Friday, July 10, 2009

Letter to the Editor - Sustainability

To Whom it may concern,

I believe that sustainability isn't a topic that is pushed around enough these days and is widely disregaurded by many many people. So, I have organised an argument in the structure of a letter to get the message across. There is no point waiting until it is all too late. Being sustainable is a great thing.

Why? well firstly, if you take that leap today and start living a sustainable live, you will manage to save quite a lot of money and buy that special something for that special someone, or perhaps yourself. How, you may ask? Things like your power bill will come down by a noticable margin if you start being sustainable and use less electricity, e.g not using the dryer to dry your clothes, using less hot water, and replace your regular lightbulbs with energy efficient lightbulbs. Going to the vege shop and buying fruit such as oranges from the U.S.A is a very stupid thing to do. Not only do they cost more, they used some of earths natural resources, like fuel to fuel the boat or plane they were imported on, which is polluuting the air we breathe. It is much more sustainable to grow your own fruit and vegies or buy local, because they are fresher and cheaper. Driving a car or motorbicycle to the shop or to work when it is only a short distance manageable by foot is not a sustainable thing to do. It costs money to buy the fuel, which adds carbon dioxide to the air when it is burned by a vehicle. To be more sustainable you could cath a bus or car pool, or you can do the most sustainable action of all, getting around on foot or by bike.

Secondly, at the moment on earth, we continue to consume most of earths natural resources, instead of using renewable resources. When people these days go out to cut down a tree, they don't plant another few! we should be planting at least one tree for every one of them we cut down, otherwise timber wouldn't be a renewable resource anymore. When a tree is cut down, the airs oxygen supply becomes lesser. Why? because trees breathe in the carbon dioxide, a gas which pollutes the air, and they breathe out oxygen, a gas all animals require to live. The bottom line is, if we have no trees or plants, we will have no life what-so-ever. Another unsustainable unrenewable resource are petrols and fossil fuels. They cost lots of money, and pollute the are with plenty of Carbon Dioxide. Like we need any more! eventually they will run out and we will find a way to replace fossil fuel burning vehicles. So we do we have to wait until it all runs out and we maximise the pollution? it would make a lot more sense to stop using fossil fuels and petrols immediatley. Because of our current unsustainability, my research has shown that we only have 1/33 of the earths surface area to grow natural crop. This isn't good enough! no wonder many people in many countries are being deprived of there nutritious supplements. Who is to blame? the unsustainable people of our world. But it is not to late. We can turn all of this around before it can get possibly worse. We have to start this instant. Lifes could depend on it.

You may not know it, but you, the everyday person, is creating massive amounts of waste every second. We can help cut the amount of waste we create short by reusing and recycling. Instead of using plastic bags when you go shopping that can damage very easily and will only last you one use, try using re usable fabric bags. They are far more durbale and on the long term the will be cheaper than using plastic bags. another example is using cloth nappies instead of plastic nappies, because plastic nappies only last for one use as well. If there is a product that is not recyclable, avoid buying it. Try and find a recyclable substitute. my final example of this is using containers instead of gladwrap or gladbags because they can be re used. Also remember to recycle your paper, because it doesn't have to spend ages in the dump rotting away. You could recycle it or better yet - you could put it in a worm farm. Worm farms are very useful for getting rid of your food scraps and sometimes paper. If you want to help the environment, get a worm a farm! just remember you can't feed them anything that contains citrus, and cut the paper up and flatten it before feeding it. You benefit from this by rededucing your total waste, which is being more sustainable, and you can sell the vermacast the worms produce.

That is why it is a great thing to be sustainable and save the planet while we still can.

Yours sincerly,

Winged Hussar

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Footprint progress 3

My 3rd post on my carbon footprint reducement progress. I have stopped using the dryer to wash my clothes, I now hang them up inside during the night instead. It still gets the same result and reduces energy use and my carbon footprint.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Footprint progress 2

I have started to turn the tap off when I am brushing my teeth, which is the second part of my carbon footprint progress.

Footprint progress 1

It's me, reporting on my carbon footprint progress. I have started to have shorter hot showers. It would be better if i had cold showers, but it is winter so doing something like that is a bit foolish.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How much food do we have?

Me and Mystery Man have been engulfed in a math project to find out how much of the earth we have to grow food. Two Waikato University students from SIFE (students in free enterprise) came in and said we only had 1/32 of the earth's surface to grow our crop. So we set out to prove if this was true. First we got the Earths land and sea surface area and converted it to rough fractions. Using my talent i determined that there were:
surface area: 510 065 600 km²
land area: 148 330 000 km²
sea area: 361 740 000 km²
using my further talent i determined that this meant that:
15/51 surface area is land.
36/51 surface area is ocean.
This instantly eliminated 36/51 from our equasion.
with the 15/51 we had left, we had to take out the mountanious, desert, forest, and urban (buildings) land.
In the end we had about 1.5/51(something like that) left to grow food. We then found out this was roughly equivelant to 1/33( includes permanent crop and arable land). So, in conclusion, we have about 1/33 of the earths surface area to grow food. So the two university students were incorrect by just a tiny bit.
This is important because we have to be sustainable, and be careful about what we do with the tiny bit of land we have for growing food.

Eco footprint diary - Thursday 18 June 2009. (Winged Hussar)

This is a diary of my thoughts, about what I can do to help the environment. The smallest things do count, so I am going to start small.

  1. I will turn the tap off when I am brushing my teeth.
  2. I will have shorter hot showers
  3. I will try to avoid using the dryer to dry my clothes and substitute it by hanging my washing on a clothesline or
  4. I will turn electrical appliances off when i am not using them

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sustainable Architecture

On Wednesday 3rd June 2009 Kris Wilson, an Architect from Design house ( came in and made a presentation about sustainable architecture. He pointed out that sustainable doesn't just mean eco friendly. He said that a sustainable house must be able to live and interact with the environment and keeping it healthy and happy at the same time. Kris mentioned that you don't have to be an architect to contribute to sustainable architecture. You could be a builder, a plumber, etc. There are three key aspects to Sustainable architecture.
energy Efficiency
High level of insulation
passive solar power
effiecent heating
eco friendly light bulbs
thermal mass (concrete absorbing and releasing heat)
Waste Management
Weather resistant cladding
Recycling while building
Grey water systems ( re usable water)
low flow/ low pressure water taps and shower heads
Building Materials
Non Toxic
Locally made