I’ve had some great days of late, I got to catch up and spend a couple of hours with a high school friend I haven’t seen in 15 odd years which was just lovely. The nice thing was we could just sit and chat and without having to do the whole background thing and the whole who lost touch with who and why, like most we’re all busy and we just could accept that things happen, but now we also have plans to stay in touch via email and try to catch up with our little ones occasionally at the zoo or a park or similar and I am really looking forward to that. Being spring my DS and I have got to spend some wonderful sunny days at the park with friends for picnics or play dates, or the local pool for a swim/splash, going for a trike ride, baking and icing cupcakes or watching the cygnets & ducklings at the lake and having a good time with the ones we care about not spending hundreds of dollars on high tech entertainment or the latest gadgets or drive through fast food it’s about the people not the products for us!! This weekend just gone we had a BBQ lunch to celebrate DH birthday with some of his friends, nothing massive or fancy, just good company & some nice food – although I got a very sad face when I said I hadn’t made trifle for desert!
The downside at the moment is since our state voted against daylight saving at the end of last summer DH & I are getting really sleep deprived, as our cherub is waking up early (~5.30am) and still refusing to go to bed until normal time, so he’s getting a bit grotty and fractious due to sleep deprivation (as are we) – however hopefully we’ll sort something out soon as otherwise I am not looking forward to full summer mornings, when the sun will be up at 4am eeekkkkkk!!! This afternoon we made a large space scene on black cardstock (the size of one of his window panes) with a rocket ship and stars so hopefully that will help reduce the amount of light coming into his room in the early mornings - next week we might do the other pane with an underwater scene, but I only thought of that after I was back from shopping today so didn’t have the large sheets of cardstock needed (although considering his room is the opposite side of the house from the morning sun, we have vertical blinds, block out curtains and pelmets above the windows I’m not sure what we’ll do to reduce the daylight coming into his room if this doesn’t help!). I loved the daylight in the evenings where we could go out and spend time enjoying the garden after dinner or at the river for a picnic etc without it being dark so early, ohh well I’m sure there are a myriad of more import things for me to worry about than this.
I had a surprise Thursday morning when I opened our community newspaper and was flicking through it and came across a photograph of my husband & I, from the sustainability awards dinner the previous week. It was ironic to me as there was our photo and all the rest published from the event were politicians - we were there not for the votes, but because we genuinely want to improve our environment and help save the planet in the act local, think global scheme of things. I also got a wonderful phone call earlier in the week to say that I had won a door prize from attending the Carbon Neutral Expo last week – how awesome is that! I am really excited about it as it is a box of organic vegetables from this company http://www.organiccollective.com.au/box%20scheme.htm they also won a sustainability award last year in the small business section and I’m looking forward to checking out how much their business has grown and what they are up to now. We didn’t sign up with them for two reasons, firstly they don’t deliver to our area and secondly we grow so many of our own vegetables it would be a waste of produce unless I bought another freezer or started feeding a more people on a regular basis!
My Pledge to Go Vege was a success, I ended up doing 8 days not 7 as I had some left over tofu and it was easier to just use it up than waste it! DH joined me on two evening meals so that was also nice. Two of our other friends also completed the week successfully so yay for us. What I initially thought would be just too hard turned out to be surprisingly easy and I am glad that I completed the challenge, my only regret is that more people didn’t sign up as only ~25% of the allocated money to help the Great Barrier Reef was donated as not enough people signed up, ohh well there is always next year and hopefully more people get involved.
I’m definitely weird as I look forward to getting our bi-monthly electricity bills since mid 2006 when we had a massive 50 photovoltaic thin film panels installed on our roof. Initially the challenge was to get a zero electricity bill which we did (sadly only once so far, but better than never). So we have been trying to modify our behavior the last few months as we’ve already done the whole change the light globes, replaced our ancient washing machine with a front loader, insulated the house, added curtains & pelmets to our window coverings etc. Fortunately our council were offering free energy audits to 65 households and we applied and received one (saving ourselves ~$250) and in about 2 hours we learnt a lot – thankfully some of it we have been putting into practice and our most recent power bill is ~700 units lower than the same time period as last year, which is over 10 units per day we are saving just through changing a few behaviours that haven’t really affected the way we do things – awesome news for our finances and the planet! Now to keep it up and also start targeting our water usage as it’s been another dry winter…….