, but then it also doesn’t feel like Christmas was already nearly 5 months ago. Where does the time go?

So this year so far I have hosted 3 Starting the Change clean ups (Browns Bay, Long Bay, and Rangatira Reserve) – see photos here, and a whole bunch of more.

In January we returned to Browns Bay beach for our first clean up of the year. My grandparents were over from England at the time so I’m proud to say they very eagerly participated, and did the grandparently thing of making sure we all had plenty of water and sunblock!

February saw me give a presentation for the St John Youth Division of Takapuna, and the Long Bay clean up as part of Seaweek 2016. The second clean up of the year produced a massive turn out of 57 people – the second biggest number yet 🙂

I was a lucky stallholder at the Kaipatiki Project Family Enviro Fun Day in March where we played a recycling and how long til it’s gone game with other 30 local children. The game helped children to learn not just which bin certain bits of rubbish should be put in, but also how long each item of rubbish takes to break down (if ever) once it is discarded. It was amazing day and the weather was fantastic too. The Kaipatiki Project have several similar events throughout the year so keep an eye out.

April held the Rangatira Rerserve clean up…. wow that was a workout!! Although the team that we did have was a fantastic team I couldn’t help but be a little bit disappointed (although not at all surprised) that we had such a small turn out, and that the beautiful hidden bush had been used as a dumping ground. The reserve, complete with a stream, is definitely a hidden gem so if you’re in the neighbourhood do check it out. Along with car parts and bicycles, we found that most of the rubbish was in fact rubbish bags of household rubbish thrown into the bush rather than put out on the kerbside in the collection bags. Hmmm I wonder if the ridiculous cost of them has anything to do with that?!

Starting the Change isn’t just rubbish though. Also this year my family conducted an extensive clean-up of our home, repurposing whatever could be repurposed and rehoming even more. If you have a look around there are plenty of places keen to receive your old wares, here’s the start of a list. Donating is two-fold, firstly it helps other people and secondly, you avoid the fees associated with rubbish collection and the dump. I was impressed to find an organisation that takes in unused bras, and there are numerous Pay it Forward groups on Facebook where you can donate literally anything, even half used shampoos, conditioners etc. that aren’t working for you. There’s also a collection of Facebook groups where you can rehome leftover food, spare fruit and veggies, and more.

The other thing I’ve been doing is fermenting. It started with kombucha, a cheap, easy, healthy alternative to fizzy drinks. It’s environmental and economic footprint is small and I highly recommend it. Comment for more info or a scoby – I have heaps. Since then I’ve fermented garlic, carrots, and make a couple of batches of “kimchi”. My original intent was to follow the recipe for actual, traditional kimchi but instead I ended up using up a random assortment of veggies that were otherwise destined for the rubbish bin, and that is why I love fermenting. It’s a fantastic and tasty way of using up veggies that have seen better days and no longer fit for the dinner plate. Waste not want not they say.

I’ll be loading the fermenting and preserving recipes that I find to be winners here

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