Thursday, September 1, 2011

Response from Cottonsoft re Paseo packaging

I received this email today re my query about the Paseo in non-recyclable packaging.

Thank you for your enquiry regarding recyclable packaging.
I have checked with our Quality Assurance Manager and he said that all our retail brands are packed in grade 4 recyclable packaging.
There is a recycling symbol on our KiwiSoft, Tuffy and CottonSofts wrap but not on our Paseo wrap. This seems to have been omitted from the packaging design so we will raise this with our marketing department so that it can be rectified in the future.
Thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention. We are most grateful for feedback such as this.

Take from this what you will.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Paseo greenwashing

With interest I have looked into the new toilet paper and paper towels on the market under the brand name.  The ads on TV have been focussing on the use of recycled paper etc and how it is a premium product but has an environmental conscious (my interpretation of the ads).
However, on closer investigation I find that their products do not come in recyclable packaging!  Come on this is basic stuff.
Their website states "
Offering a luxurious experience, PASEO toilet tissue gives you the strength and softness you would expect from a premium product.
Combining a velvety finish, lightly scented core and subtle quilting for extra softness, PASEO toilet tissue is also biodegradable and made from renewable plantation fibre and certified fibre, making it a good environmental choice." 

What would make it a better environmental choice was if the packaging which is not biodegradable didn't end up in the landfill!  And as for biodegradable toilet paper - I'd like to see toilet paper which isn't.  It is just paper after all.

What's more it seems that Paseo is simply a name under the umbrella of Cottonsoft.  See what 
Greenpeace has to say about Cottonsoft and their environmental impact on Indonesian rainforest.

Also this blog has an excellent post about the same issue.

I have emailed them to ask if they plan to rectify the packaging issue and look forward to a response.  The rainforest deforestation is a whole other issue.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Spring has sprung.......!

No not really but we have had 3 lovely sunny days in a row.  Snow drops and snow flakes are flowering, and it just feels like we are on the downhill slide to summer!  I know I know there was snow in the garden last week!
My Dublin Bay rose is still flowering and as a result I have not cut it back for winter.  The beautiful red blooms were a picture with the snow.

On Sunday I dug over the vege garden and spread round some compost much to the delight of the chooks.  I'm sure I lost a few valuable worms in the ensuing carnage!  A good frost this morning will help break down the clods, and help the girls to get it ready for planting.

The Warehouse had 30% off seeds the other week so I stocked up on some baby carrots, savoy cabbage, nasturtiums, lettuce, and broccoli.  My plan is to sow some seeds over the next week and keep them inside.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Water use calculator

I am completing the Certificate in Sustainable Growing through Otago Polytechnic and as part of my sustainable water use module we were given a link to a water use calculator.  While I am sure that it is not entirely accurate to the last drop it does give you a very good indication of how you compare to the average.

My score was 287.05/person/day with the average for NZ 250L/person/day.  Considering we do not have a dishwasher, very rarely wash our vehicles ;), don't have a spa or pool, only 1 toilet etc I'm not all that surprised we were about average.  Must get my hunny to reduce his time in the shower!!!

In Australia they are trying to get people down to 155L/person/day!  Now there's a goal to aim for.

Monday, July 25, 2011

My latest book finds!

While the weather has been a bit cooler I have had the chance to read some more books.
THe Readers Digest Back to Basics book has been on my list for ages but is never available at the library, but fortunately I managed to pick it up last week.  Packed full of information on all things self sufficient it is a fantastic reference for people sonsidering life on the land.

Also I picked up a copy of the Readers Digest Alternative medicine book.  It is going to be an invaluable reference book for my family.  I am watching some auctions on Trade Me at the moment for some Aromatherapy books and I want to explore this discipline some more.

Growing Organic; Green tips for New Zealand gardeners has been an easy to read guide to growing greener. Starting at the very beginning it looks at recommended tools for gardening, methods of gardening, projects and much more.  Written by Kiwis for Kiwis it is a great read and not too wordy and jargonistic.

Planning the vege garden

Over this year I have been completing a Certificate in Sustainable Growing with the Otago Polytechnic.  I have one module left to go on the Level 2 certificate.  I have learnt a lot, and am more determined than ever to embrace Organic growing methods.
The garden at the moment has been well cleared by the chooks, and I have been procrastinating about getting sorted for spring.
The house is still on the market, and in all honesty I don't want to go to a lot of effort in case we sell.  However, we are very lean on veges in the ground, limited to silverbeet, a few carrots, and some broccoli seedlings doing their best to grow.  At the moment they are under snow so that will slow things down a bit!
To do list:
Study gardening calendar, and books to decide on veges to grow in spring
Check seeds to see if I need to buy any
Sow seeds in trays if applicable
Dig over soil in garden and fence off from chooks
Sow seeds direct once snow cleared and ground warmed up a little

Climate Change

It is 25th July 2011 and snow came to the small seaside town I live in.  We had about 1-2 inches lying this morning when I got out of bed.  With the wind chill factor we must have been in minus temperatures. 
It is not unusual to get snow in the South Island of NZ at this time of year but it is most certainly unusual to get this much snow at sea level.

The extreme weather patterns we have been experiencing in NZ with tornados in the North Island, and extreme rains and slips, there is an even greater reason to find more sustainable ways of living with the planet instead of destroying it.

With a day off work my daughter and I took the opportunity to play in this foreign substance.  She is nearly 4 and has only been in snow one other time when we were on holiday in Central Otago.
We walked to a friends house and with her children made a snowman, and the children slid down the road on boogie boards.  Great fun.
The saddest thing was that they were the only children we saw out playing in the snow all morning.  This was a rare event and yet children were not out making the most of it.  At the rate we are going we cannot slow climate change too quickly so we must find what positives we can.  I had a wonderful morning with my daughter and now have some cherished memories together.

Isn't this what family is all about?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cottage Cheese 101

I attempted my first ever Cottage cheese the other day.  It is really tasty and easy to make, and funnily enough is a lot like a failed batch of yogurt I had once!

Warm 600ml milk to luke warm, stirring in 3T milk powder.  Once warm, remove from heat and add 1t rennet.  Leave for about 15min to solidify.
Using a sharp knife cut cheese into cubes, releasing the whey.  Place in sieve with cloth or chux style cloth.  Leave it to drain over a bowl for at least 2 hours, or longer if you want it drier.

Refrigerate and enjoy.


Thriving on neglect!

Yesterday I dug up some self sower potatoes.  Some of them were huge!  See photo, that's a 50 cent piece, and the other one is the biggest spud in my hand.

To put this into perspective this plant was between two corokia in a part of the garden that gets very little water.  They have thrived on no attention, and produced some very nice potatoes.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What happened to 2010??!

I feel as though the last couple of months have been a complete blur.  Finished Playcentre early December, had interviews for new staff at the end of November, and then the end of year dinner.  Being President just adds a bit more work to it but it's great.

What has been happening on our wee patch of paradise?

We have chooks - 3 silkie cross bantams named Chicken Licken, Turkey Lurkey and Bill.  What do you expect when they are named by a 3 year old!  They arrived 10 December, at 60 days old.

The vege garden has been producing peas, beans, and now potatoes.  The first plums are ready, yummo.

I will get back on here and be a more frequent poster.