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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I look twice...

When I first saw the circular image, I thought it was an art work by Stuart Haygarth... instead I discovered it was an image of plastics found in the stomach of an Albatross....some more research and there are lots more of these images.

Keeps me thinking what we have done to this planet...

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Davin Trubrige lecture at COFA 1st August at 12 noon.

 '...David Trubridge addresses how ecodesign (however worthy) is not enough unless it also addresses some form of cultural/ spiritual nourishmenht'

Also at EAT GREEN DESIGN , David Trubridge discusses Sustainable Design
Aug 1st, 2:30-4pm at Powerhouse Museum

I'm hoping to be at both...maybe I will see you there?!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

so far, it's been a month...

 It has been one month into the plastic diet, and I am surviving stronger than ever! 
I have decided to add aluminium and tin to my I am cutting out all disposable consumer plastic, aluminium and tin. I have also decided to purchase only local seasonal fruit and veges(and when I can, organic)

How my lifestyle has changed:
* I basically only shop at co-op's or small local food shops
* I plan my meals! and am cooking more than ever...(yoghurt making is next on my list!)
* I have to think about my substitutes... eg. my one big crave is potato chips...I now make my own  pop corn and carry that around for snacks!
* I am eating more fresh veges and fruit.
* Fish and Meat have been a problem...I haven't been able to purchase this anywhere? I am almost vegetarian(except for when we eat out).
* I have realised that consumers are just as responsible for the crazy packaging:the plastic etc as are the designers who create them.

My one big inspiration for this month is "cradle to cradle" by Michael Braungart and William amazing read, truly eye opening to our ignorance.
Watch this for some inspiration:

Michael Braungart is a chemist and William McDonough is an architect. Their philosophy is that everything we design must either be 100% recyclable or that it can be repaired and re-used, and that nothing of that object pollutes the planet. 
There is no such thing as throwing something "away"...that place does not exist and in reality it just means "out of your sight".

A dead albatross was found recently with a piece of plastic from the 1940's...things really don't go away...

(An albatross found with more than half a pound of plastic... you can read more on that here and here)

On a happier note...I have decided to use this philosophy as the basis for my design project. It will be on show at the COFA spring fair Sept 19th.

p.s. you might have noticed a little someone saying "hello" at the top right hand corner?! She is new...and is part of my project...roll your mouse over her! and I will reveal more on her later!

Monday, July 20, 2009

a golden find

I spent the weekend in Melbourne with my friend Emma. We were 'on the look out' to find some Ghost patrol and Miso art hidden in the streets...My eyes were wide open, and just when I completely forgot about my search I spotted this one!
It was like stumbling across gold! It felt more rewarding than seeing an exhibition or purchasing a piece of art in an art gallery.

I double checked today to see if it was a Miso work and found this image at her website...dated Oct 2008!

 some Ghost patrol works we found...

I love these works, similarly with "knitta please"... individual creativity being shared on the streets. We are all free to access: touch, feel, take a photo, form an opinion...but never possess.

p.s. if you are interested...this is a link to a short documentary on Ghost patrol and Miso, that was shown on the ABC...well worth 27min of your time!

Friday, July 17, 2009

my keep cups arrived!

Thanks to Ebony, who let me know about keep cups!
They arrived in the mail, looking very pretty and in minimal packaging(no extra plastic, just in the box above!!)
Thank you Keep cup xx

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Yesterday I read: What we'd gain if we built things to last post over at No Impact Man. It reminded me of a story Taka once told me of an English teacher in Japan. He was a NOVA teacher from England...(if you have spent any time in Japan, you probably have heard of NOVA, a huge private English language school that collapsed a few years ago?!)

Taka was speaking to his teacher about his shoes. This teacher had only one pair of leather shoes. They were originally his father's work shoes. He was given them when he started working. He had been wearing the shoes for 8 years and his father for over 12yrs... which makes the pair of shoes 20 years old! When I first heard this story, all I thought of was...'this guy/family must have been struggling?' and felt a sense of ease when I glanced over at my rack of shoes.

Now, thinking back, I think of how amazing those shoes must be!  I love the fact that he has lovingly worn those shoes and that it was passed down from his father. The beautiful simplicity of owning one pair of shoes. It makes me question my rack of shoes... some sitting in the racks  for months, just waiting to be worn.

I think of a Japanese phrase that my grandparents use alot: 気を使う(ki wo tsukau)
It means to use something with care/ to be careful of and pay attention to. 

I like the character 気(ki) which means, your spirit/mood/ state of mind.

To use things with your spirit and conscious, present mind.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

my day today...

You can play the you tube link and see the images.

Today, I sat and sewed in the warm sun, while listening to Au Rvoir Simone...

I have a little "dear plastic" project I am working on.  I will be showing this at the COFA spring fair with my friend Ebony.
Stay tuned for more on my project!

no impact man!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

sharing and caring

A day trip to the ACT to visit 2 exhibitions:

Each exhibition, very exciting on their own... but I really liked the Knitta Please project. My friend Emma who attended the talk with Magda Sayeg (knitta please founder and yarn bomber!), said that there wasn't any in-depth concept behind covering and knitting around objects...more an interest in engaging the public...creating warm, happy thoughts!

