Tuesday, September 29, 2009

10 to the 100

Google project, 10 to the power of 100th is a call for ideas to change the world, in the hope of helping as many people as possible! Sounds too good to be true...

With a list that has been whittled down to 16, you can now help make the decision as to what Google spends their $10 million on! So best get voting! To do so visit here before October 8.

Friday, September 25, 2009

mixing it up

Every now and then it is good to mix things up and offer a little spice to life! Our dear friend has done just that with the utterly genious make me a mix tape. It is truly a joy and not just because you can whittle away hours of "meant to be at work time" listening to her fav tracks but you will always, without a doubt come away with a smile on your dial!

However, we must ask her forgiveness for not mentioning this earlier! In fact I have been meaning to tell everyone of this ladies talents for a while now but have been too busy trying to get through hours of her mixing madness that I haven't had a chance!

I am listening to the latest mix now and I can highly recommend it! Love your work Miss Katie Dazzle x

Thursday, September 24, 2009


We previously blogged about Anna Heringer and the inspirational Handmade school in Bangladesh here. After hearing her speak at the Finland Symposium I thought we should update you all with the latest HOMEmade project. These three family houses are a tribute to local craftmanship, a testament to true community participation and basically a great lesson in how to provide modern, functional design that is appropriate to its surroundings. Oh and did i mention that they are also beautiful?

Anna has been nominated for the CurryStone Design Award and we wish her all the best! While I am at it, also in the running for this award is Rob Hopkins from Transition Network fame. If you haven't heard about the new wave that is Transition Town then you should definitely jump on board... Rob wrote the Transition Handbook and since then more than 200 towns have taken on the Transition principles. The first Transition Town was started in 2006 in Totnes, UK where the community banded together to grow local food, lower their energy use, plan more pedestrianised paths and cycle ways and even create their own currency to boost their local economy. It just shows what can happen when communities work together...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

herbs round two

Last year I posted here about my new herb garden. Well, sadly when I was in Kenya and my flatmate was in Ireland... they died. Now we're both in new homes - and this weekend we both have new herb gardens! Sadly mine were purchased at Bunnings, and hers at the more glamorous Petersham Nurseries...

I love Izzy's re-use of a once well loved oak wine barrel... I planted ours about half an hour ago in this cool trough we had under a tree in our back garden...

... not quite as established as Izzy's yet, but it will be blooming in no time at all with some Sydney sunshine! I planted some pretty flowers to cheer up my window sill too - alas I can't see them ever making it to my window sill - too much thinking required on how to secure them!

Come and visit us soon Izzy! And bring Harriet with you! xx A

Saturday, September 19, 2009

happy villages

Our dear friends in Kenya have started up this inspiring organisation. Happy Villages aims to tackle such issues as health, education, environment, poverty, gender, communications and all the barriers to sustainable development one community at a time. Their approach is based on the UN Millenium Development Goals.

Ever the "happy" blogger George has recently added this all too true post on the facebook group: Extreme poverty is the most severe state of poverty, where people cannot meet basic needs for survival, such as food, water, clothing, shelter, sanitation, education and health care. 1.1 billion people currently live under these conditions. Extreme poverty hurts."We work towards a world without extreme poverty" join us!

b+c is right behind the Happy Villages team and we look forward to visiting a Happy Villages happy village soon! We urge you all to follow their progress and support them now and in the future as big things can only come from such a warm, beautiful bunch of passionate people!

Friday, September 18, 2009

ever the optimist!

Came across this website today. If you are feeling like you need a little lift then I would suggest having a look at Optimist World to get your daily fix of good news stories, inspirational charities, green travel ideas and loads more... happy days!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

climate change diaries

Thought I would share these climate change diaries with you. If you still think climate change is a distant concern then you must read the accounts of those who are dealing day to day with the realities of climate change. Visit here to find out more about Practical Action's work helping to secure a future for those most effected by climate change. 

You can learn more about climate change and the implications for people and poverty by attending a training course run by Practical Action Consulting in October and December. See here for more details. 

Small Is...

This little gem of a festival ran for the first time this year due to the joint efforts of Engineers Without Borders UK and Practical Action. It was a fantastically jam packed weekend of learning, sharing, practical workshops, inspiring debates and not to mention lots of fun!

The "Small Is..." Festival was a celebration of the ideas of EF Schumacher's Small Is Beautiful (1973). The main debates centered around his views on economics, appropriate technology, politics and personal philosophy.  The Edge of the Forest was one of the most popular films shown over the weekend in the solar cinema - inspiring stuff.  

Over 250 people camped out in the beautiful grounds of Practical Action to take part in activities ranging from diy rocket stoves, knocking up a hexayurt, community mapping, appropriate toilet construction, to discussions on global/local food, transition towns, climate change adaptation and markets and livelihoods. Entertainment was also in abundance with music from Zambian group Kamoto Community Arts followed by a partner swinging ceildh (for all you aussie's out there this is the equivalent to our bush dance) and some cracking local talent - this weekend had it all. 

To read more about who was there and to see some great snaps from the weekend visit here. See you all there next year...!