Green Fox Barking

Monday, October 23, 2006


Well folks, enough blogging from me. It's been fun, interesting and it's been fun to briefly meet up with other people with similar interests around the globe. But the truth of the matter is this form of communicating is a bit one way for me. I do realise if I spent loads more time driving around blogs and leaving my tracks, things may grow. But my life at the moment calls for action in physical form, people to meet in person and local community to be more involved in. Thanks to all for your thoughts and messages.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Today I did three things that I hope contribute to sustainability and help fight global warming. Firstly I joined a new electricity company that provides various types of green power. You can choose from solar, hydro or wind or combinations. I chose 100% solar, as I think its our most prolific asset. It will cost us about a third of our bill again expense-wise but as we are trying to always reduce our power consumption, it should all work out fine in the end. The company ( 'Origin' for any Aussies interested) is sending me an imfo pack on solar panels too which is where we hope to end up.

I also joined the Nature Conservation Council of NSW which is a non government environment organisation that conserves and promotes the environment in my state. They are also sponsering the upcoming 'Walk Against Warming' event that my family will be attending. It will give me an opportunity to listen to Greens Senator Bob Brown whom I admire greatly.

The NCC of NSW also has a link to an Organic Wine Club. Well, that'll be my Christmas Shopping done!

Then I pledged to Greenfleet which is a not-for-profit organisation that plants trees to offset the carbon emissions you make. You can choose to offset your car/s and or household and/or plane flights. We have pledged for our car and house which is 47 trees planted on our behalf. That will cost us $110- and is money very well spent I think.

Once you start looking, the things you can do personally to help the environment are many. And leading by example is much better than telling people what they should be doing. I might add though, mentioning casually what you have done is good too!

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Last night I finally got to go see David Suzuki and hear him speak. I didn't know he would be doing book signings and so I dashed off to purchase a book to get signed. They had sold out of the one I wanted, so I got his autobiography and dashed over with my youngest son to get it signed. It was an honour just to see him in person and I hope one day my son realises how lucky he was to meet him. We got the book dedicated to him too. David asked if he was going to read the book. Not quite yet, but Mum will read it to him. I have started reading it and it's excellent. So many interesting stories. What an interesting life he has led.
The talk was great too. Even if we did have to listen to an hour of waffle by councillors and dignitaries first. The bad thing about this too was my son was just about asleep by the time Dr Suzuki came on. The reasons he gave for not eating atlantic salmon put everyone off for life I should think. I knew about the salmon faeces polution but not about the flesh being dyed and the pellets they are fed robbing South American peoples from food.
He also beautifully described the inter-relationship of living things, using as an example the giant trees of the remaining forests of north-west United States. It would take a while to describe it all but needless to say, it showed how all the different human governing bodies, trying to look after these areas as separate entities, will fail from day one. It's all so intrinsically connected. Another reminder that the tiniest bit of damage we inflict, affects all. I am frankly surprised there is any wilderness left for us to plunder and ruin.
I recommend David's autobiography and also "Time for Change' as well as 'Naked Ape to Super Species'.
I tried to do my groceries today after all that. I could not bring myself to buy any meat. Or imported products. The vegetables all looked oversized and generic. The organic produce looked like it hadn't seen the sun in months and everywhere I looked I saw packaging, packaging, packaging. Very depressing!!!
My biggest struggle is to remain focussed on sustainability every single day and not to fall asleep at the wheel of advertising and corporations, politics and the economy. I said to my husband that all I can think of is to get a tattoo that says "Wake up Natalie!". Other suggestions are welcome!


Thursday, October 12, 2006

The passionfruit vine is covered in flowers, so I can look forward to lots of yummy sun-warmed tangy passionfruit juice to slurp. We freeze what we don't give away, eat or swap and always get a few extra months to enjoy the fruit. The fruit salad tree, a graft of plum, peach and nectarine has dropped a lot of fruit early and I suspect, in the long run , it will just be too hot here for it. A shame, but I have resigned myself to the fact that if it's not a drought tolerent native or a medditerranean plant, it's just going to need too much water.
It's a 35 degrees celcius day today and we are hiding indoors. This year to get through Summer, I plan to become an honourary Mexican. Get up around 4am and do whatever work I'd do for the first part of the day. Knock off at 11am. Siesta till 3. Pick up kids from school. Stay up till midnight. If Australia continues to get hotter, I hope we all have the sense to adopt this lifestyle permanently! At least the watertank is still half full for the garden. We hope to get a second tank soon for toilet flushing. And I'll get some quotes this coming week for those awnings. I might get some quotes from window tinting companies about the films you can get for the windows that simulate double glazing. Never a dull moment!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

