Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Environmentality 19 December 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Smokey and Jaime were joined by our resident gardening expert, Jodi Jackson today to discuss caring for your garden during the holidays.

The important message Jodi would like to share is that if you go away and leave your garden, it is important to prepare your garden beforehand! Here are some of her tips:

 - Provide your garden beds with an extra sprinkle of blood and bone, chicken manure pellets or rock dust.
 - Plants in pots need additional feeding compared to plants in soil.
 - Conserve water by stacking pots together, which keeps sun off the edge of pots.  If pots heat up on the outside from sunlight and heat, the roots of plant can be literally, 'cooked'.
 - Mulching provides beneficial nutrients to the straw, for example pea straw provides nitrogen to plants once it is broken down in the soil. Be careful with gumtree and pine tree leaves and bark, both of which have grown inhibitors contained within them
 - Don't scatter pots around a large garden, as you may forget to water some of them.  Don't stack pots together on the northern or western sides of your property. The exceptions this rule are a) you have a large pot with a hardy plant like a succulent, b) if it is an irrigated pot or c) there is shade on the northern side.
  - A good tip is to use a colourful stake to help garden carers to pay special attention to watering your 'needy' plant.
 - Water timers can be purchased for as little as $30, and can be used with batteries.
 - It is useful to purchase plants from a variety of nurseries, which minimises the risk of plant disease and fungal issues affecting all of your plants.
 - Rhubarb plants are heavy feeders and best cared for by providing heavy amounts of manure around each plant, the worms take care of the rest!
- Share and document your observations about your local garden and area on www.natureshare.org.au

Jodi is making broad bean dip from her crop, now safely frozen, whereby you blanche the inside part of each broad bean, then crush them with olive oil, garlic, pepper and paprika. She is also making a roasted carrot and avocado dip, which is delicious with toasted chiabata bread.

Today the following tunes were played:
  Sultans of Ping - Where's My Jumper
  Joey Ramone - I Couldn't Sleep At All
  Zelenuft - Beta Zolar

Thankyou to Jodi for providing such fantastic insight.  We will hear more from Jodi next year, and will also continue to follow the Lemon Tree Project.  We wish all listeners a Merry Christmas and festive season, we hope you will listen in again to Environmentality 98.9FM in the New Year!

Environmentality 12 December 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Jaime and Smokey have been joined by a new co-presenter, Ahmed, and we look forward to having his fresh perspective on the show!

Environmentality reflected on important milestones in the establishment of climate change science, which can be traced to 1827 when Jean-Baptistse Fourier first used a 'greenhouse analogy' in relation to earth weather warming.  New Scientist recently published an article detailing this milestone and many others in reference to climate change science, recommended reading for Environmentality listeners.    The New Scientist website has information about climate change and the climate change science timeline article on their website: www.newscientist.com/topic/climate-change

Next week will be the last for the year and we hope you can listen in to Environmentality 98.9 FM then. Thankyou to Alicia, our wonderful Production Coordinator who has done a remarkable job for the Environmentality team.  She is sadly leaving the show and we wish her all the best in her future endeavours!

The excellent music played today included:
   Velvet Underground - Waiting for my Man
   The Go Betweens - The House Jack Kerouac Built
   The Presets - Ghosts

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Environmentality 5 December 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Smokey and Jaime had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Robins, Project Manager of Sustainable Table, to discuss sustainable eating and her latest book, Seasonal Regional.

The Sustainable Table is a non-for-profit organisation that aims to help understand how people impact significantly on the environment simply through their food choices.  In fact, 60% of our eco footprint in Australia relates to our choices about food.

As Sarah shared with listeners, it is easy for people to miss the larger environmental impact around food production.  For example, the transport, storage and packaging of food all have an impact on the environment to varying degrees. In particular, a large part of our eco footprint is largely connected to eating meat products, which utilises a large amount of our natural resources in animal feed, water and land.

Image Courtesy of Sustainable Table
Eating locally produced, in-season, organic and/or biodynamic products, all help to reduce our environmental footprint, and eating this way is actually healthier for people too!  If you are a meat eater, choose free-range and grass fed meats from ethical meat suppliers.  Also, demand and choose sustainable seafood and fish (a guide can be found here: www.sustainableseafood.org.au).

As Jaime said, choosing to eat sustainably reflects the 'environmentality way'... namely a small change in our behaviour can be better for the world and environment, but also better for your life!

