Archive for February, 2011

Renewable Energy Policy & Politics: Adam Bandt

Posted in Events by Mark Ogge on February 28th, 2011

7 March , 2011
6:30 pmto8:00 pm

Beyond Zero Emissions

The ZCA2020 Stationary Energy Plan shows that 100% renewables can be a reality in 10 years. We need all levels of government on board to implement a mass rollout of baseload solar thermal power stations and wind farms. For the next discussion group, Adam Bandt (Federal MP for Melbourne) will outline the Greens’ renewable energy plan and their campaign for urgent action on climate change. Adam is a barrister and in August 2010, became the first lower house Greens MP elected to Parliament in a general election. He will also talk about his public transport vision for Melbourne – more trains, bikes and electric cars.

6:30- 8pm Monday 7 March 2011

Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
McCoy Building
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton
Thank you to the University of Melbourne Energy Research Institute, our Zero Carbon Australia project partners for joining us in bringing you this event.
Entry: Gold coin donation

The recent extreme weather: A scientific perspective

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on February 25th, 2011

1 March , 2011
6:00 pmto7:30 pm

Image: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via flickr CC

From monster cyclones in Queensland to floods in Victoria, bushfires in Perth, heat waves in Russia, snow storms in Europe… in the last year the world in general, and Australia in particular, seem to have experienced a large number of extreme weather events. Were these events due to normal climate fluctuations or to climate change? – And does this question even make sense? Please join us to hear from prominent climate scientists about how unusual these events were and what the science knows – and doesn’t know – about what caused them.

How extreme is the recent extreme weather?
Dr Karl Braganza, Manager of Climate Monitoring at the National Climate Centre of the Bureau of Meteorology
La Niña, cyclones, mozzies, and myxo
Professor Neville Nicholls, ARC Professorial Fellow in the School of Geography and Environmental Science at Monash University, and President of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
Extreme weather and climate change
Professor David Karoly, ARC Federation Fellow and Professor of Meteorology in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne

Tuesday, 1 March 2011, 6:00–7:30 pm
Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria (Entry 3, 179 La Trobe Street, Melbourne)

All welcome and no bookings required.
For further information, contact: msi-seminars “at”

Presented by the Monash Sustainability Institute, the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, and the Melbourne Centre of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.

Design Competition: From Offcuts to Furniture

Posted in Models, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on February 24th, 2011

Source: Australian Design Review

The Chapman and Bailey Sow’s Ear Challenge is an opportunity for furniture designers to flex their creative muscle and test their innovative flair. Using our waste, namely a large volume of hoop pine stretcher off-cuts in random lengths and variable profiles, and Belgian linen scraps in various sizes, designers are challenged to create an innovative, beautiful, and functional item of furniture.  Although the use of linen scraps is optional, the piece of furniture must be made largely, or entirely, of hoop-pine stretcher scraps.  The furniture must also be able to be reasonably constructed by Chapman & Bailey’s skilled craftsmen, and not require arcane equipment or methods beyond our means. The winning entry will be made-up by Chapman & Bailey’s furniture craftsmen and will be displayed in conjunction with Inside Magazine at State of Design in Melbourne, late July 2011. All individuals and organisations are welcome to enter.

To enter the Chapman & Bailey Sow’s Ear Challenge please register your interest and we will keep you updated. Feel free to contact us for any more information that you may require at

Sustainable Building: Does it measure up?

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on February 24th, 2011

19 May , 2011
20 May , 2011

In the name of energy efficiency, Australians are pro-actively rebuilding and retrofitting their homes in an effort to go green and dodge rising energy and water rates. But how can we measure the extent of our efforts? How does your sustainable building really measure up?

Find out at the Sustainable Building: Does it measure up? conference, which will reveal how and why accurate energy measurement should underpin energy efficiency with seminars by Sam Mostyn (Director of Sydney University’s Institute of Sustainable Solutions), Dr Ralph Horne and Professor Alan Pears (RMIT), Ivan Donaldson (Australian Building Codes Board), Mike Hill (Westwyck Director and Developer for Sustainable Projects), Tone Wheeler (Environmental Architect) and many more.

Sponsored by the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) and held in the first and only ‘6 Star Green Star’ environmentally rated convention centre in the world, the 2-day conference will examine the tools, processes and products enhancing sustainability.

Register before March 15 for an early-bird discount.

Visit the website for more information on the program, workshops and pricing.

Visioning 2032: Short Films on a Sustainable Future

Posted in Visions by Kate Archdeacon on February 23rd, 2011

The Victorian Eco Innovation Lab (VEIL) has launched a series of thirteen one-minute films at Federation Square, which will run within the regular content on the Big Screen over the next few months.  The films are responses to some of the questions VEIL has been asking since the project started in 2007:

What could a sustainable neighbourhood in Melbourne look like? How could we transform a number of our existing urban communities through design ‘interventions’?

If we are to develop low-carbon resilient suburbs in Melbourne, we need to have some vision of what a desirable future living scenario is, and the changes we can make today to set us on a path there. The films are a glimpse of that potential future. The animated films are a culmination of four years’ worth of work by students and staff from Swinburne University, RMIT University, Monash University and the University of Melbourne, as well as from Melbourne design professionals. Each presents a different area of sustainable design innovation. These include new infrastructure schemes for water, food, energy and public transport, along with innovative design strategies for suburban development and new local employment opportunities.

