Treating the planet as if it was the only one we’ve got

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An hour’s podcast about Enviroweek and youth environmental action, plastic bag free towns, the eight million tonnes of plastic which are entering our oceans every year, and how we transition away from both single use plastic bags and fossil fuels.

Guests in the The Sustainable Hour on 2 September 2015 on 94.7 The Pulse: Robert Skehan from Plastic Bag Free Torquay and Karina Donkers from City of Greater Geelong Council’s Youth Environment Group.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 88:

» To open or download this programme in mp3-format, right-click here (Mac: CTRL + click)


» Subscribe to ‘The Sustainable Hour’ podcast — via iTunes or via your own podcast/RSS software


“We can all affect the change. There is an issue here of leadership. On whether it is leadership of individuals in small groups, whether it is leadership in communities, whether it is religious leadership, political leadership or corporate leadership. The people who are in those positions… – and that is all of us, we can all show that leadership. You can lead from underneath. And you can lead from the community to show the politicians at a state and federal level that this change is needed, be it on climate action or be it on plastic pollution, or a whole range of other issues that obviously affect society.”
Robert Skehan, at 39:25–40:07 in The Sustainable Hour no 88



Guests in the studio:
Robert Skehan from Plastic Bag Free Torquay
Karina Donkers from City of Greater Geelong Council’s Youth Environment Group and Journeys for Climate Justice

Pre-recorded:
• Jack Nyhof’s Sustainability News Bulletin No 6

Audio /and video segments:
Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’ trailer
Bendigo Bank Solar Schools
The Islamic Climate Declaration
Lismore Community Solar: Farming the Sun



99% of seabird species could be tainted with plastic by 2050, science says…

Posted by Plastic Bag Free Torquay on Monday, 7 September 2015



 DIG DEEPER 

Quotes, excerpts and links

…in relation to the 88th Sustainable Hour


200,000 Australian kids taking action: Enviroweek

As part of Cool Australia’s national enviro week, Geelong High School are having a small expo on 3 September 2015 at 12:10 noon, open to all students during their homegroup period. Bendigo Bank supports Enviroweek in 2015.

» Article: Read more

» Home page: www.enviroweek.org

» Geelong High Green Team: www.geelonghigh.vic.edu.au/sustainabilty


October: Walk to school month

Walk to school month is an annual event which encourages primary school children to walk to and from school in October. Walking to school is great for children’s health and wellbeing and helps to reduce traffic congestion around schools.
From 5 to 30 October 2015.

Primary schools and students are encouraged to visit the Walk to School website to register and:
• order free posters, classroom calendars, stickers, certificates and fact sheets
• track walking achievements and be in the running for great prizes

»
More information: go to www.walktoschool.vic.gov.au or contact Thea Grenfell on tgrenfell at geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Victoria Walks YouTube channel:
www.youtube.com/user/victoriawalks



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TWO WORDS: DITCH PLASTIC!

8 Million tons of plastic makes its way into our oceans each year! Be a part of the solution by cutting out plastic. From the Blog “Life Without Plastic” comes this handy list:

10 Easy Tips for Living with Less Plastic

1. Avoid the worst plastic offenders

If you check the bottom of any plastic container, you’ll see a number (1 through 7) inside a triangle made of arrows. The worst plastics are:

#3 – Polyvinyl Chloride, an extremely toxic plastic that contains dangerous additives such as lead and phthalates and is used in plastic wrap, some squeeze bottles, peanut butter jars, and children’s toys

#6 – Polystyrene, which contains styrene, a toxin for the brain and nervous system, and is used in Styrofoam, disposable dishes, take-out containers, plastic cutlery

#7 – Polycarbonate/Other category, which contains bisphenol A and is found in most metal food can liners, clear plastic sippy cups, sport drink bottles, juice and ketchup containers

2. Use non-plastic containers

Carry a reusable water bottle and travel mug wherever you go. Pack your lunch in glass (Mason jars are wonderfully versatile), stainless steel, stacking metal tiffins, cloth sandwich bags, a wooden Bento box, etc. Take reusables to the supermarket, farmers’ market, or wherever you’re shopping, and have them weighed before filling. (Here is a list of 7 plastic-free lunch options.)

