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Archive for June, 2013

Open Table: The first success!

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on June 27th, 2013

OpenTable2
Photo from Open Table.

On the first Sunday of every month at the Brunswick Neighbourhood House, De Carle St, Open Table welcomes friends, families, neighbours and anyone up for a free Sunday feast, and Sunday June 2nd was the first official event. The night was a great success, with around 60 people contributing to the great atmosphere of the evening.  Families, elderly locals, residents from nearby community housing, people from community organisations, and other interested locals mingled, sharing food prepared by Open Table’s chef from donations from food rescue organisations and local gardeners.  Event collaborator Georgia Hutchison says that “everyone was beaming”.

The next event will be held on July 7, and the organisers will be continuing to develop connections with local community organisations in the month until then, ensuring the invitation to come and share in a Sunday feast is spread as widely as possible.  The organisers are also planning a special feast during Fair Food Week to coincide with the launch of the People’s Food Plan.

>>> Stay updated through their website or facebook page.

 

About Open Table:

Australians discard $8 billion of edible food every year in our homes, this is roughly 350kg of food per year in the bin (Source: NSW EPA, 2012). Sadly, this does not even take into account edible food wasted in production, distribution and point of sale. Food that goes to landfill doesn’t biodegrade like it does in your compost – as it rots it releases methane and other greenhouse gases.

Open Table is a not-for-profit food redistribution and community connectedness project. They hold monthly Sunday dinners at the Brunswick Neighbourhood house, using excess food that would otherwise go to waste. The dinners are inclusive, accessible and free. This project addresses the need for greater community connectedness and participation, as well as providing for the material needs of more disadvantaged members of the community. Open Table seeks to bring together disparate groups within Brunswick to greater links and understanding.

Open Table is based on collaboration within: our working group, the Brunswick community, local businesses and supporting organisations. Through the generosity of the Brunswick Neighbourhood house they have a permanent home for the monthly dinners. With support and guidance from Moreland City Council they are able to use the community kitchen to cook delicious vegetarian meals.


Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2013

Posted in Seeking by Jessica Bird on June 26th, 2013

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Cape Paterson Eco Village, winner of the Design category, Premier’s Sustainability Awards, 2012.

From the media release ‘Eco-leaders encouraged to enter Premier’s Sustainability Awards':

Individuals, businesses, community or government groups who have shown commitment to sustainability are encouraged to enter the Premier’s Sustainability Awards as positive role models for all Victorians. Now in their 11th year, the Premier’s Sustainability Awards celebrate efficient use of water, resources and energy, better waste management and recycling practices, the enhancement of the environment and effective, practical community action. The winner of last year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards, Brightgreen, is urging Victorians who have developed a sustainable product or service to enter this year’s awards program, saying “it is a real thrill to be recognised on a state level… We entered the awards last year because they celebrate sustainable innovation – the whole driving force behind Brightgreen. We’re on a mission not just to make the most efficient or the brightest light but to actually change the way people think about lighting – encouraging them to see it as investment rather than something that’s disposable,” said Brightgreen Co-founder and CEO, David O’Driscoll. “The Premier’s Sustainability Awards align perfectly with everything that we set out to achieve.”

CEO of Sustainability Victoria, Stan Krpan, said that the awards are a great way to recognise and celebrate leadership in sustainability. This year the awards provide even more opportunities for recognition. Entries are open in eight categories: Infrastructure and Buildings, Tourism, Environmental Protection, Education, Innovative Product and Services, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), Large Business, and Community.

>>> Entries close at 2pm Monday 15 July, 2013.
>>> Visit sustainabilityawards.vic.gov.au for entry criteria and kits, and queries.

