Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Environmentality 18 December 2013 - Christmas Feasts


Well Environmentalitists that dreaded day is nearly upon us!  Ho, Ho, Ho I can hear you all roaring.

I feel I must confess, I am one of those people that has a house that looks like a spaceship and prepares weeks before for the feast of a lifetime.  Not very environmental or sustainable but the kids love it (big and small) and there are not too many days in the year where you get to sit and eat and sit and eat some more!

We had the lovely Jodi Jackson in the studio today.  As always the conversation was easy with a few tips from Jodi on how to keep red spider mites out of the garden and how to stop your passionfruit producing all green leaves and no fruit.

We heard about some mouthwatering spanish delights from Jaime's homeland and how the Christmas celebration in Espana never ends.  Make sure you listen to the show to get Jodi's berry vanilla panna cotta recipe

Wherever you are and whatever you eat over the festive season be it dining on dry salted cod, coloured rice, pickled veg and herring, lamb biryani, roast pork and veg or boiled potatoes and sake we at the team of Environmentality wish you all a safe Christmas and New Year.

A big thank you to all our guests who have given their time so generously over the year.  To our loyal listeners we look forward to you tuning in again on 8 January 2014.

It was a Brazilian music fiesta today with music from Caetano Veloso, Roger Carlos and Pedro Guerra and we finished the show with a song from Sydney band Alpha Mama, If Ya Goni Lie

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Environmentality 11 December 2013, Amy Middleton, Australian Geographic

Ever wanted to know what the top ten most dangerous animals in Australia are? What about most dangerous snakes and spiders?  And let's not forget about the legendary Drop Bear.  It seems that this is what most visitors from overseas are obsessed with and quite a few of us that live here too!

Amy Middleton, Online Editor from Australian Geographic was kind enough to join us on Environmentality where we also discovered that Jaime is not too keen on spiders and gets a bit sweaty thinking about sharks! Well he is not the only one.

Check out the Australian Geographic website for the most dangerous top 10 in all sorts of categories.

Aurora Borealis (northern lights)
Aurora Australis
The show was not all about being scared and looking out for wild and creepy creatures. There was much discussion about campsites, photographers, the northern and southern lights also known as the aurora borealis and aurora australis.

Now is the time to be out and about enjoying the sunshine, grab your tent, and head off, there are so many great places to explore and lots of them are free    

If you fancy yourself as a photographer take some snaps and send them into the Australian Geographic competition, mind you after looking at some of the entries, the competition is fierce.

It wasn't a great week for one part of our beautiful country.  The Ranger Uranium mine had a toxic spill from it's leach tank of 1,400 cubic metres of uranium oxide slurry and acid.  It is not great news for the area as the Ranger mine sits within the boundaries of the world heritage area of Kakadu.  Kakadu has a tough enough battle dealing with cane toads, cattle, buffalo and tourism let alone environmental disasters like this. 

We debuted music from our very own Rachel Wood, with a couple of her own compositions and a beautiful cover of Kylie's Hand on Your Heart, make sure you listen to the show!  Unfortunately you can't buy any of Rachel's music yet, stay tuned for any updates.

Other music played on the show was Only One from the John Butler Band and a song from Sarah McDermott.

Next week is the last show of the year so we will be celebrating with our gardening guru Jodi Jackson.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Environmentality 3 December 2013, Paul Shelton, A Year of Treading Lightly

mobile phones, toothpaste, plastic food containers, paint, dvds, lip gloss, UV block out blinds, almost all products in a $2 shop, solar panels,  cleaning products, high chairs, flat screen tvs, upvc windows, bean bag fillings, lounge suites, microwaves,  bread bag ties, bread bags, most of your clothes if you shop like me, vegetable punnets, the list is almost endless - what am I talking about? All these things are made with bi products of petrochemicals!

Today's guest was Paul Shelton, check out Paul's blog. Thanks Paul for joining us, it was great to talk to you.  Paul has done a stirling job of trying not to buy or use anything that is derived from petrochemicals.

And guess what?  He, his wife and two children have done it!  And no they don't live in some idyllic country town with no food miles, farmers and greenies on every corner. They live in suburban Melbourne.  To hear their story and see how they taken living sustainably to another level Listen to the Show.

Why is it that in the here and now we are all excited to talk to people like Paul, no disrespect Paul!  We are amazed at his and his family's ability to get on and get back to basics.  Is it because we have essentially become so insular, so reliant on the big 24 hr one stop shop, is it because we are lazy these days?  It wasn't that long ago, 25 years maybe that my grandparents were self sufficient in a food sense.  They grew all their vegetables, had a small orchard and had lots of chickens and ducks, which they didn't name, but farmed and ate.