In preparation to see David Suzuki's talk in a week, I went to the library and borrowed a couple of books by him, a video and a children's 'Eco-Fun ' book. If the kid's book comes out in a Gameboy game or Pokémon endorses it, I may have a chance they are interested. Still, lead by example I try to remind myself. So put the Gameboy down Natalie. Only kidding. The only thing pleasureable about a Gameboy to me, is imagining how far it would sail if I chucked it out the window. Anyway, the video I got, bad eighties fashion aside did have some valuable advice ( it was on climate change) and that was: before you go and spend big dollars and resources on big energy saving devices like solar panels, do the small things. Like sealing windows and doors, adding insulation, changing to energy smart light globes etc. It made so much sense to begin more humbly and practically and keep the big guns for later. So we'll concentrate on getting some awnings for our north facing windows and sealing the doors and windows properly. Also buying an evaporative cooler so we don't have to use the airconditioning. Our ceilings sadly are too low for fans. My tall husband says he is rather fond of his head. And we can continue to plant medditerranean and native plants in the garden. Especially edible ones!
On a less empowering note, I just found out that the silver cell technology Australia has developed (for solar panels) will go to commercial manufacturers overseas due to a lack of goverment backing (funding). This is one of the saddest and dumbest turn of events I ever had the embarrassment to witness. Australia's greatest resource is sunshine, definitely not intelligent leadership. "Hellooooooo, is anyone steering this boat?!"


Thursday, October 05, 2006


I am really excited that I'll be going to see a talk and slide show by David Suzuki next week. He's such a fantastic person and someone I really admire for his work as an environmentalist. This is supposed to be his last visit to Australia and I consider it a great privilige to see him in person. I have read three of his books and thought they were excellent. My youngest child aged seven has decided to come. I'm not sure how he'll take it all but I'm just excited he'll get to see this great man for himself. I can only hope it has a positive influence to his future life.

Australia is so backwards environmentally. Lately our Prime Minister has been heard mumbling something about climate change (finally) in regards to water conservation. Australia is only going to get hotter and drier and I'm sure Sydney is in for big water problems in the future. I personally protested against the idea of a local desalinisation plant but only because there are so many measures we need to make first. A desal plant will not educate anyone about water conservation but rather let people continue to go their merry water wasting ways. Get a water tank for every house, re-use grey water, police industrial water use and recycling.

The other day I saw something on the news that I thought was a candid snapshot of our western world wastage. From tip refuse some artist had created this enormous sculpture of a man. Think 100 foot high. It was made from chairs and bed-heads and other pieces of dumped furniture. But, none of the stuff looked broken. Just old fashioned, no longer needed or liked stuff. I thought about the stuff we all throw away every twice yearly household rubbish collection. So much perfectly good furniture is just trash. And what were they going to do with this artists three month labour of love? Burn it of course.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Green Electricty

Yesterday, I did some research into green electricity and what different service providers have on offer. I also looked up the cost of installing solar panels as there is a sizable rebate currently. It seems our current electricity company, if we sign up to green power, will only ever provide half of our yearly electricity from green sources. They also give you no choice what that green energy will be. Another provider will put 100% of your money toward green sources and you can choose from wind, hydro, solar, thermal mass or a combination of those. Much better. They'll get our signature. The same company also provides solar panels. It would cost us, after the rebate about AU$8000- ( About 10 Euros or American dollars!!!) so well, yep, thats a fair whack of cash. Still if we really want to do our bit, how can we afford not to?

I often respond with a vote to the latest Newspoll item on line. But yesterday, it was obviously written by the world biggest moron. It asked, and sadly I quote- "Should elderly people be seen holding hands." Why would anyone dignify that with a response? I have obviously awoken in the dark ages.

I have just begun watching the brilliant movie set of 'Down the Rabbit Hole' from the "What the Bleep' people. If you truly want to understand your reality and how you are creating it each moment ( in other words wake up ) you must see this. Do you want to take the red pill or the blue pill kind of stuff.