Category Archives: Misc Ponderings

5 Eco Friendly Tips for Students

Active Transport CDU

Background on this blog: I’m currently doing a stint with Charles Darwin University and one of the things I get to do is help write content for the blog: Here is one of the blogs I wrote as we lead up to Plastic Free July.

I know! You are studying, maybe working, maybe have a family, you socialise and have many, many commitments. Being green probably isn’t high on your priority list. But, it should be! Why? It’s easy to make a few small changes that are good for the environment and good for the wallet. Let’s be honest, anything that saves money while you’re studying is going to be very handy.

5 Top Tips on being an Eco-Friendly Student 

1. Buy Good Quality & Products Made for Recycled Content

There is a great range of products available that are made from recycled content or can be reused over and over again. Here are some suggestions:

  • Buy 100% recycled paper for printing.
  • You can buy pens and other stationary made from post consumer waste.
  • Enough with the plastic bags, use reusable/recycled bags such as Boomerang Bags
  • Addicted to coffee? Get your own CDU Keep Cup. Some coffee shops will charge you less if you bring your own cup.
  • Make bottled water a thing of the past! Use reusable drinking bottles.

Stop buying paper all together! Don’t by a printer, buy a good quality computer, the best you can afford. A good computer will last for years. Learn to type your notes and reading off the screen will save you money.

2. Recycle

Councils provide curb side recycling in Australia. Think about all of the paper you use for your notes, assignments and then include takeout containers, plastic water bottles, beer and wine bottles or cans, just to name a few. It takes very little effort to make sure that these items are placed in the correct bin at home or on campus. See Darwin City Council’s guide on recycling.

Did you know that in the NT there is a container deposit scheme? You can make money by recycling!

Recycling isn’t just about putting your papers and containers in the correct bin though, think about your old clothes and study books. Don’t throw them, resell them and make some money back. If you don’t have the time, at least donate your good quality clothing to your local second hand store.

Old study books you can’t be bothered selling? Give Now is another option or contact CDU Library to see if they will take them.

3. Sustainable Transport

Gyms can be expensive! Getting around by active modes of transport (walking, cycling or using public transport) is a great option. Active modes of transport are well known to result in:

  • Increased capacity, and reduced congestion, in the overall transport network
  • Reduced environmental impacts
  • Improved public health and reduced healthcare costs
  • Improved community wellbeing and social cohesion.

Source: Enviro Collective CDU

It’s also cheaper than owning and using a car all of the time! Next time you need to go from A to B, consider other forms of transport.

Free or cheap exercise options are provided by Darwin City Council’s community Program.

4. Reduce Your Power Usage

When it’s not in use, turn it off at the power point. Standby power wastage is a thing! It’s easy to turn off your appliances off at the wall, your wallet and the earth will thank you.

Turn off lights and use LED light bulbs. LED bulbs cost a bit more than normal bulbs, but the saving comes in the electricity bill, as well as the long-term cost savings. Use energy-saving LED will use approximately 1/5 the energy a regular globe use and will last longer.

5. Buy Local, Eat Local and Reduce Your Meat Consumption

Local and organic can sometimes be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! Think about farmers markets, get your fruit and veg fresh, cheap and hopefully it hasn’t traveled far, won’t be mass grown, covered in chemicals and will taste better. In Darwin? Check out the list of Darwin markets. Alternatively, find where your local Community Garden is, Lakeside Drive Community Garden is run by CDU.

A number of health food stores around Australia now offer bulk buying. Bring your own containers and pay a lot less than you would if you were to buy it in the supermarket. It also reduces the need for packaging and when the items are grown locally a lot less food miles involved. A couple of places you can bulk buy in Darwin are Wicked NRG & Greenies.

Reduce your meat consumption! Meat is expensive and the amount of resources it takes to grow and prepare meat is ridiculous! There are also proven health benefits to reducing your meat consumption.

That’s it! Remember, every little thing you do can make a difference!

Plastic Free July with Hello Fresh Paper Bags

3 Easy Ways I Reduced My Plastic Use During Plastic Free July

I would like to thing that you and I are similar, we have average lives, families, we are busy. So while I liked the idea of Plastic Free July, I had 2 considerations:

  1. I really don’t think I could go plastic FREE. I would love too, but it’s not that easy. you would need to really, serious change your entire life. That freaks me out and really isn’t feasible.
  2. Why just July, I’d happily make it ongoing. Understanding that Plastic Free July are trying to get people to buy into it in the first place (and it’s a totally great idea).

So, from this, what are maybe 3 things I can do on an ongoing basis that ill reduce my plastic use all the time?

Bin liners – Put those NT Newspapers to good use!

A MASSIVE thing all over the internet at the moment is how to use newspaper as a bin liner. It’s a no brainer, especially when the piles of NT News are just sitting there.

Also, I get Hello Fresh delivered, there are lots of paper bags in there, so now I’m using them as bin liners!

Check this blog out on how to make bin liners.

Switch to Boomerang Bags

These guys are awesome!!! I’m going to be making some in my spare time and trying to get them into my local shops. Check them out!!!

