Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Environmentality 28 January 2015, Riki Edelsten - Melbourne Director of Grow It Local and long running association with the Sustainable Living Festival

If you grow fruit or vegetables at home whether it’s in a big designated garden, some scattered fruit trees or even on a windowsill, then you should be registering your garden with Grow It Local. Registering your ‘patch’ is a great way to be part of an Australia wide community farm. You can include pictures of your garden and your tips on producing that ideal crop as well browse through the 1000+ gardens already registered. Head to the Grow It Local website for all the details.

This week’s guest, Riki Edelsten, is the Melbourne Director of the Grow It Local campaign and we found out what it is all about. Riki also filled us in on the upcoming Local Growers Feast on the March 1st which will tie in with the final day of Sustainable Living Festival. To go in the running for the 50 double pass tickets to the feast, all you need to do is register your patch, share tips on their facebook page and use the #growitlocal tag on instagram and twitter @growinitlocal.
Claire will be speaking at the SLF
This week our guest also covered the upcoming Sustainable Living Festival being held in and around Melbourne from the 7 Feb - 1 March. From what we heard, there will be something for pretty much everyone so you must check out the website to see which events are going to tickle your fancy. There is the Transitions Film Festival nestled into the Sustainable Living Festival, many workshops including ones on permaculture and garden pest management, morning weekly bike tour along the Barwon River departing Geelong, panel discussions featuring Tim Flannery, talks from George Marshall, ClaireDunn, Tim Silverwood and many more. Honestly, do yourself a favour and just check through the list of events and I’m sure you will 1) be surprised and 2) find something that you cannot resist going to! I think is something like 200 events and they are spread out across Melbourne including Geelong and even Inverloch.

If you were listening to the show you will have heard about the survey we are running for Environmentality where you can win 2 movie tickets just for filling it in. The survey should take about a minute and it will help us to improve our show. CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE SURVEY and good luck!

George will discuss his book at the SLF 
Screening at the Transitions Film Festival

Next week on the show we will be discussing Permaculture with a specialist in the field so make sure you tune in or download the podcast.

Thanks to our guest Riki for this week’s music selections:

Peaches by Presidents Of The United States

Our House by Madness

From Little Things Big Things Grow by Paul Kelly

Push Th’ Little Daises by Ween

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Environmentality 21 January 2015, Jodi Jackson, My Everyday Garden - Citrus Special

Summer is upon us and what better way to beat the heat than a summer citrus lemonade, a refreshing citrus salad or a delicious citrus mocktail (or cocktail for Jodi). This week our regular gardening expert Jodi Jackson was with us today to talk about “Citrus”, some citrus that we have never heard of and also some hybrid varieties.
We started with oranges and in particular an orange by the name of Dwarf Valencia. Dwarf Valencia has an amazing sweet musky flavour that bursts in your mouth. How do we know this??? Because Jodi brought some into the studio for us to taste and let it be known to all our blog readers that there is no comparison whatsoever between the tastes of the oranges you get in Supermarkets and the Valencia  we tasted. Another variety of orange we talked about is the Seville Orange, a sour orange which is very popular in Spain (Jaime confirmed this for us!). It has very high acid content, sets very well and is therefore used mostly for marmalades and jams.

Rangpur Lime highly recommended by Jodi
We also touched on essential oils from citrus including  Bergamot Orange, a type of orange that is used for essential oils and can be used for cleaning purposes and Sweet OrangeOil, another essential oil that comes from Valencia with digestive properties.
Also mentioned was the Kaffir lime Chinotto, Kumquats, Tangerines, Tangello and the Rangpur Lime. Rangpur lime is a cross breed between a mandarin and a lime and Jodi recommends people to try growing this at home because of its versatile taste.
Jodi's show and tell this week
During the show we said Jodi had a list of citrus by type and we weren't lying! So here is the list and just a reminder, it is not exhaustive but rather citrus that is right for a home garden...
Oranges - Sweet: Navel, Valencia, Joppa, Blood Orange, Sour: Seville, Bergamot, Chinotto
Mandarins - Clementine, Emperor, Imperial, Thorny
Lemons - Sweet: Meyer, Lemonade, Sour: Lisbon, Eureka, Fino, Villa Franca, Rough Lemon
Limes - Acid Lime, Kaffir, Rangpur, Australian Red Centre, Australian Sunrise, Sweet Lime, Native Finger Lime
Cumquats - Nagami, Marumi, Variegated
Grapefruit - Thompson's Pink, Rio Red, Marsh, Wheeny, Pumelo
Hybrids - Tangerine, Tangor, Tangelo, Honey Murcott, Satsuma, Calamondin

