Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Environmentality 24 September 2014, Emily Braham, Editor at Sanctuary Magazine

August Edition of Sanctuary Magazine
If you’ve got even an inkling towards living a more sustainable existence, I bet you’ve thought about building your own sustainable house or at least tried to think of ways to modify your existing  house to incorporate passive solar design, use of low embodied energy materials, energy efficient EVERYTHING, renewable energy, the list goes on. Fortunately for you, the AlternativeTechnology Association (ATA) who among other things publish Sanctuary Magazine which is packed full of articles on sustainable building design and green homes.

This week on the show we had a chat to Emily Braham, the editor of Sanctuary about the current (August) edition of the magazine. We discussed the use of bamboo as a building material, green walls on a high rise in Sydney and how you can create your own at home, sustainable paving ideas, a typical mid 20th century Brunswick brick suburban home transformed into a sustainable living oasis through clever design to name a few of our topics. Sound like your cup of tea? The magazine is published quarterly and links to purchase can be found on the Sanctuary and ATA websites AND if you listen to the podcast you’ll hear about the special subscription deal offered by Emily and get the special redemption code needed.

In other related news Australia leads global green star revolution. Australia’s Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) is certifying more and more buildings (commercial) every year and say’s return on investment (ROI) and rental premiums as well as low rental vacancies are delivering good value to those going green. The benefits don’t stop at financials either, people feel better when occupying these spaces which leads to higher productivity, better staff retention and more creativity. And we haven’t even mentioned the benefits to the environment!

Until next week, get inspired, go and make your home (or business) a little more sustainable this week, you never know, maybe one day your efforts will end up on the cover of Sanctuary Magazine.
On next week's show we have Friends of the Earth, Megan Williams discussing renewable energy technologies. Tune in live to 98.9 North West FM or download the Tunein or North West FM app and search for us on there!

This week’s music selection:
Hundreds of Ways by Conor Oberst 
Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
The Best Person I know by Cat's Eyes
Imagine by John Lennon
Say Something by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Environmentality 17 September 2014, Jodi Jackson, My Everyday Garden
It’s that exciting time of year for gardeners when the summer fruit trees start to wake from their winter slumber and the thought of freshly picked home grown apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, figs ….yum yum YUM. But what if you are yet to plant your orchard to receive the fruits of your labour? This week we had a conversation with Jodi about setting up an urban orchard including what to think about when designing and preparing, keeping in mind the users and activities planned for the urban orchard space. Get the 5 top tips for starting an urban orchard by listening to the show.

Urban orchards are not just about planting some trees to produce fresh wholesome food. It’s more about creating a space that brings people together to facilitate the sharing of food, ideas, knowledge and even just a good story or two. “Organic gardeners are swapping homegrown produce, ideas and skills in an expanding community movement known as the Urban Orchard….The concept is simple: local gardeners and cooks meet to share produce and knowledge. They leave their surplus, and take whatever they can use. Some exchanges run workshops on gardening and preparing food to help build the skills of members.”  The above is from an old (2010) article but worth a look if you’re wanting some inspiration.

Melbourne’s own CERES Community Environment Park runs an Urban Orchard which brings people together to swap and share excess produce. Read more at the CERES website.
A brief mention of insect hotels by Jodi this week had me scratching my head as I’d never heard of them before. This no doubt demonstrates my level of gardening experience, however I thought I would show you all what one is, just in case I wasn’t alone on this one.

On next week's show we will be talking to Emily Braham, Editor at Sanctuary Magazine about all things sustainable homes, including Sustainable House Day which has just passed.

