What is Citizen Science?

Streamwatch

Citizen Science is the collection and analysis of data collected by the general public to be used for scientific research. It is usually done collaboratively with professional scientists. It can also be described as public participation in scientific research.

Citizen science is very important as it enables scientists to collect data that would otherwise be impossible or expensive to collect by themselves. With the help of modern technology, people from all over the world can contribute to scientific studies by sharing data with each other.

Community Groups

Scientists often work with community groups as they may already be involved in similar projects, for example if they are working to help their local wildlife, and the citizen science program involves identifying wildlife species, then this collaboration will assist both parties in reaching their goals. The community groups are especially helpful as they can help by promoting the project to bring in new people, to generate ideas, and engage with scientists for advice.

A community group will have a variety of people with different skills and backgrounds too,  so scientists will be able to utilize these skills to expand their project and data collection methods. Volunteers can include kids, school students, amateur scientists, retirees and educators.

Citizen science programs are also a great opportunity for students and other volunteers to increase their knowledge and skills in a particular area.  Looking into volunteering opportunities that relate to your studies will greatly increase your chances in getting a job.

Citizen Science at CHEN

If you are looking into working in the environment field, whether it is on the research or community engagement side of things, volunteering with a group that increases knowledge and gives you valuable skills, will be very beneficial to your future career.

CHEN has a Landcare group that includes bush regeneration and citizen science opportunities. Our citizen science opportunities include, water quality testing which is in collaboration with Streamwatch; identifying and taking hollow measurements, which is in collaboration with Hollows as Homes; and Frog ID which is in collaboration with the Australian Museum.

We also partake in bush regeneration activities which is not a citizen science project but does provide you with knowledge and skills related to land management and plant identification.

If you want to get ahead in your career by partaking in such activities, please contact us to get involved.

Please email, danielle@chen.org.au for more information, otherwise click this link to be added to the Fred Caterson Landcare Group where you can keep up to date with what we are doing and come along!

 

Is This The Most Eco-Friendy Cleaning Product?!

Is This The Most Eco-Friendy Cleaning Product?!

Most commercial dish washing liquids, laundry powders and soaps are actually very harmful to our local environment. The surfactants, phosphorus levels, dyes, bleaching agents, scourers, polishes, softners, and scents that are contained in these products get carried into our sewage system and into our local waterways, contaminating them.

There are some brands out there however, that consider the environment when creating their product and therefore contain ingredients that are environmentally friendly. Some brands include Ecologic, Koala Eco or Eco-Store.

The Most Environmentally Friendly Cleaning ‘Product’

After searching for some cheap, effective and eco-friendly products online, I came across something that blew my mind away. It was eco-friendly in every way, from its packaging material and ingredient list to its disposal process, it leaves no harmful trace to this world but only benefits it and us!

That Red House – Soapberries

It is a thing called Soapberries. Soap berries (also referred to as soap nuts, although not actually a nut) are the fruit of the Sapindus Mukorossi tree. This tree grows primarily in the Himalayas as well as several other regions of the world. The fruit is harvested under ethical conditions by small communities. By purchasing these berries, you are supporting the ‘Grow Nepal’ initiative which helps the Nepal people create an income and protecting these tree’s helps reduce deforestation in the Himalayas.

How do they work?

The berries contain a very high level of a particular ingredient called ‘saponin’ that acts as a cleaning agent, it has been called ‘Nature’s soap’. Soapberries work to reduce the surface tension in water to remove dirt and clean almost anything around the home.The berries contain nothing more then themselves, which means there are no chemicals, no packaging, they are grey water safe and can be composted at the end of their use. They come with a small cotton bag that is reused and nothing more!

Image from https://soapnuts.co.nz/natural-and-eco-friendly-detergent/soapnuts/what-are-soapnuts

LAUNDRY DETERGENT

Using Soapberries as a laundry detergent is the easiest way to use them as you simply put five soap berry shells in the small cotton bag provided, add a few drops of essential oils for desired smell (optional), throw into the washing machine with your clothes, and remove when finished. Those 5 shells can actually be used for 4-5 washes as well. They will slowly become thin and brittle, to which you can throw out, or better yet, add them to your compost bin to break down naturally.

MULTI-PURPOSE SPRAY

Soap berries can also be used as a multi-purpose spray. To do this, boil the berries for 15 minutes, drain the remaining liquid with a nut milk bag, pop it into a reusable spray bottle and your done!

