Category Archives: Towards sustainability
Climate affects everything, so there are hundreds of ways to take action. Including the way we eat.
Tomorrow at Bundanoon Community Garden, in the grounds of the Quest for Life Centre, Ellsmore Rd, Bundanoon
Local food, talks, demos, music… and looks like a perfect Highlands day to enjoy it all.
10am – 4pm Sunday 8 March
Admission by donation to support Bundanoon Community Garden
A message from David Tranter
Following the fantastic visit to the off-grid house of Larry and Penny Osterhaus two months ago, arranged by Gordon Markwart, I am pleased to announce a second outing for CANWin members and friends on Sunday morning, September 7th.
This time there are three sustainable houses to visit in Mittagong, each one different from the others.
The program for the day is as follows:
9.30am: Assemble immediately in front of Mittagong Railway Station to pool cars
9.55am (SHARP) Move off to the first site (Lemann “Greeny Flat”)
10am: Lemann Greeny Flat Inspection
10.45am: Depart for the second site (Leenders House)
11am: Leenders House Inspection
11.45am:Leave for the third site (Podger House)
12 noon: Podger House Inspection (outdoors)
12 45: Return to parked cars at Mittagong Railway Station
1pm (Optional): Leave for the Home and Garden Show at the Bong Bong Racecourse, to see the CANWin exhibits and check out the show.
- “Climate change is such a huge issue that it requires strong, concerted, consistent and enduring action by governments.”
a) Peter Garrett
b) Kevin Rudd
c) Julia Gillard
- “The collapse of communism was a disaster for the left, and really, they embraced the environment as their new religion.”
a) Joe Hockey
b) Nick Minchin
c) Barnaby Joyce
- “Climate change is crap.”
a) Bob Brown
b) Steve Fielding
c) Tony Abbott
- “The immediate and inevitable consequence of this logic – if echoed in other countries – is that there will be no global deal as each nation says to its domestic constituencies that they cannot act because others have not acted.”
a) Helen Coonan
b) Julia Gillard
c) Kevin Rudd
- “Well sometime in the future, if the world agrees that we’re going to have a price on carbon then Australia will obviously have to take some sort of position on carbon pricing. Now our policy is very clear. By 2015 we’ll review the situation, see where the rest of the world is at.”
a) Tony Abbott
b) Bob Brown
c) Joe Hockey
- “Mitigating the impacts of resource-inefficient lifestyles such as divorce helps to achieve global environmental sustainability and saves money for households.”
a) Steve Fielding
b) Peter Garrett
c) Joe Hockey
- “I don’t know whether Copenhagen was a roaring success, because every time I turned on the TV the lakes were freezing, the snow was falling and the planes were stuck on the airstrip.”
a) Steve Fielding
b) Barnaby Joyce
c) Nick Minchin
How did you go? Check out the answers.
Southern Highlands News, 29 May 2013, Author, Jill Cockram. More articles from the CANWin column.
Think Eat Save That’s the theme for this year’s World Environment Day, next Wednesday 5th June.
It sounds good, but where can you learn how to make it work?
One place is at a community garden. It can give you experience with skills that Nannas and Grandpops learnt as a matter of course, and work out how to combine them with new information and technologies for a better life in the digital age.
The Highlands now has two community gardens, at Moss Vale and Bundanoon. They can be great demonstration sites for:
- Eating with the seasons for fresher food and to reduce imports
- Knowing what will grow locally
- Growing lots of organic food in our own backyards and town green spaces
- Understanding the cycles of life (saving seed for next season’s crops)
- Learning how to build structures using renewable materials (strawbale, mudbrick)
- Strategies to lower your environmental footprint – solar energy, recycling, sustainable transport, chemical-free food production, preserving the harvest
Community gardeners are developing ways to cope well with disruptions to familiar food growing cycles. Plants thrive within their own range of temperatures, as we find out when we try to grow things outside their comfort zone – mangoes in the Highlands?? As our climatic zones change, the staple foods that farmers can grow are also changing. More catastrophic weather events could also cause food shortages. Remember the banana shortage a few years ago?
And at a community garden you can re-learn something extra that Nanna knew: a job like bottling a tree’s worth of apples is fun and efficient with a group of friends, but hard yakka if you’re beavering away for hours alone at home.
The Highlands has two community gardens, at Railway Street, Moss Vale (http://www.mossvalecommunitygarden.org.au/) and Ellsmore Street, Bundanoon (http://garden.bundanoon.nsw.au/). Check the websites for opening times, or come and meet people at next week’s events.
