Tag Archives: sustainable

Balance In All Things.

So from the New Moon in Libra we have moved into the influence of the Full Moon in Aries, plus it is also a lunar eclipse which apparently makes the energies even more intense. I would expect Aries to be pretty full on, I am no expert on astrology but I have a friend who is a triple Aries, she has spent an amazing life running around non-stop being a catalyst for others. She has always been extremely forthright too and the energy of this Aries eclipse encourages us to take action and to speak our truth.

femalewarrior

Sometimes taking action though can mean actually doing less, my challenge has been to not be overwhelmed by the busyness of my life, part of the message of self-love that came through so strongly with the Libra New Moon. That particular journey is not over my any means but I am no longer feeling overwhelmed so I can safely say that progress has been made, I’ve had to make some compromises but so far it seems to be working well enough.

Another theme that comes out of this astrological time is the balance between individuality and collaboration, something that I often talk about in this blog. More and more we are seeing projects and ideas that offer innovative ways to move into a more conscious expression of community, not just with each other but with everything in our environment. From sustainable cities with roof top gardens and pollinating pathways to tiny homes and a new way of schooling that doesn’t require teachers or a school room.

Vertical garden of the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris, France, created by Patrick Blanc

Vertical garden of the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris, France, created by Patrick Blanc

I’m going to continue exploring the astrological themes in my next post so tune in to a discussion on masculine and feminine energies, generally speaking the world needs to allow the feminine to be expressed more strongly but for me it is the masculine that I need to channel more.

Dear Father Sky, please lend me your strength and determination and the ability to take right action………….so be it, so be it, so be it.

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The House That Breathes.

Here in Australia we are hearing more and more about hempcrete, a combination of industrial hemp and lime that ticks the box on sustainability on just about every aspect of its use as a building material. It has a good rating in terms of strength and is also extremely fire resistant. But here’s the best bit, hempcrete is an excellent insulator, it allows the house to breathe unlike other materials such as concrete or bricks. So the humidity equalises which means that little in the way of heating or cooling is required even in the most extreme environment, and mould is simply not an issue!

hempcretebrick

So economy in the long-term as far as efficient use of energy goes, is also a feature of this excellent building material, with the cost of electricity going up this is no mean saving. And the fact that the hempcrete holds on to carbon means that it ends up carbon negative even though the lime has been burned, why would you use anything else really! The initial cost may be more, although it is not difficult apparently to learn how to do it yourself and so you can save in that way, Johan from Hempcrete Australia trains people in how to do it. But over time you can save up to 70% on your energy consumption in a house made with hempcrete.

And I personally really like the rendered finish which is the cheapest option, for me it would also be the best option because it looks great, I would be choosing whichever finish helped the house to merge into the earth, into its surroundings. So as far as the house goes, we have a building that looks good, may not require heating or cooling even in quite extreme climates, which will do well in areas where bush fires are a seasonal danger, and that score very highly when it comes to efficient use of energy. Being carbon neutral is also a pretty big plus, I have a feeling that hempcrete is going to be a popular part of future housing, it seems to make sense in all different kinds of climates.

A house made with hempcrete.

A house made with hempcrete.

The benefits of hemp as a crop go on but the agricultural side of things will have to wait until another post, just be assured that the sustainability benefits of hemp go on and on, and on, and on………….

In the meantime………don’t forget to breathe!

Here is an interview with Johan from Hempcrete Australia:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsZs40RWCx0

And a report on the industrial uses of hemp in Europe:

http://www.nextworldtv.com/page/20240.html

The Future City.

It amazes me that one can still speak to people sometimes who don’t seem to comprehend what unsustainable actually means, there’s a kind of sheep mentality that thinks we can keep treating our environment and each other the way that we are, and get away with it. Luckily I live in a place where most of the people are aware, we don’t all necessarily think the same way about it, but we do all acknowledge that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Alex Steffen describes it as stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it GDP.

