Friday, 28 January 2011

Environmental Research

What would I do if I could do research or a project in the above area?

I would really like to do a project that would see small communities (say streets/small towns) of people working together to improve their local environmental impact and doing projects, such as, reusing clothes and other household items, growing and sharing seasonal food (shared compost heaps and gardens to grow in), having childcare schemes so say 5 families could group together and one family could look after the other parents children one day a week (meaning 4 nights off a week for the parents to put towards community/personal/household work or a job), setting up free volunteered or cheap teaching facilities for parents and children (which could incorporate teaching for an improved environment through recycling and reusing), generally creating more a community that is happy setting goals and approaching local counsels/governments to make these (for me this would be about improving environmental laws, recycling, reusing and general "better living"..).

What is "better living" in my terms; I suppose I'll start of by admitting this may be very idealistic and also these are not rigid terms as I am still grasping the concept myself. Growing as much vegetables and produce ourselves, eating as much natural food as possible, heating our own homes (also insulating them better), having access to running water, recycling water, collecting rain water for garden and indoor use, having compostable toilets, compost heaps for leftovers/excess, reusing old clothes and fabrics to remake/mend clothes and shopping in charity shops, trying to tone down consumerism, bringing back local grocers, butchers, farmers etc (save on carbon miles and keep own economy going...), having eco-communities, riding bikes more and using cars less, car pooling (yes, actually doing it, not it just being suggested!!), wind and water power, solar panels, having a strong community with spirit and trust.

Hmm, the above is all a lot. And to be honest I don't know enough about all the above, so I think my first step would be to start trying to read daily news updates/information on these topics I am interested in.

I really really feel like we are more and more worried about career's and making money and filling our ego's, then just living life, enjoying the beauty of nature and other human beings and what can be learnt from simplicity. I of course say this, wrapped up in bed on my wireless internet connection...!!

If compostable toilets and water recycling/catching where brought into our homes we would (in theory) see less water pollution and less water use, not to mention better soil for the plants! Growing our own produce and vegetable or buying from local places (or lets just say our country) would help our economy, cut down on fuel used to freight food, and dare I say give us a sense of achievement? Heating our own homes; OK, this can be a bit of a hard one, but it is do able but I am not sure of the carbon ratifications (i.e. is there less or more carbon from central or wood fire heating...?).

Toning down consumerism (such as buying a new car every year, getting the kitchen re-done every two years, buying endless amounts of clothes from well known cheap brands or high street stores, having millions of gadgets etc etc) will help to stop lining the pockets of the already very rich, should cut down on plastic use, landfill sites, money spent, actual crap purchased that no-one needs anyway and possibly make our lives feel simpler and less lead by what we have physically to more what we have emotionally and spiritually.

I do realise that this might not be for everyone, but I think if you compare the life I think would be best to the life that people live now; quick breakfast, get in to work early, lunch at desk, drive home, quick minute dinner or try and cook as quick as possible, 30-min only work out (if any!), TV and bed....heart disease, colon cancer, colds and flu, cancer, stress, material wealth, bigger and bigger addiction problems, mid-life crises! I think you get the picture.


Thursday, 27 January 2011

27 January 2011

Well well well, erm, time for an update I suppose.

Not much has changed with my South America plans yet; I met two girls on a travel forum who I will hopefully be meeting up with whilst I am over there, probably in Ecuador and Peru and possibly to go horse riding in Chile..whoop!

I am now a proud member of couchsurfers via which you meet people all over the world who have a spare couch/bedroom/somewhere for you to sleep (and possibly two of you) for a night or two or sometimes a week...I have already met a Colombian girl of a similar age with similar interests to me who I will be visiting when I go to Colombia, I really hope this will help to improve my Spanish and to also get an authentic feel of a country, and a plus point is to save a little money as staying at peoples houses will be cheap(er)....and maybe I'll be able to learn some traditional dishes to cook when I get back!

Other updates on my trip are that I am now considering going to Cuba....someone I met recently suggested how good it would be to see a socialist country whilst it still exists and I heartily agree. This is something that needs researching!!

