Tuesday, 23 December 2014

No shampoo - washing hair with egg yolk

As a shameless pessimist, I honestly didn't think that washing my hair with egg yolk instead of shampoo would work. But I gave it a try, not because natural materials are necessarily any better than 'synthetic' ones - I'd rather put sulphates on my hair than poison ivy - but because I don't understand what those ingredients in the shampoo bottle are, but I do understand what egg is. Also, it seems weird to constantly strip the oils your body is producing for your scalp (with shampoo) and then replace it with other ones (conditioner). I was initially going to try baking soda and vinegar, but as with many 'natural' materials, there are some problems with using these - drying out your hair is one issue that has been reported. To be frank, the reason I went with egg is because I couldn't find any negative issues associated with using it on the internet - despite the fact that the interwebs is the single biggest repository of crap (as well as treasure) in human history. Not a particularly wise or considered decision, but I was only using traditional shampoo and conditioner because I always had. As it happens, I got lucky - the egg worked.

It worked really well and I'm still using it after a few months. My hair is great - no problems at all. The secret seems to be: only use the yolk of the egg and mix it with water to dilute it. There are all sorts of recipes on the www, but I reckon, keep it simple. Crack an egg into a cup, separate the yolk and add a little tap water (a little more than the amount of egg yolk) and mix it up with a fork. Wet your hair in the shower and pour a little bit into your hand at a time to disperse around your scalp. Rub it in a bit for a minute, like you're lathering shampoo, although it won't bubble like shampoo does and then rinse out. I haven't needed any conditioner at all. I just blow dry my hair afterwards and it's ready to go. It doesn't smell at all and doesn't cook in the water as long as you don't use the egg white. I have warm, but not hot showers and don't have a problem, although I wouldn't recommend having a really hot shower when you do it, in case the heat affects the yolk.

As far as I can surmise from my amateur searching on-the-line, the egg yolk works as a shampoo because it is an emulsifier - in that it helps oil/fat and water stick together like in mayonnaise, which means that the yolk can pick up the grease in your hair and bind it to the water, which is then rinsed out. I'm no expert though, so don't take my word for it - I wash my hair with raw egg, so how bright can I be, really?

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Sustainable Christmas gift ideas

I'd like to share our sustainable gift ideas. They include fun ways to give time and experiences as alternatives to giving 'stuff'.

Do you have ideas to add?

Did you use these ideas for your Christmas shopping? I'd love to hear how they were received and if you shared them with friends and family.

How did this start? A neighbour shared the story of The Minimalists. Now a fun journey is beginning because the idea of being happier with less makes sense.

What else is happening? We are grateful to the City of Vincent for an environmental grant to re-print our no junk mail signs. Our native gardeners and urban chicken networks will start in the new year, the sustainable house movie is taking shape and we'll have more environmental movie nights soon. Stay tuned for more info in 2015.

Blog by Lisa

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Card Making Thursday 4 Dec 6:30pm

Thanks to all the peeps that have registered for the Festive Card Making workshop. We have 10 places filled and another 10 open.

If you are keen & not registered please come along 
Thu 4 Dec 6:30pm, Menzies Park Pavilion, 95-117 Egina Street, Mt Hawthorn.

Don't forget to bring your local newspaper, scissors, glue or tape (for paper/card), ruler, pencil & eraser. Optional: utility knife, cutting mat, waste paper (eg advertising material, packaging paper). Plus bring your fundraising dollars of $20 waged & $10 unwaged.

Looking forward to it :)


Friday, 28 November 2014

TTMH at City of Vincent's "Thank you" Sundowner

TTMH Members (L to R): Behrooz, Kim, Lisa, Alfred, Gabby & Geoff.
As a community group, we were fortunate to be invited to the City of Vincent's (CoV) "Thank you" Sundowner.

Held at the Vincent Administration Building, there were about 120 people from different community groups and council staff.

CoV's CEO Len Kosova gave a brief speech, followed by Mayor John Carey.

Photo op with Mayor John Carey (L to R): Alfred, Gabby, Kim, John Carey.
Mayor Carey acknowledged the role community groups played and thanked them for their contributions. He then spoke about the challenges the council faced and the changes already made and also planned for 2015.

I got to meet meet people from the North Perth Community Gardens, North Perth Men's Shed and the Claise Brook Catchment Group.

Lisa spoke to Lee from the Men's Shed about a new sustainability project she and Geoff are interested in.