I guess I am preaching to the converted as whoever reads this blog and listens to the show is probably interested in sustainability in some form.  What Paul and his family have achieved is fantastic, but it is not something that everyone is going to want to achieve.  Maybe we could all start with something small.  Something like buying Australian, read the labels, where is your food coming from?

So what am I going to do?, because lets face it, I am one who could do a little more.  As my chickens have gone broody and the last of my broad beans eaten, I don't have anything apart from a few herbs to swap with neighbours, I am going to make a concerted effort not to use cling wrap.  That for me is a huge ask.  It means I will need to find all the lids to all those containers in the bottom draw!  

Now that is enough to make me cry!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Environmentality 27 November 2013, Robert Bender, Biodiversity and our Natural World

It is amazing the information you can find on the world wide web.  Instead of updating this blog I have been listening to the different calls from frogs all around Melbourne - boring some of you say?  No way, have a look at the Healthy Waterways Frog Census it a great site.  

(Spotted Marsh Frog)

Southern Brown Tree Frog
For those of you that live near major waterways like the Merri and Darebin Creek or the Yarra River you will have a great time identifying some of the more familiar calls.

You might wonder where all this talk about frogs has come from.  We had Robert Bender in the studio today.  Robert has a deep passion and incredible knowledge of biodiversity and aptly reminded me that our world is made up of so many important living things and it is vital that we all play a part in making sure they continue to exist.  

Robert has just come back from a scientific field trip with Earthwatch to the wet tropical rainforests of far north Queensland.  The area that Robert and the team from Earthwatch were collecting their information forms part of the great dividing range and is home to 80 species of animals that are only found in this area. 

Listen To The Show and find out what the lead scientist of this expedition, Stephen Williams of James Cook University findings tell us about the effect of climate change on the birds, reptiles and mammals of the wet rainforests of FNQ.

For those of you that are looking for a birthday or Christmas present that is a little different, not too expensive and very beautiful, take a look at Daylesford Nature Diary, Six Seasons in the Foothill Forest, by Tanya Loos Full of great photos and information exploring the 6 seasons around Wombat State Park.  Of course the 6 seasons are not only relevant to Victoria.  The original custodians of our beautiful country hunted, gathered and created a sustainable environment over six seasons of the year for 40,000 years, not four seasons that the Europeans believe exist.

The music played today was a mix of different ages and styles. Robert kicked us off with 

The Bonny Swans by Loreena McKennitt from the The Mask and The Mirror album
Fool by Sarah Blasko and the album Fool
Way out West by the Dingoes from the The Hits of the Seventies
I Can Make you Love Me, by British India, from their I can Make you Love me album

We leave you today with photos of yellow robin chicks as they grow and leave the nest that Robert was keeping an eye for a PHD student.  Make sure you listen to the show, to find out more. It was a great one!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Environmentality 20 November 2013, Jodie Jackson, My Everyday Garden

Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Chives, ParsleyOregano, Sage, Lavender, AloVera, these are just a few of the herbs you can grow in your very own Melbourne garden.

Herbs have been around for centuries and used across the world for all manner of things.  They are medicinal; steep Sage in hot water for sore throats, culinary; stuff your roast chicken with lemon thyme to give it a beautiful flavour and aroma and place bay leaves in your pantry to ward off moths.

Thanks very much Jodie for coming into the studio today. We had a lively discussion about herbs, a few recipes thrown in and what to do with all those snails that are invading the garden.  Jodie suggests collecting them and feeding them to ducks at your local parkland - great idea!  You will have to Listen to the show  to find out more.....

 But if you like your snails why not whip some up with this Tasty Recipe but make sure you know what you are doing, don't just collect and cook them!  Jaime told us today that some snails carry tinea.

The weather has been so seasonally crazy of late that it is hard to imagine that anything that is supposed to be blooming in order for us to make relishes and pickles is going to provide any fruit.  We will have to keep our fingers crossed.

It is not too late to plant tomatoes, zucchini, capsicum, cucumbers, beans, chillies and lots more.  The ABC Gardening website has a great guide on what to plant when and where.

If you live in Melbourne, Brite Industries, a not for profit disability support service are having their annual plant sale on Saturday 23 November, Cnr of Belfast Street and Dallas Drive, Broadmeadows.  They have a huge range of flowers, herbs and vegies all at hugely discounted prices.

Jaime showcased music from Woodlock, a Melbourne band formally from Yarrawonga.  Jaime heard them busking in the the city.  Their album Lemons, sounds pretty good

Have a great week.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Environmentality 13 November 2013, Jason Kimberley, Cool Australia

If the Government's attitude toward the warming of OUR world is getting you down, check out Cool Australia's website for a tonne of inspiration and plenty of good news to put a smile back on your face.
Cool Australia are leading the way with their free interactive online education tools and resources for teachers and students.  Resources and curriculum cover topics such as energy, waste, water, consumption, biodiversity, climate change and sustainability, to name a few.

