Kirsten McCulloch

Kirsten McCulloch is an Australian mother of three living in the suburbs. She has a background in writing and editing, particularly for the web, and a life long interest in living sustainably. On her journey to reduce her energy and resource consumption, she makes her own non-toxic cleaners, keeps chooks, has a few fruit trees, and a mostly organic vegetable patch. She is learning to knit and crochet but she can’t sew to save her life. She is trying hard to declutter her home. Slowly. She is trying to teach her children to value the natural environment and not to waste resources, with somewhat patchy success to date.

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China the world leader in renewables; wind most mature renewable energy: UN report

Wind turbines expanding along a ridge in Galicia, Spain

In 2010 China was the world leader in investment in renewable energy technology according to the UN’s Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2011. Globally investment was up almost one third in 2010 over 2009, at a record US$211 billion, and for the first time developing economies put more into “financial new investment” than developed ones. Global increase…

Are CFL Bulbs Bad For Your Health?

Many sensationalist news reports have been published over the years claiming some new fangled gadget – be it a vaccine, a microwave, a mobile phone or now, an energy saving light – is really evil incarnate or at least a little questionable. But often these reports are so extreme that they seem ridiculous and indeed…

$15 Million for Energy-Efficient LED Lighting: US

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced almost US$15 million for eight new research and development projects into high-efficiency solid-state lighting technologies like light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). LEDs and OLEDs can last 25 times as long as incandescent light bulbs and be as much as 10 times more efficient than such…

PUL Fabric for Nappies: The Better of Two Evils!

Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap, Storm Cloud (blue)

PUL is a waterproof backing that was originally used in the medical field where waterproof material which could be sterilized and ready for reuse was needed. Its uses have evolved to include the manufacture of a variety of modern diapers and diaper covers which largely solved the leaking problems associated with older style cloth diapers.

Guinness Ratify Cloth Diaper Challenge Results

Guinness have ratified the evidence and the official Guiness World Record for most cloth nappies changed simultaneously is 5,026 people. The Great Cloth Diaper Change was held around the world on April 23 (US time) with the aim of raising the public awareness of the benefits and ease of cloth diaper use. The unofficial record…

Solar Protest Action in Australia

Members of the solar sector in Australia have pronounced the 2011 Federal Budget, released last week, as “disappointing”. But Australian’s aren’t taking disappointment lying down. The Solar Last Chance Rally today is a response to the NSW Government permanently closing down their Solar Bonus Scheme (notably started by the previous government), and announcing last Friday…

Solar Power Boosts Home Values

A recent study in California found that having a rooftop solar power system installed significantly increased the value of homes. No surprise right? But the interesting thing was that the sale value of the homes with solar power increased by about the cost of installing the system – even though the original home owner had…

Western Meat Consumption Causing Malnutrition in Africa

Western diets high in meat are coursing malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a study presented recently at an international conference looking at agriculture and its effects on nutrition and health. The report, presented by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), finds that if people in Western countries at less meat, the price of…