torstai 26. huhtikuuta 2012

Making the world a greener place

Today I planted some Chlorophytum comosum or as in Finnish; rönsylilja at work. I have an old plant growing and had taken off some tiny offsprings and put them into water. They first grew some roots and now they were planted, sitting quite happily on the top of my filing cabinet. Besides using up carbon dioxide, this particular plant also cleans the air. And it even helps with removing the mold particles (for the lack of better word) from the air. I was really pleased with myself for the effort. Okay, not too big an effort, but at least I finished my mission of planting a new plant. I have now three plants that clear the air in office, and then also aloe vera and some African Violets as well. The cleanse the air but also bring a bit of nature inside the building. This reduces blood pressure and calms the heart beat.
The pretty amaryllis we all had for Christmas last year for our office windows. Another plus today; I will take the night train to Lapland for a few day holiday. Train is eco efficient way of travelling but I also like travelling in the lulling of train. I can stretch out, with nothing to do besides read, knit or sleep. When I have arrived, I will so some cross country skiing and perhaps take part in our annual ice fishing competition of two families. The minus side is that we will take the car down. But DH has been good about this, he has combined his work thing (that needed the usage of car) with our little holiday, so no extra kilometres will come of it.
I hope to see some Aurora Borealis. My DH took this photo last time he was there, in March.

keskiviikko 18. huhtikuuta 2012

Good morning!

Oh well, it was not too good a morning. I have a flu and am really easily irritated. My small good thing for this morning was to make only instant coffee. The minus is short and intense energy peak of the electric kettle and on the peak hour of morning rush. Plus side is the exact amount of coffee, no waste water nor waste coffee. The energy efficient way is to purchase and prepare food and drinks only so much what you are going to consume. This is one of my favourite topics and I will dig into it another day.

I have tried to find out the environmental costs of a cup of coffee and come to the conclusion that if we only make up to two cups the right way is instant. It is produced further, but the packaging is small. Also Fair Trade instant coffees are better for the farmers because they get the benefits of the further "handling" in the lack of better word. This is of course putting things simply but this is how I have understood it.

Point to consider; use your devices at off peak hours. These hours are said to be at 7-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. Many electric companies make deals that sell cheaper energy on those off peak hours, like ours that offers cheaper electricity after 10 p.m. until morning. They can do this because the power plants produce energy by the same amount all the time AND it has to be produced by the amount that is the biggest need. Australian energy companies hav a bit similar deals with customers - they for example give out cheaper deals if the customer won´t use air conditioning on the peak hours.

I read once that one nuclear power plant is needed in Great Britain to produce the energy of kettles being turned on at the half time of footy. So many cups of tea are being prepared whilst watching the football game from tv.

About energy efficient kettles

The commands for me this morning:
- buy Fair Trade
- buy sustainable produced
- use off peak hours to wash clothes, dishes etc.
- cook only what you will eat or drink
- try to be nice to the family (Mission Impossible? Hope not)

tiistai 10. huhtikuuta 2012


Good morning! After a really short night´s sleep I am totally not ready for the world. I stumble into kitchen to make coffee, oatmeal and then it is showertime.

- short shower in intervals
- non brand bar soap instead of shower gel (when possible, we have hand made ones)
- towels used until they do need to be washed, not tossed into the laundry after one use

We happen to live in a really lovely area where we have amazing water. We have our own well and don´t have to pay for the water we use. We do pay for waste water. But I consider us very lucky. Most people, it seems, have to drink water that has travelled either in pipes or in bottles for a long way. Water has been said to become the next reason for world wide conflicts and I for myself don´t doubt it for a second.

Using a search engine it took 0,16 seconds to come up with over 81 million hits for texas imports water. For an example.

Houston, we have a problem..

The water crisis are real in many countries around the globe, now already.
What Treehugger has to say about it?

We, in our Finnish household try to minimize our water usage simply because using water uses energy. Using heated water uses more energy. When our waste is taken away it uses energy. When we are travelling in countries that are struggling with clean water, we try to be even more considerate. When lathering with soap, we turn off the water. And why a soap bar - that is another story :D

Hinchinbrook Island, Qld, Australia

perjantai 6. huhtikuuta 2012

First real post.

I am starting this blog feeling very raw and emotional. I learned this morning that I have lost a friend to lung cancer. Thinking of you, Karen. Missing you, big and gentle hugs to you girl.

My aim is in this blog to look at choices I make and ponder if they have been ethical, environmentally sustainable and/ or kind. I will look at one thing at a time and try to figure out if I made a good deed or not. Kind of put my life under a looking glass.

My choice for today is bread. As I look at the idea of bread, there are the questions of environment, health, the cost and tradition. My Dear Husband, later referred to as DH baked two kinds of bread today. The other was sourdough, naturally leavened. The "root" is originally from DH´s birth home. We know it is at least a hundred years old. What you do is leave a bit of the dough to the rims of the bowl the dough was made in and let it dry. Next time you wake it up with a bit of warm water. Wikipedia for sourdough

Plus sides are
- 100% rye bread, very healthy
- home made (love the smell!)
- much smaller cost on the environment since the flour is only brought from outside. DH bakes a big bunch of rye bread from a 5 kg of flour.
- little salt, no additives
- inexpensive to make
- passing on the tradition of baking your own, and especially with the same "root" as the family years back has done.

Minus sides.. can´t really think of any. Rye bread is high in fibre and rye is proved to have big health benefits.

DH also baked bread for me. I have a coeliac disease and can´t eat wheat, rye or barley. So he chose a gluten free flour mix and spiced it up with cashew nuts and raisins. Oh the bread was lovely!

This bread had the same plus sides as rye, but the rye has more health benefits.
- gluten free bread is quite expensive

- gluten free bread is low on fibre
- I ate way too much of the bread! It was so lovely when it was warm.

Definitely worth baking your own, I think. Especially when DH makes it. Good for the globe, good for the wallet, good for the body and definitely good for the soul. Bad for the waist line if you eat too much and if you go for the low carb diet, then you would skip it.

tiistai 3. huhtikuuta 2012


This blog is meant for writing down things I do and things I aim for. And the big picture? This means things I do for the world. Trying to behave for the sake of all of us. Big target, babysteps. Stumbling, failing, hopefully succeeding as well.

I did a websearch to ensure I wasn´t stealing anybody´s blogname with "trying to behave" and came across this great thought by Kurt Vonnegut written above in the header.

Let´s save the world! :)