Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Environmentality 15 April 2015, Jodi Jackson with Everyday In The Garden

Jodi didn’t disappoint this week, in fact, Jodi has never disappointed us with her light hearted, energetic, information packed shows. This week we discussed green manure, planting in punnets vs planting direct into ground and Brussels sprouts, yep that’s right, the good old Brussels sprout. If you missed the show then you must have a listen to the podcast…MUST.

If you have a highly clayey or a highly sandy soil then you’ll be a big winner from using green manure. Green manure is the planting of a fast growing species such as wheat, rye, barley, corn etc. that you use to generate large amounts of biomass in a short period of time before turning into the soil to add some new rich organic matter ready for the planting of your actual vegie crop. The green manure crop should be left to grow to about knee height before turning into the soil. What a great little tip for those of us in sand or clay rich soils!

A green manure crop
Nematodes, anyone for nematodes? Well before I knew what one was I had a feeling it wasn’t a good thing to have and turns out I was right. A parasitic roundworm living in the soil that can significantly reduce or destroy your crop is not something you want in your garden. Jodi has the tre
atment… Fumigate them with a totally natural, organic method using mustard plants. All you need to do is spread mustard plant (from the Brassica family) seeds when sowing your green manure crop such that you have some mustard amongst your fast growing grass species. When the mustard plant is turned in with the rest of your green manure, the leaves will break down in the soil releasing a chemical that acts as a fumigant for nematodes, EASY!
Plant mustard among your green manure crop
Sowing in a punnet vs sowing direct in the soil? Well, one thing is for sure, the answer to this is not black and white and you could spend hours reading about which species do better in one or the other.  Jodi took us through some the type of seeds that prefer punnets and some that prefer direct into the ground and why! For all the details you’ll have to listen to the show ;)

Brussels sprouts have copped a bad rap in the past for being unappetising but I think we managed to identify the main culprits for this false charge this week. I remember as a kid that despite having never tried brussel sprouts, I thought that they were yuk! I must have picked up this impression from someone and I bet that someone had only ever had OVERCOOKED Brussels sprouts. Jodi believes it is time that our listeners know the truth and that is ‘Brussels sprouts are delicious AND a great source of minerals and nutrients’. There you go, you’ve heard it now so go out and give them another go but this time without overcooking them. Yum! Listen to the show to hear tips on how to train your Brussels sprouts to grow taller and with more sprouts.

To see and hear more of Jodi’s work, head to her website and you may as well sign up for Jodi’s newsletter while you’re there.

This week is the last show for at least the next 4 weeks so make sure you follow us on twitter @enviro_pod and keep checking this blog to keep updated on what is happening with the show and when we are returning.

Music from this week:
Messages by Xavier Rudd
Island of Oceans by John Williamson
Wild Animals by The Cat Empire
Wonder by Emeli Sande

Environmentality 1 April 2015, Ryan Collins - Planet Ark Recycling Programs Manager

In 30-40 years’ time, will our children’s children be sitting in a history lesson learning about the early 21st century when we used to produce materials that were non-recyclable and instead of re-using would throw away into giant landfills or the oceans? I hope this is the case and I hope it sounds bizarre, crazy, stupid, wrong, wasteful and even arrogant when they hear of this happening because it sure as sunrise sounds like it to me now as I think about it. To get from here to there we need organisations like Planet Ark to lead the way through their behaviour changing initiatives and recycling and stewardship programs. This week we were lucky enough to have Planet Ark’s Recycling Programs Manager, Ryan Collins, speak to us about waste, recycling and the way forward to a sustainable future.

Australians are good at recycling at home but when it comes to the workplace we seem to forget how to separate our waste. Ok, maybe it’s not as simple as forgetting but 46% of workplace waste is sent to landfill which is not good! Planet Ark recently published a report (written by our guest Ryan) identifying a number of key barriers to workplace recycling and how to overcome them and it seems that the number one reason is insufficient support from management with four out of ten Australian workers feeling that their managers aren’t supporting recycling behaviour. A good start for recycling in the workplace is to introduce some of the free recycling initiatives such as the Planet Ark printer cartridge recycling program. Check out the website or call the hotline 1300 763 768 to learn of more ways you can improve recycling in your workplace.