I’ve joined the Boomerang Bags Parap Darwin group and they are working with Parap School (Eco School supported by Keep Australia Beautiful NT).

More info on my Boomerang Bag adventures later.

the third and final thing, this is a tough one…I’m still thinking of what can I do practically to stop using plastic around the home….Well, here are a few things I’ll be looking into:

Or, I reckon I might buy these straws…

Here are some Cafes in Darwin that have BYO cup discounts:

So, my 3rd way to reduce my plastic use ongoing, is to keep my mind open and where possible refuse plastic. Coffee cups, straws e.t.c. I’m sure it won’t always by possible, but I will make the effort.

How are you going plastic free this July?

Darwin Northern Territory Sunset

3 Years In Darwin

It has come to my attention that it has been 3 years since I last blogged, or though about blogging. 3 years since due to a few unfortunate mishaps at Cape York and Mount Isa (didn’t write about that one), we limped into Darwin and stayed. 3 years of living in this tropical paradise.

It has not been all sunshine, lollypops and rainbows. My husband got epilepsy, I started a small business and my husband and I separated. But, I live in a most beautiful part of the world, met some amazing people who have become my adopted family, experienced some exciting things, scary things& hard things. In short, I’ve lived and I love it!

I hope you be able to spend some time musing about my time in Darwin, showing you my little piece of paradise. So, please stay tuned!

Cape York Days 10 – 14

From here on our trip back was pretty uneventful.

Day 10. The Falls to Weipa

Weipa is a mining town and really not much else. It’s meant to be fantastic for fishing, however, the prices are also fantastic. So we set up at the Weipa Caravan Park on a non powered site at the waters edge for a couple of days of R&R. Too bad you can’t swim for fear of crocs!

Weipa sunset was brilliant. The colours on this haven't been altered by any enhancing software, this is the actual sky.

Weipa sunset was brilliant. The colours on this haven’t been altered by any enhancing software, this is the actual sky.

Day 11. Rest day at Weipa Rest day at Weipa, lazed around and went to the pub.

Day 12. Weipa to Chili Beach and Archer River Roadhouse

We left Weipa and to the Peninsula Developmental Road and turned off at the iron ranges. We were meant to stay at Chili beach however the campsite wasn’t good for our swag and there was nothing else available. This is a very popular spot, although I can’t see why.

We drove down to Portland Roads Out of The Blue Cafe, had some lovely locally caught seafood and then drove to Archer River Roadhouse.

Dinner was the famous Archer River burger, It is a bit of a legend with the tourists. The burger was $12 and HUGE! YUM!

Day 13. Archer River to Laura

We’re asked to give some of the local aboriginals a jump start in Archer River and saw more broken down on the road before Coen.

At the quarantine station (where we noticed we had a flat tyre) we were asked if we could tow some of the local Aboriginals into Coen as they had run out of fuel. Apparently a local family group was trying to get back up the Cape and drove their cars until they had no more fuel (?!?). We were unable to help as our car is starting to show signs that something may be wrong and we don’t want to risk more damage.

We saw the place where we rolled our car. The road has dried out so much that you would never know that 2 weeks ago that it was more a treacherous slush pool then a road. Along the sides of the road are reminders if you care to look. Deep tyre treads mark the churned edges where the graders haven’t yet been through.

We stayed the night in the back of the pub in Laura.

Day 14. Laura to Cooktown

We drove back to Cooktown and back to our trailer, our Cape York trip came to an end.

Goodbye Life and Hello World

So, it’s official. Today was my last day at my place of work for the past 1.5 years. There was a certain amount of sadness, closely followed by a decent dose of frustration (but I still have so much stuff to do!) as I said goodbye to many that I called friends and colleagues.

However, this is one of the major milestones leading up to our trip. We’ve moved out of our rental (currently bunking with Mum and my youngest Bro), I’ve now left my job, tomorrow we are doing a dry run of packing the car and in 2 weeks we start on the big lap around Oz.

So, for the next 2 weeks I anticipate that I will have more time to blog my little heart out, not to mention the next 12 months on the road.

Until then, happy Friday!


My Long Running Aversion

I have a confession to make…. I hate running.

I love the idea of running, the dream of running, preparing to start running; it’s just the act itself that I have an aversion to.

“So why bother?” I hear you say. Well, it ties into my plan to stay fit while travelling around Australia.

Just imagine a long, white, sandy stretch of beach, no people around, the sun barely risen, the water is calm and there I am running along it. Ipod on, hot little running shorts and I’m leaving a trail of running prints along to the smooth sand, not a care in the world.

Since I don’t actually like running; but, I want to run like this on holidays, I need to get started now so I’m a pro by the time we leave.

This is a list of the things I have done to prepare and plan for my running regime.

