Sustainable and Balanced Blogging – part 2

On Saturday night, I tweeted about my commitment to support prominent Aussie sustainable blogger Gavin Webber from Greening of Gavin.

Last week Gav and I had a long conversation on the phone (yes cyber bloggers chatting in person with each other – crazy I know).  I first wrote about my thoughts from our conversation in my ‘Sustainable and Balanced Blogging part 1′ post.

It was Gav’s post asking for help and support that motivated me to pick up the phone. Gav and I have been blogging about sustainability since 2008 however Gav has posted almost every day while I only fortnightly or monthly (until this year when I have started posting daily).

Gav’s seven years of daily blog posts, web casts and videos, has built into a massive library of valuable content on living sustainably. However all this content is also a cost for Gav each month in hosting fees etc – coming out of his pocket as he wants to keep is content free to inspire and support others to change.

However Gav realises finally that blogging about sustainability also must be sustainable.

Gav chooses to limit Google Ads on his site (otherwise he gets Ads for alcohol and gambling which he felt strongly was against his blog intentions).

After investigating and thinking deeply on many options, Gav decided the way to keep blogging was to ask for help – to ask for patrons (from $1 a month).

Personally I felt it would be a huge loss for Australia (and all the world) if Gavin stopped blogging or even post less content.  That’s way I have become a Greening of Gavin patron.

Thanks for all you do Gav!!

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Sustainable and Balanced Blogging part 1

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Since I started blogging in 2008, you would only see two posts per month (at best) from me.  Therefore much thought and consideration went into my decision to post daily from the beginning of this year. 

Leading up to the new year, I was reevaluating my work and business commitments.  Long story short – by being focused on what my priorities are and what makes me happy, changes were made.  Changes that allowed me time to post daily.

However strict boundaries needed to be put in place to ensure balance was kept – that blogging didn’t interrupt my work commitments and more importantly my family life.

Even blogging about sustainability needs to be sustainable.

* My mobile phone is used to capture images and write posts. This means I can blog at anytime I have a spare moment (not needing to be at my computer). Saved posts can then be scheduled.

* One hour only in the morning is dedicated to blogging. After this time I resist the urge to check comments, likes and stats (an important boundary that I usually stick to).

* If after our Little One is asleep and any work completed, I can either do a little blogging or crash into bed (I am asleep within 2 minutes of my head hitting the pillow).

These boundaries are not limiting me. On the contrary they enable me the time to do what I enjoy.

This post arose from a conversation with Australia’s prominate sustainability blogger, Gavin Webber (Greening of Gavin).  I have permission from Gavin to share our conversation with you. To be continued…..

Australia’s Future Food Security – Imported Frozen Fruit Concerns

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Sure, it’s knowledge that knows a tomato is a fruit.

And sure, it’s wisdom that knows that a tomato doesn’t belong in fruit salad.

However it is experience that proves home grown tomatoes taste best and locally grown produce is the safest. 

Recently Australia has been hearing the news of frozen imported fruit, leading to many people contracting Hepatitis A. 

I wonder if this will be the ‘lighting bulb moment’ that will awaken my beloved Country from it’s indifference to their food production. Why don’t the majority of Australians care about where their food comes from?

If however you do care about your food production – where your food is grown and produced (e.g. canned, frozen):

1) Buy locally grown produce. Support your local farmers and ensure your food is safe for consumption.

2) Buy locally produced food products. Dick Smith brand uses Australian grown produce and all profits go to charity.  Now that is worth supporting!

3) Grow some of your own food.  You don’t have to be knowledgeable to start. Just give it a go.  I promise you that there is nothing like your own home grown tomatoes.

Happy Australia Day 2015

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Today the 26th of January is Australia Day. The day Australians wear silly hats, patriotic t-shirts and some even paint their face with an Australian flag.  This day is to celebrate all we love about our Nation.  Most will celebrate in the great outdoors today – that is where Australians love to play.

Today my family and I will be heading to a community BBQ with live music, jumping castles and yes children’s face painting, which some adults will partake in. We will be wearing matching Australian t-shirts (why not?).

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From our home, our little slice of Australia, I sincerely wish all my countrymen at home and abroad, happy Australia Day!!

What are you doing today?

Renovating the Guest Accommodation

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‘Guest Accommodation’ is not exactly accurate.   More like accommodation for the locals – aka nesting boxes.

I picked up a couple of tiny bird nesting boxes that were in need of some love the other day.

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A quick paint job today and hopefully some smaller Australian native birds will decide to move in (not the larger introduced Indian Myna bird which is fast becoming Australia’s number one threat to our native birds).

Thinking I may add some ‘house numbers’ on each one i.e. ’43’ ’45’ ’47’ etc.

Once they are finished and installed I will photograph and share.

Dairy Free Chocolate For Easter

Getting into the ‘commercial’ spirit of Easter is challenging with my dairy free, gluten free and diabetic diet.  Not to mention my concerns for animal welfare, plastic unrecycelable waste, use of unsustainable palm oil (destruction of the orangutan’s habitat) and fair trade for the cocoa growers.

The best chocolate for compassionate & health conscoius Australians is ‘Conscious Chocolate’.  However their website has disappeared anyone know anything about this? (see my link on left column)

Yesterday my cousin mentioned that Aldi where selling vegan chocolate eggs called ‘Choices’.

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‘Choices’ is suitable for vegetarians and vegans as there is no dairy or eggs.  The ingredients list doesn’t appear to contain palm oil.

However nothing is mentioned about fair trade for the cocoa farmers and the plastic inside packaging can’t be recycled.

The taste?  Yummy!  Yeah I confess I had to try one before Easter (for the benefit of this post of course).

My conclusion?   I am on the hunt to find Australian owned and made ‘Conscious Chocolate’ – brilliant tasting chocolate that won’t compromise any of my ethics.

Save Wilderness, Photograph Men In Lingerie

Truth be told, I was also photographing women in lingerie (but that wouldn’t fit as a post title).

Today I was invited by the NSW Wilderness Society to photograph the ‘behind the scenes’ of their protest against Reflex and Officeworks.

Why is the Wilderness Society protesting against Reflex and Officeworks?  Because Reflex is destroying Australia’s magnificent natural forests with their copy paper products and Officeworks are of course selling Reflex copy papers (there are a number of Reflex copy paper products).

Even though Reflex produces a 100% post consumable recycled copy paper (Australia’s Native Forests are not used in this product) HOWEVER their other products are destroying Our Forests!

The theme for today’s protest was ‘Victoria’s Secret’ (hence the lingerie).  Who said saving Australia’s wilderness couldn’t be fun?  I had so much fun hanging out with everyone from the NSW Wilderness Society and taking these photographs today.  Don’t believe me that this was fun?  Check out my short YouTube video.

See more images on the Sarhn McArthur Photography Facebook page.