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New member - I want to reduce my impact on environment

 
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davidhogg




davidhogg

Joined:
February 4, 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted:     Post subject: New member - I want to reduce my impact on environment
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Rather new to this but essentially my interest is reducing my family's personal impact on environment. I realise obvious - smaller car, less air travel, recycle etc. Looking for help/companions on next step. I am currently looking into growing my own food (vegetables and thinking about meat (rabbits appears to be most efficient with limited space)). Have started making paper brickets (although I only have gas stoves which rather undermines these efforts). Would like to trade cars but realistically this a couple of years away from e.g. Nissan Leaf so probably sharing best practice on house insulation / energy reduction / etc in meantime.

In summary - I have a son. Am worried his environmental future. Help.

Thanks
David

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1greenman




1greenman

Joined:
June 19, 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted:     Post subject:
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`Hey, David- If you are looking to grow your own food, you can use the newspapers for sheet mulch - it's a very effective way to conserve soil moisture and boost soil health and fertility.

http://onestrawrob.com/blog/sub-acre-ag/sheet-mulch/

Good luck in your quest to live in harmony with Mother Nature!

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peterpipe




peterpipe

Joined:
July 12, 2011
Posts: 1

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`Hi David. Without knowing your situation -garden size, your country and climate, income, skills, etc it's a little difficult to advise but here are a few things to look at:-
1) Get bicycles for all your family, learn how to maintain them yourself with the aid of a manual and some tools, and have one day a week without the car!-use the bikes instead. You could leave the car at home on nice evenings too.
2) Look into buying one or more solar panels. The 'Amorphous' ones are good as they work in the shade. If your unshure how to go about it find a friend to help or go online. Start small and as you learn you can go bigger!
3) Check out 'Permaculture' principles for you garden. Permaculture is an efficient way of producing food and a way of life. 'The Permaculture Way' is a great book. Also 'Permaculture Ideas' online. Maybe there's a group near you that you can join. Also see if there's a 'Transition Network' near you. They look at ways of reducing oil dependency.
4) Resist the temptation to buy 'consumer junk', 'fashion' items, or 'status symbols'. A huge % of the consumer stuff that we buy is in the bin within 6 months!-using up valuable resources and filling up a big hole in the ground and producing toxic chemicals. Madness! (See the you tube video-'The story of Stuff').
5) Find friends who have valuable practical skills, that maybe you don't have, and could utilize (eg Mechanic, Carpenter, Electrician) and swap ideas, pool your knowledge, trade skills ( I don't know your skills here...). In other words -help them out whenever you can, you can then call on them if you need a favor.
6) Switch the T.V. off for a few nights a week, or better still-get rid of it. It uses valuable resources, you don't need it, it fills your head with rubbish, and it doesn't help with thinking creatively about living a green life.

Good luck David....Go for it, but remember-Rome wasn't built in a day. It won't all happen overnight but plant the seeds, care for them, and watch them grow into a new life.

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ecosam




ecosam

Joined:
July 24, 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted:     Post subject:
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Old thread but what the hell.

You allude to having limited space for growing food so I'd recommend a book called 'Square Foot Gardening' which is all about maximising the productivity of small growing spaces. It's also worth looking into the principles of forest gardening (using multiple growing layers and stacking in time and space for example) as another way to maximise the space available to you.

If you have a bit more space you might want to look into growing fish (such as tilapia) in an aquaculture or hydroponic system as I believe that this will out yield rabbits per unit of space. However, when growing animals for food, you have to bear in mind that in order to be self sufficient (and minimise costs) you should probably grow the food for them. This is easier for high density fish farming as you're feeding them waste or insects (I think) whereas with high density rabbit production you're unlikely to have enough grass and will therefore have to import feed or dedicate at least some of your growing space to growing rabbit food. You might also look into growing insects for consumption. Growing meat is always less efficient than growing vegetables.

Permaculture is the way to go in my opinion although biodynamics also has many good points (requires more thought and effort).

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mossytrail
(deleted)









Posted:     Post subject:

`Meat is not green. If you believe Sir Paul McCartney, he says that the biggest thing you can do for the environment is to become a vegetarian. That is why I am a vegetarian -- not because of Sir Paul, but because I have looked into the ecology of food, and I concur with ecosam.

There has been a lot of good advice here. Other than being veg, I would say the next most important thing would be peterpipe's 4th point: don't buy consumer junk. Before you buy anything, go home and think about it for a week, asking yourself how much you will really use it, and whether it will really enrich your life that much. If you mull it over and decide you want to go ahead, can you get it secondhand? Freecycle groups and thrift stores are a very green approach, because someone's unwanted item, which would otherwise have gone to the landfill, instead makes its way to someone who wants it. An example: my coffee grinder. I like to grind my own coffee, so it was a useful purchase for me. But by getting it at Habitat for Humanity re-store, not only did I keep someone's unwanted item out of the landfill, I also paid one-fifth the price of the identical coffee grinder new.

On that note, learn to repair whatever you can. Rather than throw away those jeans when they get a hole or a rip, learn to patch them. Depending on how good you get at this, the repair may not be visible. I still have items of clothing that I have owned for over ten years. Considering that some were bought at Goodwill, who knows their real age? Much longer than that, and the fabric tends to get so thin as to be unrepairable, but still, as long as they ARE repairable, I see no reason to throw them out.

And if there is a book you are likely to read only once, either borrow it from the library, or buy it for the library. I mainly keep reference books that I will refer to over and over, or particularly good books I am likely to re-read.

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