Thanks to Jason Kimberley, CEO and founder of Cool Australia for joining us on Environmentality today. Jason gave us a snippet of his former life as adventurer, author and photographer and what drove him to start Cool Australia, download the show to hear more.

You don't have to be a teacher or a student to make a change, check out the enviroweek site: take the challenge and see how easy it is!

Smokey took us back to his formative days with his music selection today,

The Flaming Lips, Race for the Prize, from their album The Soft Bulletin
The Velvet Underground, Sunday Morning, The Velvet Underground & Nico album, and Heroin from the same album

Next week on the show we have the famous Jodie Jackson, garden guru, hopefully she will be updating us on all things green and the great melon challenge.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Environmentality, 6 November 2013

Good afternoon everyone,

Unfortunately due to conflicting calendars and events beyond our control the Environmentality team did not take to the air today.

Please join us next week 13 November when we speak to 
Jason from Cool Australia.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Environmentality, 30 October 2013, Sandy Dudakov, Fareshare

Hi Environmentalityists, I have got a few stats for you today.......

543.9 tonnes of food rescued

133,579,000 meals given away

460 charities helped

and they are only Fareshare's stats for what they have rescued and made into nutritious beautiful meals for our fellow Victorians.

Download the show to hear Sandy tell us about the incredible work being done by the hundreds of volunteers at Fareshare.

The National Waste Report 2010 estimated Australians threw away 4 million tonnes of food a year, or enough to fill 450,000 garbage trucks!

Every household throws out food worth over $1,000 every year!

According to CSIRO data, throwing out a kilo of beef wastes the 50,000 litres of water it took to produce that meat.

CSIRO also shows throwing out one kilo of white rice wastes 1,550 litres of water and discarding one kilo of potatoes wastes 500 litres of water.

National greenhouse inventory data tells us landfills contribute 2% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

When wasted food is thrown away and breaks down in landfill, together with other organic materials, it becomes the main contributor to the generation of methane – a gas 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
What a nation of wasters! But what can we do?

Some suggestions I have had are;

Never grocery shop when you are hungry
Make a list
Shop more frequently, especially if you eat more salad items
Grow your own
Cook smaller amounts
Freeze left overs immediately, so they don't grow into moldy bowls at the back of the fridge
Shop at markets where produce tends to be seasonal
Check the fridge before you eat out
Plant a seed and ask where ever you shop what they do with their excess food? 

Thanks Sandy for the music played today;

Dad Do You Remember from the album Kasey Chambers, Poppa Bill and the little Hillbillies
For a Short Time, Mick Thomas from the album Riveresque 
Murder in the City, The Avett Brothers from the album The Second Gleam

Another great show next week with Amy Middleton from Australia Geographic.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Environmentality 23 October 2013, Rob Slaney, Global Climate Change Music Project

Amazing interview today with Rob Slaney who is the man with the idea and the motivation behind Global Climate Change Music Project.

The skill involved in getting 193 musicians from 193 countries to contribute an original piece of music to raise the awareness of climate change is truly inspiring.

You can hear a small sample of some of this incredible music by listening to the show and once you have sampled I am sure you will want more, which you will find by visiting Rob's site

Using music to raise community awareness is not a new conception, remember Bob Geldof back in the mid 80s.  It is however, not an easy feat to reach communities when you don't have the monetary backing as Bob did.  

Congratulations to Rob for sticking with his dream and I ask all of our listeners to download the show and get behind

The C words are not going to disappear in our lifetime, it is obvious to all but a few in Canberra. We can all contribute in a micro way to minimising the impact we have on our environment.  Join the movement, talk to your kids, your neighbours and your friends about how you can reduce your footprint.  If you can't invent an emission free fuel source, below area few ways you reduce your greenhouse footprint at home

1. Change your light bulbs to energy efficient ones
2. Choose green electricity from your electricity provider
3. Turn your heating down 1 notch and shut the doors to the rooms you are not using.
4. Use fans instead of airconditioning 
5. Turn your appliances; TVs, coffee machines off, don't leave them on standby

these are just a few there are so many more ways you can make a difference, let me know what you can think of.

Next week we have Sandy Dudakov from Fareshare

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Environmentality 16 October 2013, Jodie Jackson, My EveryDay Garden

MELONS, MELONS, MELONS, big or small, get your melons here!

Well not quite yet, but that is what Jodie and the other community gardeners around the suburbs of Hume are hoping for in February 2014.

Jodie and the Hume Community Gardeners are setting the challenge to all the other green thumbs out there to plant a couple of different melon varieties and see how great they are.  Jodie has 23 different varieties of melon that she will be using in the great melon challenge, all heirloom varieties, of course.

