Monday, April 13, 2009

Reforestation in Borneo

A website I visit fairly regularly is, The Permaculture Research Insitute of Australia. The home page is regularly updated with interesting articles written by people from all over the world.

A short piece about the reforestation on an area in Borneo caught my eye. It linked to a 20 minute presentation by Willie Smits, a Dutch forestry scientist. He emigrated to Indonesia 20 years ago to help the country grow trees, but a chance encounter with a dying baby Orangutan changed the direction of his work - culminating not only in his creating the biggest orangutan rehabilitation center in the world, but also in restoring large tracts of rainforest in a community-based endeavour that is bringing work and prosperity to the people too.

I watched the presentation. This guy is great. Truely inspirational.

We hear so much about the deforestation of Indonesia because of the demand for palm oil. It was good to hear about Samboja Lestari - "the greatest reforestation project on earth".

If the You Tube video doens't work, you can catch it at or on

If you live in the UK, you might have seen some of the rescued orangutans on the BBC's Orangutan diaries.

Dodo the orangutanAfter watching the video, going to the Red Apes site and listening to Bonnie the whistling orangutan, the Transition Housewife and I just had to adopt Dodo the newest member of the Orangutan Outreach centre.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Rubbish record

March 2009 Rubbish weigh-inThis month we remembered to check out the A - Z of recycling on our local council's website before we started sorting out our bins.

The things we know to recycle, compost and re-use get put in the relevant place during the month, but by the end of the month the kitchen bin (in particular) was still getting pretty full. Mainly plastics, some spent indelible pens, a disposable razor and some broken rubber bands.

Plastic bags, we've found out, can be taken to the local Household Waste and Recycling centre - that's why this month the rubbish isn't nicely shoved in a plastic bag and it is on the weighing scales in all it's rubbish glory.

So the rubbish weigh-in for March is a new Transition House record of 190 grams.

So far this year we haven't put any of the bins out to be collected. So theoretically we can go back to January and Februarys landfill waste and, with our new recycling knowledge, see if any more can be recycled. That might be a step too far for the Transition Housewife. We'll see.