Tag Archives: Sustainability

Free Food Movement

1 Mar

Just over 5 years ago I was walking through an inner Sydney city suburb when I spotted a number of bunches of rosemary on a brick wall. It was outside of a church and incidentally they had been trimming their rosemary bushes that lined the walk-way. Next to the bunches was a handwritten note that said “Take me – Free”!

I remember at the time thinking wouldn’t it be great to have an app that enabled someone to locate free food like this. And like most innovations, it’s easy to have the idea but harder to follow through and implement it.

5 years on there’s 2 sites doing just this that I want to share and spread the word.

Ripe Near Me

While it’s still in it’s Beta phase the site is slickly designed, highly useable and makes adding and finding free food far too easy for anyone not to use it.

It’s a Google maps mashup with a quick locality search. The food icons look to be unique for their massive range of produce and you post your own food, food you spot (aka wild) and can give it away for free or charge a nominal amount.

Wild Food

Diego Bonetto is a self proclaimed expert in weeds and i’m not going to argue about that. He learn’t much of his knowledge from his parents in and growing up in Italy where foraging for wild food was still the norm.

I was lucky enough to meet Diego a number of years ago on an art exhibition / wild food tour day. The art exhibition was a number of plaques around Sydney CBD explaining the types of animals you’d find from rats, pigeons and even foxes. The wild food tour was at the Casula powerhouse grounds and was really an intro to the world of edible weeds. You can learn more about Diego here.

However of relevance to this post is Diego’s initiative Wild Food. Like Ripe Near Me the site is well designed and very easy to use. What’s great is that the site uses the mobile platform a little more encouraging people to take a photo, tag the location and either upload it direct or hashtag it on instagram where it’ll be automatically added.

It also has a wealth of information about the various wild food such as the culinary or medicinal value.

Both sites have implemented the idea and cater for different audiences. Combined they are an excellent resource for locavores, frugal eaters or anyone interested in Free Food!

If you haven’t already, join up and contribute to both. The bigger the better!

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Attack of the eco-snob!

19 Dec
PageDooley - Flickr  https://flic.kr/p/dRst2P

PageDooley – Flickr – https://flic.kr/p/dRst2P

I’ve recently moved north of Sydney to a suburb just outside of Gosford. The primary reason is to be closer to an eco-village we are involved in. So obviously living and being “eco” is at the front of mind, particularly in the “honeymoon” period of moving up here.

But I did have to catch myself the other day. The green waste bin was full and rather than put it out for collection I decided to keep it and throw it in my compost bins – why waste good compost?

Then I was on the train coming home and the train really empties out by the time I get off. Every other seat had discarded MX newspapers and a scattering of soft drink bottles. With a bit of a hmph I picked up what I could and took them home to my recycling bin.

I’m sure my state of mind can only be a good thing but is there a risk I’ll become an “eco-snob” or worse a “born-again-greeny” (are they on par with born-again non-smokers?). I like to think that I am actually just enlightened by my focus on living more sustainable! I certainly dont think I’ll become that bad but who knows. 🙂

Have you had any “run-ins” with eco-snobs? Someone that complains about driving the car 10min down the road? Or using petrol powered lawn mowers, or using the drier instead of the clothes line?

An interesting story about run in’s for doing the right thing is the story of John Francis (TED). Here’s a man who witnessed a horrible accident of 2 petrol tankers colliding and leaking petrol into the waterways. As a result he decided not to travel by petrol powered vehicles anymore and to walk everywhere. On his walks he had people criticise him for his actions, with some even accusing him of making THEM look bad!! After having to defend himself so much he decided to stop talking – for 17 years. A bit extreme but it does highlight potential reactions against people that are trying to do the right thing.

Have you been made to feel bad by someone else actions? Are there things you do that you know are not great but do it anyway? Are you an eco-snob?