On a more individual/household level there is really no excuse to not be recycling everything that is recyclable. To find out what can be recycled and where it can be recycled head to Did you know you can recycle computers, batteries, printer cartidges, mobile phones, fluorescent light tubes and even plastic bags! Plastic bag collection points are often located at major supermarket stores but they are not just for supermarket bags, you can place most soft plastics in there such as your pasta packets, lolly bags, biscuit packets and the like so start saving those too.

This week on the show two relatively new concepts in the world of recycling and business that were touched on were the ‘Circular Economy’ and ‘Industrial Ecology’. The circular economy is an emerging way of doing business whereby products and materials are designed such that the end-of-life of the product or material has been considered and is either reused or recycled as part of the life-cycle process with the idea being that there is no waste. Industrial ecology is similar to the circular economy however is more targeted at industrial processes and using the waste (output) from one process as the input for another and so on.

To find out what else was covered, make sure you have alisten to the podcast. One thing you will hear is Jaime’s passion for the topic of waste in our society.

Thanks to Ryan for his song selections this week:
Sophia by Laura Marling (Jaime’s choice)
Pyramid Building by Hilltop Hoods
Eyes Wide Open by Gotye
What’s My Scene by The Hoodoo Gurus

Environmentality 25 March 2015, Emily Braham, Editor of Sanctuary Magazine

If I was to tell you that this week we would be talking about biomimicry, indoor plants for health and air quality, induction cooktops, designing a home for climate change and a house that has a positive ecological footprint you may well think that our studio was going to be packed with guests each with their own piece of expertise. Well in a way you may be right, however all this information is delivered in the form of Sanctuary Magazine and was discussed with our guest Emily Braham, its Editor.

Biomimicry is something I for one am fascinated by. It seems to be so intuitive that we look to nature to get ideas for design and innovation. The environment that surrounds us has spent millions upon millions of years trying to reach the most efficient way of living, breathing, building, running, swimming, flying and so on. It is only recently that humans have started to tap into this free resource of ideas like the shark-skin inspired swimsuit design that resulted in an avalanche of world records being broken, the termite mound inspired buildings that use 90% less energy than conventional buildings through the use of ventilation tunnels and chimneys and the paint that repels dust, dirt and water inspired by the lotus flower’s ability to do the same thing when emerging from muddy water. Have a listen to the show to hear more the biomimicry article in the current issue of Sanctuary.
A building inspired by the termite's mound efficient way of regulating temperature
Who knew that the humble pot plant was so good at improving health and air quality in the indoor environment? Well I had my suspicions but there is now new research from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) that gives us an explanation of how the plants do it and how good they are at doing it! Plants are able to remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), dust, carbon dioxide and monoxide from the indoor air which is obviously a real benefit to us indoor inhabitants. Check out the article for more info or have a listen to this week’s show.

If you’ve been listening to our show regularly you would have heard us talking about induction cooktops over the past few months and how they are becoming the way of the future in terms of energy efficient cooking and moving away from gas. This issue of Sanctuary takes us further with our understanding of induction cooktops and why they are the easiest, fastest, cheapest and most efficient option for cooking. The article also takes you through ‘What to look for when selecting an induction cooktop’ which is a must for anyone in the market for purchasing one.

During this week’s chat with Emily we discussed the article ‘Design for climate change – tropical Australia’ and through this article we touched on the concept of The least house necessary. This is a philosophy that really makes sense to me. Smaller house designed on actual spatial needs = more outdoor spaces to enjoy, less cost for heating and cooling, encourages moving into the outdoor space, less destruction/alteration of natural environment, room to plant more trees and gardens/vegie gardens, less cost to build… this all seems to point to “less is more!”.

Head to the ATA’s website or Sanctuary website for more information about environmentally sustainable home design and architecture.

Music tracks from this week (thanks Emily)
Palace by The Antlers
Frankie's Gun by The Felice Brothers
Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead
Flame Trees by Sarah Blasko
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