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Our War on Waste

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I must confess due to not watching much TV I missed the 3 series show “War on Waste” when it screened on the ABC recently. But after hearing a lot of people talking about it and seeing various comments on Facebook, I finally decided I needed to watch it. I jumped onto ABC iview and I got my kids to watch it too.

I consider myself a bit of an environmentalist but I had no idea how bad Australia was and how much more we all could be doing. So this weekend marks a big change in our household habits.

It started with going to the Sunday markets and getting fruit and veg and using all my own bags. Then dropping by Woolies Park Ave we checked out the new “soft plastics” bin (well done Woolies!) so now we know where to take them. Then Bunnings to buy two new bins: one for soft plastics and one for compost.

If you missed the article in yesterday’s Advocate – “Coffs Harbour is winning War on Waste” you can click here to read it. It’s good to see local business getting on board and doing their part, such as the Bailey Centre who are offering 4 cents off per litre of petrol in exchange for 5 plastic bags.

And did you know that Coffs has it’s very own soft plastics recycler?

From their Facebook page:

Harbour Paper & Oil has been providing a recycling service to the Coffs Coast area for over 20 years. We provide a range of convenient options to cater to all business & domestic recycling requirements both large and small.
We recycle:
• All paper and cardboard types
• All soft plastics, including milk bottles, plastic wrap, soft drink bottles…
• Car bumpers and other plastic panels
• Used Cooking oils – A 200L drum can be provided on request!
We are located at 24 Hulberts Rd Toormina for easy FREE drop off to our premises or if you prefer a weekly, fortnightly or monthly collection service is available.

If you follow Paper & Oil on Facebook you can find out where the nearest soft plastic recycling bin is near you and how active they are in getting supermarkets and schools to get on board.

I took the kids for a drive to see the new Urunga Boardwalk, so we can see for ourselves the end result of recycling soft plastics. Its decking has been constructed by an Australian Company (Replas) using 100% recycled plastic waste. This is the equivalent to around 2.5 million plastic bags being diverted from landfill. VERY impressive.

What has probably concerned me the most from the show was that takeaway coffee cups ARE NOT recyclable! There are plastic components in them so the moisture doesn’t soak through which makes them unable to be recycled. So I’m now 100% committed to taking my own reusable coffee mug when I get my morning coffee. I just asked on Facebook if anyone knows of local coffee shops that offer a discount for people who bring in their own cups. If you know of any, or would like to find out who to support this initiative – click here.  You can also check out the Responsible Cafes website and type in your postcode or town to see who offers a discount and how much. It’s great to see places like  The Happy Frog offering a 50 cent discount! I sure hope many more cafes sign up.

What I would also love to see is NSW banning single use plastic bags. You can find out more about this by clicking here . South Australia, the Northern Territory, the ACT and Tasmania already have plastic bag bans, with QLD to follow next year. You can sign an online petition here calling on NSW, Victoria and WA to #banthebag. We can also join people like GREENS member and Coffs Harbour City Councillor Sally Townley to encourage our own council to ban plastic bags at a local level.

Another thing we can do is support local initiatives like “Coffs Coast Boomerang Bags” – Boomerang Bags works to reduce the use of plastic bags by engaging local communities in the making of Boomerang Bags – community made using recycled materials, Boomerang Bags provide a free, fun, sustainable alternative to plastic bags.

By getting involved with Boomerang Bags, you are participating in a national movement that celebrates a local grassroots initiative, community building and sustainability.

If you have anything to add, please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

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Easter Hat Ideas Part 3

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So heading into the last week of Term 1 many schools are having Easter Hat Parades next week.

I’ve done a couple of posts in previous years on Easy Easter Hats, which you can find here:

Easter Hat Ideas

11 Easter Hat Ideas Part 2

So here are a few more:

(Click on the text below each picture to link to source and instructions)

Eggs and feathers Easter Bonnet

Farmyard Easter Bonnet

Giant Carrot Easter Bonnet

Dinosaur Easter Bonnet

Flower Bunny Ears

Bunny Party Hats

Funny Bunny Hat

Oz style Easter Bonnet

Traditional Easter Bonnet

Funky Bunny Glasses

Bunny Face Paper Plate

Easter Chick Paper Crown

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1. The name “Rebalance” was what piqued my interest in the first place. Let’s face it, the start of the school year, sports, other after school activities, getting back into routine after a long summer break. I really needed to rebalance! So when I found out about a new studio opening in Coffs Harbour I was one of the first to sign up.

2. The location is fabulous, on Orlando Street next to Mother Nature’s (behind Goodyear). Easy parking, Mother Nature’s is right there if you need to duck in for any fruit and veg, basic grocery items, bread or milk. Molly & Me is next to that if you need a before or after class coffee!

3. The times of the classes are great. Starting at 5.30am with classes throughout the day right up until night. I found the 9.30am classes perfect on the days I don’t work as they time perfectly with after school drop off. There are also classes on Saturday mornings.

4. Friendly atmosphere. Unlike some gyms I’ve experienced, all the members are so friendly, chatty and relaxed. There are a really nice bunch of ladies that attend classes. The actual building is really lovely and fresh, a big airy space with nice light.

5. All inclusive. The exercises whether it be Pilates, Barre, Mat classes, Reformer or Yoga are all designed for any age, any fitness level. There are always loads of options and the instructors encourage you to stop whenever you need to have a little break. Absolutely no pressure!

6. The instructors are SO lovely. Nicole is the manager and takes a lot of the classes and she is so laid back and approachable, super friendly and even remembers your name! All the instructors are very attentive and encouraging without judgement.

7. Ask anyone that knows me: before I joined Rebalance I would NEVER have said the words “enjoy” and “exercise” in the same sentence. But the varied classes at Rebalance I enjoy! They are all low impact but boy, do can they burn! The moves are all about form and slow and steady movements so I feel in a way it’s a form of meditation to concentrate and focus on a single part of your body. And the best thing of all are the stretches after each exercise.

8. They have an app! You have to book your classes but it’s super easy to install the app, sign in and see all the classes on each day and book in. You can also check what classes you have booked into so no need to remember or write them down somewhere else. (You can also do all this on a computer as well).

9. Booking classes makes you go! Once I book in, my mentality changes and I feel committed to going. Of course you can cancel out classes via the app but I find booking myself into a class makes me go instead of just showing up at a designated time (and managing to talk myself out of it).

10. They have an awesome introductory offer – $97 for 28 days – up to 3 reformer classes plus unlimited mat work, yoga and barr After that there are heaps of different ongoing membership options so you can choose the type of membership depending on your budget and how many classes you can attend each week.

To find out more about my new favourite place:

Check out their Facebook page or give Nicole a call on 0478 812 526 or email

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Freezer Friendly Lunchbox Recipies

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I have a new (school) year resolution – that is to bake more items for school lunches – thereby making mornings easier, kids eat healthier and get more of a variety of yummy, homemade food in their lunchboxes.

This is what I am baking and making this week:

Cheese and Bacon scrolls

Ham & Zucchini Pikelets

Zucchini, Corn and Cheddar loaf

Banana and Raspberry bread

Milo and Coconut cookies

Spinach, Corn and Feta muffins

Apple and Pear Muffins

Here are some other websites I’ve come across with a load of other ideas.

If you have any of your own I’d love to hear about them!


And even more on Pinterest!


Categories : Alison's Blog, Recipes
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