If you Listen to the Show you will hear how melons aren't difficult to grow and are so very juicy and tasty when they have been grown with love from your garden.  If you would like to be involved join the Hume Community Gardeners site ( for more information.

Our resident gardener has a thing for heirloom varietals, but what is heirloom?  Heirloom in the seed world normally means that they are not available at larger nurseries, markets or supermarkets.  They are seeds that were readily available 30, 50 or in some that I have seen 100 years ago but have fallen out of favor for more readily available hybrid commercial varieties.

With heirloom varieties of fruit and vegetables, you are able to collect and replant the seeds from your crop, which means you keep that variety going.  There are lots of places you can get heirloom seeds and seedlings but here are just a couple to get you going:

Spring is such an exciting time in the garden.  Long days where you can sit and smell the basil and literally watch your tomatoes ripen.  If you have a tiny outdoor space you can still plant a couple of tomatoes in pots or have some strawberries cascading over the top of a tub.  Give it a try you will be surprised at how great you feel.

Jodie had lots of great advice about soaking seeds and lunar planting so to make sure you get the right advice and

L I S T E N  T O  T H E  S H O W

Music played today:

Cash Savage and the Last Drinks, Let Go and Howling for Me from the Hypnotiser album

The Spoils, Tale of the Bull, from the Hurstville album

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, The Game gets Old and I Learned the Hard Way from the album I Learned the Hard Way

Tune in next week to listen to Rob Slaney talking to us about the very interesting Global Climate Change Music Project

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Environmentality 9 October 2013, Robyn Deed, ReNew Magazine

Today's show may have only run for 24 minutes, but it was still the high quality broadcast you have become accustomed to!

Thank you to Robyn Deed, Editor of ReNew magazine for her patience in waiting for us to be 'on air' and then for the speed interview Jaime conducted on the latest edition of ReNew,  A fantastic magazine where even the adds are interesting and worth reading.

You can, of course, LISTEN TO THE SHOW, and any of our previous shows via our podcasts, which are on the right hand side of the page.

We did seem to talk a lot about excrement today, but it wasn't all wee and poo.  Jaime has disclosed his fetish of solar cars and the world solar challenge that is on at the moment, which starts in Darwin and finishes in Adelaide and has 40 teams from 23 different countries competing.

It seems that the market for green roofs is on the increase.  Wouldn't it be lovely to see living green rooftops as we traverse our 'burbs instead of the horrid endless black tiles that we see now?  It is said that a green roof reduces heating and cooling costs, provides food and shelter for our little friends, provides cleaner stormwater runoff and look great.  If you are thinking of renovating, rebuilding or starting from scratch there are so many sites offering great information on sustainable energy efficient homes,

Next week on the show we have our resident gardener Jodi Jackson.

We only managed one song on the show today - Martha Wainwright, Seven Year Itch from the Come Home to Mama album

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Environmentality 2 October 2013 - Royce DeSousa, Visy Industries

Did you know that Visy Industries produce 25% of its electricity requirements, that is enough to power 35,000 homes!

I don't know if I am right in assuming that when most of us put our plastics, cardboard and bottles in the recycling bin that is about the last thought we give it.  Out of sight, out of mind.

We were fortunate to have Royce DeSousa, General Manager, Energy and Sustainability, Visy Industries in the studio today.  Royce enlightened us with Visy's recycling processes, their clean energy plants and the investment that Visy is making in ensuring that their operations are continuing to strive for best practice in the packaging and recycling industry.  Visy don't only recycle, but it makes sense that Visy is willing to invest heavily in a cleaner, renewable future, of which we can play a part at home. Visy's website is full of interesting facts and information on sustainability and recycling.

In preparation for Recycling Week - 11  to 17 November why don't we all remind ourselves of the little things we can do at home;

Vegetable scraps can go to a compost bin or even better a worm farm.   Most 'tips', now known as the resource recovery center now take household batteries, paint tins, car batteries, light globes and scrap metal for free.  Check your local council website for what is free or charged for.  

We can recycle our clothes and shoes and we can then buy recycled clothes from garage sales and opportunity shops.  There are more and more things being made from material that would have once just been landfill.  You can even buy door mats made out of plastic and tyres - now that is recycling!

The building industry is looking at new ways to recycle and reuse what is considered waste product.  This timber look decking (below) is manufactured mainly from recycled products, including plastics and wood sawdust.

Planet Ark have a great interactive website that has suburb by suburb information on recyclers in your area, fact sheets, how to set up a worm farm and how to get involved with recycling in your local community:

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) have launched a new site called where you can list your unwanted items and proceeds of the sale go directly to the ACF.  The ACF have partnered with Buy Nothing New Month, which just happens to be October,  both sites are great reading.

