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

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