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Environmentalism is hip. Let’s face it. Today it is easy to be green. There are so many options out there to save the world. Raaaaaa. It’s funny that they’re often the most expensive, fancy looking things isn’t it? Surely there’s a whole heap of people getting rich on saving this fine planet of ours. I’m not against protecting species and looking after the world, but I don’t like the feeling that we’re being manipulated into spending more money or heading down a certain track against our will.

So I will dare to be uncool. Beyond these lines are my environmental secrets. They are the kind of things that would cause an environmentalist to point their finger and give me a good ’tisking’. But I know I’m not the only one. Some hide it better than others.

Confession time:

  • Shower hog- yes I love water wasting devices. I absolutely hate drippy pathetic showers and the thought of putting a timer on it almost makes me cry. I like a long shower with lots of power. Now, I know for a fact that I am not alone in this because this is a global warming no-no that anyone can hide from those prying green eyes.
  • Caged eggs – Every time I go egg shopping I almost blush. I am paranoid that someone is going to bust me buying the cheapest caged eggs I can find. I love animals but don’t care too much for chickens. Which is why I probably avoid watching those exposes on cruelty to chickens. It all comes down to price here and I just cannot afford $6 a dozen for guilt-free range eggs.
  • Organic fruit, veges, meat and blah-de-blah-blah. What a great get-rich-scheme this is. Now I hate chemicals as much as the next person but who decided that only the rich get to have the natural food? It stinks. It seems that if you want to be healthy you have to pay through the nose and that is why I refuse to buy organic stuff. It feels immoral… unless, of course, it is on sale!
  • Cling film/ wrap/ plastic, plastic everywhere – I’m a great recycler! Yes I am part greenie. But I still use plastic wrap for my blocks of cheese, leftovers and frozen goods. Some things are just impossible to give up!
  • Nappies/diapers – There is a new breed of mum out there who is using the new fancy pants cloth nappies. When my kids were babies, I apologized profusely to the rubbish dump and the earth but there was no way I was going to spend my time washing out poos and wees from cloth. Ironically I run a mile from bleach and other tough cleaners and, besides, chucking out a disposable nappy is too darn easy!
  • I now throw my finished toilet rolls in the bin. I tried for years to recycle them but they were just too hard to get from the bathroom to the yellow bin without causing a slapstick scene (you know the one that usually involves marbles).  So, I made an executive decision and now they go out with the rest of the rubbish. To my credit I recycle almost everything else.

So there you have it! I have laid it all before you in an honest way. I will no longer hide my choice of egg or long shower. I will shout it from the rooftop because, no one is perfect. Environmentalists still drive petrol guzzling machines, buy sweets wrapped in plastic and use electricity. It’s all about balance and choice and these are my choices.

What are your dark environmentally incorrect secrets?

 

 

Image by basibanget

Why oh why is junk food so tempting. All those gross chemicals charge through our bodies and do absolutely nothing. Meanwhile, the poor little apple sits in the fruit bowl longing to be consumed. As it gets softer and browner it ponders where it went wrong and why people won’t eat it.

Carrots are sweet but not sugary enough to tempt our tastebuds and cucumbers may be cool but not as yummo as an ice cold Mars Bar, or so we’re told. It’s just not fair. The junk food industry has chemicals and thingies in their snacks that makes us want more and the awful, dangerous cycle continues.

Who remembers hot chips and chicken salt. So very bad for you but so, so delicious. The smell of them wafts through my nose as I run-walk past my local chicken shop. Ooooo delightful. And those darn doughnuts call my name while they bubble away in that oil and roll around in that delicious cinnamon sugar mixture.

The worst thing is that junk food is getting cheaper while the really good stuff is becoming unaffordable. I don’t even consider organic veges. I already pay $12 a kilo for foul tomatoes, imagine what a yummy one is worth. Water is relatively free but tasteless. Milk is cheaper but hurts my tum tum. Then you have to go and buy horrible soy milk or overpriced almond milk to satisfy your daily dairy intake. Geesh.