If you want even more ideas on how to live sustainably and where to buy recycled goods there are lots of interesting websites, a couple of which are: 

Thanks to Royce for contributing to the music played on the show today:

Pompeii Am Götterdämmerung, The Flaming Lips from the album At War with the Mystics 5.1
That's Life, James Brown from the Gettin Down to It album
Moanin, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers from the album Moanin
All Blues, Miles Davis 

Next week on Environmentality we are talking to Robyn Deed, Editor of ReNew magazine


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Environmentality 25 September 2013 - Native Bees, Bee Hotels & Environmental Champions

Thank you to Lee Scott and Caroline Overbeek for coming into the studio today and talking to us about the fantastic projects Hume City Council are sponsoring through their Environmental Champions programme.

Lee Scott is one of these champions.  Lee's passion is to save our dwindling native bee population by encouraging her local community to build B&Bs, not for us of course, but for the BEES!
There are over 1,500 different species of native bee in Australia.  

In Victoria we have Reed, Blue Banded (left), Teddy Bear, Leafcutter, Resin, Homalictus and Masked bees.  Our native bees are much smaller than your everyday imported garden variety bee.  Our bees can be as small as 2mm and as big as 10mm.

The leafcutter bee (right) snips a neat circle or oval from a leaf. She will use these leaf pieces to weave tiny cradles for her eggs inside her nest burrow.

In order to help our native bees we need to plant lots of flowering plants and build them somewhere to live.  It is much simpler than you may think. 

Look at Lee's hotel (left).  If you are facebooker, Lee's site has instructions on building your own Bee hotel

There is also some great information about our native bees on

If you live in the Hume area and have an environmental cause you would like to get off the ground, contact Caroline at the Hume City Council or visit their web site for more information

Bee's and Champions were not the only topic in the studio today, the sacking of the Climate Commission by the Abbott Government and it's rebirth as the Climate Council.  David Suzuki's appearance on Q&A and Jaime bought to our attention a contentious article by  Mike Archer AM, Professor, Evolution of Earth and Life Systems Research Group at University of New South Wales.  

Mike is arguing that maybe the environmental damage caused by the farming of meat such as cattle is not as damaging to our environment as if we were to ramp up production of plant based food.  Tell us what you think?

Music played:

  • Stereolab, Miss Modular from the Dots and Loops album
  • Sarah McLachlan's cover version of Lennon/McCartney's Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night from the film 'I am Sam'
  • Chris Issac, Sweet Leilani, The Baja Sessions album
  • The Beatles, Let it Be, Let it Be album
Next week on the show, Royce DeSousa, General Manager, Energy & Sustainability, Visy

Make sure you LISTEN TO THE SHOW!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Environmentality, 18 September 2013, Jodie Jackson, DIY Garden Design

Spring has sprung, the chickens are laying , and with all the rain and sunshine we have had it is a great time to think about our outdoor spaces and how we interact with them.

It was a show packed full of information about how to transform your garden, with Jodie giving us lots of advice on where to start and all the things you may need to think about.

Where do you start when contemplating a revamp of your garden, courtyard or as it is in some cases, flat brown block?

Jodie suggests taking lots of photos of your house and land, from all angles.  Indoor to outdoor, across the street back to the house and visa versa.  Print your photos out and lay them on a large piece of paper, get some pencils and voila, start designing!  It is never as simple as that, I know from experience.  Sometimes it takes years to get your ideas from your mind to paper and then into the reality of turning that first sod of dirt or laying a bit of decking.

It is a good idea to understand how much time you will have to spend in your outdoor space.  Do you have the time to maintain a vegetable garden or mow lawn or do you just want somewhere pleasant to sit and talk with your family.  Do you have pets, what sort of space will they need? Do you have natural pathways to build on.  The wider the path the better is Jodie's motto.

Once you know what you would like, it is a great idea to investigate what plants are indigenous to your area.  Using indigenous plants  means you are already one step ahead as they are suited to your soil type and the native birds will love you too.  Your local nursery is a great place to start talking plants.

Blending your indoor and outdoor space is a good way of creating a seamless open home.  Where you can continue your tiling or decking from inside to outside helps create this and gives a sense of space, especially to smaller areas.

Jodie also reminded us to know where our services are.  You don't want to be hitting the gas mains with your pick or concreting over the top of them.

For more fantastic information from Jodie, listen to the podcast or if you would like to learn more hands on skills, Jodie runs a 6 week productive garden masterclass

Music played on the show today

Catcall, Sattelites from The Warmest Place album
Josh Pyke, You Don't Scare Me from the Chimney's Afire album
Josh Pyke, Make Me Happy from the Chimney's Afire album
Laura Imbruglia, Awooh from the What a Treat album
Owl Eyes, Night Swim from the Nightswim album

Listen to the show!

