Birdlife, eco tourism and the issue with plastic

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Today, we take a step outside to the wetlands, to the ocean, to the birds and the sea life. In The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 17 February 2016, we meet four inspiring environmentalists: Rod Lowther and Craig Morley from Geelong Field Naturalists Club, who are working to save the Moolap Wetlands, Anthony Hill from Plastic Pollution Solutions, and Tim Silverwood from Take 3 for the Sea. More info below.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 109:

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Rod Lowther and Craig Morley, Geelong Field Naturalists Club

From 00:00 to 24:25 on the audio file

Rod Lowther and Craig Morley are working to save the Moolap Wetlands from being turned into yet another suburb of Geelong – the Salt Fields which you see on your left hand when you go out Ryrie Street towards Point Henry and the Bellerine Peninsula.

» We encourage you to sign the petition to keep the Moolap Wetlands as a prime shorebird habitat and establish a new centre for eco tourism: www.communityrun.org

» See more on www.moolapwetlands.gfnc.org.au
» Facebook pages: www.facebook.com/SaveMoolapSaltfields and www.facebook.com/geelongfnc
» Geelong Field Naturalists Club home page: www.gfnc.org.au

BirdLife Australia stands up for shorebirds
With a development being proposed for the Moolap Saltworks near Geelong, in Victoria, BirdLife Australia has joined local conservation groups, lobbying to have them managed as an international bird sanctuary — at stake is the fate of the thousands of shorebirds that flock there in the summer months.

» Read more

» BirdLife Submission to DEWLP Moolap Coastal Strategic Framework (PDF)



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Anthony Hill, Plastic Pollution Solutions

From 24:25 on the audio file

Anthony Hill is an edutainer, quizmaster and ocean lover who currently is giving school presentations and family trivia nights to help tackle plastic pollution on the Surf Coast.

» www.facebook.com/plasticpollutionsolutions
» www.sceg.org.au

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Tim Silverwood, Take 3

From 31:35 on the audio file

Tim Silverwood is an environmentalist working with Australian industry, government and education to create solutions for a cleaner tomorrow, currently visiting schools and giving presentations in the Geelong Region.

» www.timsilverwood.com

The ‘Take 3’ message is simple: take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or… anywhere and you have made a difference.

» Home page: www.take3.org.au

» Facebook page: www.facebook.com/take3forthesea






» See more #StupidPlastic



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Song by Costa: ‘Get Down and Dirty’

Published on www.youtube.com on 28 November 2015.



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Plastic bags public enemy number one

Govnews looks at how governments are treating the much maligned plastic bag whose dark side is environmental damage. It also includes a link to Ramin Bahrani’s short film Plastic Bag, a story about a grocery bag’s “relationship” with its owner and its subsequent journey.

» Read more on www.govnews.com.au



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‘Why I live a zero waste life’ | Lauren Singer | TEDxTeen
Published on youtube.com on 27 May 2015

Lauren Singer is an Environmental Studies graduate from NYU and former Sustainability Manager at the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and the amount of trash that she has produced over the past three years can fit inside of a 16 oz. mason jar.

Lauren Singer is author of the Zero Waste blog, Trash is for Tossers and founder of organic cleaning product company, The Simply Co.

Through her blog, she has empowered millions of readers to produce less waste by shopping package-free, making their own products and refusing plastic and single-use items.

Her work has been profiled by New York Magazine, MSNBC, NBC, AOL, CNN, Yahoo, Fox Business, BBC and NPR, among others.



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‘Trash to treasure: We need to muck in’

The editorial of the Geelong-based magazine Business News was about how and why Australians need to change the way they live. An excerpt:

“Two West Australian surfers have developed a unique solution to ocean pollution with their Seabin invention that has gone viral around the globe. The automated rubbish bin has been designed to collect rubbish from marinas and will be constructed mainly using recycled ocean plastic. It’s a canny piece of ingenuity seeking to solve a big problem, with one recent report suggesting that dumped plastic could outweigh fish in the Earth’s oceans by 2050.

