Builders of sustainability and frugal hedonism

collage144_560In The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 19 October 2016 we meet Dave Martin, a sustainable builder who started Small Giants and a concept of ‘sustainable apprenticeship’, we talk with Annie Raser-Rowland about her new book, ‘The Art of Frugal Hedonism’, and Robert Skehan from Plastic Bag Free Torquay explains about a new plastic bill in the Victorian Parliament.

We also play clips from the crowdfunded documentary ‘The Future of Energy’ and a viral Facebook-video about the power of conscious consumerism. Read more below while you…


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 144 on 94.7 The Pulse:

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“Why are we engaging in this world-eating, self-consuming frenzy of environmental destruction and social dislocation, if all it produces is unbearable pain? Should this question not burn the lips of everyone in public life?”
George Monbiot, in The Guardian on 12 October 2016

Acknowledgement

The other day we received a post card for The Sustainable Hour. We are very proud and happy to have received such an acknowledgement, and when we received it, while live on air, we were so surprised that we forgot to say a warm thank you for it! The postcard said:

“To The Sustainable Hour,
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your high quality coverage of the campaign against onshore gas in Victoria. Without you, our #VicGasBan would not have been possible.
With love & Gratitude,
FOE, Quit Coal and Gasfield Free Communities across Victoria




 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Content of this hour

Links, excerpts and more information about what we talked about in this Sustainable Hour


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The frugal hedonist: Annie Raser-Rowland

Interview with Annie Raser-Rowland is co-author of the book ‘The Art of Frugal Hedonism’



“When I look around it’s pretty obvious who are the freest people in our communities – the ones who have escaped the prison of consumerism and money-hunger. They don’t necessarily live in huts and go dumpster diving every night, but they manage to live self-possessed enjoyable lives with great friends and jobs they love. They do many things consumers do, but always in moderation (while occasionally lashing out, just for the hell of it). They eat well, stay fairly fit, give more, are socially engaged and stress less than most of us. Bastards! In fact, the freest and most contented people pretty much follow the advice in The Art of Frugal Hedonism…”
Quote from the book’s foreword by Clive Hamilton, author of ‘Growth Fetish’ and co-author of ‘Affluenza: When Too Much Is Never Enough’

» The Art of Frugal Hedonism home page:
www.frugalhedonism.com

» Milkwood:
Review: The Art of Frugal Hedonism + Grown and Gathered



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The sustainable builder: Dave Martin

Last week on Sustainable House Day, owners of 14 houses opened up their doors to anyone who’d like to get inspired as to how we can make our homes more sustainable and run a zero-carbon, zero-bills household.


Today, The Sustainable Hour is off to visit Dave Martin – a sustainable builder. His company, Small Giants, is based in St Kilda, Melbourne.

The Sustainable Hour’s Tony Gleeson visited him in this office to learn about what it takes to build a beautiful home that integrates to nature – and what a ‘sustainable apprenticeship’ is all about.

» Home page: www.smallgiants.com.au


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Oslo: Fundamentally rethinking how a city should work


If you would like YOUR city to be publishing a draft budget with a policy expressed in the title, “Pathway to a greener, warmer and creative city with room for everyone”, then you could show your councillors this one for inspiration.

This is not imagination – this is reality in the capital of Norway, Oslo, which is planning 42 measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half, compared to 1990 levels, in only four years – faster than any city or country has made changes in the past. New York City, for instance, plans to cut emissions 80 per cent by 2050. That’s more than 30 years away, and even that will be a challenge.

Oslo “is certainly the only city or region that I know of that has a goal which is consistent with 1.5° degrees,” says Glen Peters, senior researcher at Norway’s Center for International Climate and Environmental Research.

» Climate Budget 2017 – the paper in Norwegian language describing the 42 measures

» Grist:
Oslo Is Creating The Model For How Cities Can Solve Climate Change



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Plastic Bag bill: open for public comment until Friday

Robert Skehan from Plastic Bag Free Torquay explains about the plastic bag bill which soon is to be considered by the Victorian Parliament and which currently is open for public comment – until Friday 21 October.

“The Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Plastic Pollution is open to everyone in Victoria and is the last chance we have to make our voices heard. Please join us in making an online submission to this Inquiry,” writes Plastic Bag Free Victoria.

» See also www.facebook.com/PlasticBagFreeVictoria

» See more on www.greens.org.au



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The Future of Energy


“People want to spend money with people who care”


In The Sustainable Hour, we played a five minute excerpt from the one-hour documentary, ‘The Future of Energy’ – “a documentary love story about the renewable energy revolution.”

The Future of Energy shows us that the capacity for positive change in the world.

 For instance:

• Lancaster in California was the first city in America to mandate solar panels on all new buildings. They are almost at net-zero carbon today, and their goal is to be one of the solar capitals of the world.