It is like a community art work. Everyone sending their scraps of knitting to be used in the installation...not to bring it back to the co-op...but similarly, I like that sense of community, where people work together towards a project.

It almost takes away possession of an art piece and allows everyone to be part of exhibited art. 

Each scrap of  knitting was tagged with where it came from and the knitter's I was looking at a few pieces a lady approached me and we got chatting! She asked me if I remembered Bronwen Sandland's House Cosy, 2002...where 100 volunteer knitters helped Sandland cover a house in Canberra.  '...the feeling and light inside the house was the most amazing feeling I had ever experienced' (sorry I could only find this tiny image?!)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

go co-op!(just in case you're not convinced!)

Look what $54.65 can buy you at a co-op... here we have fruits, vegetables, nuts, tea, soup mix, popping corn, apricot delight, yoghurt, laundry powder...

All organic, all natural...plastic and packaging free!

yay for Bundanoon!

Bundanoon (Southern Highlands, NSW) has become the first town in Australia...(possibly the world?!) to ban commercially bottle water! 

and read it here!

Thanks bundanoon!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

how to have the flu and be plastic free too!

I have been sick the past few days, with a headache, blocked ear and a cough that keeps me up during the night.
I usually say "no" to drugs...even mild ones for headaches! this is what I did:

I start and end the day with a steam inhaler- pour steaming hot water into a bowl with a few drops of eucalyptus oil, cover your head with a towel and inhale(about 10mins)

Then a ginger and orange juice- I do not have a juicer, so I squeeze some oranges and grate fresh ginger into it!

For some tea I made ginger, lemon and honey tea- this recipe is from my friend emma(over at souzou!) slice some ginger and lemon into a tea pot. Infuse with boiled water and then stir in a spoonful of honey. I use Manuka or Buckwheat honey when I am feeling a little sick(they have extra active medicinal qualities!)

(visuals are a bit repetitive, slideshow images?! but the info is good to listen to)

Lots of fresh fruit, vegies and rest!

It has made me think of how we need to listen to our bodies. This headache, blocked ear and cough, was meant for me to feel, in order to slow down rather than to drug it up so I can keep going...(I am speaking of the minor pains in life...the bearable pains, don't quote me for the huge mind blowing pains!)

I feel much better now, I am on the home run and survived plastic free! 

p.s. two days ago, (when I thought I was better?!) I went for a run and saw some sad things in my neighbourhood....if this is 1 street in Sydney, I would hate to think of the rest of the world??

Sunday, July 5, 2009

just to get you started!

Tide, 2004

List of co-op's in Sydney:

Manly Food Co-operative
21B Whistler St
Manly NSW 2095

Alfalfa House Co-operative
113 Enmore Road
Enmore NSW 2042

Blue Mountains Food Co-op
Shop 1&2 Ha’Penny Lane
Katoomba NSW 2780

Green Tucker Store Co-op
Shop 4, 51 Arthur St
Forestville NSW 2087

Thoughtful Foods Co-op
University of New South Wales

The USYD Food Co-op
Level 4 Wentworth Building
University of Sydney

UTS Food Co-op
Level 3, UTS Tower Building 1 Broadway
Broadway NSW 2008

...and if you want more info on co-op's, you can go here!

Tide, 2004(detail)

p.s. the three images are works by Stuart Haygarth, who works on design projects that revolve around collecting discarded and recycled plastics.

Make-up art cosmetics (MAC), 2006

Friday, July 3, 2009

opt for the co-op!

I have hit the jackpot...true "dear plastic" gold!
I have discovered a food co-operative near my work. You may have heard of a co- op or be already shopping at one, but they are amazing havens for people going off disposable packaging.
They're '...a not for profit community owned shop' and their goals are to:

- offer the best health option food possible, that is, organic or biodynamic; and if that is not available, offer the next best thing e.g. chemical-free
- offer food that has been produced with environmental sensitivity
- purchase in bulk, thus offering customers the best price available on goods
- avoid waste created by over-packaging by encouraging customers to re-use jars, bags and containers

When you walk in, you wash your hands. (as you are handling all the foods out of the containers.) They even have little towels above the sink for you to dry your hands with!

You then choose your foods... they have everything from chocolate, grains, pasta, rice, spices, tea, coffee, miso, snacks, cleaning products, shampoo!

You scoop the food into your container(plastic kit to the rescue!), and then pay for it at the register!
I can't believe that I was even able to buy fresh tofu and umeboshi(japanese pickled plum)...I thought I was going to have to give it up or start making it myself!

I have become a member($22.6Aus) which entitles me to 10% discount every time I shop..woohooo!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

an embarrassing truth

After realising that there are somethings with packaging that I need to keep buying:
1.eye contacts,
2.female hygiene products,

I have decided that my embarrassingly huge consumption of magazines must go.

So there you have it!

Not that it makes it sound any better but these were my regular reads:

And these were my sometimes reads(!):

Out of all those magazines, I have found that Dumbo Feather is the only magazine made from 100% Australian recycled paper(no plastic coating, which means..."dear plastic" friendly!) and printed using vegetable inks.

Thank you Dumbo Feather!