Plastic free packaging

plasitc free packagingIn an effort to reduce our single use plastic we’ve got rid of packing tape and started using a kraft paper tape. This is the really nice stuff picture framers use. We already recycle cardboard boxes to pack our coat racks. This one is an awkward pack of  7, 5, and 4 peg racks. It’s a bit tricky without the flexibility of plastic packing tape but it will hold well to get these racks safely to their owner.
This packaging is now on par with our drying rack packaging as far as minimal environmental impact.

Branching

Branching-millet broomThe branching of a millet stalk makes it ideal for a broom. No plastic fibre can give this density of finer fibres at the end; branching out of the stem; with good stiffness for sweeping. Millet is a strong and durable fibre and doesn’t leave plastic particles as it degrades with abrasion; millet particles will just decompose. Add to this millet is a renewable material and there your have it: the perfect broom.

Branching is mathematically cool, we could get into the Fibonacci sequence: this pattern of branching provides the best physical accommodation for the number of branches, while maximising sun exposure. Now there is good design!

We get these great brooms from the Tumut Broom Factory who have been making the perfect broom the traditional way since 1946. And could keep going forever. Now that is sustainability, or resilience because we’ll always need to sweep.

See more here millet broom,  or drop by usethings store and pick one up.millet broom hand made in Australia

 

Radical clothes drying

An  excerpt from:

LOW-­TECH LIVING AS A ‘DEMAND-­SIDE’ RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND PEAK OIL.  SIMPLICITY IS THE ULTIMATE SOPHISTICATION

Samuel Alexander and Paul Yacoumis

Simplicity Institute Report 15d, 2015

3.4 Drying clothes

The conventional way to dry clothes is to use an electric clothes dryer, which is very energy-­intensive. A low-­tech alternative is to use a simple washing line to dry clothes outside.

According to Sustainability Victoria, the average dryer use by Victorian households is 78 cycles per year, or 1.5 cycles per week.17 Taking a mid-­‐range approach to their energy data, we calculate an average per-­‐cycle energy consumption of 4.6 kWh, and an annual energy consumption of 359 kWh, which represents our reference scenario.

Three alternative scenarios are described as follows:

  • Moderate: Reducing electric drying to the four coldest and wettest months of the year, and using a clothesline otherwise.
  • Strong: Running the dryer for only five cycles per year (say, on the wettest and coldest days), and using a clothesline otherwise.
  • Radical: Using a clothesline only throughout the year (some days may necessitate indoor clothes drying racks).The results are summarised in the following table:

    Table 4: Potential energy savings from low-­tech clothes drying practices

Annual water saving (L)

Annual water saving (%)

Annual energy saving (kWh)

Annual energy saving (%)

Moderate

4320

50%

270

50%

Strong

7200

83%

450

83%

Radical

8640

100%

528

98%

Annual energy saving (kWh)

Annual energy saving (%)

Moderate

239.2

67%

Strong

335.8

94%

Radical

358.8

100%

The decision to dry clothes by clothesline rather than electric dryer can save a significant amount of energy, up to 100% if adopted as a complete replacement. From experience we know this can be achieved without hardship in Melbourne. At most it requires some planning in winter to ensure that washing is done on sunny days.