In Australia, the 'Meat Free Monday' campaign was recently launched.  It will help people to consider where they are sourcing their meat and seafood from, and reflect on the environmental  impact of their food consumption choices.

Sarah Robin's book Seasonal Regional has references to 69 food producers in Victoria, featuring plenty of vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes, helping to inspire sustainable culinary creations.  A second edition of Sarah Robin's first book The Sustainable Table is also available for purchase, with proceeds helping to fund Sustainable Table projects.   Either of these fantastic books would make great Christmas gifts!

You can find these books and more information about the organisation at: www.sustainabletable.org.au.   Thankyou to Sarah for speaking on Environmentality 98.9 FM.  If you missed the show a podcast will be available shortly.

The following excellent tunes were played:
   - Tricky - Black Steel (Been Caught Steeling Mix)
   - David Bowie - Ashes to Ashes (guest choice!)
   - Derwent River Star - Paradise Motel
   - Rialto - Monday Morning 5.19

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Environmentality November 28 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Jaime, Smokey and Sarah had the pleasure of interviewing Ben Sanders, Community Conservation Officer from Zoos Victoria to discuss the Beads for Wildlife campaign.

Zoos Victoria is responsible for the Melbourne Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Zoo.  Zoos Victoria undertake conservation work and run a number of fantastic campaigns, including the Beads for Wildlife campaign.  See: www.zoo.org.au

Image Courtesy of Zoos Victoria

The campaign supports communities in Meleko in Northern Kenya to make beaded work that is available for sale from Zoos Victoria, online and at the various zoo locations.   Around 600 women from the communities are producing beaded products, an alternative source of income to utilising the ever threatened natural resources.  70% of the profit generated from the beaded products goes directly to the women.

Ben visited the area and could see how interrelated people and the wildlife are in Meleko.  The people are the custodians of the wildlife.  Northern Kenya is currently in a drought situation, putting an extra strain on the natural resources.  Communities are supported via the program in conservation by having an alternative income apart from for example animal hunting or utilising the trees and vegetation.

The beaded work itself is beautiful, ranging from jewellery through to ornamental pieces, all of which make great christmas gifts! Order online here:  http://shop.zoo.org.au/shop/beads-for-wildlife.html

Thankyou to Ben for sharing with us details about this wonderful program.  If you missed the show, a podcast will be available shortly. 

We played:

  Dog on Wheels - Belle & Sebastian
  Velvet Underground & Nico - I'll be Your Mirror
  Shane Nicholson & Kasey Chambers - The Quiet Life

Monday, November 26, 2012

Environmentality 21 November 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Jaime, Smokey and Sarah were joined by our resident gardening expert, Jodi Jackson, to discuss what everyone loves to grow and eat, tomatoes.

We recommend that you listen to the podcast as Jodi has many great tips and pointers that will help your tomato plants produce a bountiful crop.  And it is still not too late to plant your tomatoes! Here is a summary of Jodi's tips:

  1. Get your soil pH right through using a soil test kit.  This will help you determine whether your soil is towards the acid or alkaline side of the scale.  Tomatoes are acid loving plants and thrive in pH 5.5 soils.  Other plants tend to prefer netural pH soil.  Chook poo, mushroom compost and well rotted manure - these are examples of matter which all promote soil acidity.
  2. Jodi grows tomatoes commercially and has developed a method to promote root growth and strong plants.  Seedlings are planted whereby 2/3 of the stem is under the soil, and excess shoots are removed.  Only the top 1/3 of the tomato plant and folliage remains.  Jodi has had success with this method, however controversial!
  3. Ensure lots of organic matter, compost and a fist full of rock dust is dug into the soil before planting your tomato plant.  Rock dust acts like a slow release fertiliser.
  4. Brown marks at the bottom of a plant is a sign of dry soil.  Dig in more organic matter around the plant and mulch heavily with straw.  The leaves will tell you how moist the soil is. 
  5. A sprinkle of potash around the plants feeds them and sets the flowers and fruit.  Blood and bone is another useful top dress.
  6. Jodi using three stakes per plant.  One is the 'leader' in the middle, and guides two lateral shoots along the other stakes.  
  7. An organic bacteria non toxic spray (BT spray) can be used to deter white cabbage butterfly.
  8. You can make new plants with off shoots lower down the stem from your existing tomato plants.

