Something Different

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As I mentioned at the end I my previous post, I spent the remainder of yesterday far away from my sewing machine.

If you think of the room with my sewing machine as my hobby area then the workshop is GMan’s hobby space.  From time to time we have a clean up and usually declutter a few more things.  Yesterday we had another go but this time the focus was the contents of the storage cupboards under the bench rather than some of the bigger garden items.

We decided to move all of the various jars and containers of nails, screws, rivets etc from the shelf in the cupboard to this set of shelves which we had inherited and mounted on the wall some time ago.  We had not really used the shelves but it is now much easier to see what we actually have.

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I finally found a solution for storing the various extension cords.  This metal bracket which came from my father’s workshop has been mounted just above the bench.

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We could not complete the final bit of organisation until today as we needed to buy some plastic plugs to allow us the screw into the concrete block wall to mount the shelf to the left of this photo.

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We have yet to put anything on it but there is plenty to choose from.  The shelf beside it was the subject of one of my very early blog posts – almost 6 years ago.

I found it interesting to re-read that old post because I realised that all of the items mentioned today actually belonged to my father – even the re-purposed tins cans for storing screws – on the bottom shelf of the first photograph.

And what inspired us to do all of this?  It was trying to find suitable screws and the correct size drill bit for another handyman project.  That will be revealed tomorrow.

Sewing Projects

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Last month I wrote this post about a baby quilt I was making.  I finished it last week and gave to my colleague who was absolutely thrilled with it.

Here is the result of my endeavours.

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This crazy quilt was made entirely from scraps and thrifted fabric and bits and pieces of it were made over a number of years.

In complete contrast, my next sewing project was made in less than an hour this morning.  GMan recently bought a new Kindle e-reader but had not decided about a case/cover so I suggested that I could make one.

I did not take any photos during the construction process as I did not have a pattern and just made it up as I went along.  I was pleased with the result.

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It is made from a couple of scraps of poly cotton fabric – patterned on the outside with a plain red lining.  I cut up an old handtowel which had been in the pile of old towels and used this for some padding to provide some protection for the Kindle.  The bias binding and velcro tab were also scraps that were lurking in my stash of sewing bits and pieces.

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And this is how it looks with the flap sealed with the velcro.

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The rest of my day was spent far away from the sewing machine but more on that tomorrow.

 

Back to the Scales

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Some years ago I weighed our rubbish each week for a period of time.  The quantity was small but I cannot even remember the approximate weights.

I have decided to make a start on this again and redouble our efforts to reduce our small amount of waste that goes to landfill even further.

This is the contents of our kitchen bin for approximately 2 weeks.

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Not all of it is identifiable but there are 2 cheese wrappers, packaging from a parcel we received, an old sponge (left by housesitters 6 months ago), a mouldy ziplock bag which was beyond being salvaged, a small mayonnaise bottle and a butter wrapper (Aldi have changed to foil wrappers – not happy so I will be voting with my feet and buying butter elsewhere in future).  The rest is mostly plastic packaging of one sort and another – mostly one off items from Christmas gifts/catering.  The silver star looks like something from a child’s toy which has been left here – so not strictly our waste but it does have to be discarded.

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Here it is – all packaged up.  I put most of the small bits compacted into the ziplock bag.  I always try to contain any small, lightweight rubbish as the last thing I want is for it to drift out of the collection truck or the landfill site and end up in a watercourse.

The next step was to put it all in the parcel post bag and weigh it.

152g or 5 and 3/8 ounces for my non-metric friends.

Once I had done this I put the rubbish in the bin, except for the post bag which I have saved for next week’s rubbish.

From now on I will weigh and post about the rubbish each Friday so that we have a weekly total for comparison.  It will vary from week to week as some things are only discarded rarely but my hope is that we will continue to generate very little waste.

Plastic is definitely the major culprit when it comes to items going to landfill.  The challenge is to look for feasible alternatives and investigate any recycling options for those items which I do not currently recycle.

