Zero carbon, zero waste: Barwon Water shows a way

Building sustainably can make us healthier and happier – and on top of that it even makes good business sense.

In The Sustainable Hour on 2 August 2017 we meet CEO of Barwon Water, Tracey Slatter, and Barwon Water’s Refurb Project Manager Adam Cunningham for a talk about their organisation’s new headquarters, the first five green star refurbished building in our region, and with Tamara DiMattina from The New Joneses and Fred Schultz of Fred’s Tiny Houses about tiny houses.


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Barwon Water embraces One Planet Living principles

How do we build the prosperity of this region building on a great past and being really confident about our future? CEO of Barwon Water, Tracey Slatter, has an answer to that. Not only has her organisation just built the first five green star refurbished building in our region, which Refurb Project Manager Adam Cunningham tells us about, Barwon Waters has also – as the first and only water authority in Australia – signed up to One Planet Living. This means that they join another local authority, the City of Greater Geelong municipality, in its commitment to be a zero carbon and a zero waste organisation. Ms Slatter explains why this move is not only good for the environment, it also makes good business sense.

During The Sustainable Hour, we also talk with Tamara DiMattina from The New Joneses about sustainable living in tiny houses, and we play a clip from a video by Fred Schultz in Mt Alexander Shire in Central Victoria who is advocating and pioneering the process of changing the law so full-time living in a tiny house becomes legal.


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Content of this hour

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


Barwon Water’s new Green Star headquarters

Originally built in 1977, the $32 million refurbishment, with architectural and engineering design by GHD Woodhead, has earned the building a 5 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. The project was price-neutral for the authority’s customers.

“This is a new era for Barwon Water. One that builds on its past foundations of delivering affordable, secure, high-quality water. This upgrade has radically transformed the sustainability of the building, making it one of Geelong’s cleanest. It just goes to show what can be achieved through building redesign,” said Victorian water minister Lisa Neville at the official opening of the building.

» Read more on www.barwonwater.vic.gov.au

» Photos from the official opening on Barwon Water’s Facebook page

» The Fifth Estate – 18 July 2017:

Geelong’s sustainable redesign sets new standard
“Barwon Water’s headquarters in Geelong has become one of the latest projects to prove that even an old building can become a leading example of sustainability.”



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INSPIRATIONAL:

Guide to better, healthier offices

With the average Australian spending 90 per cent of their time indoors – and a large chunk of that in the office – a new book by The Fifth Estate aims to be a guide to better, healthier offices. 
 
‘Healthy Offices: Why Wellness Is The New Green’ explores the rise of the healthy office – a place that’s not only conducive to health and wellbeing, but that actively promotes both. The need for increased greening in offices connects with the idea that humans have an innate need to connect to nature and that when this need is met, they are better able to thrive.

» Download ‘The Wellness Book’ (PDF)



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Tiny houses

Future Proofing Geelong invited The New Joneses and their ‘tiny house’ pop-up to Geelong for the weekend of 5-7 May 2017 to challenge the way we think about space and the notion of what is ‘enough’. Aligning with Geelong After Dark meant that the tiny house which measures on 12.5 square metres, had over 4,000 visitors over the weekend, inspiring people to think about simple changes they could make to lifestyles to live more sustainably with a lesser impact on the planet. While tiny living might not be for everyone, a tiny mortgage is attractive to most.

“The New Joneses are all about the easy, everyday lifestyle choices we can make that are good for our planet.”
Tamara DiMattina, The New Joneses

» RealEstate.com.au – 5 May 2017:
Patrick Dangerfield in a Tiny House showing off The New Joneses and promoting eco-friendly living

Fred Schultz, of Fred’s Tiny Houses, is advocating to make full-time living in a tiny house legal in Victoria, Australia. Fred is working with Mount Alexander Shire Council to change the law and pioneering the process. Fred shares his approach to Council and the successes so far.

» www.fredstinyhouses.com.au

» Are YOU The New Joneses? 
www.thenewjoneses.com

» Want to live more, shop less? Don’t forget Buy Nothing New Month, which takes place in October:
www.buynothingnew.com.au





 ADDITIONALLY: 

In other news

From our notes of this week: news stories and events we didn’t have time to mention but which we think you should know about


Deep South National Science Challenge:

Adapt, manage risk, and thrive in a changing climate

A research project at the University of Waikato is one of four new climate change adaptation projects announced by the Deep South National Science Challenge, totalling more than $1 million in funding. The mission of the Challenge is to enable New Zealanders to adapt, manage risk, and thrive in a changing climate.

In 2019, a research team in New Zealand will prepare a report outlining their recommendations for local councils and government, which they hope will contribute to better informed decision-making around climate change adaptation.

