Earlier this year it was revealed that New Zealand has become one of the worst in the world for the generation of waste. This is according to World Bank data, which ranks NZ has tenth worst of all countries surveyed for the generation of urban waster per capita (see map above). Each of us create about 734kg of waste each per year - that is 2 kilograms exactly every day. And mystifyingly, the amount of waste New Zealanders generate has increased by around 20 percent over the p
The latest "shock" announcement by Environment Minister David Parker, that limits need to be set at a national level to curb further freshwater degradation (and this may mean less cows in some places!) has triggered all the predictable responses: “Does David Parker hate farmers?” “Most farmers are already putting a lot of effort into reducing pollution – regulation is unnecessary.” “Regulation will be unfair because it will affect some regions and farmers more than others.” “
This blog was originally published in 2011 on envirohistory NZ. Though my implement of choice for environmental history is the pen (or more accurately, the keyboard), I am known to pick up a spade from time to time. Specifically, to plant native trees on land in the Pohangina Valley, about 40 kilometres north-east of the Manawatu provincial “capital” of Palmerston North. When I do so, I am deeply conscious of the fact that I am undoing the toil of hardworking men who “broke t
Our hens surprise us with one of these every so often. On the left is a fairy egg (also known as a 'witch egg'), on the right is a normal-sized chicken egg. They are white inside and have no yolk. Apparently they happen when something disturbs the hen's reproductive cycle - though we prefer to think that a fairy is involved somehow.
Most of the trees we have planted at our 'permanent retreat' in Pohangina Valley (see Life changes) are New Zealand natives - and to the greatest extent possible, trees native to this area (see Undoing environmental history (with a spade)). However, I was willing to bend this rule for two kinds of trees - ones that provide autumn colour and ones that provide things to eat. For the autumn colour, I invested in six liquidambar trees to line the driveway. There are a dazzling ar