NEXT WEEK on Environmentality, we have Lee Scott talking to us about our native bees and Carolyn Overbeek on the latest Enviromental Champions.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Environmentality - Australian Youth Climate Coalition

A great interview last week on Environmentaliy, with Amy Gordon, Communications Manager with the Australian Youth Climate Coaltion talking to us about the growing youth movement around environment and sustainability. 

The AYCC has an amazing 90,000 online members and 500 active volunteers across the country.

One of their major campaigns at the moment is working with the local community of Port Augusta lobbying for Australia’s first solar thermal plant in Port August to replace the coal fired plant that is there now.

With all the sunshine and open space we have it is hard to understand why our government aren’t getting behind renewable projects. 

For those tech savvy people out there that want to know how solar thermal plants work there are a couple of links below.

Next week on the show we have Jodie our friendly gardener talking all things gardening, be sure to tune in.

Music played today:

The Cat Empire, Sly, The Cat Empire
Beth Gibbons, Mysteries, Out of Season
Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson, Rattling Bones
Grinspoon, Carry On, Black Rabbits
Tex Perkins and the Dark Horses, What Do you Want Now?
Beth Gibbons, Resolve, Out of Season

Listen to the show!

Apologies for the late upload of the podcast, a few tech issues!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Environmentality, 11 September 2013

Hello Environmentality listeners

Well what a weekend, 14.7 million Australians were enrolled to vote, and vote they did.

Whatever your favourite political flavour, it is certainly going to be a interesting time over the coming months. For those of us that are over the ins and outs of who promised what, why not head out and see a film.

The Environmental Film Festival has been running over this past week in Melbourne 5-13 September.  Have a look at their site:

Be sure to tune into Environmentality this week to hear the team talk with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition on how they are motivating and empowering the youth of today into action

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Environmentality, 28th August 2013

Hello Environmentality listeners,

We were excited to have Selma, Daniel and Kristy from Aitken College and Kim, Dylan, Sama, Zarine, Nadine and Evan from Roxburgh Rise Primary School to talk about their environmental programs.

Aitken College is a 5 star ResourceSmart Sustainable School. Aitken, one of the first to receive 5 stars, is renowned for their environmental programs across both primary and secondary sectors. From composting, vegie gardens, recycling bins, solar panels and wetlands, all classes are involved in some form of sustainability at Aitken. The student green team help to run and coordinate the environmental actions around the school with year 12 environmental captains elected each year.

It was clear that the students were very proud of Aitken’s environmental achievements, the rejuvenation of the wetland with native plants in particular; it was evident that a lot of research, time and effort had been placed on the wetlands. Aitken’s environmental programs and achievements have become a part of their identity, something which the students and school embraces. The benefits of these environmental programs are that students not only have a greater understanding of their environmental impacts, but also knowledge that there are environmental considerations in all fields. More significantly, students have learnt about living at home with greater environmental consciousness and passing this knowledge onto their families.  

Aitken’s environmental week, an expo of their environmental programs is from 16th to 20th of Septembers. Tuesday the 17th will also be a working bee for parents, families and community members in the afternoon.

We then played a prerecording of Jaime and Amy’s interview at Roxburgh Rise Primary School.

Roxburgh Rise is a 4 star ResourceSmart school and are currently in the process of obtaining their 5th star. Kim (visual arts teacher and one of the environmental leaders) explains that it is an ongoing process of embedding environmental sustainability into the school culture. The school looks to engage the whole school community, the students taking what they have learnt home to their families. There has been a better appreciation for environment, awareness of the impacts of landfill, and awareness that we all need to do our parts. The program has helped to unify the culturally diverse school as “we all understand what it means to look after the environment”.

Sustainability action team: Dylan, Sama, Zarine, Nadine and Evan, helps other students to be more environmentally friendly by encouraging everyone to pick up the rubbish, turn off the lights and to compost. Roxburgh Rise environmental programs are diverse, from use of natural lighting, thermostats in classrooms, collecting water from drinking taps to be used in the gardens, to planting indigenous plants and rubbish free lunches every Wednesday.   

Upcoming projects: rainwater garden and becoming a 5 star school

To listen to the show and hear more about Aitken College and Roxburgh Rise Primary School, listen to the podcast.

Thanks to all out guest today!

Find us on Twitter: @enviro_pod
Tracks played today:
Quantic- dog with a rope
Black eye peas- where is the love

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Environmentality, 21st August 2013

Hello Environmentality listeners,

We spoke to Ruchira Talukdar, Healthy Ecosystems Campaigner from the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and our resident gardening expert, Jodie.

The ACF is a well respected environmental NGO, acknowledged for their work on national environmental matters. The ACF and other similar organisations have been critical in helping establishing national environmental actions and policies such as the sustainable plan for the Murray Darling Basin and the marine parks networks.

