Re-launching the game of saying “I care”

The Sustainable Hour no 369

On 30 June 2021, right on the doorstep to Plastic Free July, which kicks off at midnight, our guest in The Tunnel this week is Lisa Wriley. We feature a couple of the projects she is involved in.

Firstly a game that Lisa has updated. As a child she learnt a great deal about the importance of looking after our ecosystems by playing a game called “Conservation”. Many years later she decided that she’d like to bring the game back into being. The difficult task of tracking down the creator of this game followed. However Lisa’s determination paid off, and she was able to buy the rights which allowed her to update it. Its name is now The Earthcare Game.

Lisa currently runs a crowdfunder to get the first 500 games produced. It closes at midnight on 11 July 2021, and at the moment she has raised two thirds – $16,000 – out of her $25,000 goal. That’s been accomplished by the united financing commitment of 150 people.

The retail price of the game will be about $75, so in a way what you do by supporting the crowdfunder with that same amount is that you buy one copy of the box game with advance payment. Because if you pledge $90 or more, you will receive one numbered copy of the first 500 Earthcare box games and also cover the shipping cost of $15, plus you will earn the honourable title of being an Earthcare Hero. Estimated delivery February 2022.

Lisa is trying very hard to be as sustainable as she can possibly be in the materials and tokens that is being used in her game.

Additionally, we hear about the tiny house in which in which she now proudly lives and words. Lisa obviously takes the notion of being the change she wants to see in the world seriously. She takes us through us through its construction and the unique way she paid the young people who helped her build it.

Colin Mockett‘s Global Roundup begins in Sri Lanka, with an example of lightning striking twice. Recently Colin reported on a ship becoming disabled and sinking, spilling its toxic contents into the waters off that country. This past week, a second container ship reportedly suffered fire in its engine room, was disabled and drifting in the same ocean. Meawhile, the United Nations was coordinating international efforts to help Sri Lanka assess the damage from the first ship’s sinking. A UN team of oil spill and chemical experts provided by the European Union is there now.

The drought and heatwaves affecting the West Coast of America are now threatening power supplies because the reservoir levels above the Hyatt Power Plant are low enough to force it to be shut down. The plant supplies electricity to 80,000 homes. As well, the West Coast is yet to reach its peak wildfire season – but already wildfires have burned more than last year’s total and California’s governor has declared a statewide emergency.

On a brighter note, the RE100 – a coalition of businesses committed to purchasing only renewable electricity – released statistics that show they are now using more renewable energy than the entire electrical consumption of the United Kingdom.

In Scotland a new pumped hydro scheme will double the nation’s hydro electric system making Scotland’s power system essentially net-zero. The new water storage will operate like a battery to be used when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

And Iceland is promoting plans to advance gender equality in its transition to sustainable energy. The country aims not only to be carbon neutral, but the new industry which they term ‘Green job creation’ be will be gender neutral. The old generating system was almost all male, but the government is encouraging quotas to ensure that in future it will be 50/50 genders.

The climate emergency is not a game, yet how we manage to deal with it will have a lot to do with how we play our bricks and use our language. Mik Aidt starts us off today reminding us of this with a brief quote from the Canadian Prime Minister at the start of World War Two. This is from the Canadian Climate Emergency Unit and consists of four lessons from those times. Lessons we need to implement now at a speed and scale not seen since then, and lessons that locally the Surf Coast Council have developed in their new “Climate Response Corporate Response Plan”. We end today’s show with a longer extract from the initial clip from Canada.

As always, we hope that you enjoy this week’s podcast as much as we did in producing. It is so encouraging to see ‘M.A.D.’ people Making A Difference week after week.

We aim to give our listeners hope by focusing on such people. We appreciate the suggestions that you send in on people to interview as well as projects and issues to cover.

With the recent storms toppling through multiple regions in eastern Victoria, we are reminded that our climate is rapidly changing. Whole ecosystems are at risk from rampant logging, fire, and now unprecedented storms.

Until next week, think about how you can become part of the climate revolution as we work towards a safer, more just, inclusive and healthy world. #FindYourRole!
~ Anthony Gleeson

“Amazingly three quarters of the squares are still the same. They are still right on the ball of what I see as being relevant today. To me that just says how long we’ve known about the problem and how long we have not been effective in making the changes we need to.”
~ Lisa Wriley, creator of the EarthCare Game, a re-invention of a 1976 board game called ‘Conservation’

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A big thank you and acknowledgement to Jackie Matthews for doing the Sustainable Hour postproduction every week.