Roller Coaster 72 — Rendering, Nantes, 2011 © Périphériques Architects. Status: just completed. —> The building and its two sloping volume is organized around a central garden providing a relationship between inside and outside, private and public

Roller Coaster 72 — Rendering, Nantes, 2011 © Périphériques Architects.
Status: just completed.
—> The building and its two sloping volume is organized around a central garden providing a relationship
between inside and outside, private and public

He says that when we look to move to renewable energy we are actually tackling a problem that can’t be solved, with the growing urban population operating in the way it generally does now, we could never generate sufficient energy by any means. I’m not sure if I completely agree with this notion, but I do like what he is putting forward as an alternative, cities need to be re-designed so that space is shared more efficiently. Rather than owning certain pieces of equipment, such as a power drill, we would have access to the service when we need it.

Buildings also need to become more efficient, using the breeze for cooling, sunlight for heating and light, utilise systems where they collect rainwater that can then be used to create gardens and perhaps connect to the rivers.  Alex mentions pollination pathways so that butterflies and bees are invited back into the urban environment, to me it sounds like a much more life and people oriented philosophy than is currently operating in our cities.

The more dense a city the lower the emissions according to Alex, this is because people don’t actually own cars, they use public transport, they walk, and they ride bicycles. This too needs to be incorporated into the design of our future cities, having become a country girl I tend to think a bit negatively about cities, but like anything, it’s all in the perception. Cities can be opportunities to do things differently and to do them better than before, much of this is already happening around the world and if we are to survive as humans on this planet it needs to become our new way of being.

Futurist Alex Steffen is excited about the cities of the future. We live in a rapidly urbanizing world, and this is a good thing. The density brings many unforeseen blessings, shedding the car is just one of them.
We will no longer be talking about the dream house, but rather the dream neighborhood. Welcome to his vision!

Video (10:14)

Insanity Rules!

I talk quite a bit about vested interests in my writings, these are organisations and sometimes individuals, who actually seem to believe that money and power are more important than people being happy and living a sustainable life. I still haven’t worked out what their plan is when the planet can no longer sustain life, do they really have space ships hidden somewhere so they can run away when everything has been destroyed!

But there probably isn’t much use in trying to make sense of it, perhaps the role of the vested interests in the larger scale of things, is to help people to wake up. There certainly does seem to be a tendency in us humans to require big kicks up the bum to really get going on the process of becoming empowered. The people of Tecoma in the Dandenong are very much in that process, they are trying to keep MacDonald’s out of their town. They petitioned the council and won but MacDonald’s didn’t leave it there, they put in an appeal just before christmas and with their deep pockets for the best lawyers, they won.

But the community of Tecoma didn’t give up, they are continuing to protest and to blockade the planned building site, the latest news is that MacDonald’s were going to try to stop them through the high court. A man who had heard about it came looking for the person in charge of the blockade so he could give them $250 for legal expenses. Sounds like Tecoma has discovered its strength as a community.

Never  doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;  indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Margaret  Mead

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/margaret_mead.html#KksoqBK3w7WGFehy.99

In the Occupy movement there was a lot of talk about the 99% waking up, the truth of the matter is that there are a lot more of us.  If we can learn how to come together non-violently to make our wishes known, if the protest movement can be fluid and creative and use the amazing technological resources now available at the tap of a key. If we can learn how to be in our hearts as we do what needs to be done to save ourselves and our environment, if we can do all these things…………there is hope for us yet.

Gather In Elegance, Have Fun!

Gather in the souls, be sure of your connections, your community, be there for your community in the way that serves both you and the wider picture, in  a way that serves you and all life everywhere. The more we can really connect in a heart centred way, gaze into the soul of another being, without judgement, love ourselves and others just for being ourselves. Life can be quite simple at the core, supply certain basic needs with ease and we have time to explore elegant solutions to the so-called problems of civilisation.

heart-brain

The main problem being that civilisation is a bit of a misnomer, we are extremely primitive in this current culture, indigenous cultures have a lot to teach us about what really counts on our journey on this planet. Being in your heart as much as you can, trusting your intuition, being sustainable in your practices, becoming what you want to create, spiritual alignment, inner peace, having a sense of belonging.

The time for hermitting is over, time to gather in the hearts and the souls with which you resonate and to celebrate, connect and connect, with love and with joy…………………… So don’t sit at home and hide, life is waiting for you to engage, what are you waiting for??????????

We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been – a place half-remembered   and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community.   Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having   the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive   us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever   we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength   to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle   of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.

Starhawk