“For some people, climate change is an immediate reality that requires urgent action,” said Professor Debashish Munshi from University of Waikato.

» Read more: www.scoop.co.nz



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» WAtoday – 1 August 2017:
There’s now a 95 per cent chance of global warming reaching ‘tipping point’
“A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change shows a 90 per cent chance that temperatures will increase this century by 2 to 4.9 degrees Celsius.”

» The Guardian – 1 August 2017:
Planet has just 5% chance of reaching Paris climate goal, study says
“Researchers find that economic, emissions and population trends point to very small chance Earth will avoid warming more than 2C by century’s end”

“The study simulated 100,000 potential future versions of our civilization out to 2100. In only about 1,000 of them, or around 1 percent, did human society move quickly enough to avert a temperature rise of greater than 1.5 degrees. “We’re closer to the margin than we think,” said Adrian Raftery, lead author of the simulation study. All the more reason to do whatever it takes to change our culture now.”

» Grist – 1 August 2017:
Two dire studies show the world is on the brink of locking in dangerous levels of climate change

» The Guardian – 31 July 2017:
2017 is so far the second-hottest year on record thanks to global warming
2017 is behind only El Niño-amplified 2016.

» The New Daily – 1 August 2017:
Australia’s hottest July in more than 100 years of records

» The Independent – 31 July 2017:
Climate change will almost certainly heat the world so much it can never recover, major study finds
“There’s only a 10 per cent chance we’ll avoid widespread drought, extreme weather and dangerous increases in sea level.”

» Business Standard – 31 July 2017:
Climate change pushing Asia towards doom, says report
“Much of Asia may see 50 per cent more rainfall due to climate change, although countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan may experience a decline in rainfall by 20-50 per cent, says a new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.”

» The Guardian – 31 July 2017:
Suicides of nearly 60,000 Indian farmers linked to climate change, study claims

“As Arctic temperatures rise at about double the rate of the planet as a whole, Greenland’s surface has been melting at a steady clip, contributing about 30 percent of the foot of global sea level rise since 1900.”

» Climate Central – 25 July 2017:
Despite Summer Snow, Greenland Is Still Melting

» Washington Monthly – 30 July 2017:
The Courts Will Not Save Us from Trump’s Climate Callousness

» The Guardian – 30 July 2017:
Al Gore: ‘The rich have subverted all reason’

» CBS NEWS – 2 August 2017:
Al Gore on why climate change is a national security

» The Washington Times – 29 July 2017:
Despite widespread belief in climate change, few are changing their lifestyle to combat it: Poll


» State of Green – 21 July 2017:
10 examples of circular economy solutions
“State of Green have gathered 10 solutions that unlock the potential of the Circular Economy.”

» OneStepOffTheGrid – 2 August 2017:
No small beer: Foster’s, VB to go 100% renewable by 2025
“Some of Australia’s most iconic beers are set to be brewed using solar and wind after Foster’s Group and CUB parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev pledged to shift its 6 terrawatt-hours of annual energy consumption to 100 per cent renewables by 2025.”

» New York Times – 29 July 2017:
Vermont utility Green Mountain Power is helping customers generate more of their own power
“New rooftop solar panels are popping up in trailer parks while homes and businesses in are boosting their energy efficiency with new insulation and heat pumps, all thanks to the utility’s local programs. With economic and environmental advantages driving the programs, Green Mountain’s approach is an example of how local efforts to make the fossil fuel-heavy power system more sustainable can succeed amid the challenges renewables face under the Trump administration.”

» Green Tech Media – 21 December 2016:
Utility Green Mountain Power Wants to Help Customers Go Off-Grid With Solar and Batteries

» CommonWealth magazine – 28 July 2017:
Ingredients for climate success
“We have the technology to meet our emissions goals”


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“This is the existential crossroads”

“…we should thank Adani. Like a corporate villain so crudely drawn one might suspect it of being secretly in the pay of the green movement, the Adani Group has arrived on the scene to push our responsibility for our actions into our faces. This is the existential crossroads.”

“When our children, or simply our slightly older selves, ask us if we tried to salvage a liveable world for them, they are not going to be content with a bland “what did you do?” They are going to ask us very pointedly why we dawdled so long before throwing out this criminally irresponsible band of ecocidal know-nothings.

It will be a good question. And it won’t be enough to say we trusted in the sainted Elon Musk. We won’t get anywhere without clean energy, but new technologies and cheaper prices for renewables are not going to win the struggle for us.”

» The Guardian – 2 August 2017:
Taking on Adani is not just about climate change. It’s taking back power from corporate plutocracy



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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.”
Pete Seeger, American singer