Image by Y. Larratt

Some upcoming events:
- Bright Industries are hosing a non-for-profit event selling donated plants at Dallas Drive, Broadmeadows on Saturday the 1st December.
- Jodi will be demonstrating how to make tomato plant cuttings at the Craigieburn Gardens 10-12pm on Sunday 2nd December.
-  The Hume Indigenous Group are hosting a once a year event on Wednesday 12 December, 78-81 Pearcedale Rd Broadmeadows 10-2pm.  There will be DIY activities, raffle, music and more.

We played the following excellent tunes:

Astrid - Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Love - The Red Telephone
Grizzly Bear - Southern Point
Sweet Dreams - The Grates

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Environmentality 31st October 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Following on from last week Smokey and Sarah are discussing top ten environmental successes based from a list has compiled by Joe Laur from Greenopolis.

This week we will start from Number 1….

1.     Cleaner Water

As they say, water is the essence of life.  Without water, especially clean water, all life on earth cannot exist.  The necessity of having clean water and waterways has been the element of change for working towards a cleaner and greener earth, it has been one of the largest worldwide challenges to overcome and it also links in with social justice and human rights issues.  Policies implemented in many countries across the globe have helped with the clean up of our water sources and waterways enabling us to have access to clean water and ultimately befitting our environment.  Technologies such as being able to treat wastewater have helped to assist the world to become a cleaner and greener place.

2.     Pollution Prevention

Pollution prevention is a way to describe actions that decrease the amount of pollution produced by a process; this could be consumer consumption, industrial production or even driving a car.  Over recent years pollution prevention strategies we have seen are lead removed from petrol, household recycling bins, green chemistry, renewable energy generation and cradle to cradle design to name a few.  This has allowed high numbers of pollutants taken away and have saved not only lives but our environment as well.

3.     Cleaner Air

I am sure most of us remember growing up the issue of the hole in the ozone layer, and the monumental international agreement of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.  Without international co-operation the ozone layer would not have had a chance to recover (it is expected to recover by 2050).  The protocol has been reviewed several times to ensure that our air is cleaner and we have fewer pollutants entering our lungs or the atmosphere. 

4.     Renewable Energy

We all know what renewable energy is now days, right?...We now drive along our streets to see solar panels on houses and see the ‘green energy’ options on our power bills.  Renewable energy can come from many natural resources including sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal.  Increased climate change concerns and high prices of oil, coal and energy production have lad to governments and communities taking action increasing and supporting the push for renewable energy supply and consumption. 

5.     Removing Toxins

The removal of toxins in items we use everyday such as in insect spray and fertilizers have not only saved lives it has also saved the environment and animal species.  Toxins are still found in items we use everyday like BPA in plastics and there has been a large community push to remove these toxins so we can lead healthier lives.  Toxins are also released into the environment as items such as plastics break down, it is said that the mix of plastics and seawater release toxins into sea creatures and ultimately affecting the food web.

6.     International Co-operation

As mentioned above international co-operation is necessary for us to be able to combat issues such as climate change.  The world is all connected and does not recognize borders; pollutants don’t check in with customs!  In recent years international organisations such as the United Nations have been working towards international treaties to combat climate change.  Some say that the conventions have not meant anything or lead to substantial change.  International dialogue increases governments to cooperate and work together to take action towards combating climate change and environmental issues.

7.     The Rise of Grassroots

Grassroots organisations and movements are often formed at a local level to address concerns of an issue affecting the community.  A lot of the issues grassroots organisations and movements are working towards get higher exposure than before with the help of technologies such as the internet, this results in a higher number of movement moving from a local concern to a global issue.  This means that a concern facing a small community on the other side of the world can now have a larger backing and audience from the other side of the world.  This phenomena has assisted greater partnerships between grassroots organisations and non-government organisations, governments to international organisations such as the UN.  We are becoming a global community.

8.     Putting Pollution on the Balance Sheet

By placing pollution on the balance sheet this has allowed business to reduce the levels of pollutants, what business wants to look like they are polluters?  This incentive trades pollutants and places a price on them it can cost $1600 per ton to emit Sulfur Dioxide, that’s a lot of money going up in the air.