The films can be seen here, on the VEIL website, or they can be downloaded from Vimeo (once you log in).

Sustainable Melbourne is a project of the Victorian Eco Innovation Lab.

Cycling Strategy Review: Darebin

Posted in Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on February 23rd, 2011

Image: Looking Glass via flickr CC

With over 80km of shared pathways and 50km of on-road cycle lanes, cycling is an attractive alternative to driving in Darebin. It is a healthy, fun and quick way to get around.  The Darebin Cycling Strategy is being reviewed and Council is seeking community input.

You can provide feedback on Darebin’s on and off-road cycling facilities; upgrades and improvement needs; and how Council can better promote and support cycling in Darebin.  The new Strategy will reflect the changing context of cycling as transport, the popularity of cycling for leisure and transport and the large gains made since that Strategy’s inception and the adoption and implementation of the Darebin Transport Strategy 2007-2027 (DTS).

The new Action Plan will provide an ambitious, yet achievable set of priorities for delivery of infrastructure and programs within Darebin.

The survey closes on 27 March 2011 – check the website for more details.

World Environment Day Awards: Call for Nominations

Posted in Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on February 23rd, 2011

Nominations for the 2011 United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Awards are now open nationally. Businesses, local governments, community organisations, individuals, schools and the media are invited to nominate in the following Award categories:

  • WSP Lincolne Scott Sustainability Leadership Award
  • Peter Szental Award for Sustainability Entrepreneurship
  • Virgin Blue Business Awards
  • Department of Sustainability and Environment Biodiversity Award
  • Green Building Award
  • Local Government Awards
  • Excellence in Sustainable Water Management
  • Environmental Schools Award
  • Sustainability Education Award
  • Excellence in Marine and Coastal Management Award
  • Media Award for Environmental Reporting
  • Community Award
  • Individual Award

This National Awards Program recognises those from all Australian sectors who display innovation and dedication in their work to protect, manage or restore the environment. In recent years, the World Environment Day Awards have showcased some of the most important and exciting environmental projects in Australia. The Awards program encourages environmental leadership, and promotes awareness of environmental issues on a global scale. The Association is pleased to announce a new award this year, the Peter Szental Award for Sustainability Entrepreneurship. This Award recognises businesses that have been outstanding in commercialising new sustainability solutions, demonstrating new business models and influencing mainstream thinking. The World Environment Day Awards are held annually in support of UN World Environment Day on June 5th.

Nominations close Friday 6 May, 2011.

Winners will be announced at the Awards Presentation Dinner to be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Friday 3 June, 2011.

For entry forms and further details, please visit

ATA Electric Vehicle Meeting

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on February 22nd, 2011

23 February , 2011
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

Source: Alternative Technology Association (ATA)

“Converting a BMW”  – Barry Murfett
“Capstone Microturbines”  – Mark Aboud

Barry will talk on the decisions he made in converting his BMW and the trials and tribulations he encountered along the way. A great talk for those who are contemplating a conversion AND a good opportunity for those who have already converted a vehicle to compare notes.

Mark will talk on the Capstone range of Microturbines. These units can be used in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Industrial, Educational, Wastewater Treatment Plants, Aquatic Centres and Data Centres where co-generation and tri-generation applications exist.  They come in a range of 30kW to 1MW and can run on a variety of fuels including Low or High Pressure Natural Gas, Biogas (landfill, wastewater treatment centers, anaerobic), Flare gas, Diesel, Biodiesel etc.

For all of those people who cannot get to the meeting – we will again be webstreaming it. If you cannot get to the meeting and would like to watch it on your computer log in to it here. This webcast allows you to interact with us via “chat” sessions so you can ask us questions as you watch.

Wednesday 23rd February at 7pm
The Engineering Faculty, Swinburne University, Hawthorn Campus

Visit the ATA website for more information.

Harvesting Ideas for a Sustainable Future: World Cafe with SGA

Posted in Events, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on February 21st, 2011

26 February , 2011
9:00 amto1:00 pm

Source: Sustainable Gardening Australia (SGA)

Graphic by Avril Orloff, reprinted by permission from The World Café Community Foundation at

Join Sustainable Gardening Australia (SGA) for an exceptional ‘world café’ style event so your voice can be heard. Help us to build on our momentum as a collective in creating a greener future through sustainable gardening. SGA is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation consisting of a small number of staff and many volunteers. Although we have relatively few resources, we are committed to producing strong environmental outcomes and have made significant achievements over the last 7 years.

Who should attend?

  • Home gardeners
  • Environmentalists
  • Community groups
  • Horticulturalists
  • Landscape and nursery industry professionals
  • Local government representatives
  • Anybody who wants to make a positive difference to the communities and world we live in

The world café concept creates conversations about questions that matter by bringing together people with diverse backgrounds and values. Each person’s opinions and ideas are respected and heard. For more about the world café process, we recommend this website –

Saturday 26th February, Melbourne University, Burnley Campus, 9.00am – 1.00pm
Visit the SGA website for more details or to register your attendance.

Cargo Bike Picnic

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on February 18th, 2011

27 February , 2011
11:00 amto2:00 pm