June 2, 2007

Links for your green fingers

Mount Iwakiyama was hard to say but the American badger knew he'd adjust. Collage on postcard, Gracia Haby, 2007.

A little over a month ago now, as I read the weekend papers several days after said weekend (are you perhaps sensing a pattern here?), I came across a reference to Sew Green in an article by Andrew Stephens and John Bailey, Back to the future (M, The Sunday Age, April 22, 2007). An article all about becoming a little more green. A three page spread on making your life a little simpler, and in short, a little more like your Nanna. All hail a return to the days when a "commitment to thrift, conserving resources and canny housekeeping" was the norm. Small ways in which you can make a difference today, from buying products with less packaging, making your own all purpose cleaning products, relying upon the virtues of vinegar and bi-carb soda in place of a chemical nasties, a different chemical concoction for each room and surface in the house. Vegetable patches, string bags, walking, and generally using less, yes, that's something we all can do. And should your green thumb have deserted you, leaving you with turnips and radishes fit only for a mouse, why there are always plenty of other green alternatives to living a cleaner, greener, simpler life.

He travelled for some time without incident. Collage on postcard, Gracia Haby, 2007.

So, here are some of the green links found in that article for you all to discover at your leisure -

Fresh Green Clean
Safer, healthier and cleaner indoor living spaces
"Learn how to clean effectively and efficiently with methods that don't cause harm to people or the planet".

Plump Organic Grocery (in Yarraville, Victoria)
"We stock quality organic and bio-dynamic produce including fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, wine, beer, bulk grains & cereals, soy products, meat, bread, eggs, juices, and much more."

Green Living Australia
All about living a "Green" life, starting in our homes.

Estring bags
Don't cost the earth.
(I've just ordered three long handled string bags in Ocean Blue, Pink Cherry Blossom and Fresh Green, and can't wait for them to arrive via snail mail.)

Sustainability Victoria
Find tips for the home and brush up on your facts while you're at it (Wind energy - myths and facts).

And what of Sew Green? Why, we're mentioned here: "Younger people tired of throwing away their money on poorly made mass-produced clothing and fabric products are discovering the rewards of handicrafts and clicking on to sites such as sew green.blogspot.com and Bee Green to learn how to make soft toys, darn socks and whip up a new blouse to wear to work".

We thought we knew a great deal, but really we knew nothing. Collage on postcard, Gracia Haby, 2007.

Now I'm off to get my hands on a copy of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by chemist and process engineer Michael Braungart and architect William McDonough, to read about the big things that can be done, to discover how buildings can be built like trees, like nature...

"Imagine a world where human industry operates exactly like a blossoming cherry tree: Every factory, every building and every product is as giving as a cherry tree with its flowers.

Imagine a world where our buildings are like trees: They cover their energy needs by harvesting solar power, produce food and oxygen, create habitat for other species and change with the seasons.

Imagine a world without pollution and waste: Products are made from materials that are beneficial for humans and their surroundings."

Believing that it is not simply enough for our actions to be 'less bad', to be 'less harmful', to the environment, Braungart and McDonough advocate, and practice, that there should be no waste whatsoever... that all waste should equal food. That all waste should give back to the biosphere. Just like trees (There's room for a book review on that one, and indeed many books currently on the market. Any takers? Care to pen a little book review on a green text you are currently perusing, Shari, Louise, anyone?). Oh, dear. Must dash, I fear I've bitten off more than I can chew with this one! I'll leave you to dig around further here and here.

Coins in every fountain. Collage on postcard, Gracia Haby, 2007.

In lieu of any green photos, I have littered this post with several of my recent collages... collages of animals seeking new homes in a changing environment. I hope you like them.

They are discussing environmental policies. Collage on postcard, Gracia Haby, 2007.


louise said...

I'll totally take you up on that book review offer... There are one or two books I'd love to post about.

Isn't it mind boggling that solutions to the environmental problems we have created exist! I found the documentary recently on television about the cradle to cradle guys just phenomenal.

see you, LJ

(Your collages look as beautiful as ever.)

nikkishell said...

I read this article and kept it for future reference. Great collages!

kyra said...

i LOVE these collages!!! i just aquired cradle to cradle as well, can't wait to dig into it.
thanks for all the links too!

gracia said...

Hey there LJ,
Eagerly awaiting your review of 'Every last drop: The water saving guide' by Craig Madden & Amy Carmichael... happy reading, little bookworm.

Thanks, Nikki.
I spotted the hard to miss article the very same weekend your Wardrobe Refashion brilliance was highlighted in the paper. Looking forward to your post on this fantastical project of yours!

Thanks, Kyra, too. I'm looking forward to creating many new, larger scale collages now that our exhibition is finished at Imp gallery. I am ready for new things!
Enjoy delving into Cradle to Cradle... bound to be an enlightening, inspirational read.

see you, g

** And don't forget, commemorated each year on June the 5th - World Environment Day. This years focus, 'Melting Ice – a Hot Topic?'

Glean a little more here: http://www.unep.org/wed/2007/english/

What are you doing to celebrate? Please, let me know. **

elaine haby said...

What a wonderful idea and place Sew Green is....I''ve only just got around to checking it all out.....and beautiful collages, but I am biased in my opinion.....elaine haby

katrien said...

Your collages are wonderful. They convey humor, tragedy, and an underlying sense of longing. Very touching and thought provoking.
O and Cradle to Cradle is on my list now!

gracia said...

Thanks, Mum... opinion, biased or otherwise, is always welcome. Have fun exploring the sew green archives.

Thanks, Katrien.
I'm glad all of my intentions with the collages in question came through. They are a real joy to make and I relish creating new worlds for my displaced collection of animals. Penguins turn up in Germany, and fossas make new homes in London. Maybe next time I'll do a post on the process?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Cradle to Cradle, in the future.

cheers, grache

cally said...

I love the way you write.
I need do do more of the good instead of the less bad. Thanks for the inspiration and great links.

gracia said...

(Belated) thanks, Cally.

I'm really enjoying being a part of Sew Green, and using it as an avenue to explore and extend ideas and concepts.

Love your pieces too...

see you, g