The Queensland Government is fast-tracking mega port developments, dredging and dumping of millions of tonnes of seabed and rock, and encouraging a shipping superhighway.
The Australian Government is approving these developments, including the world’s biggest coal port at Abbot Point, 50 km from the Whitsunday Islands.
Fight for the Reef is working with the Australian community to protect the Reef and the $6 billion tourism industry and 60,000 jobs it supports.
It’s your Reef, but you’re going to have to fight for it.
- Fight for the Reef
What should a community do with its unused land? Plant food, of course. With energy and humor, Pam Warhurst tells at the TED Salon the story of how she and a growing team of volunteers came together to turn plots of unused land into communal vegetable gardens, and to change the narrative of food in their community.
Pam Warhurst co-founded Incredible Edible, an initiative in Todmorden, England dedicated to growing food locally by planting on unused land throughout the community.
Sunday 2 September 2012
Chief Executive Officer
CC: Marketing Manager
I would love to see Australia lead the world in responsible food management and sustainable practices.
I would love to see my local supermarket follow these practices:
- All eggs to be free-range (like Sainsbury’s) – and battery cages banned in the EU.
- All pork and bacon to be free-range.
- Support grass-fed and organic certified butcher products.
- Support sustainable seafood which have been certified against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.
- Support our dairy farmers with fair prices for milk.
- Purchase fair trade coffee, chocolate, tea and sugar.
- Ban products containing palm oil* – until they are certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
- Paper products to be recycled where possible (particularly for toilet paper and kitchen paper). Swap from plastic bags to starch-based 100% compostable bags (like Flannerys) or paper bags.
- Go BPA free (like Flannerys).
- Compulsory labeling of genetically modified food products, so people can choose to go GM-free.
* Palm oil is often listed as ‘vegetable oil’ on a product’s ingredients list. If the product can sit on your shelf for many months then your vegetable oil is probably heated to a high temperature and is damaged. This is known as a trans-fat and should be avoided.
An inspiring talk by Rob Hopkins “My Town in Transition” video.
Rob Hopkins is author of “The Transition Companion: Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times”
I love it when he says:
…let’s be more brilliant than we have ever been…
“I have been collecting used coffee grounds since about November 2010. I haven’t used a huge amount, probably 30 Kilos (at one stage I hauled a 10kg bag home). But even this has been enough to see the results in the garden! No more ants- they had been eating out the root systems from many of my plants and when I added coffee grounds to the garden they stopped immediately. I have also found plants have shot up and are full of colour.”
“I have found that pests like ants, snails and slugs stay away as well as my cat! The cat seems to think my garden is her personal litter box and kept digging up plants as well. Since putting the used coffee grounds on the garden I haven’t found anything disturbed.”
Did you know that coffee grounds are a fantastic compost material that are free to collect and use?
The Ground to Ground website caters for this opportunity, by delivering news, views, research, and general information on the reuse of coffee grounds for compost and gardening. Of the tonnes of used coffee grounds that are discarded each day, only a small amount is collected for reuse – which is a real pity considering the good that can come from a group effort.
Recycling coffee grounds would have to be one of the easiest ways to make a difference, and for anyone interested in gardening, composting, vermiculture, or just environmental awareness, the Ground to Ground website can show you how to get involved for all our benefit.
Please help spread the word about this great initiative and tell your barista about it at your local coffee bar or cafe.
The Ground To Ground Map – Find Used Coffee Grounds
20 Ways to resuse coffee grounds and tea leaves – Treehugger
Transition tip: Make your own green cleaners.
It’s easy to make your own green cleaners with a few tried-and-true recipes. You’ll be protecting your health by avoiding using toxic chemicals in your home and these are better for the environment. Better yet, you’ll find yourself saving money.
What’s not to love?
Here’s a round up of my posts on how to make your own green cleaners:
- How to make your own air freshener
- How to make your own bathroom cleaner
- How to make your own bleach
- How to make your own dishwashing detergent
- How to make your own drain cleaner
- How to make your own fabric softener
- How to make your own furniture oil
- How to make your own laundry powder
- How to make your own oven cleaner
- How to make your own stain remover
- How to make your own window cleaner
- How to get rid of mould
“The Transition Trail to Resilience” illustrates the steps our local communities can take to transition to living with climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy and oil.
I was inspired by first developing ”The Permaculture Path to Sustainability” which deals with how individuals and households can transition to a life with a smaller footprint on the earth.
I then wanted to expand these issues to encompass a community wide scope and take on the perspective of the Transition movement.
Several years ago, I was introduced to the transition town concept with the book The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience by Rob Hopkins. I walked around in shock for a few weeks and then fell into denial (I later found out that this is a very common reaction). Recently I was unable to ignore the signs and I rediscovered the movement with their new book The Transition Companion: Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times also by Rob Hopkins, which really brings alive all the exciting and innovative ideas bouncing around the world.
I enthusiastically joined my local Transition group and then discovered differing levels of awareness. I wanted a way to capture these great ideas and create a clear plan of action for the group.
I started by collating some of the common elements found in a transition town and then I divided them into different categories. The categories are the ones we use in our Transition group (your group may have different ones).
I then sorted the elements out in to levels. Each level reflects an increase in the level of difficulty, commitment and/or expense.
- Level 1 is what you may find in a young transition town.
- Level 2 are practices and elements found in a more mature transition town.
- Level 3 are practices and elements which are found in local communities dedicated to resilience, self-sufficiency, and sustainability. The citizens proudly view their local community as a system.
I love to see concepts come alive as a diagram, so I created a table to illustrate “The Transition Trail to Resilience”:
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
|Building and construction
|Business and economy||
|Food and Gardens||
|Fauna and flora||
|Local learning and education
Where is your local community on “The Transition Trail to Resilience”?
Is your local community doing well in one category and neglecting another?
(Note: Health and Water are two other categories our group uses).
The Urban Orchard is a network of households in your local community who are meeting monthly to swap and share the produce of their backyard (or frontyard!) gardens, and conduct workshops on gardening and preserving the harvest.
In November 2007, Friends of the Earth Adelaide and the Goodwood Goodfood Co-op launched a homegrown fruit and vegetable exchange in the inner south-western suburbs of Adelaide. It’s a concept that has been practiced formally and informally in communities probably since time began. The basic format of this particular exchange was inspired by the Urban Orchard project initiated by Melbourne’s CERES community environment park.
The Urban Orchard project was initiated in Adelaide by local community members passionate about gardening, good food and building community. Through providing a central space for community members to come together and share their homegrown or gleaned surpluses, the exchange offers a number of strong social and environmental benefits, including:
- reducing waste by redistributing surplus fruit, vegetables, herbs and seeds
- cultivating networks within the neighbourhood and building stronger communities
- providing healthy, seasonal food for the community
- sharing valuable skills in gardening and food preparation
- avoiding greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the need for produce
- transported from outside the local area
The Urban Orchard is currently active:
Communities around Australia are adapting the Urban Orchard concept to meet this unique local needs. A do-it-yourself guide is available for download.
Do you think you can change someone’s mind about climate change?
A new ABC television show ”I Can Change Your Mind About..Climate” seeks to address that question.
The website features a survey you can take to find out your views before the show airs.
I’d like to see them change a sceptic’s mind, but that can be hard work…. perhaps there is a better way?
I like the approach George Marshall from Talking Climate takes in the video above. He asks what the best way of talking to a climate ‘denier’ is, including advice on language, framing, and a discussion of whether ‘denier’ is even the right way of thinking about the problem. From How to talk to a climate change denier.