ECONOMICAL

Eco-friendly cleaning products can be more expensive then your usual go-to cleaning product which is a shame as it is an important factor consumers consider when choosing cleaning products. That is why I love Soap berries all the more! They are very economical, costing only 10 cents per wash.

Get Yours Here from Biome or That Red House!

Thank you!

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and educate yourself on being more environmentally conscious in your home. Let me know what you think of these berries in the comment section below. I would love to know if you have used them and how they went!

Sources:

https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/how-toxic-are-your-household-cleaning-supplies

https://www.thatredhouse.com.au/

https://www.biome.com.au/soap-nuts/15377-soapberry-shells-250g-799439052888.html

Cut One Third of Your Waste by Doing this ONE Thing…

Cut One Third of Your Waste by Doing this ONE Thing…

There is a lot of talk nowadays about how we can better manage our waste more responsibly whether that is concerning single-use plastics, recycling or composting our waste.

It is talked about more undoubtedly due to the severe impact waste ending up in landfill has on our environment, specifically the significant amount of green house gas emissions landfill sites produce.

Not only that, but the population in Sydney, Australia and the rest of the world is rapidly increasing, with a global population estimate of 9 billion by 2050. When the population increases, so does our waste.

Finding where we can individually make small but meaningful changes in our day-to-day lives can make a big difference, especially if we help and educate one another.

In the Hills District, there is concern about the amount of waste we are contributing to landfill. The Resilient Sydney Report by The Hills Shire Council using data collected from 2016/17 found that The Hills Shire were contributing more residual and green waste per capital then the NSW average. To be more specific, residents within the Hills District generate 17% more residual waste per capital and 28% more green waste.

Weekly Household Waste Production

How Can We Reduce Our Waste Going to Landfill?

Read more

The WINNER of the Cattai Challenge is…..Leanne Tran!

The WINNER of the Cattai Challenge is…

The WINNER of the Cattai Challenge is…..Leanne Tran!!Her Eco-tip was Worm Farming! This enabled her to divert her household food waste from landfill and instead use it for her worms 🐛😁We are very excited to give away our Eco- Bundle to Leanne and we thank her for sharing with us her Eco-tip 💚

Posted by Cattai Hills Environment Network CHEN on Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Her Eco-tip was Worm Farming! This enabled her to divert her household food waste from landfill and instead use it for her worms.

We are very excited to give away our Eco- Bundle to Leanne and we thank her for sharing with us her Eco-tip.

Read more!

Day 14 of the 14 Day Cattai Challenge – Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day Everyone!

Today’s last and final Eco-tip is concerning the plastic endemic again!

When out food shopping, instead of using plastic bags to hold your fruit and vegetables, bring with you some Reusable Produce Bags!

The ones I have, from EVERECO are actually made from Recycled plastic water bottles! So that is another Eco bonus

These Produce Bags come with our Eco-bundle too, so be sure to post a photo of you helping your environment on our page by 5pm today to WIN our Eco-bundle!

Best of luck!

Day 13 of the 14 Day Cattai Challenge – Reduce Your Purchasing Habits

Day 13 of the 14 Day Cattai Challenge – Reduce Your Purchasing Habits

Today’s Eco Tip is about reducing our purchasing habits.

Clothing is a great example of an item that we purchase regularly, and it has been getting more regular as fast-fashion becomes more prone in our society. 

The production of clothing uses a lot of our natural resources such as land and water.

‘In fact, it takes on average 10,000 litres of water to cultivate just one kilogram of raw cotton Read more…

Day 12 of the 14 Day Cattai Challenge – Recycling your Soft Plastics

Day 12 of the 14 Day Cattai Challenge – Recycling your Soft Plastics

The Eco tip of the day is Recycling your Soft Plastics!♻️

Collect your soft plastics and return them to Coles or Woolworths, where they will be a bin waiting for your waste to be recycled!