In terms of citrus care, Jodi emphasised how important the early preparations are before planting. Citrus is shallow rooted and is a heavy feeder so Jodi recommends planting them in partial shade where the plant gets enough light but not too much sun Jodi also recommends NO PLANTING IN POTS otherwise the plants become too much like babies, needing extra care and attention.  Another piece of wisdom from the show was to reuse your fish tank water on the your citrus tree. See… so many good tips! .

Gall Wasp and illustration of the galls that form
We finished the show talking about citrus pests and ways of dealing with them, in particular the two most common, the Gall Wasp and  Scale. Gall wasps are usually found around the foliage of the new shoots, they lay their eggs inside the branch and as the pupa grows and it causes these “galls” which is the swelling of the branch. Cutting if off and incinerating the branch is the best way of getting rid of it according to our expert
Jodi. Scale is found underside of the leaves and along the branches and the best way of its detection is the movement of ants up and down the tree as ants love the secretion from the scale.The best way of dealing with scale is to bust it off with your finger or use white oil in extreme conditions.
Well that wraps up a pretty comprehensive review of this week’s show but make sure you have a listen to the show so you don’t miss any important tips!

Leaving the best for last, listeners of the show this week were told of a chance to win some movie tickets. Environmentality will be giving away two movie tickets this week to one lucky listener who fills in the survey below. Pretty simple equation: 60 seconds of your time filling in survey = chance to win movie tickets.
CLICK HERE FOR SURVEY and Good Luck! We'll contact you next Wednesday if you are a winner.

Next week on the show we have Riki Edelsten, Melbourne Director of the Grow It Local campaign. Riki also has a long term association with the Sustainable Living Foundation so we will be discussing both the Grow It Local campaign and the upcoming Sustainable Living Festival which is occurring in Melbourne next month.

Environmentality wants to thank Smriti Panday for helping out with the blog this week ;)

Music Tracks:
Grandma’s Hands by MEG MAC
The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack
Clouds Over Tamworth by John Williamson
Love Me Do by The Beatles

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Environmentality 14 January 2015, Daniel Sullivan, ASEN member and Student Environment Officer at University of Melbourne

Hello for another week of Environmentality! This week we spoke to a member of Australian Student Environmental Network (ASEN), Daniel Sullivan, about the group and how to get involved. Daniel is also the Student Environment Officer at The University of Melbourne so was also able to enlighten us on the various campaigns and groups running out of the university.  I suggest you listen to the show here if you missed it!

ASEN members on the Mining the Truth Roadtrip
Now for those who don’t know about ASEN, in summary it is the network of student environment groups from around Australia committed to building grassroots movements for change. The network links together a fluctuating group of around 38 university environment collectives and five state-based networks around Australia (thanks Wikipedia! The ever reliable and accurate internet resource). In other words, they organise a range of cool and inspiring projects and campaigns in the area of environment and social justice and provide an easy way for everyone to be involved! Some of the projects include an annual Students of Sustainability Conference, National Training Camp, bi-annual publication ‘Germinate’, various No Coal No Gas campaigns, Food Coops as well as working with Australia’s indigenous people for sovereignty and justice. On top of these, ASEN runs other training courses, training camps and conferences so search for and like them on Facebook to keep up to date on the current and upcoming events and visit their website to see how you can be involved and how to become a member.
A major campaign that is currently running is the Fossil Free Universities campaign. If you want to find out what all the fuss is about and what part your university is playing then check out the website for all the facts and figures.

