This is your captain speaking. We‚Äôre running out of fuelūü™ā Plus, how to make your own nifty dog toys

I was chatting to my mate Alberto the assistance dog the other day. He had the weirdest experience while taking a flight with his owner...

"Good morning, and welcome aboard. This is your captain speaking. As we load the last of your luggage, please fasten your seatbelts for take-off.

We are fully booked for today's flight, so please sit in your allocated seat. Unfortunately, we predict we don't have enough fuel on board to reach our destination. Once the seat belt signs have been switched off, we kindly ask all passengers with science or engineering experience to report to the cabin crew. We'll need you to adapt the plane to run on air, clothes, or any other material you can find on board.

Now, please ensure you give the cabin crew your full attention for the safety demonstration. We expect to come down over water, so take a moment to learn how to use your life jacket and deter sharks.

Your inflight movies for today will be Jaws and Kiss the Ground. Your meal will include peas grown in Turkey, plastic-wrapped in New Zealand and served in Australia. Extra delicious from all the air miles they've racked up.

That's all from me for now. We wish you a pleasant flight…and swim."

Anyway, turns out it was just a rogue pilot doing a little thought experiment. I think he laid out peas for thought in a setting of urgency, which is on point.

Alberto got the point; with no non-human life jackets on board, he would have had to doggy paddle his way out of trouble! So once the plane landed safely, he did his research.

Alberto learned Humans underestimate the amount of energy needed for stuff.

He dug up N.J Hagens, who coined the term 'Energy Blind', which perfectly describes how human culture treats energy.  

Humans consume stuff, accumulate stuff, throw away stuff, and then repeat. And assume this can continue forever, like every plane having enough fuel to reach its destination.

Until it doesn't.

But a life with less stuff could be the ticket to a safer landing. Also known as 'Voluntary Simplicity', it's not as scary as it sounds. And, sharing, repairing and swapping stuff is an opportunity too.

Three licks for the rogue Pilot!


‚ÄėAndre, I want to have less stuff, but my dog Rosie loves toys.¬† What can I do?'

Great question! Luckily, us dogs aren’t too fussy when it comes to toys. It doesn’t need to be the newest shiny plastic contraption to keep us entertained.
And while there‚Äôs a tonne of businesses making eco-friendly dog toys, you can Play Nice with the Planet ¬ģ¬†by getting crafty and making¬†playthings from materials around your home.

  • Cut up old clothes, towels or cloths and braid them into tug toys
  • Stuff a plastic bottle in an old sock for a fun and crunchy toy
  • Cut holes in a cardboard box and fill it with treats for a puzzle toy

Keep reading to meet the repair folk who can help you mend your existing toys or turn some old trash into Rosie’s new treasure.


  1. Technology can save us. If we stop the clock {link}
  2. Live well with less stuff, it will surprise you {link}
  3. Want to think like your dog? Digging deep into how dogs tick {link}



A supermarket in Germany has stopped selling eggs in single-use packaging. Instead, customers buy a reusable plastic carton which gets the eggs safe from supermarket to kitchen.

The idea is customers store their egg container with their reusable shopping bags, ready to go again next time.
The cartons have space for up to ten eggs and customers pay by the egg, rather than in multiples of six. This means folks can buy what they need, reducing food waste as well.



Fixable is a free online platform that helps you repair and reuse your stuff. As a community member, you might learn to fix your toaster, stitch up your jeans, or find someone to mend your phone.
Based in Australia, similar initiatives are popping up in the UK (The Restart Project), New Zealand (Repair Cafe) and around the world.


That's all for this month, I'm off for a doggy paddle!

See you in October.

Howling out,


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