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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

2 Movies, 2 Bargains and More

Viewing two environmental movies in one week could be somewhat depressing. For me, it just reinforces how we need to keep working away at reducing waste, cleaning up what we can, writing letters to companies and the government and voting wisely.
The first one we saw was A Plastic Ocean. We know the situation is dire, but this has us thinking twice about eating fish because of how much toxin laden plastic they have been found to be eating. 

The second was Al Gore's An Inconvenient Sequel. Some reviews that I have seen called him self promoting and gave this movie lower marks than his first, An Inconvenient Truth, but I admire him. He is a wonderfully passionate speaker and uses his time to draw attention to the environmental crisis.
It's good to see the bigger picture, and some positives in there too.
The current situation in Houston is one more reminder of how furious storms are becoming, and how devastating, as predicted in the movie. We watch the news and feel for the people there. 

On a cheerier note a couple of bargains from op shopping. I won't buy new if I can help it, so when our clock in the bathroom died, we tried to go without, but we both missed it. I decided to visit our local Habitat for Humanity shop (Every Sale Bangs a Nail) and found 2 possible replacements. As they had no batteries in them, I couldn't tell if they worked - but for $2 and$1, I bought them both. Well they both work, although one was so noisy we could hear it ticking all over the house (probably why it had been donated). I set to with some cardboard and wadding to the back of it for sound insulation and now can barely hear it.
Now that I've seen the time - I should be cooking dinner!

My other bargain that I found there was a set of Caran D'Ache soft pastels. I had been wanting to buy pastels for a while, so when I saw this barely touched set for $10 I snaffled them up. Online later I looked up the price of a new set - $266! (They are artist quality)

...And some happy news from the garden - our avocado tree has 35 fruit on it! They are around $3 each here at the moment, so we're very pleased.
Also after several attempts we now have sugar cane growing.
I have been on my 3rd bout of cold and flu, but Derek, bless him, has been working away to clean up our vegetable garden. Today we have picked up a trailer load of compost to top it up, and most of the seeds are in trays in our enclosed outdoor area, already starting to peek through. Roll on Spring. 

Monday, 14 August 2017

Reusing Cellophane

Cellophane -(taken from ehow)
In 1908, a Swiss chemist, Jacques Brandenberger, was attempting to make a stain-proof tablecloth while working in a French textile factory. He coated the tablecloth with a viscose film but soon realized that no one would buy these "plastic" cloths. He did realize that this viscose film held other possibilities. Ten years later, he had developed a machine that would produce what he called "cellophane'"-- "cello" from cellulose and "phane" from "diaphane," which is French for "transparent." In 1919, cellophane was publicly distributed and, in 1927, the film was improved with a waterproof lacquer.

While most "cellophane" is biodegradable, still made from cellulose, some is not and is just made to look like it from plastic. I always check the packaging before buying.

Just because it's biodegradable, it doesn't mean cellophane shouldn't be reused, but normally after it's first use it is a crumpled mess. I have had a go at ironing the used cellophane under an old silk scarf - or I guess you could also use brown paper -  just a barrier to stop it melting onto your iron. I used a silk setting on the iron. I'm so delighted with how it came out! It has a new texture - not the same as new - more like fine leather. It looks new, but just a different product.

Used cellophane at top, ironed below (the pattern is on the ironing board)

More Bags

You know I'm all about making bags lately so I wanted to show you some materials that I've sourced from our band's drummer, who is a farmer. They use 500 of these calf feed bags per season and the big white bags are fertilizer bags. None of these are recyclable, although the farmers do reuse lots of them.
On one I have laminated some soft plastics, using my iron. I'm showing them to the Boomerang Bag girls today - I wonder if they'll love or hate them.

Finally, so that you know I don't just spend my life making bags and recycling's a pic of our band playing this weekend just gone at the Bay of Islands 2017 Jazz and Blues Festival...

"Inertia" - yup that's me - sax player.