3. Never drink bottled water

Buying bottled water in North America is absurd, especially when you consider that bottled water is less regulated than tap water; it’s usually just filtered tap water; it’s exorbitantly expensive; it’s a gross waste of resources to collect, bottle, and ship it; and it results in unnecessary plastic waste that’s usually not recycled. (via Life Without Plastic)

4. Shop in bulk

The more items you can buy in bulk, the more you’ll save in packaging. While this mentality has been the norm for years at special bulk food stores, it’s fortunately becoming more common in supermarkets. You’ll save money in food costs and, if you drive, in the gas used for extra trips to the store.

Search for items such as large wheels of cheese, without any plastic packaging, and stock up on those whenever possible.

5. Avoid frozen convenience foods

Convenience foods are among the worst culprits for excessive packaging waste. Frozen foods come wrapped in plastic and packaged in cardboard, which is often lined with plastic, too. There’s not any way around it; it’s a shopping habit that will have to go if you’re serious about ditching plastic.

6. Avoid non-stick cookware

Don’t expose yourself and your family to toxic perfluorochemicals that are released when non-stick surfaces such as Teflon are heated. Replace with cast iron (which works just as well as non-stick if seasoned and cared for properly), stainless steel, or copper cookware.

7. Make your own condiments

This could be a fun experiment in canning, and if you dedicate a whole day to it, you could have enough to last the whole year. Make cucumber or zucchini relish and ketchup when late-summer vegetables are at their peak. Items such as chocolate sauce, mustard, and mayonnaise are quick and simple to make once you get the hang of them. Everything can be kept in glass jars.

8. Let baking soda and vinegar become your new best friends

Baking soda, which comes for cheap in large cardboard boxes, and vinegar, which comes in large glass jars, can be used to clean, scour, and disinfect the house and wash dishes, replacing plastic cleaning bottles; soda can be turned into an effective homemade deodorant; and both soda and vinegar (apple cider, specifically) can replace shampoo and conditioner bottles. (Read about how I haven’t used shampoo for 18 months.)

9. Use natural cloths instead of plastic scrubbers

If you need something with scrubbing power, go for copper instead of plastic. Use a cotton dishcloth or a coconut coir brush for dishes, instead of a plastic scrub brush. Use cotton facecloths instead of disposable wipes. Don’t underestimate the versatility of old rags!

10. Keep your laundry routine plastic-free

Use soap flakes, soap strips, or soap nuts instead of conventional laundry detergents that come in plastic-lined cardboard with plastic scoops or thick plastic jugs. They are truly awful for the planet. You can read more about that here.

Along the same lines, use bar soap instead of liquid hand soap. Bar soap works as a good shaving cream alternative, too.





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Lismore Community Solar: Farming the Sun

“We’re creating Australia’s first ever community-council solarfarm!”





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ReEnergise Geelong: A clean energy future

ReEnergise Geelong is a growing community of Geelong residents who want to get on with creating a new economic future for our city. A future where our community is powered by the sun and the wind. Where we invest locally and create new jobs in clean energy and manufacturing. Where we take back control of our power bills. Where we work together and share good energy.

Join the call for Geelong’s transition to a clean, renewable energy system. ReEnergise Geelong calls on government, business and community leaders to support Geelong’s vision for 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030.

Support this vision, and follow Geelong’s progress, by signing up here:

» www.reenergisegeelong.org





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Tackling climate change issues in the Asia Pacific Region

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Journeys for Climate Justice is an innovative Australian not-for-profit organisation tackling climate change issues in the Asia Pacific Region. The organisation is run by a team of passionate and dedicated volunteers, operating on minimal overheads. They rely on ordinary Australians and members of the international community to fund their highly acclaimed projects.