9.     Reporting and Transparency

Joe Laur from Greenopolis highlights Back in the ‘80s, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said that if we required industries to report their release of toxins publically, the problem would begin to correct itself.  U.S. industries have reduced TRI emissions on the Toxics Release inventory (TRI) by 50–75% since 1988. No CEO wants to be Number 1 on a toxic release list.  The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) are working towards making environmental and social reporting as common as financial reporting. 

Last but defiantly not least…

10. You Woke up and Gave a Damn!

This is where we as environmentality listeners come into play; you and your fellow community members are responsible for social change, without you the drive for a more sustainable future would be lost.  For generations we have been working towards a cleaner and greener future and keep up the good work!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Environmentality 24th October 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Jaime, Smokey and Sarah are exploring the top ten environmental disasters based from Time Magazine’s Time Lists.

Lets start from number ten…

10.  Three Mile Island

On March 28th 1979 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor partly melted down.  This disaster ignited fears surrounding the nuclear power industry.  Time magazine highlights that although this was known as one of America’s worst nuclear disasters, nothing really happened.  There were no fatalities and the operation is still producing nuclear power today.  Funnily enough, this disaster coincided with the release of the Jane Fonda movie “The China Syndrome”, which is a film that explores the nuclear power industry and the cover-ups of a nuclear power plant.

9.  Minamata Disease

Minimata is a town located on an island named Kyushu in Japan.  Over several years locals had witnessed unusual behaviour amongst animals, predominantly domestic cats.  Time magazine describes the felines would unexpectedly convulse and at times leap to their deaths into the ocean.  The residents referred to this phenomenon as “cat dancing disease”.  The first human who contracted Minamata disease was in 1956.  The symptoms of the disease encompassed convulsions, slurred speech, loss of motor functions and uncontrollable limb movements.  Upon exploration into the disease it was identified that it was a result of industrial poisoning of Minamata Bay by the plastic manufacturer Chisso Corperation, which in turn was one of the town’s largest employers.  In the wastewater pollution it was found to have large amounts of mercury and additional heavy metals, which found its way into fish and shellfish and in turn was a large component of the local diet.  As a result thousands of residents have experienced symptoms of the disease with some people dying as a consequence of the pollution.  There has been slow progress in receiving compensation for the local town people.

8.  Seveso Dioxin Cloud

In the Italian town of Seveso on the 10th July 1976 an explosion of a chemical plant discharged a thick white cloud of dioxin.  Dioxins are highly toxic by products of industrial activities, and are known to be environmental contaminants and can penetrate organinc matter such as humans, animals, soils and flora.  About a month after the dioxin cloud settled on Seveso Time Magazine had reported that a farmer had witnessed his cat die before his eyes, upon picking up his deceased cat its tail fell off.  When the cat was exhumed for investigation the only remains of the cat was its skull.  Approximately four days after the disaster humans began to feel symptoms from the poisoning as a result of the dioxin being released.  People started exhibiting nausea, blurred vision and, especially among children, the disfiguring sores of a skin disease known as chloracne. 

7.  The Aral Sea

The Aral Sea is located between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and is known for its “graveyard of ships”.  The once thriving Aral Sea was decimated after the 1960’s Soviet irrigation project resulting in the diversion of numerous source watercourses causing the formerly fourth largest lake on earth decreasing the Aral Sea to 90% of its earlier glory.  The area is now a desert that creates salt and sand storms that kill plant life and has damaging effects on Humans and animals alike.  The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon toured the area in April 2010 and witnessed the rusting former fishing trawlers and other vessels are now slowly rusting away in a new dessert that stretches for miles.  Ban Ki-Moon commented; "It is clearly one of the worst disasters, environmental disasters of the world. I was so shocked."

6.  Tokaimura Nuclear Plant

At the time, this was Japan’s worst nuclear disaster.  On the 30th September 1999 at the town of Tokaimura, three workers had incorrectly mixed a uranium solution resulting in a “blue flash”, one worker was knocked unconscious and the others were nauseated and their hands and faces were bright crimson.  While killing two of the workers hundreds of other people were exposed to several levels of radiation.

5.  The Exxon Valdez

The evening of the 24th March 1989 saw the oil tanker Exxon Valdez run aground on the Bligh Reef located in Alaska’s Prince William Sound.  10.8 million gallons of oil started spilling out into the unspoiled waters, ultimately distributing the oil across 500 miles across the coastline.  This oil slick killed and injured thousands of sea and land wildlife such as birds, otters, seals and fish.  At the time the Exxon Valdez incident was named the worst man made environmental disaster in U.S history.  Thousands of people organised to clean up the huge disaster. 

