A new type of paper you should subscribe to...toilet paper.

Here's one of those simple things you can do at home, in the office and if you are renovating, at your site toilet.

You are already buying toilet paper, right? So why not subscribe and get your 100% recycled toilet paper delivered every couple of months.

The folks at Who Gives a Crap deliver 100% recycled toilet paper to you door. 50% of the profits build toilets in the developing world via Water Aid. I've been using their toilet paper for almost a year now and it's fabulous.

According to the WWF, 270,000 trees are flushed down the toilet or end up in garbage every day. The Who Gives a Crap toilet paper is made of 100% recycled paper fibres, bamboo or sugarcane in our products.

In addition for every toilet roll you use, you’re helping to provide someone with access to a toilet for one week. And that's important because 2.5 billion people (40% of the world's population) don't have access to a toilet.  Over 500,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. That's 1,400 children a day. 

I love that I am buying an essential household item and contributing to a charity like Water Aid.

And if you didn't know, it's world toilet day on the 19th November.  :)


What does off-grid mean?

You can choose to totally go off-grid by disconnecting from electricity, water, stormwater, sewerage and gas. That's the dream. Ironically of course this is how we all used to live and as technology improved and we became more prosperous we came to rely completely on government and private organisations to provide these services.

So we pay for our water, our electricity and gas etc... but the organisations supplying those services do so with little regard for the landscape, our animals, our food bowl, our water basin and those who farm the land.  The appalling story about the Queensland farmer George Bender who battled to stop CSG (coal seam gas) companies coming onto his land is just one of many examples of how our farmers are battling to protect their livelihood and our food source.

In the city just to stay connected to Sydney Water costs me around $200 per quarter. That's $800 a year before I turn on the tap.  Yet water falls freely, and even on my small plot of land I can collect all the water I need rather than continue to pay Sydney Water. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are two million people using water tanks, yet it is not common anymore for urban Australians to use their rainwater tanks for all of their household needs.

Wouldn't it be great if we could quickly, easily and cheaply stop using fossil fuels, use the water from the sky and keep or re-use all of our sewerage and waste on-site.  But time, budgets, knowledge, professional resistance and bureaucracy can come between us.  I'd love to take all of my services off-grid, but I will have to wait for a sewerage system that fits my small property.

Baby steps are good, if all you can do are small things, they will add up. Keep reading for small things tips! 




I'm very excited to be starting my project and welcome!

It's been a tough few years in Australia watching politicians fail to get serious about reducing our emissions and protecting our precious land and water, whilst supporting organisations who have zero interest in the quality of life for our kids and grandkids.  I've felt infuriated and helpless in the face of their inaction. As a science publisher, I've been appalled at the way that our scientists have been sidelined and how funding for science has been cut.  When in fact science is breeding ground for innovation, new industries and creating a healthier planet. If you are reading this blog using wifi, that's an Australian CSIRO invention and there's a lot more where that comes from.

I have accepted that voting isn't enough. I have also published a lot around science and the environment and that is not enough. I need to stop waiting for politicians to lead, so I decided to challenge myself to do everything I could to reduce my waste, stop my reliance on government and corporate services that I could get myself (like water and electricity) and reduce the impact I was having on the environment.

A fortuitous meeting with Michael Mobbs, a sustainability pioneer, made me realise that there is much more I can do.

In this blog, I will share the ups and downs of my renovation and my off-grid project. If you aren't renovating, this blog will still be relevant as much of what I am doing doesn't require you doing a full-scale renovation.

Yes, I will have a new kitchen and bathroom. No, I won't be bringing in dirty electricity or water. Instead I will be using rainwater and energy from the sun. But when it is all finished, if you were to come around for dinner you wouldn't realise that my home is disconnected.

Plans have been approved, the builder is on site and Michael and Mobbs have been working closely for many months to ensure that we use sustainable and recycled products.