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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 land. They nurtured it and thrived in often harsh conditions for millenia before they were invaded. Their land was then stolen from them – it wasn’t ceeded. It is becoming more and more obvious that, if we are to survive the climate emergency we are facing, we have much to learn from their land management practices.

Our battle for climate justice won’t be won until our First Nations brothers and sisters have their true justice. 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…

“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.”

The decisions currently being made around Australia to ignore the climate emergency 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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Advertising awards: Don’t reward fossil fuels

Oil, gas and coal products, and the corporations that profit from them, are making our future less safe.
So, why should we award the campaigns that promote them? Add your support by signing our petition
to awards organisers and by submitting your creative to our open brief, ‘Fossil fuels are the new tobacco’.

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The EARTHCARE / CONSERVATION 2 game is a fun way to explore the many ways we can care for the earth, connect with nature and help conserve the planet’s resources.

Take small steps to save the planet and earn points.  Make a mess, waste energy or water and lose points.  I CARE cards help you do good things. Suitable for 6 to 106 year olds.

Australian made, the game pieces are made of 70% recycled cardboard, clay, smooth upcycled glass and aluminium, recycled plastic and rescued fabric.  There is a box game and cloth game to choose from. 

→

→ Support getting this game into production on

Earthcare on Facebook

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Lego bricks made out of recycled bottles

After billion-dollar investments: Lego has invented a sustainable version of the iconic plastic block

After years of experimentation and huge investments, Lego has invented the perfect blend of recycled bottles and a secret ingredient that can be used in the classic Lego brick. But the color is missing, and so is mass production.

It has cost billions of kroner and several years of laboratory hours, but now Lego dares to believe that the group has a chance to be able to exclusively produce sustainable Lego bricks.

“This is an important milestone, because it is the first time we can show a prototype of the classic Lego brick made of sustainable material, namely plastic bottles, which live up to our very high requirements, and where the bricks interlock in the right way,” explained Tim Brooks, who is is head of environmental responsibility at Lego.

Since 2015 he has been part of the group of now 150 employees, who have repeatedly tested materials over and over again to find out if it was possible to make a Lego block from recycled plastic.

After testing 250 different kinds of bricks of the PET plastic that plastic soda bottles are made of, the group has finally arrived at the now patented version.

In fact, you can make 10 of the classic Lego bricks from a one-liter plastic soda bottle, Lego has found out. And while Lego sells over 70 billion Lego units of various sizes each year, it’s not the lack of plastic bottles that will be the problem.

“In total, we use about 120,000 tonnes of plastic, but if you compare it with the plastic production that takes place in food and beverages, we are talking millions of tonnes,” said Tim Brooks.

Lego has raised its climate ambitions with a new climate goal to ensure that the company helps keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees this century.

“The next 10 years are extremely critical and we want to take some of the responsibility,” Tim Brooks told

The name ‘Lego’ is said to be an abriviation of ‘Leg godt’, which means ‘Play well’ in Danish.

Source (in Danish language):

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Conservation, preservation and justice

Extreme weather conditions have become the global norm. Forests are burning in Brazil and Siberia, permafrost soils are thawing, polar ice and glaciers melt, drought strikes once fertile regions, plant and animal species are becoming extinct on a massive scale.

Yet even as the impact of climate breakdown comes to be felt everywhere, government climate policy worldwide is woefully inadequate to the urgency of the crisis. States prefer not to act at all: when forced, they act on a symbolic level at most. On one day they declare a climate emergency; the next day they still sponsor fossil-fueled energy, building freeways, airports and gas pipelines, enclosing territory on whatever scale the projects demand.

This cynical spectacle contributes nothing to planetary survival. What is urgently needed instead is decarbonization of the world economy, total reorganization of trade, food production, labor and housing, plus drastically increased taxation of climate-destructive modes of transport and forms of production that squander resources. The overall social focus must be shifted from growth and profit towards resource conservation, preservation of livelihoods, climate justice and global redistribution.”