4.  Love Canal

The love Canal is located near America’s Niagara Falls in the state of New York.  Hundreds of residential dwellings and a school are located in the area and were built upon 21 000 tons of toxic waste.  In the 1940’s and 1950’s the industrial waste was buried by a local company and over several years the waste started “bubbling” up into backyards and basements.  By 1978 the issue was inescapable and the local residents sold off their properties to the federal government and left the area.  This disaster initiated the foundation of the Super Fund Program that assists the clean up of toxic waste locations.

3.  Kuwaiti Oil Fires

At the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War Saddam Hussein sent in his troops to blow up the Kuwaiti oil wells.  His theory was if he couldn’t benefit from the profits from the oil no one else can.  Roughly 600 wells were set alight and were burning for seven months, throughout this time black rain fell and lakes of oil were formed.  With the mix of oil, soot, sand and gravel this resulted in a layer of “tarcrete” hardening the surface of 5% of the country.  Thousand of wildlife and livestock perished as a result of the oil fires.

2.  Bhopal

The region of Bhopal, India was the recipient of an accident from the Union Carbide Pesticide Plant on the end of December 1984.  The accident released 45 tons of poisonous methyl isocyanate across the region resulting in thousands of deaths within hours, and around 15 000 over the next few months.  Over 500 000 people being affected by this disaster resulting in blindness, organ failure, awful bodily malfunctions and birth defects.  The corporation paid out half a billion dollars to the “victims” of the accident, with some people saying that this amount of money is not large enough to cover the cost of the decades long magnitude of the issue.

And now for number one...

1.     Chernobyl

In the town of Chernobyl in the Ukraine on the 26th April 1986 a reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant had exploded.  The explosion caused a nuclear meltdown and propelled enormous amounts of radiation into the atmosphere, to put this into perspective, it was said that the fallout was larger than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki incidents combined.  The radiation drifted across what was then Soviet Russia and toward Europe resulting in thousand of children becoming ill particularly with thyroid cancer.  Still to this day there is an off limits zone of a 20 mile radius from the plant. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Environmentality 17 October 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Jaime and Sarah were joined by our resident gardening expert, Jodi Jackson, to discuss her top 10 herbs to grow in the garden, and gardening tips for limited spaces.

Jodi's top ten herbs for growing at home:

1. Parsley - grows all through the year, in many locations.  Easy to re-establish once has seeded.

Flat Leaf Parsley, Image by Y.Larratt
2. Chives - great for salads and sauces. Can use flowers as a garnish.

3. Dill - works well in salads and with fish. Easy to grow.

4. Mint - great in salads and Asian cuisine, again very easy to grow. If it starts to 'take over', you can always just pull it out!

5. Chervil - a relative of parsley and carrot, it has a mild aniseed flavour. Can be used in soups, salads and dressings.

6. Rosemary - very easy to grow, likes dry conditions. Great with garlic on bread!

Rosemary, Image by Y. Larratt

7. Oregano - very easy to propagate through breaking of small 'branches'. Cut it back in late autumn/winter then it will bounce back in spring.

8. Basil - versatile and delicious fresh. Need we say more about this wonderful herb!

9.Thyme - hardy plant, will look after itself.

Thyme, Image by Y.Larratt

10. Bay leaf - extremely versatile in a range of cooked dishes.

Delicious coriander just missed out on Jodi's top 10 list, due to it being a little more difficult to grow!

Jodi has her own website : www.everydayinthegarden.com where you can find out more about spring gardening.

For small spaces Jodi recommends:
- Pot stacking, whereby pots are placed in a tiered layout, allowing varying spaces for shade and moisture.  Plants that enjoy the sun and dry conditions can be placed on the top.
- Vertical design gardens are also great to save space and look fantastic.
- Potted plants require extra care, feeding, mulching and watering.