Ocean plastic is just one of the byproducts of the global gluttony for stuff and there is nothing new about collecting unwanted waste and turning it into a saleable commodity – this trash to treasure idea is what led to the multi-billion dollar Visy empire.

And there are mountains of waste begging for a smart, sustainable solution. Think, for a moment, about where all the outdated computers, printers, tablets and phones end up. Now think about how often government departments, schools and businesses turn over their technology hardware.

With big problems come big opportunities. There are so many products that all too soon become waste – tyres, batteries, building materials … the list just keeps going. With drought an ever-present problem, someone, somewhere, is going to make a killing on cost-effective, eco-friendly greywater recycling systems. Then there are the needs-based innovations – eHealth solutions and other ways to reduce our high cost way of life.”

» Read Davina Montgomery’s editorial on www.biznewsmag.com.au



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Plastic toys and shoes turned into art

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Stuart Haygarth spent New Year’s Day 2000 combing London’s Bankside for spent fireworks and party poppers from the previous night. Then he worked them into a spectacular millennium chandelier. Since then, he has continued to turn ‘rubbish’ into art. Brought together in a new book, ‘Strand’, his work shows the painfully slow degradation of oil-based products, in particular plastic toys and shoes. ‘Strand’ is published in April 2016. £28.00.

» www.artbookspublishing.co.uk



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Reduce the amount of plastics you use

Unnecessary plastic use is bad for the environment on many levels. Did you know it takes around 12 million barrels of oil to produce the 102 million plastic bags made every year? There are plenty of ways you can reduce the amount of plastics you use. For instance, check out these web pages with tips, ideas and suggestions:

» 22 Tips To Stop Using Plastic from the superannuation fund Australian Ethical which invests in recycling which reduces plastic waste.

» NationSwell, USA: 37 Ways to Shrink Your Use of Plastic



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Avaaz: The oceans need our help

Ricken from Avaaz wrote:
“A shocking new study says that by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. What we’re doing to our planet is just obscene. It might shake our faith in humanity. But then you hear about Boyan Slat, who as a 16-year-old boy read about the Great Pacific garbage patch – a vast semi-dissolved island of waste twice the size of France.

Boyan was disgusted too, and invented a simple clean up tool – The Ocean Cleanup Array, now endorsed by 70 leading scientists – that could clean up almost *half* the Pacific garbage patch in just 10 years!! Crowdfunding by ordinary people helped Boyan build and test his invention.

It’s a beautiful example of people power rising to a great challenge of our time. But it’s just begun, and it needs our help. An initial version of the tool is being deployed this year, but needs funding to scale it up to the awesome task of the world’s greatest clean-up. For just the price of a meal or a cup of coffee, we can turn this story from one of obscenity to inspiration.

Click to pitch in to help make Boyan’s dream a reality, and scale-up other ambitious projects to rid our oceans of plastic:

Donate $14 to clean-up 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of plastic — over 20,000 fragments!
Donate $35 to clean-up 5 kg (11 lbs) of plastic — over 50,000 fragments!
Donate $105 to clean-up 15 kg (33 lbs) of plastic — over 150,000 fragments!
Donate $175 to clean-up 25 kg (55 lbs) of plastic — over 250,000 fragments!
To donate another amount, click here.

Last month I visited a remote island off the coast of Vietnam and Cambodia. It was stunning. But then a wind blew in, and for the next two days, the ocean was covered in garbage, from candy wrappers to styrofoam. It was obscene, apocalyptic.

The discomfort such pollution causes us humans is nothing next to the damage it’s doing to our precious oceanic ecosystems. Dolphins, whales, fish, every living thing is affected – particularly as the plastic degrades into tinier pieces that clog airways, mouths, and gills.

But The Ocean Cleanup and others like it are just incredibly inspiring, and potentially critically effective, projects. If we scale them up, we can help them get traction and show even greater results – and then our community can push governments to take action to take the idea to scale.

The Avaaz movement is uniquely able to help here – there’s no larger global community able to crowdfund. It’s on us to help Boyan’s dream become a reality, to help other great projects find the light of day, and to give the entire world hope.

