Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's not all about gardening!

Self sustainability is not all about gardening, there are different levels of self sustainability from not letting a thing leave your property and not buying from outside to simply recycling and growing your own veggies,I think on some level we all try to be as self sustainable as we possibly can in this day and age knowing what damage we have already done to the planet.

I started by using cloth nappies 11 years ago, of course we were already re-cycling and a year later we brought some chickens to stop buying into the whole egg production scene. Then the Veggie garden came and the questions on using water for the nappies to wash which led to us buying a water tank and storing all our grey water to be pumped out back onto the garden.

Now we have quite a big veggie garden, we now have 4 water tanks and they grey water tank. We haven't brought eggs for 10 years and we sell too quiet a few neighbours we compost as much as we possibly can and use all our own manure from the chickens and rabbits, and all our cleaning products are the simple bi carb/vinegar and eucalyptus oil. I hand weed everything so no poisons are used which while the down side to that is it's hugely time consuming, ALL the weeds and grasses get re-fed back to the chickens so are completely recycled.

So that is self sustainability for us, trying to be responsible for the waste we are causing in the world, trying to take the cargo bike for groceries and walk and ride the bike when possible, meeting the kids halfway from school so that car isn't taken out all time time and trying to get those extra groceries while already out on another trip while down in town.

Something we do have is a wood heater and as I loathe using chemicals for anything we have come up with a way to use all those dozens of toilet rolls we go through each week and used up lint in the dryer. We also run 2 businesses from home and have many documents that need to be shredded to privacy reasons, what to do with all that shredded paper? We stuff the toilet rolls and use them as firelighters! This saves us buying fire starters which are smelly toxic smelling. They work really well, we also add pine cones which are gathered up from the local park only 4 door from us, that fall down every year.

Ivé posted some pictures of what we use for the wood fire and the lint pile that only takes me about 2 weeks to gather and the amount of fire starters I get per lint empty.


  1. Do people actually use fire lighters? They seem like a huge waste of money to me! We have only ever used kindling to start our fire. I love the idea of using toilet rolls and lint from the dryer, we probably don't use the dryer enough to gather enough lint though. I imagine you'd need to use it a fair bit for towels for your business, wouldn't you?

  2. We were buying them, in the damp of Winter they just made lighting the fire even with kindling that much easier, they smell horrid though so with these it just got the fire roraring very quickly. I do use the dryer a bit, even at this time of year we can't seem to get the clothes dry in one day and with 5 of us and a good 20 massage towels to wash each week it helps, never use from wet though just to finish them off, but mostly we stuff the toilet rolls with shredded paper.