2 months left of being a Miss... very exciting I know. Be prepared for some wedding spam in 2 months time. Till then we have a few things to deal with. I want to share thoughts on 3 things.
1. Halloween. Last year I posted a photo of the plastic litter found on my street after Halloween. This year I am hoping not to have to do that, but my hopes aren't high. Not going to lie, I think Halloween is stupid.
People buy tacky costumes that they wear once, they go in a cupboard and then get sent many years later to an op shop (unless they are clever and make a costume out of cardboard boxes, clothes they already have, or other recycled materials).
People buy tonnes of single use plastic wrapped lollies to give out (unless they go to a bulk shop or make from their cupboard or go for some DIY candy).
People also use paint and other toxic chemicals all over their bodies which end up down the drain (unless they don't, or they use natural ingredients like cocoa and beetroot etc).
There are ways to have fun and do Halloween without impacting on the environment. I just mourn for the planet when I think about how an American celebration in one night will probably create 100x more waste than what they do on any other night.
2. Nude lunches. This is a tricky one. I have read a lot of upset parents on the inter-webs recently who struggle with the nude lunches thing. Whether it is kids losing their lunchboxes because they aren't allowed to put containers back in their bags. Or the effort it takes to prepare food for their kids when they are busy. Or that the school is getting cranky at them for packing unhealthy foods in a lunchbox.
I am not a parent. I don't know the struggle. I do know that schools also need to step up their game too. If schools are going to ask parents to pack their kids food in reusable containers, beeswax wraps, or be naked, they have to manage the routine to allow kids to be responsible for their waste... so allowing them to put containers and wraps away, or by supplying a composting system to compost apple cores etc. If preparation time is an issue, (again I'm not a parent), but kids also can be responsible for their own food after a certain age. By kids learning the routine of being nude with their food, they can also build this habit early on, which is awesome. Again, this is something that schools can encourage/teach in small ways. Now when it comes to schools telling parents that their food isn't healthy enough for their kids, this is particularly tricky. I have only ever experienced this once as a kid where mum had to put me in to after-school care and they marked me down on my lunch because I had shapes bickies (I was 10 at the time). As a kid it was embarrassing because I had no idea. But I can only imagine now how my mum would have felt receiving a note like that home. I understand the theory behind it, and in secondary school it isn't something that is really addressed because the kids just go to the shop and buy junk food anyway.... I think the solution is in how we tackle the whole issue.
The issue is making sure kids eat healthy. If they aren't (and I'm talking REALLY unhealthy, like skittles for breakfast unhealthy), educate parents, or if at high-school, start by discussing healthy eating habits with the students (which they generally do already in HPE).
3. Grand designs
One of my year 11 students came to me the other day and he said, "Miss, I was watching a show called 'Grand Designs' last night and it was about a couple making and eco-home, and I thought, Miss Foddy would totally love this show and this house!" He isn't wrong, I love grand designs. I went and watched the episode he mentioned and he was right, I would be all for the house they built. It would have cost about .5 mill by out standards, but it was awesome. It had
Hemp and lime concrete as its brick building material which is a sustainably farmed crop and a natural insulator.
A sophisticated water recycling system that took water from everywhere and turned it into energy and useful water.
Plaster made from local clay, sand etc.
Portuguese cork that was used to insulate the floor.
I now have like 1000 ideas on how I want to build my house eventually, because it highlighted a few things.
1. To go that eco, you basically have to self-build because the generic building companies are not that creative.
2. Eco can cost about the same as a normal house. But again, with self-build.
3. I've been looking into first home buyers grant, and you can't buy an existing home (like an older one) with that grant money, you can only buy a brand new house or a really very newly renovated one. Which is not sustainable by any standards. And also I think stupid because it forces young people to build a concrete, generic, McMansion in a deforested estate. Australia really needs to look at how it is housing people. All new homes from about the year 2000 onwards could have had mandatory water tanks, insultation and solar panels and solar hot water.... but they didn't. We could have built up in most places not out, instead of deforesting the entire country..... but they didn't.
As you can see I have been thinking a lot lately, but I look forward to getting excited about being married for the next 2 months.