Journeys for Climate Justice aim to address the inequitable impacts of climate change, which fall on communities that have contributed the least to the problem and have the least resources to cope with them.

» www.journeysforclimatejustice.org.au

» www.facebook.com/journeysforclimatejustice


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The Islamic Climate Declaration

The Islamic Climate Declaration was launched on 18 August 2015 by Islamic leaders from across 20 countries urging the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims to make climate change a priority issue, just a few months after the Pope addressed a similar call to 1.2 billion Catholics.

» Read The Islamic Climate Declaration here: www.bit.ly/1WBlJvA

Excerpts:

“We call upon corporations, finance, and the business sector to –
• Shoulder the consequences of their profit-making activities, and take a visibly more active role in reducing their carbon footprint and other forms of impact upon the natural environment;
• In order to mitigate the environmental impact of their activities, commit themselves to 100 % renewable energy and/or a zero emissions strategy as early as possible and shift investments into renewable energy;
• Change from the current business model which is based on an unsustainable escalating economy, and to adopt a circular economy that is wholly sustainable;
• Pay more heed to social and ecological responsibilities, particularly to the extent that they extract and utilize scarce resources;
• Assist in the divestment from the fossil fuel driven economy and the scaling up of renewable energy and other ecological alternatives.”

“We are driven to conclude from these warnings that there are serious flaws in the way we have used natural resources – the sources of life on Earth. An urgent and radical reappraisal is called for.”
“We recognize the corruption (fasād) that humans have caused on the Earth due to our relentless pursuit of economic growth and consumption. Its consequences have been global climate change, which is our present concern, in addition to contamination and befoulment of the atmosphere, land, inland water systems, and seas; Soil erosion, deforestation and desertification; Damage to human health, including a host of modern-day diseases.”

» The Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change

» See more on this page: What religious leaders and communities can do

» Scroll:
Climate change has become the one thing all religions are preaching against
Along with the Pope and Islamic leaders, Hindus, Buddhists, and Sikhs have made moral arguments against climate change.




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Join the movement to reinvent our future

We need change our priorities. Understand what is required of us. Understand that we can keep relying on or waiting for our political leaders. The responsibility lies with each and everyone of us to actually create that change we need to see. And first of all: we need be speak up about it. Loudly.

The word ‘unavoidable’ entered the stream of climate reports this week. “Sea levels are rising around the world and the latest satellite data suggests that one metre or more is unavoidable in the next 100-200 years,” NASA scientists have said recently.

Ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are melting faster than ever, and oceans are warming and expanding much more rapidly than they have in years past. Rising sea level may “entirely eliminate some Pacific island nations”.

Unavoidable. Shame on our leaders who are to blame for this. Fossil foolish incompetent leaders who pretend not to have understood the kind of global mass destruction they are responsible for. Their current climate inaction is not just a crime against humanity. With Pope Francis’ words, what we are witnessing in these years is nothing less than a crime against The Creation.

Climate change poses substantial and escalating risks for health, property, infrastructure, agriculture and natural ecosystems. According to the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, climate change will hit Australia harder than many other countries, with a temperature increase of up to 5.1°C by the end of the century if the burning of fossil fuels isn’t curbed.

In this scenario, sea levels would rise by up to 82 centimetres by 2090, the number of days with severe bushfire danger would increase, and droughts would become more extreme.

From 2020 onwards, the predicted increase in drought frequency is estimated to cost $7.3 billion annually, reducing GDP by 1% per year. Deaths from heatwaves are projected to double over the next 40 years in Australian cities.

Climate Council’s latest report ‘Climate Change 2015: Growing Risks, Critical Choices’ reveals the climate system is changing more rapidly than expected and with larger and more damaging impacts.

The action we take in the next five years will largely determine the severity of climate change and its long-term impact on human societies. And while action is building worldwide, Australia is increasingly lagging behind.

