Thursday 29 September 2016

Reflections on the book of Job

Recently, I've really enjoyed the Thomas Burns Memorial Lectures 2016 from Otago University School of Theology.  This year they were given by Professor Choon-Leong Seow, a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East with a delightful Singaporean accent.  He's been lecturing on the Old Testament Biblical book of Job (pronounced to rhyme with 'robe'), through which he's introduced me to a number of ideas that have furthered my thinking on what the Bible is.

I found lectures one, two and four particularly helpful: if you can spare four hours or so, I highly recommend them.  And if you don't, here's what I've taken from the series :-)

Tuesday 27 September 2016

My favourite number

I've realised I never posted a link here to my most recent piece of CFS writing.  Back in May I wrote My Favourite Number for the ANZMES annual writing competition.  The theme was 'Things that give us hope'.  I decided to wait until ANZMES published it before posting the link, then clean forgot :-)  It didn't get anywhere in the competition, but I hope you enjoy it all the same.

Thursday 22 September 2016

Rubbish and recycling in Auckland

I was recently browsing Auckland Council's excellent recycling page, and came across a few things that surprised me.
  1. They can't recycle most receipts.  Practically all the receipts we get are on heat-sensitive paper.  Turns out that they have a coating that makes them unsuitable for recycling.  Since I learned that, I've followed their advice and started putting them in the compost.
  2. They can't recycle really small things.  In the 'paper and cardboard' category, they note that they can only recycle jigsaw puzzle pieces if they're in an envelope.  Similarly, under 'plastic' they say that any bottle caps that go into the recycling need to be attached to their respective bottles, presumably for the same reason.  I don't find myself recycling jigsaw puzzle pieces very often, but I do frequently throw tiny paper offcuts from my card making into the recycling, and I throw unattached milk bottle lids into the recycling all the time.  No more!
  3. Baking paper can go in the compost.  I've tended to put this into either the recycling or the general rubbish somewhat at random.  But, under 'paper and cardboard', I not only learned that I really shouldn't be putting it into the recycling (coatings again), but that it happily breaks down in the compost.  Should I find un-decomposed baking paper in the compost when everything else has broken down in the coming months, I'll let you know!

Friday 9 September 2016

Update to Ethical Kiwisaver post

I've just updated my Ethical Kiwisaver post to include Koinonia.  It wasn't in the original post as it's a restricted scheme.  However, since that was written, it's become a lot less restricted, moving from being open only to clergy to being open to anyone who self-identifies as Christian.  Read the new version here.

Tuesday 6 September 2016

Reducing our climate impact by eating less dairy

Some years ago we became concerned about our dairy consumption level.  When we did our first carbon audit, food was the biggest contributor to our carbon footprint (responsible for about 30% of our carbon emissions or 1.4T CO2e per year each).  The planet can only cope with 1.2T CO2e per person per year, so obviously that number needed to come down a lot if we wanted to do right by our vulnerable neighbours in places like Bangladesh.

Dairy was the biggest contributor within that, coming in at around 0.45T CO2e.  The obvious question was, how could we reduce this?