Apparently muesli bars are extremely bad for your kids, but what are we supposed to give them to take to school? I’ve tried homemade versions but the kids don’t like them. Arrrrgghh. Homemade is the best as you know what is in them and there are less chemicals but who has the time to cook all the time? If you want to buy healthy snacks for your kids they also cost the earth. The cycle is ridiculous and frustrating.

So we’re stuck with cheap, chemical ridden junk food and awesome, natural, good-for-you food that will break the bank. What to do? Well, as you know I’ve started my vege patch but spring is a ways away. I’m getting an air popping popcorn maker but not sure if the kids will like popcorn for school snacks. I’m trying to cook and involve the kids in the process and that’s fun but takes time and patience.

I just want to know why we are stuck with such awful food at such ridiculous prices and the good food is impossible for the average person to buy every week. It’s nuts. And that, my friends, is the way of the world. Sad but true.

Does anyone have recipes for healthy school snacks? Do share.

 

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

250g peeled, seeded and diced butternut pumpkin
220g (1¾ cups) plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
125g (½ cup) caster sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
200ml (¾ cup) low fat milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil


Preparation method
1.
Preheat oven to 200 C. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper muffin cases.
 
2. In a medium saucepan with enough water to cover, boil pumpkin for 10 minutes, or until tender. 
Remove from heat, drain, and purée in a food processor.
 
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and spices.
 
4. In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix together the milk, egg and oil. Stir in pumpkin. 
Fold the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened.
 
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling cups about 3/4 full.
 
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of a muffin 
comes out clean. Remove from muffin pan and cool on a wire rack.

 

The pit is dug! The trees have moved and ‘Operation Vege Patch’ is off off and away. The position has been chosen and re-chosen and we’re looking like an old fashioned type garden once more.

It all began with the moving of some very slow growing bamboo palms. I think they were happy for a change of scenery if you ask me. They happily popped out of the ground (thanks also to some recent rain) and toddled over to the opposite fence. Snuggling into the damp ground, they shook hands with each other and wished themselves well. First step completed.

But we weren’t going to rest on our laurels. Not us (opposite to green) thumbers! Out came the shovels, the digging contraptions and out with the grass. After the pit was dug ( I watched most of it as my lovely hubby worked tirelessly away) we had a moment. Surveying the spot, we decided not to go with a raised garden but to go old school and grab a chunk of chicken wire, some stakes to keep out the undesirables.

Off to the nursery. You must take yourself to ‘New Leaf Nursery’ in Elanora Heights. Not only is it owned by the landscaping world’s answer to Steve Irwin (go Yacko) but it has chickens, bunnies, roosters, and (back in the day) a peacock. The newest and kid loving funnest part is the little zoo they have put together where the munchkins can go and have happy cuddles with bunnies, guinea pigs and chickens. Too fun!

Meanwhile the adults get to potter around at all the grand plants and such while the kids are locked away with the animals! Awesome. So, Yacko stocked us up with a million bags of chicken /rabbit poo, some free stakes and chicken wire (he’s too good to us!)  and we left with a boot full of lovely stinky stuff as well as seeds and small plants – seedlings I think they’re called.

Then to home where, once again, hubby displayed his manliness and set to cutting spikes on the stakes and hammering the chick wire in place. Ta da! Sunset.

Then we had a million litres of rain fall which made me happy we hadn’t planted anything yet! I could just imagine those seeds screaming ‘Weeeeeeeeee’ as they flowed out of the vege patch and into the neighbour’s mound of clay! Ba bow!

Today the sun is shining but alas and yay I’ve had to stay inside doing some writery type work. The vege patch beckons, however. It sweetly calls my name and I answer, “In a minute, can’t you see I’m working!!”

Stay tuned for the planting, weeding and sowing stages. It’s non-stop fun and excitement here at the suburban farm!

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