Courtesy of

Australia has the world’s largest network of marine parks. Marine parks are vital as they offer protection of ocean treasures such as beaches, reefs, diving sites and ocean floors. Marine parks gives the marine ecosystem rest and respite, they allow for the ecosystems to recover from stressors and pollutions such as oil and gas exploration, over fishing, climate change and pollution from land. It is important that we protect the marine ecosystem as it not only provides a place of recreation (clean healthy beaches), but also a food source for us and other marine life. Supported by the major parties, the marine parks was finally passed in the federal parliament in June 2013, now becoming law.

Sustainable seafood is another way we can protect our oceans. Our current love of seafood has meant that many of the world’s fish stocks are increasingly diminishing. Using sustainable seafood program such as that of the ACF has created in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney, we can now be more aware of the seafood we consume and where it comes from. The sustainable seafood program works with local small scale commercial fishery to identify what part of their practices are sustainable, thus letting people know what fishes are sustainable and what to buy. General rule of thumb to buying seafood: ask where the seafood comes from, buy local and smaller is generally better.

Is there a need to reduce green tape (environmental regulation)? Ruchira explains that the move to reduce green tape has been directed by business in hopes to weaken national environmental law that protect places that we love. Weakening environmental laws, more specifically allowing states for final approval of developmental projects, may possibility lead to further environmental degradation; governments have proven incapable making decisions based on the protection environment and in the national interest. Rather Ruchira highlights that there is a need to strengthen environmental laws and that final approval of projects needs to remain with the federal government.

Jodie delighted us with preserves, as promised, Jodie treated with some things she has made at home. Although you can make preserves with any fruit or vegetable you like, Jodie recommends rhubarb as it contains its tartness when preserved.

Smokey sampling some of Jodie's produce at the studio

For Jodie’s rhubarb recipe, cut 1 kg of rhubarb into 2 cm pieces, place in a food grade bucket with 1 kg of sugar and leave overnight. This will allow the sugar to draw out the juice. Slice 1 lemon, add 1 cut of apple cider vinegar and 2 litres of water, cover and leave it for 2-4 days. Using an old soft drink bottle, store for 2 weeks after which you can start drinking. The screw top will allow you to release any excess carbon dioxide.

Jodie’s recipes for mother of vinegar: add cider vintager to wine, bacteria will then form a chain that will look like an opaque white jelly. Bacteria will consume the sugar in the wine. Jaime’s recipe: add the vinegar to red wine, keep in the dark but allow air for a few weeks.  Put the red wine vinegar into second container so you can start all over again.

But on an important note when preserving, we need to be mindful of food contamination thus always clean bottles and jars before storing your preserves. A good way to sterile jars and bottles is to heat them in the oven.

What about Jams? Use equal parts of fruit to sugar. Jodie usually makes 3 kg batches, adding 1 lemon or 2 limes. Jam Vs. marmalade, there is no real difference except that marmalade is made with citrus and the rind, making it a little bitter.   

Don't forget to listen to the show!

Tracks played:
Michelle Shocked– Anchorage
Boy and Bear- Southern Sun

Josh Pike- You don’t scare me

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Environmentality, 14th August 2013

Hello Environmentality listeners,

Today Mr Kelvin Thomson MP joined us in our continuation of the 2013 federal election coverage. Kelvin is the federal member for Wills and the parliamentary secretary for schools.
Courtesy of

What are some of the main environmental challenges for Wills? Kelvin highlights the proposed East West Link and potential damage to the Moonee Ponds Creek and residents of Royal Park as a significant concern. Opposed to the project since 2007/08, Kelvin suggest that rather than spending money on transport infrastructure, we should be spending money on unmet public transport needs such as the rail line along the eastern freeway, rail link to Monash University and Melbourne airport, the Epping corridor and public transport connections.

Another area of concern are public open spaces. There have been significant good work that has been done by friend’s groups in some of the parkways, these parkways can be used (if not already being used) as wildlife corridors. Planning so private open spaces do not disappear is also a concern. Smokey highlights an important aspect, does sustainability require higher density living? Not necessarily due to high eco footprint and lifestyles of those whom live in high-rises. Rather than focus on the lifestyle choices of high-rise dwellers compared to their suburban counterparts, Kelvin moves toward higher energy self-sufficiency in households.

Are we switching to a carbon trading scheme too soon? Kelvin doesn’t think so as being part of a scheme will mean that we have a greater capacity to reduce carbon and become more effective in cutting electricity consumption. Switching sooner will also provide better assistance to people in households and reduce the pressure of high energy prices. Smokey doesn’t necessarily agree Kelvin, highlighting the high cost of infrastructure as a major contributor to rising energy cost. What do you think?

