When my husband, Steve and I decided we wanted a tree change from our Brisbane City home, we started searching for would become the base for a lifestyle that is more connected with the landscape, and one which would allow us to become more connected with a community of like minded people.
We found all these things in “Tambella”. A 3 bedroom wood clad house, nestled on the side of a gentle slope surrounded by 3.25 acres of rambling wild garden. There are three massive ancient gum trees that sit on three edges of the property (so big it would take three of us to get our arms around the trunks reaching hands out to each other). The property looks up at Tamborine Mountain, the jewel of the Scenic Rim in South East Queensland Australia.
To us, this is a slice of paradise and it is a place where our boys can run, where the horizon is filled with trees and the neighbourhood consists of like minded people that want their kids to know what it is like to jump on their bikes of a weekend and ride to the local creek to cool off.
The location of our home also means we don’t have access to all the conveniences of a larger community. There is no town water here, all our water (from household use – showers, clothes washing etc – to drinking) is harvested from the roof and stored in tanks.
Our waste water is processed onsite by a septic system that cleans the water and sends it back to ground when complete.
We are hooked into the power grid, and last year we decided to add solar panels to our roof which now power our home’s needs during the day, any additional power we generate feeds back into the grid.
I’m also very conscious of reducing the waste our household produces.
Some simple things I do religiously are listed below:
All our food scraps go into a tumbling compost that is just outside our kitchen. It all breaks down to a beautiful soil I can use in the garden.
Wherever possible, I purchase items with as little packaging as possible (or in bulk), and i’m always armed with my reusable shopping bags when i do our weekly shop.
We do have a garbage collection service which includes a standard waste bin and a recycling bin. My goal is to eventually never use the standard waste bin, and continually reduce the amount that goes into our recycling bin. To date our waste bin continues to be less than a quarter full on collection day and our recycling bin rarely gets filled up on a fortnightly basis.
I stopped buying plastic wrap two years ago and instead use beeswax wraps for all our food wrapping needs. My eldest school lunches are always wrapped in these and it feels good to know he’s not having to throw out more single use plastic at school as part of his lunch routine.
I’ve also started doing simple things, like chopping up old clothes to use instead of purchasing paper towel, we take our own containers everywhere so i can grab a coffee to go in a keep cup, or use my own cutlery if we happen to go to a food court.
We also dry all our washing on our trusty “Hills Hoist” clothesline, which every Australian follower of this blog will recognise as an Aussie icon. We are blessed with sun all year round and nothing beats clean crisp sheets that have been dried in a Spring breeze under a beaming Aussie sun.
I’d love to hear about what you are doing to reduce your environmental impact. Tell me about it in the comments. x