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:

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 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!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Environmentality 12 September 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Dog lovers and dog haters should at least agree on one thing, dog waste could be put to better use than ending up as landfill.  This was where one man had a great idea, creating the Poo Power initiative, a concept where dog poo is collected and utilised in biogas generators in parks and elsewhere.

The man with the great idea is Duncan Chew, a Lecturer in Sustainability, and was interviewed today by Jaime, Smokey and Yolande.  Duncan has two wonderful dogs (Diesel and Sally, both boxers).  Whilst taking his dogs for walks around the local park, it occurred to Duncan that biogas generators could be set up in parks where dogs frequent.

Duncan and Diesel, Image Courtesy of Janine Eastgate/Newspix.

Duncan shared with listeners his story about how Poo Power came about.  Duncan had a time in his life where he was recovering from a very rare form of cancer on his knee.   Accompanied by his trusted dog companions, Duncan used the time of bed rest to undertake research and found Poo Power.  

Collecting animal waste and using it to create biogas has a lot of potential in Australia, with 63% of 7.5 million households owning a pet.   One dog produces 0.34 kg of poo per day.  Each day around Australia, 1,350 tonnes of dog waste needs to be disposed of. 

An 'anaerobic methane digester' is the item that would process the dog waste alongside other waste material like compost.  The system processes the waste into different streams and treats bacteria.  A biogas (primarily methane) is generated that can be a source of renewable energy, used for purposes such as powering barbecues and lights.

Duncan has secured a Federal Government grant as part of the 'Inspiring Australia - Unlocking Australia's Potential' program, helping to pilot the Poo Power project and undertake testing of organic waste management from animals.  The initiative is attracting a lot of interest from local councils, engineers, schools and families.  The Poo Power model has the potential to be both affordable and scalable.  One day your dog's poo could help power the lights in your local park or even your backyard!

Find out more about Poo Power on the website:

Smokey and Jaime also covered some items currently making the news, namely, discussions concerning the ban on the super trawler Abel Tasman and the closure of the Hazelwood power station.   Feel free to leave a comment about these topics or any other part of the show.

Smokey played 'Dog on Wheels' by Belle & Sebastian, a tune he happily obtained whilst holidaying and thrift shopping in California.  

Duncan selected the following music for today's show:
   Never Miss Your Water - Diesel
   Shine - Take That
   Life is Wonderful - Jason Mraz
   Nuclear - Ryan Adams
   Wonderwall - Oasis

Listen to the show!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Environmentality 22 August 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Jaime had the pleasure of interviewing Hanna Aulbey, Campaign Manager from the wonderful Beyond Zero Emissions.

Beyond Zero Emissions is a think tank organization, undertaking research and education as the blueprint towards combating climate climate change.  Areas focused on include energy, transport and building.

Established in 2006, the current organization consists of a management team of 10 people, who coordinate large teams of volunteers.  The aim of Beyond Zero Emissions is to promote a change towards a zero carbon future.  

Beyond Zero Emissions have thus far provided public talks to over 40,000 people around Australia.  As a think tank, they have the credibility of research behind their campaigns.

Hanna shared with listeners details about the Repower Port Augusta campaign.   Port Augusta, a town four hours north of Adelaide, is closing two coal-fired power stations.  There is now the opportunity to replace these with either solar thermal energy or a combined cycle gas plant.  Beyond Zero Emissions has prepared proposals as to how to replace the plants with solar thermal and wind. 

The Port Augusta community are supportive of the switch to renewables, which would create 360 permanent jobs.  Solar thermal power has the added advantage of of providing electricity to the grid day and night, not just during the day.  Find out more about the campaign here and sign the petition towards solar thermal and wind in Port Augusta:  

Hanna also talked about some key messages that Beyond Zero Emissions promote.  These include being supportive of a feed-in-tariff to build the renewables industry, transitioning to a 'smart grid', energy savings and conservation, and innovation.  Find out more about Beyond Zero Emissions, including the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan on their website:  

Thankyou to Hanna for speaking on Environmentality 98.9 FM.  Be sure to listen to the podcast if you missed the show!

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