Living Sustainably Helped With the Property Investor Credit Crunch

This is a blog topic I thought would never be covered on my sustainability ‘GreenerMe’ blog.

However last week it happened – the correlation between living sustainably and a property investing benefit.

The media has been so focused on the Sydney property boom that little is reported about the current property investor credit crunch.  Combank, NAB, ANZ and Bankwest have announced that they are tightening lending criteria for property investors and raising interest rates on variable investment loans (new and existing).  AMP have even announced that they will stop lending to all property investors indefinitely. 

This post is not about why this is happening but about our own experience with the restrictions in seeking a loan. 

One way lenders are tightening their  lending criteria, is by asking investors to prove their monthly, personal spending.

We were given a budget form, to fill out what we spend on food, clothing and household items etc. We filled the form accurately however once completed we were concerned. My husband stated what we were both thinking “they are going to question the small amount we spend in these areas”.  Therefore after discussion we decided we would add notes on the form explaining that we value sustainable practices i.e. buying 2nd hand, recycling, reusing and restoring.  These practises not only save the Earth’s resoures but also our savings.

Having a public blog of my sustainable living journey since 2008, certainly backed up our personal spending claims.

Despite the credit crunch our loan was approved and I am sure our sustainable living helped – even if just a little.

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Organic home grown mandarins - the joys of sustainable living.

Australia, Now This is Winter

It is hard to believe that last week it was snowing 30 minutes away from our house (very unusual).  This week the nights are still very cold but the days are bathed with warm sunshine.

Time to venture outside after our recent hibernation stint. Time to finally pick the winter mandarins.

This photographed mandarin tree is a miniature variety.  We have had this tree and pot since we lived in the inner City of Sydney.  Proof that you can still grow vegetables and fruit even if you have very little outside space. Space doesn’t limit you – your imagination and belief does.

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Photographs from Stage 1 Build of Buxton Community Garden

Stage 1 of Buxton Community Garden is complete!!  What’s next? We are planning two workshops on basic composting and building water reservoir, raised garden beds (wicking beds) – information coming soon. Both workshops will be in September. 

Stage 2 of our community garden will see more raised garden beds, building our meeting area, establish a three bay compost bin system and worm farm. 

Again I would like to take the opportunity to say “thankyou” to all the locals, community groups and businesses who sponsored and supported Buxton Community Garden!!

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Children of our Town say "Thankyou" to local businesses who sponsored and helped make Buxton Community Garden a reality

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With the generous free use of a 'Dingo' (thanks to Picton Hire), Buxton Community Garden stage 1 build was much easier

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Building the first raised garden bed which will be turned into a wicking water reservoir garden bed

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Our first raised garden bed is finished

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Down tools. It's lunch time

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Old black plastic garden pots, reused as planted seed markers - a permanent silver marker was used

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Stage 1 build of Buxton Community Garden is completed - two raised garden beds built and a large planted area (netted to keep birds away)

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The beginning of Buxton Community Garden

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Stage 1 of Buxton Community Garden is completed - this time next year, in 5 years and in 10 years, we will look back at this photo with amazement on how far we have come. We have a big vision!

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Buxton Community Garden grand plan

Thankyou Wollondilly Business & Community Groups

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Talk about heart warming and being overwhelmed by community spirit and support!!

Last Sunday was stage one of our town’s community garden build.  I will be posting photos and sharing all the amazing details shortly but for now I feel compelled to focus on the ‘thank yous’.

Thankyou to all who came down and got their hands dirty.  Thankyou to all the businesses and local community groups who sponsored, supported and helped. 

I feel humbled to belong to this community.

Thankyou:
Picton Hire
Picton Mitre 10
Macarthur Seed Savers
Buxton Rural Fire Service
Picton Sand & Soil
Beautique Hair Body & Soul
Pheasant Nest Produce
Matt Mills Carpentry
Peter Hunt Real Estate
Premium Fire Wood
Marks Landscape Supplies
Tahmoor Garden Centre
Derks Pet & Rural Produce

A Gluten Free Playdough Recipe

I can almost hear the instant negative reaction to my post title, “gluten free playdough is totally unnecessary etc etc”.

Yes I would agree IF your child isn’t a celiac or IF you have normal gluten flour.  However in my pantry, you will only find gluten free flour.  So hence why buy gluten flour just for playdough…..

Gluten Free Playdough

2 cup gluten free, plain flour
1 cup salt
1 tbs oil
1/2 cup cold water (I have found you need less water with gluten free flour than normal gluten flour)
2 drops liquid food colouring

* Combine gluten free plain flour and salt
* Add water, food colouring and oil. Mix well
* Knead well – if consistency is too wet add more flour
* Watch the smiles and fun, that a lump of dough can generate

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Recent Inner Reflection on My Blog Writing

These last few days of blog silence, I have been smiling while reflecting.

From the beginning of my blog (way back in 2008), blogging was a way to journal my thoughts, findings and changes.  A way to remember what, when, who and why for my future reference but in a public medium, so I remain accountable and open.

Earlier this year, I was seriously considering changing the purpose of my blog writing.  From writing for myself to monetising my efforts.

However after much investigation, consideration and inner reflection, I decided this was not the direction that would be most beneficial for my family’s goals (at this time). 

There is never enough time to do everything but always enough time to do what is most important.

These past few days of my blog silence, confirms I have made the correct decision.

All this being said, I can assure you that I will continue posting GreenerMe posts – just for the pleasure and enjoyment of it.  ‘Business as usual’ as nothing changes.

I’d like to take this time to say “thankyou” to you!  To you the reader (the quiet lurkers and the many who have reached out over the years, to share with me – I appreciate you all).

Going forward there will again be times of frequent post updates and yes sometimes infrequent updates too (life sometimes gets in the way of what we want to do).

Until tomorrow….

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Tomorrow I will share my gluten free playdoh recipe - for some sustainable children play fun.

Flowering Mini Succulents in Winter

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Snow is predicted to fall today and over the next few days (which is nuts for our location).  Yesterday I had my jumper off while working in the garden – what a difference a day makes.  Today I doubt we will leave the house.

Thought I would share an updated photograph of my upcycled security door screen.  The tiny planted succulents are flowering.  Not sure if flowering in Winter is normal for these succulents or if they were confused with the stint of warm weather we have had.  Poor flowers are in for a rude shock today.