Jodi will be hosting the following free garden workshops:
  • 'Veggies to Plant in Spring'. Tuesday 23rd October. Roxborough Park Community Garden 12-2pm.
  • 'Controlling Pests in the Garden'.  Friday 2nd of November. Meadows Primary School, Gerbet Street, Broadmeadows 10-12pm.
Other upcoming events include:
  • The Broadmeadows and District Garden Club 2012 Spring Show on 20th October -21st October, at Wiseman House Cnr Melbourne Ave and Widford St Glenroy.   Will feature different plants, orchids, roses and a sausage sizzle! Entry costs is $2.
  • The Lemon Tree Project is hosting a community information session, featuring guest speakers, a short film and refreshments. The objective of the project is to have a communal lemon tree and park bench on as many streets as possible. Wednesday 24th of October Cragieburn Hume Global Learning Centre from 7pm.

Songs played on the show include:
  Portishead - Wandering Star
  Feist -  When I was a Young Girl
  Astrid Gilberto
  The Wailin' Jennys - Arlington

Listen to the show!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Environmentality 10 October 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Today was a very relaxed show, with co-presenters Smokey, Jaime and Sarah enjoying the opportunity to play lots of great music and discuss news and current events of relevance to the environment.

Banksia Gardens are hosting a Sustainability Workshop, held at 71 Pearcedale Pde Broadmeadows on the 17th of October 6-8pm.  Brainstorming is taking place and working groups are being formed about environmental initiatives for the area.   This is a great opportunity to get involved in environmental projects relevant to Hume and the North West region.

Some of the topics discussed on the program included:
  • New modelling of the Murray Darling Basin floodplains show irrigators might not have to give up as much water as first thought, at 3,200 gigalitres a year as opposed to 4,000 gigalitres. This is good news towards coming to an agreement amongst basin stakeholders.
  • Protests continue about the gas pipe proposal by Woodside Petroleum at James Price Point, an environmentally sensitive area. The area is a breeding ground and thoroughfare for humpback whales and other marine life, and has the longest chain of dinosaur footprints in the world.
Environmentality is open to ideas about topics to discuss on the show and people we can interview.  Do you know of an environmental program that needs promoting or someone of  interest working in the area of sustainability?  It may be your neighbour, it may even be yourself!  Leave a message on this blog or text message 0447777989.  We would love to hear from you.

Music played today included:
Julian Cope - Reynard the Fox
The Pale Saints - Baby Maker
Dave Graney - Playin' Chicken
Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition
Ainslie Wills - Stop Pulling the String
The Jezabels - Mace Spray

Listen to the show!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Environmentality 3 October 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Smokey, Jaime and Sarah hosted the show with guests Robyn, Editor from Renew Magazine and Scott Parker, General Manager, Corporate Affairs & Marketing from Jemena.

Renew Magazine is a quarterly publication that features articles on renewable energy technology and fuels, DIY projects and sustainable building.   Renew have a new editor, Robyn, who shared with listeners an overview of the current issue.

The articles covered in the October -December 2012 issue include energy efficiency, the future of energy generation companies, grid interactive wind turbines, choosing regulators for independent power systems, future technology in sustainability and  a renewable energy courses guide.  Find out more on their website and obtain a subscription:  http://renew.org.au

Further along in the show Scott Parker from Jemena talked about the introduction of voluntary flexible pricing in Victoria.  The smart meter roll out means that customers are able to reduce their electricity bills through taking more control of their usage.

Customers using flexible pricing will be able to shift using their appliances from peak times, to off peak times.  For example, customer would be able to save in electricity costs by using their washing machines on the weekends or at night as opposed to weekdays.

Jemena has an electricity outlook portal which means customers can compare different electricity retailers to obtain the best prices, monitor electricity usage, set electricity usage targets and install a device to get information about 'real time' electricity usage.

As Smokey commented, this is ultimately good news as with better management of electricity usage by customers, the demand curve will be flattened making electricity generation more efficient.  Information can be obtained here: https://electricityoutlook.jemena.com.au/

Find out more about topics discussed on show by listening to the podcast.  Some excellent tunes were played:
Astrid Gilberto - The Girl from Ipanema
Daniel Johnston & Yo La Tengo - Speeding Motorcycle
Feist - Gatekeeper

Listen to the show!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Environmentality 26 September 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Jaime and Smokey were joined in the studio by the wonderful Amadis Lacheta, Business Efficiency Network (BEN) Officer from the Hume City Council to talk about business and sustainability.  Amadis is also a composer and member of the Daquqi Trio, and listeners were treated to hearing this incredible music through the show.

