All posts filed under: The Environment

What’s for dinner?

Who has been doing way more cooking at home than usual? Raises hand We don’t do a lot of eating out or getting takeaways, but with all restaurants closed for the 4+ weeks of Level 4 lockdown in NZ, cooking every meal showed how much premade food we do eat – and how much work it is to plan every menu in advance because you can only go shopping once a week. I don’t mind cooking. I do mind menu planning. Figuring out what to eat is hard work! Here are some of our favourites which have been in heavy rotation in the last few months. Bonus: they are all vegetarian or vegan, which is great if you’re trying to lower your carbon footprint. Spinach & Chickpea Curry I’m obsessed with this curry. It only has one major flaw: it uses a weird amount of coconut milk, and then you are left with half a can of coconut milk, and have to figure out what to do with it. I always use fresh spinach, and …

Making your own fitted sheets thedreamstress.com

Re-make & re-use: how to turn old flat sheets into fitted sheets

Has anyone else noticed that you just can’t buy good quality cotton sheets anymore? Sheets I bought when I first moved to NZ 15 years ago are still going strong, but anything I’ve bought in the last five years (when we upgraded our bed size) lasts less than three years, even when it’s the same brand. And that’s an issue. Cotton (even organic) is not great for the environment, and the best way to lower its impact is to get as much use as possible out of anything cotton that you buy. Three years for sheets = not good. To get a little more use out of the extremely disappointing sheets I’ve purchased in the last 5 years, I’ve been recycling the sheets that have worn out. I turn the fabric around the edges of worn out fitted sheets into pillowcases, and do the same with flat sheets that are very thin, or where there are tears in the middle. If there is enough robust fabric left in a flat sheet, I turn it into …

Tree planting at Island Bay, thedreamstress.com

Planting Trees (and shrubs and other natives)

I took a break from teaching and sewing and breaking my brain over the stays pattern to plant some trees today. Tree planting has been on my to-do list all winter. It’s a way to be literally hands-on helping the environment. Tree planting in NZ is a winter event: you want to get them in the ground while there is plenty of water, and take advantage of the spring growth spurt to get them rooted in before the dry summer. I missed the early winter events because of colds, but got in for the last of the planting today. There weren’t as many planting events as I’d hoped in Wellington (I feel like we should be desperately planting trees in every possible space‚Ķmaybe next year), but I found Conservation Volunteers New Zealand, and signed up for a planting. Sixty willing volunteers showed up bright and early this morning at Tawatawa Reserve in Owhiro/Island Bay, bundled up in layers of wool and waterproof jackets, feet encased in proper shoes, and spades in hand. We came from …