~ Oliver Ressler, artist

→ Grist – 25 June 2021:
Leaked UN report warns of climate tipping points
“Here’s what they are and why they matter.”

The Earth is now trapping nearly twice as much heat as it did just 16 years ago, in 2005. The researchers discovered an “unprecedented” increase of heat. NASA’s scientists are alarmed.

→ The Guardian – 18 June 2021:
Earth is trapping ‘unprecedented’ amount of heat, Nasa says
“Scientists from agency and Noaa say Earth’s ‘energy imbalance’ roughly doubled from 2005 to 2019 in ‘alarming’ way.”

Four hopeful lessons from WW2 to confront climate change

The climate emergency requires acting at a speed and scale not seen since the Second World War. This video explains four key
lessons from Canada’s Second World War mobilization that need to be applied to Canada’s climate response today.


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“If you have got a population of nine billion by 2050 and you hit 4°C, 5°C or 6°C, you might have half a billion people surviving.”
~ Kevin Anderson, Deputy Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

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Media release on 25 June 2021:

Surf Coast Shire Council endorses Climate Emergency Corporate Response Plan

Surf Coast Shire Council took the next step on its commitment to addressing climate change endorsing its Climate Emergency Corporate Response Plan (CECRP) at their Council meeting on 24 June 2021.

The CECRP includes an immediate two-year action plan for the 2021-23 financial years, featuring six key goals with measurable objectives and targets:

The six goals:                       

1.    Our organisation is carbon neutral.

2.    Our organisation generates, stores and uses renewable electricity.

3.    Our organisation is adapting well to a changing climate.

4.    Our organisation aligns with local Registered Aboriginal Parties’ Country Plans.

5.    Our organisation facilitates and empowers community-led responses to the climate emergency.

6.    Our organisation is a climate emergency leader.

In August 2019 Surf Coast Shire Council declared a climate emergency after receiving petitions with more than 1,000 signatures calling for leadership on climate action.

In November 2019, Council endorsed a Climate Emergency Response Roadmap and Cr Kate Gazzard said this latest endorsement, highlights Council’s commitment to addressing climate change and becoming a climate emergency leader.

“This is about local government making a difference at a grass roots level and that’s what the Climate Emergency Corporate Response Plan allows us to do,” Cr Gazzard said.

“It focuses on six key goals that have achievable and tangible objectives, measures and targets. The plan embodies Council’s vision for our community and environment to be thriving in a safe climate.”

“It’s about empowering our people to implement climate solutions at work, supporting our community to take action, advocating our position, and joining in with others responding to the climate emergency.”

The plan includes Council targets for its own corporate energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water, waste, land use and biodiversity targets.

New actions will also build on work already being delivered by Council in areas such as energy efficiency and renewable energy, transport, waste, land management, open space operations and emergency management.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions represents our top priority, and accordingly Council commits to purchasing 100 per cent renewable electricity and becoming a carbon neutral organisation in 2021-22.”

“One of our goals is for Council to serve as a model for other organisations and we look forward to collaborating with our community on how we can collectively work towards a low emissions future for the Surf Coast Shire.”


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The New Joneses’ Tick Off Ten list

Get inspired!

“We searched for you to find the 10 little things we can all do for BIG impact.”

If you’d like want to learn more, here’s the whole series of 10 Road Trip episodes:

Joost Bakker says GROW SOME FOOD
Alice In Frames says EAT MORE VEG
Regenerative Farmer Sam Walker says PLANT A TREE
James ‘All-Electric’ Allston says SUPPORT RENEWABLES
Dr. Anika Molesworth says CUT OUT CARBON
Neville Jetta says HEAL COUNTRY
The New Joneses say PLEDGE. JOIN. DO THE THINGS!

→ Download and print the Tick Off Ten list (PDF)

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10 steps to personal resilience and empowerment in a chaotic climate

Do you feel anxious about climate change, grief for species extinction, despair or anger at the inequalities of our society?… Do systemic issues of society sometimes keep you awake at night? Do you feel overwhelmed by the news?… Are you exhausted by the amount of work to be done, or are you unsure where to even begin?