Amadis shared details about the Business Efficiency Network (BEN).   BEN works to create partnerships between the Hume Council and businesses to reduce their operating costs and environmental impact.   They means in which this is done is through:

  • Forums for businesses on industry specific topics.
  • Coordinating funding initiatives support environmental impact reduction.
  • Coordinating business programs that support environmental impact reduction.
  • Networking opportunities.

The types of environmental programs focused on include areas such as industrial ecology, energy efficiency and renewable energy.  BEN is proving successful with between 200-500 members, regular forums and opportunities for businesses to collaborate and reduce their environmental impact.

The next upcoming event hosted by BEN includes the Sustainability in Hospitality Forum on the 27th of November at the Hume Global Centre.  BEN will also participate at the 4th Australasian Ecology Conference on the 14th-16th of November, with a theme of plastics in 2012.

Find out more about the programs of BEN here:  http://www.hume.vic.gov.au/Business_Major_Projects/Business_Networking_Training/Business_Sustainability

Environmentality is asking business owners in Hume:  What is your business doing in terms of sustainability or reducing environmental impact?  We are giving away some fantastic books about sustainability including 'The Ecology of Commerce' and others.   Tell us about the actions your business has taken towards sustainability.  Environmentality will reward the most outstanding businesses with one of these books.

As mentioned, Amadis also happens to be an accomplished pianist and composer of contemporary classical music!  Listeners were privileged to have the opportunity to listen to some of her beautiful compositions and music as part of the Daquqi trio.  The Daquqi trio comprises piano, double bass and the viola.  Tracks were played from "The Lift Equation" and a live recording of "January/The Months" from the Darebin Music Festival in 2012.  See www.daquqi.com for more details.

Finally, we have a new recruit to the Environmentality team, Sarah Schefe, and we look forward to hearing more from her over the coming weeks.   Remember you can listen to the podcast if you missed the show.

Listen to the show!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Environmentality 19 September 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Jaime and Yolande had the pleasure of being joined by two guests in the studio, firstly Jodi for our monthly 'Garden Times' session, followed by Emily Dunstan from Zoos Victoria.

Jodi has just returned from a very exciting trip to Germany where she gathered much inspiration for garden displays and decoration, cooking and more.  Some of what Jodi talked about in regards to her trip included:
  • The joys of foraging for wild hazlenuts and blackberries.
  • Discovering rare and exciting heirloom apples, pears and grapes.  
  • Learning more about regional recipes.
  • Visiting Shrebergartens and permaculture gardens. 
Jodi spoke about these interesting topics in detail and we encourage you to listen to the podcast to find out more. We will also post some of her photos on this blog, stay tuned!

Jodi also gave listeners an update on gardening in September and beyond.  Here are some tips:
  • Feed strawberry plants with chook manure, blood and bone and /or rock dust.  The first crop always yields the largest, juiciest strawberries.
  • Salvias can be cut back by a third.
  • Summer herbs and vegetables are ready to be sowed.
  • Flowers are also ready to be sowed!
  • Pot flowers in beds for attractive displays.  Jodi recommends Sweet Alyssums, Brachyscome, Geraniums, Impatiens, Lobelias, Marigolds, Pansies, Petunias, Plectranthus, Sedums.
Next up, we welcomed Emily Dunstan, General Manager of Community Conservation at Zoos Victoria, to talk about their 'Don't Palm Us Off' campaign.  The production of palm oil is a leading cause of deforestation in South East Asia, threatening the habitat and survival of orang-utans and other endangered species.

Image Courtesy of Zoos Victoria

It is currently very difficult for Australian consumers to tell whether there is palm oil in their food as it is most often labelled as 'vegetable oil'.   The research varies, but a current estimate is that around 50% of packaged food in Australia contains palm oil.   Emily also talked about the fact that palm oil is contained in many cosmetics and cleaning products.

The Don't Palm Us Off campaign is advocating for mandatory labelling of palm oil products in Australia and New Zealand.  Consumers then are able to choose products that are labelled 'certified sustainable palm oil' (CSPO).   To find out more about the campaign and what you can do to help, go to:

The following classic tunes were played:
  Nina Simone - I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free (Released)
  Otis Redding - Sitting on the Dock of the Bay (The Very Best of Nina Simone)
  The Beatles - What Goes On (Rubber Soul)
  Elvis - A Little Less Conversation (30 #1 Hits)

Listen to the show!
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