» Sign on to the manifesto:
www.350.org/climate-crimes



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Subsidies madness

“According to the International Monetary Fund, Australia subsidises the fossil fuel industry by more than $40 billion a year. That, Mr Abbot, is a “great, big” pro-carbon tax of $1,712 on every man, woman and child in this country.”
John Ashon, Healesville, in a letter to the editor of The Age


» Wired – 3 September 2015:
Study Says Insane CEO Pay Is Fueling Climate Change
“There are any number of causes for climate change—some natural, some man-made. But a new report by the liberal think tank Institute for Policy Studies points to a distinctly economic cause: greed.”





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New film about climate change

A new film, ‘Chloe & Theo’, starring Dakota Johnson tackles the subject of climate change with the message: “The power to change the planet is within ourselves.” See the trailer.

Unfortunately, so far the reviews have not been promising.
‘Chloe & Theo’ opens in select theatres in the United States on 4 September 2015.





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Australians call on the Future Fund to divest

“For the $117 billion Future Fund to be worthy of its name, it needs to invest in a safe future and divest from fossil fuel companies. The future is bright and it’s powered by clean energy, not dirty, old fossil fuels. We are calling on the Future Fund to drop its investments in the fossil fuel industry, starting with companies that mine, explore for and burn coal.”

» Take action on: www.gofossilfree.org.au/future-fund




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Protesting Shell’s drilling for oil in the Arctic

Charlotte Church joined the Requiem for Arctic Ice on its 18th day outside Shell HQ. The protest runs the whole of August as Shell drills for oil in the Arctic. Join in and see other performances at www.grnpc.org/Ig2pj

Charlotte sang ‘This Bitter Earth’ with the Ligeti Quartet on strings and Kelly Lovelady as a conductor. ‘This Bitter Earth / On the Nature of Daylight’ by Clyde Otis and Max Richter. More info on www.music.savethearctic.org





Shell: “responsible and sustainable”


Shell wrote on Facebook:
“During World Water Week, see how we are taking steps to manage our water use in a responsible and sustainable way at our operations around the world. http://po.st/9Awomf”

Many commented this post. Among them, Mik Aidt wrote:

“What is this talk about being “responsible and sustainable”? If you are genuinely seeking to act like a responsible and sustainable company, then what are you doing looking for oil in the Arctic now?
You will have to stop that project, and to completely change your business model, if you want anyone to perceive your talk about being “responsible and sustainable” as anything but empty words.

You need to recognise that carbon emissions represent a threat to the livelihood of future generations, and that your current business model is only profitable because you get away with not paying for the pollution you make.

Future generations will be paying the bill, and really, you should be ashamed of yourselves using words such as “responsible and sustainable” about your operations as long as you continue your destructive, polluting business of extracting fossil fuels.”



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Tim Forcey: Switching off gas

The University of Melbourne Energy Institute (MEI) has examined the future of domestic gas across the interconnected eastern-Australian gas market. The report findings include:

• Gas demand could fall to half of the 2012 peak by 2025.
• Large Victorian homes could save as much as $658 a year if they switched off gas heating and increasingly used air conditioners with “heat pump” technology in them.

Tim Forcey, the report’s author and MEI energy adviser will join us to present about why we should be fuel switching from gas to electricity.

Time: Monday 7 September at 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Place: McCoy Building
Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin and Swanston Streets, Carlton
Public transport: Stop 111 Cnr Elgin and Swanston Streets on tram routes 1 and 8.
Entry to building is on south side of Elgin St up the ramp.
Entry: Gold coin donation

www.bze.org.au/events/discussion





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BZE film night: Cowspiracy Screening and Panel Discussion

Wednesday 23 September 2015 at 6:30pm
Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, Library – Multi-purpose Room 1
251 Faraday Street Carlton VIC 3053

Panel:
• Stephen Bygrave – CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions
• Mark Pershin – Campaign Director of Less Meat Less Heat

» www.bze.org.au/events





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This used to be the Leard Forest. Despite a long fight by farmers, environmentalists and the Gomeroi traditional owners…

Posted by Jeremy Buckingham on Thursday, 3 September 2015





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Listen to all of The Sustainable Hour radio shows in full length and in selected excerpts:

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