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Showing posts from December, 2010

One set of bins for the entire year - can it be done?

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Principle 6: Produce no waste


Typical of many houses in Australia we have two bins, a 120lt rubbish bin that is collected weekly and a 240lt recycle bin that is collected fortnightly. We can produce 6,240lt (or 3,120kg) of waste and 6,240lt (or 2,840kg) of recycling for a cost of $270 for the year. This cost is a compulsory part of our rates, so in order to get good value for money we should fill up our bins at every opportunity, right?

Many people in our neighbourhood manage to fill them up, but we don't produce anywhere near that amount of waste / recycling. I suggested to Kunie that we should keep track of how much rubbish and recycling we collect by only putting the bins out when they are full. Kunie's response was to suggest that we only put the bins out once for the whole year! I was a bit taken aback, but thought that we might just be able to do it - if we really put our minds to it.

Our 'binimum' approach has been:
growing our own fruit, veg and herbsbuying fresh…

Okuizome - a celebration of life and food

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Principle 10: Use and value diversity

Our youngest son, Sen, has been on breast milk for six months and has been pretty keen to explore other taste sensations - like the floor, seat harness, basically anything that he can reach. Kunie has been actively sharing her cultural heritage with our two boys, speaking to them in Japanese, preparing traditional meals and sharing some of the customs. Food is a cultural focus in Japan, much more so than in Australia, and the Okuizome ritual welcomes children to the joys of food.

Okuizome is a traditional Japanese ceremony that has been around for about 1000 years. It was once common for babies to die before reaching the 100th day milestone, in more recent times the ritual is held at around six months. Special dishes are prepared for the baby, with the hope that he / she will always have enough food in his life. The colour theme of the food and dishes is red, which brings luck in many Asian cultures. The food that is presented on the ceremonial tr…

Featured in the Permaculture Diary

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The 2011 diary features stories about sustainable building, including a short story about the Abdallah House project. Other building stories include:
the amazing transformation of a suburban block in Wollongong on the NSW coast into a edible paradise www.happyearth.com.authe ultra low budget 'Bee House' in Brazil which is featured on the cover. www.casacolmeia.wordpress.comas well as the Sustainable House in Sydney, Tiny Houses, Earthships and more...At the time of writing there is still time to get one as a Chrissy present or to start off the New Year. Check out the permaculture diary for a whole year of inspiration.