Of course, in addition to cleaning up our oceans, we have to stop dumping so much waste into them. Starting with these funds, our community could:

  • Work with projects to reduce the flow of plastics into the ocean in the worst-polluting countries;
  • Identify other ambitious ideas focused on clean-up of the garbage patches using new technologies;
  • Organise community and beach clean-ups to stop plastic from finding it’s way to the ocean;
  • Push governments to limit or ban plastic – like San Francisco recently did with plastic water bottles.

Avaaz has campaigned for and won some of the largest ocean preserves in history, in the Chagos islands of the Indian Ocean, and in the American Pacific. We’ve also worked to ban plastic bags in some cities. Let’s make Boyan’s inspiring story the beginning of a wave of global people power to reach a comprehensive solution to this scourge of our oceans. Out of our disgust at the Pacific garbage patch, let’s help an inspiring new world of commitment and love for our oceans be born.”



Sources:

» The Ocean Cleanup
www.theoceancleanup.com

» Washington Post:
By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans, study says

» Washington Post:
Can the ‘largest cleanup in history’ save the ocean?

» BBC:
Plastic oceans: What do we know?

» The Guardian:
Full scale of plastic in the world’s oceans revealed for first time


Avaaz.org is a 42-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. “Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages. Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages.

» Learn about some of Avaaz’s biggest campaigns here, or follow them on <a href=”http://www.facebook.com/Avaaz” target=”_blank”>Facebook or Twitter.



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No more disposable water bottles at festivals

Artists and festivals to phase out unnecessary and destructive single use, disposable water bottles

By Tim Hollo, Green Music Australia

“Imagine a music scene where artists, punters and crew stay healthily hydrated while keeping their sites – and the planet – clean!
That’s the vision of our new campaign, #BYOBottle. We’re working with artists and festivals to phase out unnecessary and destructive single use, disposable water bottles, and we wanted to give you a sneak peak and a chance to get involved before the public launch this week.

#BYOBottle is taking on plastic bottles from two angles. We’re working hand in hand with festivals to help them go plastic free, bringing in refilling stations for punters, artists and crew, rewriting contracts with stall-holders to make sure they don’t sell any disposables, and letting everyone know well in advance, asking them to bring their own reusable bottle.

With Caloundra Festival as our model and inspiration, we’ve helped Illawarra Folk Festival to go plastic free already, and we’re now working with the National Folk Festival on a staged approach.

At the same time, we’re recruiting artists to adopt a green drinks rider, telling venues and festivals they play at that they don’t want plastic bottles, but want jugs or refilling stations instead. So far, Paul Kelly, Katie Noonan, Ash Grunwald, Holly Throsby and David Bridie are on board.

It’s easy to join this campaign – all you need to do is adopt the green drinks rider on our website! If you send us a photo and a quote, like Paul Kelly has, we’ll add you to the site as an ambassador.

» Join our #BYOBottle campaign here: Commit to our green rider and become a #BYOBottle Ambassador

We reckon that, with this pincer movement, we can get plastic bottles out of our industry in a few years, making a big step towards a green music scene. But it won’t happen if you don’t join us.

Looking forward to getting lots of you involved with this exciting campaign!

Tim

PS: We’re crowdfunding this campaign so we can bring on staff to help with outreach and organisation, produce materials, and make it as big a success as possible. You’ll hear more from us about this in the weeks ahead, but we’d be hugely grateful if you could make a tax-deductible donation and help us raise the funds we need. Thanks!”

» This was sent as a newsletter email on 29 February 2016.



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Powercor’s big step forward

A big sign that times are changing is that electricity network business Powercor is now partnering with the little town Newstead on their transition to 100% renewables. Well done, Powercor!

» Premier.vic.gov.au – 15 February 2016:
Newstead Teams With Powercor To Go 100% Renewable

» Energy for the People – 13 February 2016: 
Renewable Newstead signs MOU with Powercor



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“Participation – that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
Pete Seeger, American singer