Our Patch

Sustainability & hope

Apr 6th, 2020 | By

This isn’t the column I wanted to write.

I was back on my bike, back on the road again. Last year I cycled from Cape Reinga to my home in the Waikato. I was continuing the journey this year, heading for Wellington.

When I left home, the coronavirus – Covid-19 – had barely a toehold here. But that changed rapidly as I pedaled slowly along, everyday further from home.

Enticing Easter treat

Apr 1st, 2020 | By
Easter Eggs Benny

Easter, a time when religious and cultural traditions are observed around the world, is also a time of moveable feasts of traditional foods.

Hot Cross buns, a favourite with New Zealanders, are supposed to be eaten only on Good Friday, never at any other time of the year. But popularity can overcome tradition. This sweet treat is versatile:

PCs in coronavirus fight

Mar 17th, 2020 | By

Somewhat surprisingly, heating your room with a computer is as efficient, energy-wise, as heating it with a regular heater – that is to say, watt-for-watt, the computer delivers equivalent performance in terms of generating heat.

And while it’s heating your room it can be used by researchers to fight disease – like the coronavirus, Covid-19.

Cookbook tastes Waikato

Mar 12th, 2020 | By

Taste Waikato — a cookbook that takes your tastebuds around our region — was conceived as a fund-raiser for Rotary Cambridge and is proving to be a great success.

Offering easy, innovative recipes created and photographed by Cambridge-based food professional Jan Bilton it has so far raised $39,000 for local charities.

Online trust misplaced

Feb 24th, 2020 | By

Who can you trust online?

In a recent expose, Vice, a prominent online lifestyle and technology magazine, showed that antivirus company Avast was collecting and selling all of its free users’ web browsing data to other companies such as Microsoft, Google and many others.

This means that the company had basically unlimited access to information about your online life.

Beyond economic growth

Feb 14th, 2020 | By

“Get out there and head for the mall – it’s your economic duty” was the headline in a comment piece by editor, Liam Dann, in the business section of The New Zealand Herald.

Stewart tries to get his economic questions answered[/caption]
It noted that after cutting interest rates to an all-time low, Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr was calling for consumers to spend more and businesses to invest more. So Dann urged us on. “Get out there this weekend and have some fun, buy those new shoes,” he exhorted. “You’ll be doing your bit for the economy.”

Being averse to shopping, I dropped him a note instead.

Books that inspire eco-action

Jan 24th, 2020 | By

Sustainability. I rattle on about it regularly. It’s a big topic, broad and deep. When I read on the subject, I’m in search of new ideas. Always on the lookout for real answers to the challenges we face.

Two writers I have long admired are Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein. Both are authors and activists. Both are eloquent and inspiring.

What computer should I buy?

Jan 23rd, 2020 | By

What kind of computer do I need?

To answer that let’s start with what most computer-users use computers for.

The most common five activities are: editing documents, checking email, going to websites, looking at or storing their photos, and playing games.

Re-imagining our world

Jan 8th, 2020 | By

A movement of communities coming together to re-imagine and rebuild our world.

That’s the catch phrase and explainer for the Transition Network. The network grew out of the Transition Towns initiative established in the UK in 2006.The emphasis is on sustainability, resilience and local self-reliance in the face of a growing climate crisis.

“It’s a bottom-up, community-led action,” says founder Rob Hopkins.

Have a waterwise summer

Nov 24th, 2019 | By

Waterwise gardeners have fewer weeds, stronger plants and a more vibrant garden ecology.

Here are six of our top tips for saving time and water in the garden.