It was a good night, spent with people who are making positive contributions to the communities they live in.

Thank you for a lovely evening, City of Vincent, and Transition Town Mt Hawthorn look forward to working with you to make our community a better place.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

We decided to make a video: Update #1

Gabby and Alfred planning using a laptop.
We got together and did a bit more planning for TTMH's videos.

Storyboards were reviewed and home owners of sustainable houses were contacted, letting them know we will be shooting in the new year.
Two panels from the storyboard
Part of the storyboard

As video production is a new thing to us, we decided to trial using the recording gear on Kim - a fellow member of TTMH.

Kim is passionate in waste reduction and we will be producing a series of short videos about composting.

As always, feel free to give pose question - the trickier the better - as comments below.

If there ever were questions about composting and sustainable housing that you've always wanted to ask, now is the time!

We would still love to have help to create videos - see the first blog and comments if you can help.

By January, TTMH should be ready to launch our first video!

So keep an eye out :-)

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Festive Card Making Workshop - Home Made & 3 R's

Keen to make Christmas cards, learn sustainable tips and support your local community group? Then check out this event.

The festive season is round the corner & festive card making is my annual artsy outlet. I mentioned this to Irma and before I knew it I was organising this fundraiser!

I've been busy designing, setting up registration and now advertising. Know anyone interested, if so please spread the word.

I'll be sharing my tips to card making with the 3 R's: reduce, reuse and recycle; and hope to learn from others at the workshop too.

Transition Town Mt Hawthorn works to keep our community strong & sustainable in the City of Vincent. We are a not for profit and this fundraiser helps to support projects such as the No Junk Mail Sticker, Urban Chicken & Native Gardener's Networks; and movie nights.

If you are ready to thrill, surprise or confuse your friends and family this Christmas, come and make some cards they can't buy in the shops!

Date: 4 Dec, Thurs, 6:30 to 8:30PM 
Cost: $20 Waged and $10 Unwaged (plus booking fee of 30c if paying by credit card).
Where: Menzies Park Pavilion, 95-117 Egina St, Mt Hawthorn, WA 6016 

Register and find more info. at http://www.trybooking.com/GJCG or by clicking on the button below.

The event is supported by the the City of Vincent and Lala Design.  Thank you to Lala Design for generously donating paper, card and envelopes for this community event.
This is a Transition Town Mount Hawthorn Fundraiser event.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Let’s start a native gardener’s network!

Blog by Lisa

Geoff, Gabby and I are keen to start a native gardener’s network in our local area! We hope to:
  • get other native gardeners together for drinks in the garden
  • set up a buddy system, where experienced native gardeners can help people that are just getting started 
  • arrange some walking tours with morning or arvo tea, where people can visit a few native gardens, speak to the owners and learn a few tips. 
How to get in touch – be part of the beginning of our native gardener’s network
If you’d like to be part of our new native gardener’s network, please send us an email to ttmthawthorn@gmail.com we’d love to hear from you.
The City of Vincent can help you to change your verge to natives – FOR FREE!
They will dig up the lawn for you, apply high quality woodchips and give you 20 free native plants. Further information is available on the City of Vincent website, www.vincent.wa.gov.au/Services/Environment_Sustainability/Green_Initiatives/Adopt_a_Verge_program.
Let our native gardener’s network know if you would like help with planting, we may be able to find some keen volunteer planters!

Why go native?
We have a mix of local and WA natives in our garden. Purists go for 100% local natives but we just get too excited about the incredible diversity of natives in the whole of WA.
We love native gardens because they:
  • provide habitat, food and shelter for local birds, native bees, butterflies and other wildlife (we like to show people our resident native bees!)
  • are adapted to the local soil types and climate, including drought conditions
  • require minimal watering, saving water and money
  • look great!
Do local native plants need water?
The following advice is provided by the Australian Native Nursery[1].
“Initially, yes you should water your new plants in well. For the first summer your new plants may have to be watered regularly, just keep your eye on the forecast and deep water once a week during long periods of low rainfall or high heat. Once established, they should be able to cope with just the local rainfall - just another great benefit of choosing a local native garden.”