Join with others who feel the same way, and work to move through the heavy feelings and to deconstruct cultural narratives, in this heart-centred program by the Good Grief Network. Be part of a space where people can lean into their painful feelings about the state of the world and reorient their lives toward meaningful efforts while building resilient communities.

10 weekly step Sunday sessions beginning 11 July 2020:

  • Sundays 2pm-4pm in the Yami Lester Room at Friends of the Earth, 312 Smith St, Collingwood.
  • Act on Climate collective member and trained Good Grief FLOW facilitator Liz Wade will facilitate the sessions, along with previous participant Anja Homburg.
  • All proceeds from the tickets will support Friends of the Earth’s Act on Climate collective. If cost is a barrier for you, please feel free to get in touch to arrange a place.
  • Member price for all Friends of the Earth Melbourne Members. You can sign up as a member here. Read more about Friends of the Earth membership here.

Feedback from previous participants:

“The weekly Good Grief sessions made space to slow down, refocus, and delve more deeply into the climate-related discomfort unconsciously affecting all areas of my life. It also grew my community and my communication skills in a safe, welcoming environment. The course is a worthwhile commitment, especially with Liz Wade as your facilitator.” – 2020 participant

“The good grief course was invaluable, and came at a moment when I was feeling disillusioned and anxious about the future. Liz opened a beautiful space, where I felt like I could be authentic and honest and reach deep inside myself to those places that I don’t like to visit. I felt safe, and genuinely heard, like each session was I door I could prise open a fraction more each time. I felt like I was getting to see the truth of my fellow participants as we all became accustomed to being so raw and vulnerable.

At times I visited grief, death and loss and at others I giggled uncontrollably. I found understanding through metaphor and narrative and Liz’s gentle exercises in developing intuition – taking what worked and leaving the rest. I visit these places often now, and I feel like my life will be richer in a more sustained way due to my participation in the program. Thank you Liz” – 2020 participant


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When **it Gets Real

“This last week, a draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment was leaked. It hit hard. Their latest findings about impacts are unsurprising to folks who do this work every day, but because our public debate about this crisis has failed so comprehensively, their plainly-worded expressions have sent shock waves through the broader public discussion. The ecological and climate problems we face are numerous, complex and chaotic. They interconnect and accelerate one another, in an avalanche of impacts. They are largely irreversible. The dangers are extreme, and we face “systemic and cascading risks.”

Our public debate does an extremely poor job of reporting how far into the planetary crisis we’ve already passed—but it does an even worse job of seeing the enormous torque now pent up in human systems. That torque has grown as institutions, communities and enterprises have ground up against the crisis and attempted to remain unchanged. Every certainty we have about how systems work is already shaking under the strain. Those who do the gatekeeping in our public debates are generally pretty clueless about this.

The ways we’ve agreed to discuss the world fail completely, though, when it comes to acknowledging how quickly and inexorably that pressure is building up behind our dams of denial and delay… and how inevitability huge, disruptive changes will be unleashed by the release of that pressure. Already the cracks are showing. Each day of inaction makes our lives and societies less predictable, subject to an even greater degree of discontinuity. We’re not yet ready for what’s already happened. We have extreme difficulty even discussing what is coming. The Weird spreads its tentacles across the land.

No one can control the upheaval that we have already set into motion in the systems and places and politics we still treat as stable. The torque that’s built up in those systems and places and politics is not reversible… and with outdated thinking, it’s not even visible. Big tentacle-waving monsters are supposed to be easy to spot, but scale doesn’t make any of this easier to see—or less slippery in our grasp.”
~ Alex Steffen – The Snap Forward on

Continue reading

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Events we have talked about in The Sustainable Hour

Events in Victoria

The following is a collation of Victorian climate change events, activities, seminars, exhibitions, meetings and protests. Most are free, many ask for RSVP (which lets the organising group know how many to expect), some ask for donations to cover expenses, and a few require registration and fees. This calendar is provided as a free service by volunteers of the Victorian Climate Action Network. Information is as accurate as possible, but changes may occur.



List of petitions where you can add your name

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Live-streaming on pause


The Sustainable Hour is normally streamed live on the Internet every Wednesday from 11am to 12pm (Melbourne time), but due to the corona lockdown, the radio station has been closed.

» To listen to the program on your computer or phone, click here – or go to where you then click on ‘Listen Live’ on the right.

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