  1. I’ve quit my job so I have no money to pay for a gym membership (not the main reason for quitting)
  2. I’ve started a Pinterest board of running and exercise inspirations
  3. I have a running plan
  4. I’ve been on ebay and bought some new running clothes
  5. I’ve been on ebay for a sweat band, found they were to expensive so I’ve decided to make my own out of old shirts
  6. I’ve been on ebay and bought an ipod arm holder
  7. I have earphones that hook on my ears so they won’t fall out while I’m running
  8. I have scoped out the surrounding area so I know where I want to run
  9. I made friends with runners – I hope the motivation will rub off
  10. Created my running play list:
  1. Beautiful people – Chris Brown
  2. Black & Gold – Sam Sparrow
  3. Burn it to the ground – Nickelback
  4. Drop Dead Gorgeous – Republica
  5. End over End – Foo Fighters
  6. Fake It – Seether
  7. Get Shaky – The Ian Carey Project
  8. Headstrong – Trapt
  9. Hold me, Thrill me, Kiss me, Kill me – U2
  10. I Gotta Feeling – Black eyed peas
  11. If I cant have you – Kelly Clarkson
  12. Just a Girl – No Doubt
  13. Lonely Boy – The Black Keys
  14. Promises – Nero
  15. Ready to go – Republica
  16. S.E.X – Nickelback
  17. S&M – Rihanna
  18. Sex on Fire – Kings of Leon
  19. Sexy and I know It – LMFAO
  20. She wants more – N.E.R.D
  21. Undisclosed Desires – Muse
  22. When Love takes over – David Guetta
  23. With Every Heart Beat – Robyn

Procrastinate much?

So now I’m at the point where I will actually need to start running. I’ve put it off long enough. Tomorrow is the day I go on my first run and you can hold me to that!

This is how I want to look when I run!

30 + 1 B4 30

This list was inspired by: Tablecloths and talking

Writing this list was really not that easy. I do however solemnly swear to give this list a good shot!

(In no particular order)

  1. Visit a real psychic
  2. Visit all of the islands around Brisbane
  3. Go scuba diving
  4. Do a photography course
  5. Get a photo published by someone else
  6. Reach 100 blog followers
  7. Ride a horse
  8. Visit the towns in Italy and Germany where my family is from
  9. Go on an extended holiday (all the travel things I want to do need an entire list of their own)
  10. Live and work overseas
  11. Learn to sew
  12. Start a business venture which earns me passive income
  13. Own a real tool kit and use the tools
  14. Take up wood work
  15. Start my own Etsy store
  16. Write a book
  17. Go on TV (in any way, shape or form)
  18. Give up alcohol for a month (I may or may not be drinking wine while I write this)
  19. Organize a will (morbid but necessary)
  20. Own land
  21. Go technology free, no mobiles, phones and TV for a week
  22. Participate in a protest
  23. Go on a family holiday with my Mum and 4 siblings
  24. Become a Kick Boxing Trainer
  25. Study ancient history, archaeology or anthropology
  26. Be a tour guide
  27. Get married
  28. Design something useful
  29. Find my career
  30. Inspire someone
  31. Photograph everything on this list

So this is the list of things I want to do.

I think it’s really important to celebrate some of the things I’ve already done – in no order

  1. Moved and lived in a city on my own
  2. Travelled (a little and plenty more to go)
  3. Owned a brand new car
  4. Shaved my head for the Worlds Greatest Shave
  5. Saw a musical
  6. Ate at Tetsuyas
  7. Got engaged
  8. Got a degree
  9. Started a blog
  10. Own a real camera (DSLR)
  11. Travelled on my own
  12. Participated in the City to Surf
  13. Went up in a hot air balloon
  14. Climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  15. Swam with a croc
  16. Stayed in lots of fancy hotels
  17. Cut up the credit card
  18. Maid of honor in my sister’s wedding
  19. Bought a tent, 4WD and a camper trailer, explored all around Brisbane
  20. Figured out how to get and use internet at home
  21. Bought and own a whole heap of brand new furniture
  22. We had enough money to put down a deposit on a house… but didn’t
  23. Read A LOT of books for fun
  24. Gave away blood and plasma to donations and offered bone marrow if needed
  25. Made a big decision not to have children
  26. Went to a Mardi Gras
  27. Fell in love
  28. Fell out of love
  29. Had the strength to seek and ask for help when I really needed it
  30. Met some amazing people and still have a lot of them in my life

I’m a Roady in Training

I had my second day of hard labour today. To help supplement my income for our upcoming nuptials and holiday next year; I’ve taken on a second job. I’m a roady….nearly! I’ve started working with my fiancé Johny, who is a lighting technician. I have a loooooong way to go before getting anywhere near qualified to do that stuff; but, in the meantime I’m prepping, setting up and packing up gigs.

Today we took down the opening of the M7 tunnel celebrations. A bunch of rich people partied in a tunnel to raise money for charity. Johny set it up over 20 hours on Friday and we pulled it down in 7 hours today.

I really enjoyed the work. I got dirty, greasy, sweating and I worked my ass off (I’m secretly hoping this physical work will give me head start for my summer body ☺ ). It felt really good to get in there with a shifter and podger and pull apart the truss. I stripped all the cables and lights of the truss. I packed stuff, pushed cases, loaded the truck and learnt how to coil a cable.

Now my hands are throbbing, my nails are ruining, my hands have grease in the creases that no amount of scrubbing can remove. I feel like I achieved something, I felt useful and I worked bloody hard to earn that cash today; but I loved it!