Saturday, April 5, 2008

It's been a while.

Learning chemistry at university has been getting the better of me lately and I've not had much of a chance to write. I don't actually get into the garden a great deal to be growing any vegetables. Some of the other interesting plants that I have are happy enoughafter another summer in Perth. The potted citrus are growing and a few of the grevilleas I put in last winter are still alive with very little care. A few of the native plants are coming along really well, hopefully some will flower this year.
The Chinese elm had been infested with aphids again recently and getting all sticky from the aphids' honey dew. The aphids have supplied a big supply of ladybirds which have bred to predate the aphids. Good old biological control! The birds have been feasting on ladybirds and their larvae too so it's a good little cycle, completed when the birds poop in the garden, leaving some of the nutrients back where they came from.

Packaging has been something that's bothering me lately. I've had a couple of conversations with people where they think the recycling bins should get emptied every week instead of every fortnight. It's an unfortunate side effect of our culture that people want trucks to drive around every week to collect all the daily crud we all produce just by buying stuff.

Ideally, by buying in bulk, buying fresh foods, such as fruit and vegetables and cooking from scratch (not just taking some processed junk out of the freezer and micro-waving it, we produce little in the way of wastes, recyclable or intractable. Food wastes can mostly be turned into compost. Electronic goods is the big baddy. Replacing any or all the electrical and electronic items in a house leaves electronic waste, termed e-waste, which cannot be recycled. Heavy metals and plastic compounds make this kind of waste as an environmental disaster in the making, as leachates from these products get out into the environment in the countries to which e-waste is shipped.

I'm not saying I'm a green angel. I do eat out at least once a week, sometimes two, but not at multinational fast-food places (have proudly not eaten any KFC, Muckdonalds or Hungry Jacks for 20 years). I try and avoid getting takeawy containers but if I do they get reused for packed lunches.

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