This week’s music selection:
These Days by St Vincent
Unforgettable by The Harpoons
The Devil You Know by Split Enz
Lace Skull by Hiatus Kaiyote

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Environmentality 10 September 2014, Renae Verboon, Lucy Fallon & Ahmed Yussuf, members of La Trobe University's Equality, Sustainability and Peace group

Divestment from fossil fuels is an important step to let the dirty polluters know WE MEAN BUSINESS… literally! Fossil fuel divestment is more than just you taking your money away from dirty, unethical, environmentally degrading investments. It is a statement to your super fund, your bank, your broker (if you’re lucky enough to need one) which in turn makes an even bigger statement to the fossil fuel industry, the government, clean energy investors that says “we’ve had enough, nobody wants these polluters around anymore and we’ll put our money where our mouth is, we’re taking our business elsewhere”
This can and will be very powerful once the big banks and super funds realise the groundswell and have to listen to what their customers want because as we know too well in our society, money talks!

This week we had a conversation with some members of La Trobe University’s Equality, Sustainability and Peace group about divestment from fossil fuels. Listen to the podcast to hear what they had to say.
Do you want to know what your bank is doing with your savings? Do you want to know where your superannuation fund is being invested? There are many great resources on the world wide web but a good starting point would be Market and These resources will give you a good idea of who is investing in what and all in easy to understand graphs and figures. Did you know that 55% of the world’s superannuation is invested in coal, oil, gas and other climate-exposed investments whilst less than 2% is invested in climate solutions like renewable energy? Or did you know that Since 2008, Australia’s big 4 banks have loaned $19 billion dollars to fossil fuel projects  including coal and gas export projects on the Great Barrier Reef? If you are not happy about it then get onto those websites and see what you can do about it.

Also on this week’s show we discussed an article by Alex White in the guardian ‘The ten worst environmental decisions in Abbott’s first year’. Have a read and see what you think. The crazy thing about this article is that there are 10 decisions, yes TEN (not just a few), all of which are devastating for the environment in their own right and all within the first year of this Government coming into power. What is in store for the next two years?
On next week’s show we have My Everyday Garden with resident garden guru Jodie Jackson.

Music was selected by our guests this week (except for the last one, thanks Jaime)

It Isn’t Nice by Malvinia Reynold
Eyes Wide Open by Gotye
Welcome Home by Radical Face
Something’s Gotta Give by John Butler Trio
Lost Stars by Adam Levine


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Environmentality 3rd September 2014, Daniel Ball, Solar Energy & Photovoltaic Engineer at EnviroShop

As speculation mounts over the RET Review, Australia's Solar Industry is looking down the barrel of a gun. The adverse impacts on the residential solar PV industry will likely be short-term due to the low cost of PV panels these days providing good economic return on investment, even without the rebate. The real hit will be felt by the commercial PV with this industry likely to be halted in it's tracks with combined job losses in the solar industry estimated at around 8,000.

However, the solar industry is not the only casualty of these likely changes to the RET. The Governments attempts to protect the fossil fuel energy industry and prevent or at least delay the transition to renewable options presents serious long term health implications for our society that seem to get swept under the rug when considering costs. Tim Flannery and Fiona Stanley have compiled some research on this fact and have summarised it in an article "We must kill dirty coal before it kills us" published on the day of the show.

On this weeks show we spoke to Daniel Ball who is a Solar Energy & Photovoltaics Engineer with EnviroShop. Daniel is very much working smack bang in the middle of the solar industry likely to face a huge shake up if the recommendations from the RET review are seen through and was all too happy to discuss the ins and outs with us. Check out what Daniel had to say by listening to the podcast.

If you want to know more about what all the fuss is about see the RET Review Executive Summary and the list of recommendations.

For some extra reading on the topics of this week, I would suggest heading to some of the below links...
Read about the disproportionate influence of the fossil fuel industry and climate sceptics on governments in Australia

See the experts respond to the recommendations from review of the RET.

Music tracks for this week:
Nakamarra by Hiatus Kaiyote
Our guest Daniel's selections...
We're not gonna take it by Tswisted Sister
Blue Sky Mine by Midnight Oil
Big Yellow Taxi by Counting Crows

Tune in next week for a discussion on Fossil Fuel Divestment. Can't wait!!

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