Ideas and Inspiration for Sustainable and Self-Sufficient Living

recipes, how-to videos, step by step instructions...


Chivoko Village Uses Video to Share Conservation Success [HD Video]

Participatory video is accessible to all genders and levels of education

Participatory Video is a method pioneered by Insightshare whereby a community of people are taught the basics of video production, how to plan a story and create a storyboard and then given a video camera and computer to produce a short film of their own choosing.

The purpose of the video is to create discussion, communicate issues, and ultimately make change.

Most documentaries are made by professional filmmakers who have years of experience behind a camera, and who have their own agenda, but through Participatory Video, putting the camera into the subjects hands helps them to express themselves and tell their own story exactly how it is.

In April 2011, supported by the AusAID-funded project “Building the resilience of communities and their ecosystems to the impacts of climate change in the Pacific”, led by The Nature Conservancy, I facilitated the first Participatory Video activity in the Solomon Islands, in the remote village of Chivoko on the north-west tip of Choiseul Island.

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How to Make a Coconut Broom [VIDEO]

The Solomon islands are an archipelago of small islands to the east of Papua New Guinea where the people still rely directly on the resources from the land for all their daily needs. We have just returned after spending 3 months there and have alot of self-sufficiency ideas to share with you.

If you have a coconut tree nearby, you can use 2 fronds to make a natural fibre broom for sweeping indoors. If you don’t have a coconut tree nearby, I suggest you plant one as the coconut has many uses. As the South Seas proverb goes… “He who plants a coconut tree, plants food and drink, vessels and clothing, a habitation for himself and a heritage for his children”

This broom works well, looks great and when it’s (long) sweeping life is over it will return back to the soil without a trace. In this video, Melodie Pitamama from Boeboe village, Choiseul Province, generously showed us how she works a broom from the ribs of coconut leaves.


Make an Easy Jar Sprouter & Start Sprouting Sprouts! [VIDEO]

There is no excuse for you to not start growing your own food. Even an apartment dweller or yachty can enjoy fresh nutritious sprouts without the use of land or soil.

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Easy Homemade Ice Cream Without a Machine

Not wanting our blog to look like a recipe site for housewives, but I have always thought that to make ice-cream at home, you needed some sort of ice-cream making machine or gadget. I found out recently that it is actually really simple and the most exotic tool needed is a whisk or a hand-beater to whip the cream. This recipe makes a ‘chocolate-y cookies & cream’ ice cream but feel free to substitute ingredients to make your own flavours. Read More & Comment →


Green Papaya Salad Recipe

Papaya trees will have fruit all year round and the good news is that you can also eat them while they are green in a refreshing and tasty Green Papaya Salad. This is a variation of Jude Fanton’s (The Seed Savers’ Network) and Sharon Gibson’s (Mullumbimby Community Garden Program) green papaya salad recipes. Read More & Comment →


How to Make Origami Newspaper Seedling Pots

Loofah seedlings in newspaper pots ready to plant out 'pots 'n' all'

These seedling pots require no staples, glue, tape or origami skills. Recycle your old newspapers and get your seeds off to a good start in these pots that can be put into the ground with the young seedlings therefore minimising root disturbance. The newspaper breaks down over time and the plants roots will grow through the newspaper. Read More & Comment →

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