Friday, June 29, 2012

Environmentality 27 June 2012

Dear Listeners,

It was just like old times, with the original crew Smokey and Jaime joining together to host the show.  They had the pleasure of interviewing Jarrod Sferruzzi from the Australian Student Environmental Network (ASEN).

ASEN is a network of 38 university environmental collectives across Australia.  Individual state networks also link with the collectives.  ASEN utilises a decentralized approach, whereby different networks may chose to be part of the various environmental and social justice campaigns of the network.

Jarrod talked to the presenters about the range of fantastic activities and campaigns run by ASEN.  ASEN publish a magazine whereby submissions are taken from student activities here and overseas.  They also organize fundraising activities and training workshops for students who wish to learn the nuts and blots of environmental activism.

ASEN's annual Student Environment Conference is soon upcoming on the 4th-8th of July.   This year, the theme is ‘Students of Sustainability’.  Held in Bendigo, Victoria (Dja Dja Wurrung Country), it will involve 5 days of workshops, plenary activities and sessions on environmental activism.   And its not just limited to students, anyone with an interest in environmental issues are welcome to join! 

Some of the key topics that will be explored in the conference will be climate change, forests in Tasmania and the Olympic Dam agreement.  People who wish to run their own workshops like yoga for example, can also organise them at the event itself. 

You can find out more about ASEN’s campaigns and activities on their website:

Smokey also had the opportunity to share his commentary about Victoria’s desalination plant.  Some of the current issues include high water bill pricing and overcharging, whether there was ever an actual need for the plant in the first place and poor government handling of the issue. Well worth listening to the discussion on the podcast if you missed it. 

Wonthaggi desalination plant in progress, Image by Peter Campbell

Smokey and Jaime ended the show with a quick chat about stray cat management in the Moreland City Council.  There is a proposed option of re-releasing captured strays after neutering.  Research has shown that the numbers of cats are reduced overall through this method due to the territorial dynamics of the cats.  It is  also considered a more humane way to deal with the problem.  Feel free to leave your comments on this issue, the  desalination plant or any other from the show.  Thankyou for visiting our blog!

Listen to the podcast!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Environmentality 20 June 2012

Jaime, Bridget and Danielle spoke with two wonderful guests, Martin Foster, from the Adopt-a-Tree Program, and Daisy Barham from the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

The fantastic Adopt-a -Tree Program in the Moreland Council is about the greening of nature strips and civic land with native ground covers, and edible herbs and vegetables.   Residents and businesses "adopt" the land and take care of it. The community help with monthly weeding and the maintenance of the sites.  The-Adopt-a-Tree program originally started with an article in the local newspaper, and 50 people signed up straight away.

The community were able to get the approval and financial support of the Moreland Council for the initiative.  There are health benefits, in having people physically active in the community.  And as well as the obvious environmental benefits, there are also social benefits through community engagement and the sharing of stories.  Children especially are enjoying the opportunity to be involved.  Now in its second year of operating, the Adopt-A-Tree Program is looking to become incorporated and expand to other councils. 

As part of the program, there is an initiative to connect the Merri Creek and the Moonee Ponds Creek through a natural corridor whereby wildlife are able to pass through.  The community will also be able to walk through the corridor, which will hopefully encourage more people to use their feet rather than car!  Martin has told us that their website is underway, in the meantime you can email him on with any queries about the program:

In the second half of the show the co-presenters spoke with Daisy Barham from the Australian Marine Conservation Society, the only conservation organisation dedicated to oceans in Australia.   The Society promotes conservation of Australia’s waters, the most diverse waters in the world. Their website:, also see 

There is some good news on the marine conservation front, which Environmentality listeners may already be aware of.   Last week, the Federal Environment Minister announced the largest network of marine reserves in the world!  The network of marine parks is made up of five zones around Australia, including the Coral Sea.  This network will protect the waters for conservation purposes, like national parks.  Australia is now a world leader in this area, something to be proud of! 

A large focus of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development will also be on oceans.  As Daisy commented, around 30-40 years ago people woke up to the negative impacts of human activity on land through visible impacts such as deforestation.  Now at the Rio Conference there will hopefully be more of a spotlight on the oceans.

The choices we make daily have an impact on marine life and the oceans.  The Australian Marine Conservation Society have developed a wonderful sustainable seafood guide, with 100 species assessed for sustainability. You can find it on this website:

Next week, the Environmentality team will be speaking to Jarred from Australian Student Environment Network (ASEN) about student environmental activism.  We will also be shortly starting an exciting new regular feature.  Gavin Webber, author of the fabulous blog, will be doing some 10 minute reading sessions of his new book to listeners.  Stay tuned!

Listen to the show!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Environmentality 6 June 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

It was an action packed show, with Smokey, Jaime and Danielle interviewing no less than three guests!

First of all, Dan Atkins reminded listeners about Sustainability Drinks, which is held in Melbourne on the first Wednesday of every month.   Started 5 years ago, around 150 people have been attending Sustainability Drinks each month.  Tonight’s guest speaker is Scott Kinnear from Organic Wholefoods.   Organic Wholefoods is a family business of organic wholefoods, promoting health and sustainability.

Dan Atkins has noticed many positive outcomes arising out of guests attending Sustainability Drinks.  Around 50% of people are new guests each month.  Career changes are instigated, business ideas are sparked and friendships are forged!   Held at the Slate Restaurant Bar 6-8pm. See: Http://

The co-presenters then spoke with Damien Harrison, who is the Natural Heritage Officer from the Hume City Council.  Damien works within the Hume’s Environment Department comprising 14 staff.  The team are responsible for the management of natural areas, greenhouse reduction program, sustainable water management, environmental planning and a sustainable education program.

Damien oversaw the development of the Hume City Council’s Natural Heritage Strategy 2011-2015, which is currently a finalist for a United Nations Environment Day award (announced this Friday!).  The Strategy aims to enhance Hume's environment and broadly covers four themes: waterways, wildlife, flora/fauna and geology.  

Damien has certainly been busy in the last few years he has been working with the Hume City Council! Alongside his colleagues, the Hume City Council have undertaken work with the community in planning, land preservation, conservation and education.   Around 60% of the Hume area is still rural, with much of the natural ‘values’ occurring on private land.  There is a service provided to work with landholders to help manage their land, for example in weed management.  Other focus areas include protection and management of parks, wetlands and grasslands.  

Finally, the Environmentality team enjoyed a quick chat with Helen from CarrotMob.  The CarrotMob Challenge encourages several businesses to improve their environmental performance.  A winner is selected, and then rewarded by a large number of customers spending money at that business. To date, the businesses participating have largely been cafes or food stores.   The CarrotMob is best thought of as the opposite to a boycott!

The current CarrotMob Challenge is currently paired up with the City of Melbourne’s Eco Carlton Program. You can vote online for the most sustainable business out of five Carlton contenders via the website below.  Helen also calls listeners to take action and instigate a Carrotmob Challenge in their own area!   Here is a link to the blog:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...