Some useful links related to this weeks show:

ANU chief Ian Young’s ethical sell call paying dividends – Published in The Australian (surprising) but unfortunately I cannot provide a link to the article as this one requires a membership (I’m thinking… CONSPIRACY). This article is referencing Australian National University’s decision to divest from fossil fuel including all its shares in Santos a few months back and just last week a report release by Credit Suisse stated that Santos shares may be worthless at current oil prices.

UNSW rejects divestment push – Blah blah…. UNSW don’t want to participate in “token political actions”, Christopher Pyne called the campaign “a Greens-led, anti-mining and energy divestment campaign that is damaging to some of our biggest companies and employers”. Greens-led? ummm... pretty sure it has been and continues to be led by members of communities, universities, banks, churches and any other organisations that have investment capabilities because these members are sick of the lack of action by Government and feel a moral and ethical obligation to do so, not to mention the financial benefits (See RIAA's Responsible Investment Benchmarking Survey 2014 Report!). At least Mr Pyne recognises the damage the campaign is doing to the dirty, unethical, environmentally damaging companies!

Coal curse: the black side of the subsidised resources boom – On older article (July 2012) but worth a read. Addresses the true cost of energy from coal by weighing up the real costs and benefits. Some surprising figures in this one (well, surprising if you’ve been subjected to mainstream media coal lobbyist claims).

Feel free to add more articles or make comments on these ones below!
ASEN members campaigning against AGL plans to frack the valley in Gloucester during the Mining the Truth Roadtrip

TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A PRIZE!!(movie tickets…shhh) More details will be provided during next week’s show!

Speaking of next week, we have Jody Jackson, our resident gardening expert coming in to have our monthly friendly, informative and funny discussion.

Music from this week:
The Wire by Haim
Everyone’s Waiting by Missy Higgins
Gonna Take A Little Rain by Andrew Duhon
Chain and Padlock by The Lurkers
Power And The Passion by Midnight Oil
I See Fire by Ed Sheeran

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Environmentality 7 January 2015, Matthew Wright, CEO of Zero Emissions Australia

What a way to kick off the year! Another top-notch Australian non-profit organisation doing great things in the sphere of environmental sustainability and we were lucky enough to speak with the organisations CEO. Matthew Wright is the CEO of Zero Emissions Australia, an organisation dedicated to ensuring the sustainability of our planet for future generations and we discovered just how knowledgeable and passionate he is about his work. 

One particular focus of the show was around reducing emissions from your home with reference to space heating and cooking within the home. We discussed the most efficient options (including zero emissions options) for air-conditioners and cooktops as well as getting technical on the physics of heat transfer. To hear all the advice as well as some nerdy discussion, make sure you have a listen to the show here.

An induction cooktop
Simplified diagram of heat transfer

If you are wanting to learn more about household energy use, efficient cost-effective options for air conditioning, heating and cooking or perhaps transitioning off gas or off the grid, then you should head to Beyond The Grid is your one stop shop for reducing or eliminating your emissions (and costs) associated with your home and even your car.
The following articles have all been written by this week’s guest Matthew Wright who is also a resident columnist at Climate Spectator:

Gas death spiral will not help power utilities – The impending death of gas and the implications for power utilities is explained through a case study by Matthew on his parent’s home.
Want to get rid of the gas bill – Here’s how – Self-explanatory.

The network lobby is demonising solar, but missing the point – An interesting look at the way solar customers are being unfairly targeted as freeloaders and unfairly charged by network providers.

If you want to read more head to the Climate Spectator website.
On next week’s show we have Australian Student Environment Network (ASEN) coming in for a chat. Don’t miss it!

Music Tracks this week:
Blue Sky Mine by Midnight Oil
Beds Are Burning by Midnight Oil
Go Slow by Haim
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