Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Environmentality, 29 May 2013

Hello Environmentality listeners,

As you may have noticed we have been hibernating for a few weeks, even months! Part of it had to do with a bunch of volunteers leaving at the same time and part of it with some technical difficulties with our podcast hosting service. All of those issues seem to be resolved for now so over the next week or so we will be reporting on all of our interviews and posting links to all of the podcasts, we have had some wonderful conversations during this period, and two new co-presenters have joined the team!

One such conversation was our interview with Greg Thorpe from Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House. Greg is the Centre Coordinator but also a talented musician and a knowledgeable, inspirational and generally well-rounded chap, perhaps from this description you can see that he is also a good friend of mine :).

Image of Greg Thorpe talking to a volunteer
Greg Thorpe, courtesy of Northbridge Volunteers
Today's conversation was mainly focused on National Reconciliation Week and the Recognise Campaign, and even more specifically on a couple of projects that Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House is undertaking to support aboriginal people in our community, including the Moreland Aboriginal Playgroup and the Moreland 'Recognise' Mural Project.

So what are you waiting for? Listen to the show!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Environmentality, 15th May 2013

Hello Environmental Listeners,

Jaime, Ahmed and May spoke to Sarah Robertson about Issue 23 of Sanctuary Magazine: Renos and Retrofits on a budget. Sarah is the associated editor of the Sanctuary Magazine from the AlternativeTechnology Association. The alternative technology association is a not-for-profit organization providing independent advice about sustainable solutions for home owners and members. 

Issue 23, courtesy of the ATA

The Merrick house in the Mornington Peninsula is one of the houses featured in the latest issue. Having already participating in environmental sustainability through landcare works, the family sought environmental design features when the house was extended. Looking like a long thin box, the house is separated into 2 wings with the kitchen located in the middle of the house. The house is passively designed to make the most of its views and minimize the need for heating and cooling. The house faces the north, allowing the northern sun to heat the home. The house features solar panels, water tank, double glazing, sustainable timber and low volatile organic compound paint.

Sarah gave some handy tips about retrofitting kitchens and bathrooms. She recommends using as much recycled material as possible. If using recycled timber, Sarah suggest measuring how deep you would like your benches to be to ensure that your appliances will fit. If you are buying new appliances, look into run out appliances, end of season stock and energy rating.   

With new homes built to an average of 6 stars, it’s certainly good to hear about the 8 star home in the tropics that maximises the breeze to cool down the house.  

As usual we digressed and chatted about the budget, soccer and social issues. 

Sadly May is leaving us for a while as she has found a temporary position. We look forward to have May back some time soon.

To learn more about renos and retrofits on a budget and green homes, don’t forget to listen to the podcast and look at the latest issue of Sanctuary.

Tracks Played:
John Coltrane Quartet- Giant Steps
Sea lakes- Morse Code
Medisky Wood -Hey Hee Hi Ho
The Transatlantics- A Man Like That
Killer him

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Environmentality, 8th May 2013

Hello Environmentality Listeners,

Jaime, Ahmed and Smokey chatted to Vanessa and Mat from Melbourne City Rooftop Honey. Starting off as a hobby in Vanessa and Mat’s backyard, it has since turned into a commercial enterprise. Vanessa and Mat places bee hives on building rooftops around the Melbourne Central Business District and surrounding suburbs. 

Matt and Vanessa, courtesy of

There are 1 to 2 hives at each site. Vanessa and Mat’s bee hives is bee friendly, they ensure that the 2 bottom boxes are left for the bees thus preventing the need to feed the bees with artificial sugar syrups unlike commercial bee hives. It was certainly surprising to learn that the taste of honey differs with the location of the bee hive.    

To host one of Vanessa and Mat’s bee hives, all you need to do is pay for an annual sponsorship fee. The sponsorship fee is inclusive of the cost of the bee hives, bees and maintenance. Honey is shared between the host, bees and Melbourne Rooftop Honey. Any remaining honey is sold to local businesses and individuals. Other than to enjoy the bees, hosts responsibility is just to make sure the bees have enough water.

Colony collapse disorder happens when worker bees disappear from the colony. We in Australia have been fortunate; the Northern Hemisphere has seen dramatic losses in bees. Although there is no known cause, neonicotinoid pesticides, parasitic mite and commercial bee keeping practices are thought to play a role.    

Bees are very important to our ecosystem and agriculture; 1/3 of every mouthful of food is a result of bee pollination. Hence the loss of bees would certainly be disastrous! To learn more about the role of bees, drones, bee keeping and the Melbourne City Rooftop bees, don’t forget to listen to thepodcast.

You can also follow Melbourne City Rooftop Bees on twitter @rooftopbees

Tracks Played:
Taming Parlor- Elephant
Dead Can Dance
The Smiths- Panic
Stereo Love- Ping Pong
The drones- How to see through fog

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Environmentality, 1 May 2013

Today we had two returning guest on Environmentality, Chandra from the Moreland Energy Foundation and Christina from Landcare Australia. Landcare Australia is a non for profit, non-government organisation, national support body for landcare groups such as friends of, coast care and bush care groups.

Courtesy of

Chandra was back to talk about a series of radio segments that the Moreland Energy Foundation has created to reach out to business. We had the pleasure for listening to a few of the 5 different segments highlighting the work of some businesses in terms of energy efficiency and saving they have achieved through things such as timers on fridges and LED lights. Segments are also available in languages other than English. If you would like to get in touch with them, leave a comment on the blog!

Courtesy of 
Catching up with Christina, it was exciting to hear that the Live Grow Explore community day event was a success with a good turnout on the day. Nominations for State and Territory Landcare awards are now open with 9 categories such as junior Landcare team and individual awards. Click here to learn more and start applying!

Upcoming Events:
World Environment day- Wednesday 5th June
National Tree day Sunday 28th July
For other grants or funding opportunities from Landcare click here

Tracks played:
Tell me something I don’t know- The Pardoners
Kick it- The Coolie
Jayne Denham - Addicted To The Diesel 
 Shortest time of the year- David Bridie

Get the podcast here!

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