Do you generate much waste?  Are you looking for ways to reduce your use of single-use plastic items?  I would love to hear your stories so that we can encourage each other.

Not My Trash

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There seem to be various reasons for people choosing to substantially reduce the amount of waste that their household produces but it is essentially about not turning our planet into a mega rubbish dump.  One of the most visible issues is the plastic in our oceans so removing single-use plastic items from your life is a good first step.

The goal of zero waste is admirable but what about the litter that seems to be everywhere?

This morning I went for a walk.  We live in a semi-rural area on a narrow secondary road.  This is what I collected.

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Pepsi bottle
Iced coffee bottle plus 2 pieces of the plastic label
Flattened soft drink can
Turkish delight wrapper
Half of a single serve yoghurt container
Plastic bag
Broken reflector from a vehicle

Apart from the reflector, all of the other items were knowingly discarded.  Almost everything relates to food and drink and the aluminium drink can is the only piece that is not single use plastic.

I know this is only a very small sample but I think these items clearly tell the story of where change needs to occur.

Things you can do that will make a difference (apart from not littering):

Pack your own food and drink for when you are out and about.
If you buy take-away take your own containers or choose compostable packaging.
Lobby governments to introduce container deposit legislation for all beverage containers.
Lobby for a ban on plastic bags.

Add Some Straps

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Here is a quick post about a small sewing project I did recently.

Miss O had this strapless dress which was not really practical as it kept creeping down and she spent the entire day hitching it up.

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The addition of some simple black straps made it much more wearable.  This is the true colour of the dress, too.

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I used some wide elastic from my stash to put inside the straps and they now sit nicely on her shoulders.

One of Each

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I wear very little make-up but I do use a dusting of blush and some lipstick each day I go to work.  I have streamlined to the extent that I own and use just one lipstick and one blush.

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Today I noticed that both items are well-used and will be emptied at some point.

I found this blog post from 11th January 2016 in which I mentioned needing to buy some new make-up.  12 months later and these are still going strong.  I expect that it will be about another 3 months before I feel the need to buy any more.

The packaging is plastic and will be rubbish which goes to landfill.  While this is not a good thing, I feel that I am doing my bit by using very little make-up or beauty products.  By buying the absolute minimum I am making a contribution to reducing the waste produced by the beauty industry.

A New Tank

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Our property is in a semi-rural area and we do not have access to town water.  This is not a problem as we have 2 large rainwater tanks.  The combined capacity is almost 100,000 litres and since we live in a high rainfall area we have never even gone close to running out of water.  However, we have also lived in a low rainfall area as well as in the city when there was a significant drought so we know what it is like to be careful with every precious drop of water.

Well, you can never have too much rainwater storage so today we bought another tank.  I discovered that a work colleague wanted to sell a rainwater tank due to new landscaping plans.  I checked out the details and found that it would be perfect for our plan to have another small tank under the verandah.  We will use this for watering out vegetable garden which is close by.  This will be much easier than dragging the hose all the way from the main tap which is at the other end of the house.  Additionally, a tank which is close to the house will give us the option of being able to access water relatively easily if we are without power.

It is unlikely that we will be completely without power now that we have the battery system for our solar panels but is will be good to have a back up just in case.

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Without power for the pump or a tank close to the house, it is a long trek to the main tanks to get water.  You can read about it in an old post from 2013.

Back to the new tank.  We collected it today and it was loaded into the ute with the help of the seller and a couple of his mates.  After a reasonably cautious drive home it was time to unload.

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This is the area we had chosen to position the tank.  In fact, the concreting was only done about 6 months ago with a view to getting the tank this year.

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With a bit of careful planning GMan and I were able to manoeuvre it into position.

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The next step will be to organise the plumber and electrician to get it all set up.  In the interests of efficiency we need to plan several plumbing and electrical jobs all to be done at the same time.