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Sunday, September 25, 2011

A shout out to those without motors

Neither of us are cyclists. Sure, we have a bike which we use casually and really need to use more often, but we aren't really cyclists. 
I have some serious respect for those who forgo their motored vehicle and head out on two man-powered wheels every day- especially in a city like Auckland where the motorists, well, aren't very accommodating to say the least. 

So here's to those who choose to power their own mode of transport, here's to those who take one car off the road and here's to those who brave the unforgiving traffic and help to make Auckland and other cities more cycle (and pedestrian) friendly. 

Here's a wee promise too:
We, as drivers, promise to leave lots of room for you when we pass.
We promise to take a breath if we get annoyed and remember that getting annoyed for being 30 seconds later is just plain silly
We promise to look out for you and be as courteous as we would expect you to be if we swapped places

As a footnote, big ups to organisations like Cycle Action Auckland who state that their aim is "to make Auckland a great place to cycle" and they do this by promoting shared road safety and advocating for an improved cycling environment. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Company profile: Better World Books

Better World Books 

What do they do?
They are an online bookstore based in the US selling new and secondhand books and specialise in used textbooks. They offer free shipping worldwide and as the current exchange rate is in our (NZ's) favour, its a cheap place to purchase from.

I chose Better World Books to profile for a few reasons.

1. They resell second-hand books from all around America:
Seriously great way to recycle- rehome a used book to a new home. They also donate books to organisations they support and if the book is unsuitable for sale or donation, they recycle them. They have re-used or recycled over 70 million pounds (31,751.5 metric tonnes) of books.

2. While they ain't a not-for-profit, they do give a lot away:
They partner with a few non-profit organisations including Invisible Children and as of August 15 this year, had given over $5.5million to literacy and education organisations in America and worldwide and $4.5million for libraries all over America. For more specifics, see here.

3. And, well, they're a bookstore and we love bookstores:
Even ones located on the other side of the world. A recent quote on their Facebook page really jumped out at me. It said:
"Lord! When you sell a man a book you don't sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night - there's all heaven and earth in a book, a real book." -Christopher Morley
They also offer a carbon offset option when ordering books, for a few extra dollars. Which can help, well, offset the environmental cost of shipping from America. Remember also that a lot of the books you buy, even in bricks and mortar stores, were not printed in NZ!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The problem with bath toys...

When bub was around 12 weeks old, we attended a Plunket PEPE course which is designed to help out new mums by providing advice, support and education. The course itself was fantastic, and we would recommend these kinds of courses to just about everyone.

A negative was one comment that a guest speaker said which has been ringing around in my head ever since. She was talking about the importance of getting babies used to water (great stuff) and talked about bath toys. Apparently the ones that have 'squirting capabilities' get really mouldy within a month- even if you sterilise them. Her suggestion was to buy new ones from the $2 shop every month and dump the rest.
It horrified me that she was effectively promoting adding a bunch of these brightly coloured, mostly non-recyclable items to landfill every month. She didn't seem to understand my issue with it either, sadly enough.

So what do you do with a bunch of bath toys you can't use in the bath? It would be great if you could give us some suggestions!

Also, how do you deal with people who just simply dont understand (or want to)?


Saturday, September 3, 2011

What can we say on a day like today?

...but Happy Birthday our darling. One year has gone so fast and we've learnt so much.
Here's to many many more birthdays and learning so much more about life from you.
We love you, Mum & Dad