The packaged bananas

More Packaging Costs LESS?

More Packaging Costs LESS?

Hopefully one of the upsides of a blog is that it legitimizes, or at least allows, the occasional rant. You’ve been warned.

One of my (many) sustainability pet peeves is packaging. Specifically, food packaging. It is so ubiquitous in our shopping experience that most of us don’t even notice it. But it has gotten totally out of control, and for proof, read on ….

Without question, there is a role for food packaging. It can make food last longer – which is a good thing because rotting food releases methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. More >

beef cattle

The Carnivorous Environmentalist

The Carnivorous Environmentalist

I am told that being a carnivorous environmentalist is an oxymoron – or simply not possible. And yet, I believe I am one.

I dearly love good food and I love to cook. And yes, my family and I love beef, in pretty much all its forms. This is a dilemma as I try to live my life ever more sustainably.

Eating meat is simply not very good for the environment. If you don’t believe me, consider the following:

  • Huge amounts of water are required to raise cattle. One estimate suggests that eating 3 kilograms less red meat per year is equivalent to reducing household More >

Camping: A sustainable holiday or just good fun?

Camping: A Sustainable Holiday or Just Good Fun?

We went camping this past weekend for four nights at a great spot about three hours southeast of Perth called Fonty’s Pool ( And we had a fantastic time.

On the face of it, camping would seem to get the big thumbs-up as a sustainable holiday – back to nature and all that stuff. But given how most people (including us) camp these days, it’s not so straightforward.

I think our group did pretty well in the sustainability stakes, in part because we chose unpowered campsites. But we all drove big, fairly petrol-hungry More >


My son came home from school with worms

My Son Came Home From School With Worms

No, not THOSE kind of worms.

Today Kevin Smith from The Worm Shed ( came to my son’s school to teach the kids about worm farms. And since worm farming has been a bit of a hole in my sustainability knowledge base, I invited myself along to his talk. And I’m so glad I did!

First of all, Kevin did a fantastic job – the kids, who were mostly Year 2s and a few Year 1s – were totally into it. He started with a little talk (illustrated with funny slides and cartoons) that taught the kids a bit about worms. I learnt a lot too, More >

No New Clothes

I do not have a lot of willpower. I am very stubborn and determined, but denying myself things I want is definitely not my strong point.

Which is why it will be hard for me to stick with my latest “sustainable declaration.” I’ve committed that I will buy no new clothes for my four-person family for six months.

OK, that’s with two exceptions, which I think are reasonable (tell me what you think).

My son (McBean for purposes of this blog) has just started Year 1 and I haven’t yet purchased his winter uniform. I will try to buy it second-hand, but there are others at school who, More >

Living Like Laura Ingalls Wilder … for a Day … Sort Of.

Those of you local to One Green Step are all too familiar with the consequences of the once-in-a-century storm that struck Perth on Monday afternoon. They’re saying hundreds of millions of dollars of damage, which isn’t surprising to those of us who witnessed what was one of Mother Nature’s more spectacular temper tantrums. Everyone I know spent most of today mopping up, patching up, ringing tradies to fix windows and roofs, and getting cars assessed for insurance claims.

We were very lucky and escaped with a ruined ceiling, a holey carport and a Subaru that looks a lot more like a More >

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