Sunday, 24 June 2012
Although plastic bags make up only a small percentage of all litter, the impact of these bags is nevertheless significant. Plastic bags create visual pollution problems and can have harmful effects on aquatic and terrestrial animals. Plastic bags are particularly noticeable components of the litter stream due to their size and they can take a long time to fully break down.
Plastic bags are everywhere, and while they are convenient, they cause significant environmental damage all over the world. Every year Australians consume more than 4 billion supermarket plastic bags. Of these, just 3 per cent are recycled and the rest end up in our environment or in landfill.
Plastic Bag Facts
( Source: Clean Up Australia )
5 Things You Can Do
1. Stay informed about our plastic world and environmental toxins.
2. Reduce your use of one-time, single use plastics.
3. Conduct your own personal trash audit.
4. Creatively reuse and repurpose your plastic products.
5. Refuse to use plastic shopping bags, take your own bags and support recycling programs.
Saturday, 23 June 2012
Delicately hand carved by skilled Kenyan artisans the soapstone hippos are evidence of the talent and imagination of those who create them.
Kisii stone or soapstone is mined in Kenya.
Monday, 18 June 2012
THE FAIRTRADE CERTIFICATION SYSTEM
• Fairtrade is an ethical certification system and movement with a people first approach to trade. Fairtrade offers farmers and workers in developing countries a better deal– the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future. Fairtrade offers consumers a powerful way to reduce poverty and instigate change through their everyday shopping.
WHY IS FAIRTRADE IMPORTANT
• Poverty remains widespread amongst tea, coffee, cocoa, cotton sports ball producers around the world, who face an uncertain future due to range of factors including volatile world prices which have left many struggling to support themselves and their families.
THE FAIRTRADE DIFFERENCE
• Today more than six million people – farmers, producers, workers and their families – across 58 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean benefit from the Fairtrade system.
Fairtrade delivers a better deal for farmers and producers in the developing world through the Fairtrade standards:
_ The Fairtrade Price - a designated fair and stable price for most products, aimed at
covering the cost of sustainable production and helping protect them from damaging
fluctuations in world market prices.
_ The Fairtrade Premium - an additional sum of money for investment in social, economic and environmental development - helping them grow their businesses and invest in their communities by building roads, schools and hospitals.
_ Security of long-term contracts and access to pre-financing
_ Improved working conditions through core International Labor Organization (ILO)
_ Requiring environmentally sustainability farming and production practices.
_ Providing democracy within decision making processes including Fairtrade Premium use.
THE FAIRTRADE LABEL & WHERE TO BUY FAIRTRADE PRODUCTS
• A product is Fairtrade Certified if it carries the Fairtrade Label – an easy
way for consumers to recognise and choose products that have met internationally agreed Fairtrade Standards.
• A product bearing the Fairtrade Label means independent certification
against the Fairtrade standards has taken place at each step of the commercial supply chain: FLO-CERT certifies all Fairtrade producer organisations and is the only ISO 65 accredited certification body for an ethical label.
• In Australia, common Fairtrade Certified & Labelled products include coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate,hot chocolate, cotton and sports balls. Fairtrade Certified & Labelled rice, sugar and quinoa are also available. A variety of these products can be found in major supermarkets, independent retailers, organic and health food stores; through office supply companies; as well as hundreds of cafes across the country. A number of major coffee chains now have their own Fairtrade blends and several Australian airlines serve Fairtrade tea, coffee and chocolate on their flights.
Saturday, 16 June 2012
Green Is The New Black
Who ever thought the wheels on your bike or car could store your credit cards and look so fashionable at the same time? These recycled wallets are made of old posters and inner tyre-tube rubber, a type of waste that does not easily decompose. Made by a collective of environmentally concerned artists and volunteers based in Central Java.
Raising awareness and creating employment
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Elephas Maximus is the Latin name for the Sri Lankan elephant, a sub species of the Asian elephant. It grows to a weight of up to 5 tonnes and eats on average 180kg of vegetation a day. The elephant produces 100kg of dung per day and with the discovery of the wonderful paper making qualities of this cellulose rich material Elephant Dung Paper was born.
Elephant Paper is 100% recycled, made from Elephant Dung and Post-Consumer Waste Paper. Manufactured in Sri Lanka, a country where traditionally elephants and humans have competed over scarce land resources resulting in injury on both sides, the production of the paper directly contributes to the villager’s income linking it to the survival of the elephants.
To make this beautiful handmade paper, the dung is sun dried and then boiled in a pressurised boiler at 120° to kill any bacteria. Then it is mixed to form a pulp and dyed using salt dyes, before it is put into a mould and submerged in water. When lifted from the mould the paper is put into a press that squeezes the water out and the sheet of paper is then dried naturally in the shade. No tree is cut down to make the paper and no chemicals or acids are used in its production.