I love free manure!
If you don’t Clean Up Australia, who will?

The week's eco stories that had me thinking....

...about conservation...

Our Wollemi Pine Christmas Tree Lyn from Aussie Organic Gardening revealed the  Wollemi Pine she received as a christmas gift. The Wollemi Pine is one of Australia's most threatened plants. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful way to raise awareness regarding threatened species if everyone used a potted Wollemi Pine as a christmas tree? You can see our rather overwhelmed Wollemi Pine christmas tree to the left. Living christmas trees also have a number of environmental benefits over plastic or single-use Christmas trees.

In her post 5 ways to stop deforestation, Jen over at the Mother Nature Network reinforced that the decisions I make at home, no matter how distant from nature, impact upon nature. She provides 5 hints for minimising habitat loss, including recycle and buy recycled products, and eat vegetarian meals as often as possible. I am not yet totally vegetarian...but it is little reminders like this that help me make the decision not to eat meat (very often)...

...about the garden...

Happy Earth posted about the importance of looking after your soil if you want to minimise bugs. I have been disappointed by the number of bugs affecting my tomatoes and fruit trees this year so am going to take on board some of their advice. So, I headed off yesterday to get some free manure from the local race course and am also planning a green manure crop. I think i'll try Oats this winter.

I am so glad I read Rhonda's post over at the Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op about growing organic potatoes. She said you should never plant potatoes in old tyres because they contain cadmium and heavy metals. Lucky I found this out as I was planning to plant potatoes in old tyres. This reminds me, I need to chase up whether heavy metals can transfer from soil into vegetables. We live close to an industrial area and our backyard floods a few times a year. I am sure the flood water is not very clean. Any advice?

I am planning our front garden and although I want it to be largely ornamental and native, I would like many of the plants to be edible. Greenfoot reminded me of Tetragonia tetragonoides, also called Warrigal Greens or Native Spinach. Perfect! Its native to this area, is easy to grow, and if I run out of greens I can pop out to my front yard and pick some. I also saw a post somewhere sometime this week about a common weed that is edible. Since reading the post I have seen the weed in my garden. Unfortunately, however I cannot find the original post. Does this ring a bell with anyone? I'd love to find the post again. That's the trouble with too much information...losing it.

...about creating...

From beauty that movesI fell in love with this gorgeous handmade tree house from Beauty That Moves (photograph used with permission) and have asked Daddy Eco to make one. I'd love to give Little Eco a tree house like this for her second birthday...maybe I should have a list of Daddy Eco Tasks!

...about food...

Christian from Sustain Myself posted about his decision to give up coffee, citing the environmental, social and health cost of our coffee drinking habits. I LOVE my morning coffee (as seen in Fridays post!) so found this particularly depressing reading.

I have been on the lookout for healthy snacks for Little Eco's lunch box. I love snacks that are freezable so that I can make up a huge batch that lasts for weeks. Julie's (Towards sustainabilitydate slice recipe looks perfect and i'll definitely give it a go.

...about cleaning...

Clutterclut provided simple step-by-step instructions for cleaning the toilet with bicarb soda and vinegar. I'll definitely give it a go. As mentioned previously, I love simple quick cleaning products with few ingredients (by the way, I found the bicarb and vinegar to wash dishes does not work very well on greasy pots. It's maybe just a little too simple!).

...about shopping....

Heidiandseek Given my interest in reclaimed and recycled fabric, I have been tempted for ages by Heidi & Seek's clothing. Everywhere I turned this week I found another article on this gorgeous, green and ethical clothing. One of my current favorites is this top seen to the left (photograph used with permission). Hayley links to the articles in her blog if you are interested. It's great to see clothing made out of reclaimed fabric getting so much attention. For those of you who sell your handmade creations online, Hayley recently posted a very helpful article on the measures she has taken to try and boost sales. The article also includes links to great hints on taking product photographs.

Mindful Momma reminded me that I really should remember my reusable shopping bags every time I go shopping. I'll be honest. I forget half the time...

I love anything to do with native flora, particularly the less obvious ones, so I fell in love with Starashan's Kangaroo Grass screen print so i am keeping an eye on her Esty shop.

...about progress...

Retro Housewife Goes Green and Crunchy Chicken's not-so-green confessions made me feel so much better about not being as green as I would have liked upon my return to work.

Much to my surprise (as I still feel like nobody is reading), my blog received its first award. Thanks Mel from One Green Generation. I am very flattered.

Also, I am very excited about being accepted as a monthly contributor over at 5 Minutes for Going Green.

This is fun!

Hope next week is an eco one for you all.

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