“The word ‘pest’ is thrown around a lot,” observes Dennis Collins, ranger at Sydney's Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden. But, he says, you don’t need a “take no prisoners” approach to bugs. Spraying with broad-spectrum pesticides can harm more than just the insects and spiders in your garden and home – it can also affect the birds, mammals, reptiles and frogs in your neighbourhood. Read our guide to controlling insects without a spray!
National Recycling Week (in mid-November) focuses our attention on the ‘circular economy’. These words convey that we can still be productive and not damage the earth! Planet Ark reports that in the 20 years to 2015, Australia’s population increased by 28% and waste levels grew by 170%. But, the good news is that recycling is growing at an even faster rate than waste. This feature provides links to the wonderful resources created by Planet Ark.
Calling all bird watchers! The annual Aussie Backyard Bird Count runs between 23rd to 29th of October to let us know more about our bird population in urban and other areas. Click here to register: https://aussiebirdcount.org.au/ With just under 1.4 million bird records submitted last year, The Aussie Backyard Bird Count needs participants to help identify bird trends around Australia.
Free food, anyone? Lyra Villafana looks at the growing number of online communities and mobile apps making it easier to share surplus harvest from backyard gardens. From Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to iPhone and Android apps, choices run aplenty for people seeking to swap their excess produce to reduce food wastage. FoodFaith and Crop Swap have collaborated on one such successful food swap. Other notable apps: Spare Harvest, Olio, Urb, Grow2Share and Giving Garden.
You may never look at a piece of seaweed the same way. Research is showing that seaweed has vast potential to draw carbon out of the atmosphere – and to also provide a generous food source for fish. In his new book, Sunlight and Seaweed, Prof Tim Flannery explores the potential of kelp, a fast-growing sea algae, to be used on a large scale to convert carbon from the air to a non-gaseous form, reducing levels of atmospheric carbon.
Food choices can make a big difference to the health of the planet. From the excellent Naked Scientists website, University of Oxford Dr Peter Scarborough, takes us through what you can do every day to help yourself and a more sustainable future.
Read our guide to growing Indigenous edible plants - on your balcony or in your garden. Well-known horticulturalist Narelle Happ provides top tips and some examples of what to grow and how to use them.
Question: How can you slow the growth of weeds in your garden and improve the texture of the soil without spending a lot of money on commercial products? Answer: Turn your household rubbish into compost. More than half of your domestic waste is compostable anyway. Click here for our "Composting 101 for Absolute Beginners".
The FoodFaith community flocked like bees to honey to Dan Smailes' workshop on native stingless bees. We need to encourage our bees to help with pollination and it is so easy to install your own hive in your garden. Check out our story for tips. Photo: Julian Watt
Every year since 1996, Planet Ark has run National Recycling Week (NRW), making 2016 its 21st year (let’s make it a good one!). Planet Ark lists the aims of the event as ‘promoting kerbside, industrial, and community recycling initiatives’ and ‘giving people the tools to minimise waste and manage material resources responsibly at home, work, and school’.
Great day at the Lane Cove annual Sustainability Lane/Village Fair event on October 9th. The Fair was a celebration of Think Global, Act Local with many inspirational initiatives featured. Thousands attended and the event showcased how sustainability and enterprise can both benefit. The FoodFaith Sprouting Up kits, home-made potato stamps and ecobubbles were a hit - simple, home-grown wisdoms and techniques that we wish to reclaim and celebrate! For instructions on how to grow your own sprouts, see below.
FoodFaith's Founder, Judy Friedlander, delivered the keynote address at Randwick City Council's recent World Environment Day celebrations. The event featured a smorgasbord of song, dance, poetry and speeches and showcased Australia's diversity and the common heritage and spiritual and social importance that all cultures and belief systems place on the natural environment.