What about the manufacturing future in Australia? Kelvin highlights that there needs to be a future in Australia for manufacturing, manufacturing provides steady and reliable jobs for the middle class. Manufacturing also brings about research and development, however there needs to be a shift in how we conduct our manufacturing business. We need to find new sources for their products or transiting to other areas of manufacturing with a strong local focus.

Despite the lack of environmental focus from both parties during this election, Kelvin highlights that there are still strong public interest in environmental issues and that climate change and renewable energy continues to be important issues. Kelvin notes that some of Labor’s environmental achievements to be carbon pricing, the renewable energy target, clean energy finance corporation, plans for water for the Murray Darling Basin, Marine national parks, blocking of the super trawler MV Margiris, and ongoing work with Tasmanian forest. 

Recently Abbott referred to the election as a referendum on the carbon tax, do you agree with this statement? Whether or not you agree, we at Environmentality share Kelvin’s sentiments that the results of this election will have serious consequences to not only whether Australia will continue to be one of the global players in climate change mitigation, but also existing environmental policies such as the marine sanctuaries.

It was a jam packed show with lots of topics discussed, we unfortunately could not cover it all in the blog but to hear more about Labor’s environmental policies including what we’ve blogged today, the national deposit scheme, high speed rail, planning and population growth, tune into the podcast.
Thanks to Kelvin for agreeing to come on the show!

Tracks player today:
Sam Buckingham- Shackled
Better than the Wizards- Coming back your way
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds- Into my arms

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Environmentality, 7th August 2013

Hello Environmentality listeners,

Dr. Tim Read, Greens candidate for the seat of Wills, manage to find time between finalising his PhD and campaigning to speak to us. Tim is a physician, specialising in infections with a focus on sexually transmitted diseases. Health related issues initially drew Tim’s attention towards the Greens party.  
Courtesy of

Tim’s advocacy for climate change action was first sparked 8 years ago when he saw Al Gore’s movie an inconvenient truth. The melting of the permafrost has further driven the need for action, evidenced that the changes to climate predicted in an inconvenient truth are occurring. The impacts of climate change can not only be observed environmentally, but also for our health. Tim highlights that the rare hot days are getting hotter; we don’t need to look too far back to remember the heat wave of 2009 where more people died from the heat wave than the bush fires. People with heart and kidney failure are particularly vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat. Due to the lack of parkways and vegetation in Wills, the high temperatures are evident in cities due to the heat island effect, heat is retained overnight hence the higher temperatures remain overnight.     

What are the Green’s climate policy, stop fossil fuel subsidies and spend the money saved on job creation. The Greens would like to raise revenue for the renewable energy fund, the Greens want a $30 billion fund compared to Labor’s $10 billion. Renewable energy projects employs more people than gas power station hence we need to be investing in renewable technologies. The Greens would prefer for the carbon price to remain and for the carbon tax not be changed to the European Trading Scheme in order to maintain the fall in carbon emissions. It is important to keep the carbon price to not only reduce our own emissions, but also demonstrate global leadership in climate change as the world’s highest carbon emission polluter per capita.

Why hasn’t environmental issues featured in the election? Tim cheekily suggest that perhaps it’s because the election occurs in late winter, early spring instead of February or March when the temperatures would be higher. Despite the lack of political coverage of environmental issues, the environment is still a concern for many people. A few years ago people were going to the Great Barrier Reef to see its natural beauty, people are now going to see it before it disappears. Tim highlights that the Greens are sneaking it into the agenda with their assessment of high speed rail.

The Greens are opposed to the east-west tunnel because will divert too much money from public transport to roads, furthermore encouraging the subsiding of cars and fossil fuel use. Rather than using the $9 billion to build the tunnel, it can be used instead for the Doncaster rail and Melbourne airport rail with change for extra trains. The pro-car lobby economically doesn’t stack up, rather than reducing the bottle neck going into the city by linking the to the city link, Smokey highlights that we will be just creating more bottlenecks in the tunnel. The bottom line: improving public transport improves congestion, improving roads moves congestion.

In our urban lifestyles, we are no longer connecting with the environment, we are no longer spending time exploring the bush or our forest and ecosystems. The bush and farms are evermore dependent on the climate and we need to develop love for the biodiversity that we have in order to connect with it and understand this dependency on climate; childhood experiences are critical for this development.

So if there’s one thing to take away from the show, no matter who you decide to vote for on Saturday the 7th, is that the balance of power in the senate is critical to the not only the environmental actions, but future policies.  

To hear more from Tim, listen to the show.

You can also follow us on twitter @enviro_pod

Tracks played:
Stereo Love- super electric
Boy and Bear- Southern Suns

Josh Pyke- Just noise 
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