Where can we buy local native plants?
It is best to plant natives in autumn or winter. Choose a nursery that is certified by the nursery industry association scheme Australia (NIASA), as they follow practices to ensure they do not spread Phythopthora dieback to your garden. Not all native nurseries are certified. Some certified native nurseries in Perth include:

Where can I find more information on growing WA native plants? 
Further information on growing local native plants is available from the Wildflower Society of Western Australia, the Master Gardeners at Kings Park – they provide free advice on native gardening, and the Florabase website.
Our Transition Town Mt Hawthorn website is still being developed. It will soon have further info about going native (and a whole heap of other info about growing veges, the urban chicken network, compost and sustainable living).

[1] Australian Native Nursery 2014, Do I need to water native plants? Cited at <www.australiannativenursery.com.au/2014/05/19/watering-native-plants/> on 27 August 2014.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Happy chickens - our quest to buy higher welfare eggs

by Lisa

Irma's happy chooks eating food scraps.

Geoff and I are on a quest to choose higher welfare eggs. This is what we found out:
  • avoid the cage
  • think like a chicken
  • choose certified.

Avoid the cage

We avoid eggs laid by hens in cages. That bit is easy!

Think like a chicken

Chickens have natural behaviours, such as dust bathing, perching, stretching and flapping their wings and laying their eggs in private. Some choices may mean they are not able to use these behaviours or fulfill these natural instincts.

They naturally like to be free range… but we found there is more to it!

Choose certified

We found there is no legal definition of the term ‘free-range’ in Western Australia, so standards can vary dramatically.

Choose certified free range, organic, bio-dynamic or barn laid eggs, so you will be sure what you are buying. These eggs are produced with no more than 1,500 hens per hectare (or no more than 2,500 hens per hectare in some circumstances).

The stocking densities could be a lot higher if the eggs are not certified (e.g. 20,000 hens per hectare!). We looked into this further - Choice has a campaign for better labelling.

Some local uncertified egg farms have sold cage eggs in free range egg cartons and they are being investigated by the ACCC1. We used to buy these “free range” eggs because they were local - but now we know better.

The word ‘organic’ on an egg carton can sometimes mislead people to think the welfare of hens meets certified organic standards - when it may only mean that hens in barns are fed organic grains. We are now really careful to avoid being misled and always check the certification.

Advice from Choice Magazine: “If you want to ensure that the free range eggs you buy meet your expectations:
  • look for certification logos and inform yourself about the free range standards behind the certifying bodies”… and
  • “check the packaging or producer websites of the eggs you buy for information about their standards.” 2
Some examples of certified free range, organic or barn laid eggs currently sold in Mt Hawthorn and Leederville are summarised in Table 1. The table does not include brands that also sell cage eggs.

Where can I find further information?

Choice explains the issues here.

The requirements of the certifying bodies are summarised by:
This fun You Tube video sums it up perfectly.


We avoid the cage, think like a chicken and choose certified to ensure we are buying higher welfare eggs. We are going to do this whenever we buy eggs.
Now stay tuned for news on our Urban Chicken Network. Another way to find higher welfare eggs is to care for the chickens at home - and they can use our food scraps too!


1 A recent example is the Swan Valley Egg Farm (Snowdale Holdings), which is not accredited and is being investigated by the ACCC. They also own Eggs by Ellah. See Swan Valley Egg Farm, ACCC Institutes proceedings against free range egg producers and ACCC crackdown on free range egg definition.

2 Choice 2014, Free range eggs. Cited on 27 August 2014. Certified free range and barn laid eggs from Golden Egg Farms, Sunny Queen, McLean's Run (owned by Sunny Queen), Pace and Kalbarri Eggs were ruled out because they also sell cage eggs. See Shop Ethical! and the Egg Corporation.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

We decided to make a video

Well, actually, three videos. Or possibly four.

Let me back track.

A couple of meetings ago, Gabby and Lisa mentioned that they were going to visit some houses as part of Sustainable House Day, which is supported by the City of Vincent.

I got excited and asked them approach the owners to see if they would be willing to be interviewed about their houses.

Lo and behold, three owners said yes!

So, Gabby and I met to discuss how we are going to do get the videos done.

Celebrating the project's kick-off meeting


We want to make the freely accessible online videos to inspire locals to build sustainability into their homes when they next build or renovate.

At least three Cityof Vincent locals have done it, so can the rest of us!


These are some of the questions that will be posed to the home owners:
  • Why did you do it?
  • What were the challenges you faced?
  • How can we make it easier for people to adopt sustainability?
  • Would you do anything differently?
Do you have questions you want answered? Write them in the comments.