Having ONE Bin in the household was the norm, where all our waste went straight to landfill. Nowadays there are other ways we can dispose of our waste more thoughtfully. 😁

Soft plastics include:
– Shopping bags including ‘green’ bags
– Fresh Fruit and Veggie bags and wrappers
– Bread bags
– Cereal box liners
– Biscuit wrappers and confectionary packaging
– Rice and pasta packets
– Frozen food bags

Day 12 of the 14 Day Cattai Challenge! The Eco tip of the day is Recycling your Soft Plastics!♻️ Collect your soft plastics and return them to Coles or Woolworths, where they will be a bin waiting for your waste to be recycled! Having ONE Bin in the household was the norm, where all our waste went straight to landfill. Nowadays there are other ways we can dispose of our waste more thoughtfully. 😁Soft plastics include: – Shopping bags including ‘green’ bags- Fresh Fruit and Veggie bags and wrappers- Bread bags- Cereal box liners- Biscuit wrappers and confectionary packaging- Rice and pasta packets – Frozen food bags

Posted by Cattai Hills Environment Network CHEN on Sunday, 19 April 2020

Day 11 of the 14 Day Cattai Challenge – Support an Organisation

Day 11 of the 14 Day Cattai Challenge – Support an Organisation

Today’s tip is all about supporting an organisation that is making fundamental change to Australia’s bush land.

I am donating to Bush Heritage Australia

“They buy and manage land for conservation and partner with Aboriginal groups and other land owners (such as farmers), to help them plan and achieve conservation goals on their land too”

Day 11 of the 14 Day Cattai Challenge!

Day 11 of the 14 Day Cattai Challenge!Today’s tip is all about supporting an organisation that is making fundamental change to Australia’s bush land! I am donating to Bush Heritage Australia!“They buy and manage land for conservation and partner with Aboriginal groups and other land owners (such as farmers), to help them plan and achieve conservation goals on their land too”Link to website: https://www.bushheritage.org.au/what-we-doIf there is an organisation that you have heard of and you love the work they are doing for the environment, help them out by donating, sharing their work on social media or even find out about volunteering opportunities!It’s a great way to help our local environment from home during isolation.If there is an organisation you love, please share it with us on our page! That can be your way of entering the Cattai Challenge as you help your local environment by spreading the good work of these organisations. 🌳😊

Posted by Cattai Hills Environment Network CHEN on Saturday, 18 April 2020

Link to website: https://www.bushheritage.org.au/what-we-do. You can also find them on Facebook and learn about the properties and species they encounter day to day on their Instagram @bushheritageaus.

If there is an organisation that you have heard of and you love the work they are doing for the environment, help them out by donating, sharing their work on social media or even find out about volunteering opportunities.

It’s a great way to help our local environment from home during isolation.

If there is an organisation you love, please share it with us on our page! That can be your way of entering the Cattai Challenge as you help your local environment by spreading the good work of these organisations. 

Day 9 of the 14 Day Cattai Challenge – Join a Bush care group

Day 9 of the 14 Day Cattai Challenge – Join a Bush care group

Today’s Eco- tip is to join your local Bush Care Group!

Day 9 of the 14 Day Cattai Challenge!

Day 9 of the 14 Day Cattai Challenge! Today’s Eco- tip is to join your local Bush Care Group!CHEN is offering the chance to be a part of a Bush Care Group at the Fred Caterson Reserve 😁This Bush Care group will involve bush regeneration activities along with other social activities such as:🌳 BBQ’s🌳 Bush Walks with detective trails 🌳 Yoga in Nature🌳 Tree planting🌳 Painting🌳 Bird Spotting🌳 Frog ID🌳 Tea leaf making The possibilities are endless! We hope to meet monthly. Of course during COVID19 we cannot begin meeting up for these bushcare activities just yet but in the mean time we would love to know who would want to be involved once isolation is lifted!If you would like to receive more information about joining a Bush Care group in the near future, please comment below and we will send you some details! If you would like to join another Bush Care group in a different area, click this link to find more existing groups near you!https://www.thehills.nsw.gov.au/Services/Environmental-Management/Bushcare/Join-a-Bushcare-Group

Posted by Cattai Hills Environment Network CHEN on Thursday, 16 April 2020

CHEN is offering the chance to be a part of a Bush Care Group at the Fred Caterson Reserve 😁

This Bush Care group will involve bush regeneration activities along with other social activities such as:

BBQ’s
Bush Walks with detective trails
Yoga in Nature
Tree planting
Painting
Bird Spotting
Frog ID
Tea leaf making

The possibilities are endless! We hope to meet monthly. Of course during COVID19 we cannot begin meeting up for these bushcare activities just yet but in the mean time we would love to know who would want to be involved once isolation is lifted!

If you would like to receive more information about joining a Bush Care group in the near future, please comment below and we will send you some details!

If you would like to join another Bush Care group in a different area, click this link for Hills Bushcare to find more existing groups near you!

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