Tag Archives: environment

Friday Finds – Growing Books.

20 Jul

Wow, this Friday Finds has me a bit excited.  Those who know me are aware of how much I love, and I really mean LOVE, books.  So, what do you get when you cross a love of books with a love of trees and a desire to repurpose, reuse and reinvent things?  A Book Forest.  Fallen trees have been reclaimed and reinvented as public bookshelves on the streets of Berlin.  Utilised by Book crossers (I have written about book crossing here if you need a refresher), the book cases are not only a practical but also a beautiful way for people to exchange books.

This is not only a great idea in itself, but it was also born from a very innovative organisation.  Baufachfrau Berlin are an educational institution for women in the building industry.

BAUFACHFRAU Berlin e.V. is a recognised educational institution for women working in the building enterprise. It develops and executes employment and qualification projects on a local, regional as well as European level.

The association emerged from the idea of interconnecting designers, artisans and environmental engineers to improve the occupational opportunities of women in technical fields.

BAUFACHFRAU Berlin e.V. qualifies women working in the building enterprise and trains cabinetmakers. Since its foundation artisans, architects and environmetal engineers plan and execute jointly ecological, social and environmental education projects. In doing so the association gained wide experience of the vocational education of persons of different educational level. In this context cross-generational participation projects in the neighbourhood and the project work in schools as well as intercultural communication play a crucial role. Guiding theme of all projects is the promotion of resource-saving and sustainable construction.

All I can say is Wow!

Sam.

Photos from BAUFACHFRAU, Bookshelf and Inhabitat

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1000 things in winter

30 May

We have too much stuff.  At least that’s what Mr Perfect thinks.  The Drama Queen can’t get enough stuff, the Daredevil is just happy to get any stuff, and I think maybe we do have too much, but I’m also a bit too sentimental when it comes to stuff.  With a little inspiration from Minimalist Living and his great post about The Summer of 1000 Things Challenge, we have decided that we will hold an in house competition to de-stuff a bit.  We’ve had to re-word a little bit, after all we are “down under” so it’s the WINTER of 1000 things.  We’ve also added another level of difficulty, teamed up and challenged ourselves to 1000 things each – it’s boys versus girls, so the first to 1000 wins.  The Drama Queen and I think we have it in the bag, after all we do have the most stuff to get rid of!

I’ve enlisted a bit of help from the team at  Did You Remember the Milk, I’ve written about them before, here.  Brigitte has just released a new e-book – The Biggest Tosser, so the Drama Queen and I will be implementing their expert advice in our de-stuffing quest.  It is “The 7 step guide to a bigger life with less stuff.” Sounds perfect for us, particularly since the claim is that they “do the bossing and you do the tossing”.  I think the girls might need a little bit of hard love along the way.

Part of my rationale for embarking on this challenge is a bit of re-education for the Drama Queen.  As the first child, first grandchild, and more importantly the only girl child in our family, she’s been just a little bit spoilt.  I know I’m guilty of it, Mr Perfect’s guilty of it, and particularly Nanna is guilty of it!  But the Drama Queen generally gets what the Drama Queen wants, and as a result she doesn’t always really value what she has.  She appreciates her stuff, she doesn’t like to part with any of it, but she has a constant quest to get more and more. Now she’s getting a little bit older it’s time for her to work out what is really important and how to let go of stuff you don’t need any more.  Lets face it, I don’t want to see her on an episode of hoarders in 30 years time still holding onto her 30 My Little Ponies because she didn’t learn it was OK to let go sometimes.

The other lesson we will need to teach is how to get rid of the stuff with a little bit of eco-cred.  I don’t want to just toss everything, that’s way too environmentally evil for my liking, so there will be a lot of donating, re-homing and maybe a market stall at the end of winter.

As much as Mr Perfect would love our house to look like this, I don’t think it’s quite us, but we can come closer…

 

The good news is that the Drama Queen has started stockpiling stuff ready for the 1st of June when the competition begins.  It’s not much but it’s a start.  Anyone feel like joining us?

Sam

Glass Beach

29 May

What happens when people dispose of their waste in the most irresponsible way, try to clean it up, until it all gets a bit too hard, then when they can’t think of any other way to repair the damage, they close up and move on?  OK, maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but I’m filing this one under “what the hell were they thinking until it becomes wow that is just too spectacular for words”.

I am a beach glass collector.  I like to find it, feel it, decorate sandcastles with it and then leave it for the next person to enjoy.  I rarely take it home with me unless it is quite spectacular or the Drama Queen insists.  I love its smoothness, the way that time and energy have ground down all the sharp bits to make something soft and subtle.  I really like the blue ones, though they are really hard to find.

I think I would be in beach glass meltdown if I ever manage to visit Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California.  In the early part of the 20th century the residents of Fort Bragg disposed of their waste by hurling it off the cliffs onto the beach below.  No object was too big, too toxic or too much.  Household appliances, cars, trash all were tossed over the cliffs until the 1960’s when attempts were made to clean up the dump.  Despite clean up attempts, nothing could be done about the masses of glass that remained on the beach.  This is the result, a now protected altered beach landscape.

Pity it took such a gross act of human laziness to make something so beautiful.  What do you think?

Sam

images from digggsmeganpru,lee rentz

Friday Finds – the growingest kids party

18 May

As you know, We’ve been putting together the Daredevil’s second birthday party for tomorrow, so I have been spending a bit of time trawling the interweb for kids party ideas.  I found one that I’m putting in the memory banks for when my munchkins are just a little bit older.  The Green Thumb Barbers Blog had the absolute best birthday party idea – “My first herb garden”.  I love the idea of teaching kids about growing their own in a fun party atmosphere.  I’ve borrowed a few of their photos to give you an idea of how fantastic it looks.  The best bit was that the kids were given food that could be made from things growing in their own garden which closed the food loop.  Check out the full story here.

Can’t wait until I can host one of these parties for my kids!

Sam

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