Archive for April, 2007
The winners of the Premier’s Sustainability Awards were recently announced on the 18 April 2007. The Premier’s Sustainability Awards, hosted by Sustainability Victoria, recognises "Victorian businesses, communities and individuals that demonstrate outstanding leadership in creating a more sustainable Victoria, now and for the future".
By guest author, Stephen Ingrouille, Principal, Going Solar, Transport Newsletter #18, 23 April 2007
How parking relates to sustainability is an interesting subject. Off-street parking can have some benefits but on the other hand there are issues related to land utilisation, traffic generation and infrastructure cost. Multi-level parking has additional problems of significant embodied energy (in the structures) & the need for 24 hour lighting on each floor regardless of the number of vehicles (eg on a Sunday night).
Posted in Models by Ferne Edwards on April 25th, 2007
By guest author, Brad Shone, coordinator of the Urban Orchard Project
The CERES Urban Orchard Project is a collection of folk from over 180 households across the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne who are interested in swapping and sharing the products of their backyard gardens. Initially with a focus on utilising unused fruit from the abundant plantings across Brunswick and Northcote, the project has spread to vegetables, herbs and beyond.
The 60L Green Building is a project of the Green Building Partnership, a collaboration between the ethical investment companies of Surrowee Pty Ltd and Green Projects Pty Ltd. The building is considered "the premier green commercial building in Australia, unique in its approach to energy and water consumption…". Its features include exposed brickwork walls, a clever natural ventilation system, rainwater collection and 100% on-site treatment and reuse of grey-water and black-water streams, 100% Green Power and a rooftop solar array to generate power. The 60L Building also considers social sustainability by involving and empowering its tenants by incorporating them in its management with ‘green’ leases and an environmental information system.
Our Australian rooftops currently remain untapped as to their true value. As land prices rise significantly and as the demand to emit less carbon emissions affects us all, we continue to ignore the true benefits of unused space in our urban landscape – the rooftop. A potential source for energy, water catchment and even food production, very few people within Melbourne – let alone Australia – tap this obvious source to be found right above our heads!
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As we quickly approach Earth Day on the 22 April and as the Melbourne Social Forum launches tonight, so too looms World Environment Day on June 5. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, World Environment Day celebrates people’s achievements to create a more sustainable future.
Posted in Models by Ferne Edwards on April 19th, 2007
by guest author, Jason Cox, Community Regional Mentor.
Sustainability Street focuses on achieving Ecological Sustainability and Building Strong Community Links. On Sustainability Street this is one goal not two as these goals are inseparable in reality.
The Sustainability Street Approach is, at its simplest, a basic training program in sustainable living in the home and local neighbourhood â€“ and – it can be whatever the imagination of a local community wishes to create. One of the key outcomes of the approach is developing a communitys skills and abilities with a view to influencing culture change.
The 3rd Melbourne Social Forum launches this Friday night, 6pm, 20 April, at RMIT University’s Storey Hall. Opening night speakers talking about "Change the Political Climate – Community Responses to the Howard Catastrophe; include Gilbert Rochecouste, Village Well (MC), Helena Norberg-Hodge, International Society for Ecology and Culture, Stephen Mayne, Founder of Crikey.com.au, Aunty Sue Rankin, a Kulin Nation Elder and Verity Burgmann, Professor of Political Science at the University of Melbourne.
Research – Report released that states rainwater tanks are more effective than dams or desalination plants
Posted in Research by Ferne Edwards on April 17th, 2007
A study released by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) yesterday, 16 April, states that urban water tanks are more cost-effective solutions than dams or desalination plants. The report commissioned by the ACF, Environment Victoria and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, conducted by economists Marsden Jacobs Associates, found that:
"Rainwater tanks are five times more energy efficient than desalination plants and twice as energy efficient as the proposed Traveston dam, per megalitre of water produced.
Posted in Models by Ferne Edwards on April 17th, 2007
If you live in Melbourne, there’s a very good chance that you may have a Sustainable Homes program – of one variety or another – in your suburb. Commencing this Wednesday, 18 April, the Sustainable Homes Program for Darebin, Whittlesea, Banyule and Nillumbik residents is due to commence again. A FREE program designed to help make it easy for you create a more sustainable home, evening workshops will be held for local residents to share their experiences and outcomes using photos and stories. The program focuses on five key environmental themes of water, energy, biodiversity and gardening, waste and travel. For more information, email sustainablehomes @darebin.vic.gov.au.