Environment week events
Tuesday June 4: CANWin Speaker Night with climatologist Dr Blair Trewin from the Bureau of Meteorology. 7pm at the Council Civic Centre Theatrette in Moss Vale.
Wednesday June 5: Moss Vale Community Garden workshops worm farming. 1.30pm at the Garden
Friday June 7: Open Garden at the Quarter Acre Farm, 18 Hood St, Mittagong
Sunday June 9: Bundanoon Community Garden presents the premiere of “Symphony of Soils”. 3pm at the Council Civic Centre Theatrette.
Climate Literacy: Navigating Climate Change Conversations is a free, online course led by Sarah Burch and Sara Harris of the University of British Columbia. It “tackles the scientific and socio-political dimensions of climate change. This course introduces the basics of the climate system, models and predictions, human and natural impacts, mitigative and adaptive responses, and the evolution of climate policy.”
The course is offered through coursera.org, “an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.” There are hundreds of courses available — it’s worth a look even if you don’t want to have a go at Climate Literacy.
Climate Literacy started on 20th May (21st May Highlands time). No time to waste, but there’s still time to catch up.
The full course description, from the website, is:
This course explores the basic concepts and terms needed to understand the science of climate change, and the available mitigation, adaptation and policy options. By the end of the course, students will be able to:
* Tell the story of our climate, describing how interactions among atmosphere, ocean, land, and life lead to climatic changes at all timescales.
* Evaluate the likely effect of historical human fossil emissions and land use changes on Earth’s energy balance and climate.
* Describe the direct observations of climate change in recent decades, and articulate the evidence attributing global warming in this time period to human causes.
* Assess the utility – and limits – of climate models to predict global and regional climate change.
* Articulate the demographic, economic, technological and political factors that influence both humans’ impact on the climate and humans’ vulnerability to climate change.
* Express an informed opinion on the scope and urgency of the efforts needed to both mitigate and adapt to climate change.
We provide the scientific basics of climate change paired with the response options (mitigation and adaptation) and policy landscape. Focusing exclusively on the science of climate change may not allow a nuanced understanding of the social implications of this science. Similarly, political or economic analyses of climate change frequently neglect the underlying mechanics behind climate change thresholds, feedbacks, and the potential for abrupt change. This course explores linkages between climate change and other pressing priorities such as human health, poverty, community livability, economic resilience, and other environmental problems (such as biodiversity and water quality). We acknowledge the urgent need to design innovative strategies that realize multiple objectives (or co-benefits) simultaneously, and explore the particular capacity for sustainability and climate change to provide an avenue for achieving these objectives.
Southern Highland News, 1 May 2013, Author, Lyndal Breen. More articles from the CANWin column.
Some people can afford to invest in solar panels, retrofit their home, or buy an electric car, but what can you do when it’s a struggle to make ends meet? Here are some no-cost ways to save on carbon emissions and help protect our climate.
For many of us, it’s a matter of changing a few habits. A good starting point is training yourself to turn off the lights when you leave a room.
How many of your appliances have little red lights or digital clocks that glow even when the appliance is turned off? That glow means that the appliance is on standby, and still using electricity. Most standby power is like a dripping tap that does nothing but tick over your meter. You could save as much as 10% of power usage just by turning appliances off at the wall.
Do you automatically turn on a heater when the sun loses its warmth in the afternoon? Try putting on a jumper or a jacket first: you might find you can leave the heater alone for hours. In summer, learning to adjust blinds and window openings to manage the heat costs nothing except a small effort.
See how often you can walk instead of drive for short distances. 10% of private car journeys are less than one kilometre and 30% are less than 3 kilometres. Walking instead of driving for some of these short trips cuts your carbon emissions and gives you a bit of time out.
These are small things, but over time they add up to a big difference. It’s not just that you can save yourself some money. It’s that you’ll be joining millions of people around the world who are quietly taking their own action on climate change.
From Transition Shire Wingecarribee comes a special recommendation for Eco-topia, the 5th National School & Community Garden Gathering, which opens on Wednesday evening 10 October and runs till Sunday 14 October (Click for bookings).
Special guest speaker is Roberto Perez, from Havana, Cuba, who appeared in the popular film, The Power of Community. Other speakers include Costa Georgiadis, host of Gardening Australia on the ABC, and John Brisbin leading a session called Singing Up the Australian Community Gardens Month — sounds entertaining.