• Greensburg is entirely operated on 100% renewable wind energy. Their shining example urges the necessity for similar progressive actions in every city across the globe. Read more

The thing in the film which stood out to both of us was how proud the mayor of the city of Lancaster, R. Rex Parris, was as he showed the viewers what his city had been doing as regards renewable energy. And how the wellbeing in the community caused by renewables had come as a surprise to them.

Lancaster had been the same as most rural cities in the US, in that it was powered by fossil fuels. This however changed the day it was literally blown apart by a tornado. Before that, Mayor Parris knew very little about the potential of renewable energy to rebuild a community. In a very short amount of time, he has become a passionate advocate of it and, as such, is a highly sought after speaker all over the US. You can see him around 14:00 minutes into the film. Just one of the many inspirational stories to come out of this inspirational film.

“All around the world a powerful transition is taking place. Communities are building local movements to address economic instability and the worst effects of climate change. Energy lies at the heart of our global society, and how we consume it impacts everything from the air we breathe and the food we eat, to our jobs and the health of our families,” the filmmakers say.

Published on youtube.com on 8 February 2016.

» More info on www.thefutureofenergy.org




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Power of the conscious consumer

For a two-minute video where a man – the American actor Woody Harrelson – talks about the power that we have as consumers and why we must begin to make more conscious choices when we buy stuff, it is pretty impressive that this video has been viewed 48 million times during a little over two months. That figure in itself could be an indication that something is changing now. As Harrelson says in this talk, “People are beginning to wake up.”

In The Sustainable Hour we meet people every week who tell us that they have become aware of this connection, and therefore have started to act accordingly.






 ADDITIONAL: 

In other news

From our notes of the week: news stories and coming events we think you should also know about




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Geelong Green Drinks next Wednesday

Theme: Connected Community

Our October Green Drinks will feature community entrepreneur Mel Alexander who will share with us her success story of creating a local, connected, resilient and sustainable community in the Coburg area over the last five years.

She has connected her neighbourhood in an interactive and non-intrusive way by sharing news, selling and swapping, supporting local campaigns, running food co-ops, creating new friends and random acts of kindness — it has opened up a world of possibilities!

It is a lesson in empowering people to become involved in caring for and respecting our diversity while building a more sustainable community.

Be informed – Be inspired – Be connected

WHEN: 5:30 – 7:30pm, Wednesday 26 October
WHERE: Beav’s Bar, 77 Lt Malop Street, Geelong
Entry just $2 — Finger food provided — Drinks at bar prices

Please register here for catering purposes

Don’t miss this informative social get together. See you there!



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Good cycling news in Victoria

The Victorian Government wants to support the growing rates of cycling and walking in Victoria and has now launched Active Transport Victoria with the aim of creating “A More Accessible Victoria For Cyclists And Pedestrians”.

Active Transport Victoria will work with VicRoads and the TAC to prioritise and invest in infrastructure that keeps cyclists and pedestrians safe through the Victorian Government’s $100 million Safer Cyclists and Pedestrians Fund.

» See more on www.economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au

» Media Release, Minister for Roads and Road Safety – 13 October 2016:
A More Accessible Victoria For Cyclists And Pedestrians



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Wind and solar technology gains

Wind and solar power are giving investors more bang for their buck as installations have grown by almost 70 percent over the last five years amid flat investment. A study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that major improvements in wind and solar technology are boosting both the amount of power each plant generates and the cash they yield.

Clean energy is also becoming more competitive against fossil fuels because more countries are holding wind and solar auctions instead of offering fixed subsidies. The resulting competition is lowering prices by as much as 60 percent.

» Bloomberg – 12 October 2016:
Green Energy Boom Picks Up Speed Even as Investment Stagnates





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Making stuff cleaner

Future of Clean Energy



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Seeds of good anthropocenes

A website dedicated to identifying socially-ecological bright spots that could grow and connect to produce a better anthropocene.

» www.goodanthropocenes.net



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icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Podcasts and posts about climate change

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Acknowledgement

We at The Sustainable Hour would like to pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which we are broadcasting, the Wathaurong People, and pay our respect to their elders, past, present and future.

The traditional owners lived in harmony with the environment and with the climate for hundreds of generations. It is not clear – yet – that as European settlers we have demonstrated that we can live in harmony for hundreds of generations, but it is clear that we can learn from the indigenous, traditional owners of this land.

When we talk about the future, it means extending our respect to those children not yet born, the generations of the future – remembering the old saying that…



The decisions currently being made around Australia to ignore climate change are being made by those who won’t be around by the time the worst effects hit home. How utterly disgusting, disrespectful and unfair is that?




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“Participation – that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
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