To make this awesomer, we need more hands on deck!

Can you:
  • write a catchy tune?
  • help on a video shoot?
  • operate a camera or microphone?
  • contribute the use of your camera or microphone?
  • write blogs around sustainable housing issues?
  • help coordinate the videoshoots?
  • brew a cup of tea to keep the video team going?
Basically, if you want help out in any way, please let me know: ttmthawthorn@gmail.com


Read about progress since the initial meeting.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Seeking Pre-Loved Jewellery Treasures

I was looking for that extra special his and her gift, something unique and sustainable.

So I decided to go pre-loved and old-school. It needed to be small, so my niece could pack in her suitcase and deliver to family in the States - for their big 50th birthdays.

This led me onto a fun treasure hunt, seeking out antique and vintage jewellery.

During my treasure travels, I fell for the Art Deco style and found many timeless pieces. I loved the strong repeating lines in cuff links and the elegant sleek curves in brooches. There was so much to seek and find, as I was tempted by bold colours and shapes of the 70’s; and the striking curved lizards from the 20’s.

I was eventually hooked on the classic Art Deco look as I felt these would be admired by my gift recipients too.

It was fun looking but sadly I found stores no longer on the map and visited some when they were closed!

As it is our aim to make it easier for you, here is a list of open antique – vintage stores with websites to find out their latest opening times[1]:

      I was feeling good: I had found treasures, supported local business and supported the earth's resources by re-using. So consider a pre-loved gift with some history and enjoy your next local treasure hunt.

      [1] Stores are listed by distance from our Mt Hawthorn hub, visited in September 2014 and included stores with jewellery (other than costume).

      Thursday, 18 September 2014

      History in the Making - People's Climate Mobilisation

      This Sunday will be a significant day globally - it looks like being the largest day of climate action in world history!

      If you want some inspiration and background on the scale of the Global Peoples Climate March, watch this powerful free movie online that was released last week: Disruption - http://watchdisruption.com/ (It's only 50 mins long).

      Then bring your family & friends and come join TTG (1 pm on Sunday in Russell Square Northbridge), it's only 1 hour of your time!

      Our message is simple and clear: we want a safe climate future.

      To achieve this goal, we call for: climate action to be on the G20 agenda; a strong renewable energy target and timeline for 100% Renewable Energy; and no new coal or gas projects.

      Speakers include Prof. Fiona Stanley and Bishop Tom Wilmot

      Click here to RSVP for the People’s Climate Mobilisation - Perth.

      Click here to join the Facebook Event for the People's Climate Mobilisation - Perth

      Then if you'd like to make a day of it, stop off at East Perth train station on your way home and join us for the Perth Metro Transition family picnic (3- 6 pm). Should be a lovely day by the river for it.

      Updated list of local events September until November 2014

      Sun 21 Sept 12-2pm
      Russell Square
      Sun 21st Sept 10-2
      cr Albany Hwy and Salford St
      Sun 21 Sept 3-6pm
      Banks Reserve
      Sat 27th Sept–Sat 4th Oct
      Claremont Showgrounds
      Saturday 4th Oct 12-4pm
      John Mac Millan Park, Kent St, Vic Park
      Sunday 5th Oct 9-2
      Community Garden Stoneham St, Joondanna
      Saturday 11 Oct, 11-4pm
      Admin Building, 244 Vincent Street (Cnr Loftus), Leederville, WA, 6007
      Sat 11 Oct,
      Barlee Street carpark, 590 Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley, WA, 6050
      Sun 19th Oct 10-3
      West Leederville Community Garden, 78 Cambridge St
      Sat 25 Oct, morning
      Locations across City of Vincent
      Sat Oct 25th 9-3
      Luita St, Wembley Downs
      Sun. Oct 26th 10-5
      Angove St, North Perth
      Thursday 13 November from 6:30pm
      film and first chicken grant workshop on waste avoidance
      Mt Hawthorn Lesser Hall, Scarborough Beach Rd
      Sat 29 November
      Christmas family picnic, collaborative event with Permaculture West and Conservation Council of WA
      at Lake Monger Bowling Club
      Thursday 4 December, from 6:30pm
      Card making workshop  and TT MH fund raiser
      Mt Hawthorn or Leederville, TBC

      Bold events are organised or supported by Transition Town Mount Hawthorn. More details will be published on this blog or our upcoming website soon. Please join us for any or all of these events. What exciting times of learning and sharing.