I relapsed with my drinking over New Year, I didn't have a lot, lot, lot of drinks or any bad consequences, apart from immense guilt on my own behalf, and having to start my four months of not drinking all over again! So, so far I am on 27 days of not drinking. In AA terms I am not sober, as I am still rather crazy in the head and do have strong urges to drink sometimes. I have a new sponsor who is lovely and guiding me through the process nicely.

During the month of January I haven't been up to much, as I am still a little bit ill from flu I had the first week of Jan, I am not the only one to be knocked by this...lots of people have been ill for ages after having this flu, which included vomiting and a bad tummy at the end! Urghh!!

I've been doing a little more planning and organising for South America; learning Spanish with Michel Thomas cd's. Ordering stuff like spare batteries and extra memory cards for my camera online, getting insect repellent with deet in, etc etc.

Charlie and I went to to see 127 hours; it was OK...I'd give it 6 out of 10 stars as it was predictable and cheesy at times. I also went to see some bands at Hootenanny's in Brixton, which was fun!! The best band for me was Brassroots; who invited me to come dance on stage with them (for one song!!) it was fun and I'm glad I did it, as it really took me out of my comfort zone.

Now I created a little morning routine for myself, where I get up and make tea (surprise, surprise!) read my daily motivation books and emails, read my emails and maybe some of my usual reading book, open my post etc, tidy my room and then go out...I've also been trying to get to as many AA meetings as possible, usually one a day, although I didn't go to one yesterday.

This week I have opened all my old post that I was avoiding, written letters that needed to be written and organised all my paperwork!! It feels good to have it all out the way, and I think I'm going to ask my mum to keep my paperwork organised for me whilst I am away so I don't dread coming back to it!

That's it for now, I have a rather long to do list and am going to the baby cinema with Ceri this morning to see Black Swan, which should be interesting as I have heard varying opinions on it.

Over and out! xxx

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

2011

I've just re-read over my last post of November and realised how much has changed since then....so I'll start with whats changed for my travel plans...for which I have bought the ticket!!

Starting in Panama on the 5 March, I have a small apartment booked for a month so I can work on the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project for the whole duration...four weeks with cute lovely froggies!! I love frogs!! And I even have a t-shirt that I got for Christmas that says so!! Budget for this; around $1000.

Then my plan is to go to the San Blas Islands for a week, or maybe two, depending on, how much I like it or how much I get bored, budget: $400.

I have been told to visit Colombia after this (although I am not too sure, I will) to see the Lost City and to visit Cartagena..so I suppose 2 weeks in Colombia too....I might need to book a flight from Panama to Colombia. Budget: N/A yet.

From Colombia I will go on to Ecuador and stay with a local family for 4 weeks to improve my Spanish, and then to the Galapagos Islands on a volunteer program for 4 weeks (!!!!!) with Latin America volunteers. Budget: $1350

From Ecuador onto Peru, I have the Inca trail booked for the 20th June (or there about...) and nothing much more planned after that...I want to climb a mountain whilst I'm there. So I suppose I need to start thinking about what I'll do after Peru and whilst I am in Peru.

To do for SA trip by 12 Jan:
  • Buy travel insurance.
  • Look at flights from Panama to Colombia (or alternative routes).
  • Look at Ecuador to Galapagos Islands flights.
  • Make a list and start buying bits I need for traveling.
  • Email Tati and tell her I'm going to be coming to Brazil.
Other bits to update on...I've not been very well for the last 4 days with a winter norovirus which means I can't keep any food in (nope, neither way..) sleep a lot, try to read and watch TV...I suppose this really gives me some time to organise some stuff, but only if I had the energy!

I've joined fit for a princess again....just until I go away so I have some exercise to do...I suppose I'll start again when I feel better...Saturday or Monday according to other peoples experiences.

My new years resolutions:

  • Stop smoking (it makes my teeth yellow, smells and is expensive).
  • Exercise everyday; do cycling, walking and fit for a princess!
  • Eat healthier than I have been recently (less than 5% fat ad 5% sugar, juicing in the mornings too).
  • Live everyday as a happy day and try not to dwell on the past or future....