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Dehydrator in Degraves Street

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on June 24th, 2013

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Photo by avlxyz via Flickr CC

From Enterprise Melbourne:

The City of Melbourne is working with businesses in Degraves Street and Centre Place to implement a shared recycling program, which aims to divert plastics, paper, cardboard, aluminum, glass and organic waste from commercial bins. The waste materials are collected from the businesses and processed on site at the Degraves Street Recycling Facility in Ross House, which hosts a food waste dehydrator, a cardboard baler and co-mingled recycling bins. [The dehydrator turns organic waste into pellets that can then be used as compost for gardens. -JB] The objective of the project is to increase recycling and promote positive environmental outcomes within the Degraves Street precinct.  The project will reduce the environmental and amenity impacts of waste collection and disposal in this busy and popular area of the city. The Degraves Street Recycling Facility is a demonstration project jointly funded by the City of Melbourne and Metropolitan Waste Management Group.

>>> The Degraves Street Recycling Facility is located in Ross House.
>>> You can read the original article on Enterprise Melbourne.


Food-Security and Water-Security in the Urban Context

Posted in Research, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on June 20th, 2013

 

Image: CRC for Water-Sensitive Cities

Image: CRC for Water-Sensitive Cities

From The urban water-energy-food nexus by Prof. Tony Wong:

[…]

Australia’s water consumption is dominated by agricultural uses, followed by consumptions in cities (domestic and industrial) and for electricity generation principally to meet demands in our cities. Our communities have an important role in managing demands. Our consumption of food, energy and water remains inefficient. We waste more than 30% of food produced, we are only beginning to recycle our wastewater for non-drinking purposes, and we do not capture and use the ‘waste heat’ from our electricity production. Transforming our cities to a more sustainable and efficient consumption of resources require socio-technical approaches, starting with a concerted effort to foster community awareness and behavioural change for efficient consumption of water, energy and food. Exploiting the water-energy nexus in urban development, such as district-level tri-generation and the further utilisation of available heat for water disinfection and production of district-level reticulation of hot water, are simple cathartic initiatives to lead this transformation.

The creation of productive landscapes is emerging as a core element of urban green infrastructure strategies. Our cities are water supply catchments with the combined stormwater and wastewater resources exceeding the water consumption in most Australian cities. These resources may be exploited to support a greener city for a multitude of liveability objectives, including the support of productive landscapes ranging from community gardens, to orchards and urban forests.

>> Read the full article by Prof. Tony Wong on the CRC for Water-Sensitive Cities website.


Get smart: ATA’s Consumer guide to smart Meters

Posted in Models, Research by Jessica Bird on June 17th, 2013

Source: The Alternative Technology Association

ata_consumer_guide_to smart_meters

The Alternative Technology Association’s (ATA) Consumer Guide to Smart Meters helps households and small businesses understand and take advantage of products and services associated with smart meters. The guide provides easy-to-understand information. Some of the smart meter products and services exist now, and some are expected to become available in the next two to three years.

>>> You can download the guide from the ATA’s website.


Twisted Tucker: Sustainable Table

Posted in Events by Riki Edelsten on June 13th, 2013

23 June , 2013
11:45 amto4:00 pm

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On Sunday 23rd June Sustainable Table are hosting a unique and inspiring event that will teach us all how to grow and cook with Australian native plants. The event will explore why native edibles are an important part of the sustainable food movement.

Warm yourself with bush tea and wattleseed cookies and take a guided educational talk and tour of the CERES native gardens and nursery. You’ll learn about the environmental and health benefits of growing native edibles and get a run-down of what to grow and how to grow it so that you can enjoy our native cuisine in your own home.

Then enjoy an aperitif and canapés before indulging in a native two-course Sunday roast lunch – think wild bush spices, succulent wallaby and nourishing native greens.

Founder of ‘Outback Chef’ Jude Mayall will demonstrate how to cook with native foods. You’ll also learn how to mix fun and creative drinks using native botanicals and hear from the makers, growers and change makers.

You might like to read an interview with Jude on why we should eat native foods here.

Lunch will be served at The Merri Table, prepared by chef Kiran Kilmartin, and matched with Australian-made, botanically-enriched Maidenii Vermouth and West Winds Gin.

Tickets normally cost $110 but for a limited time only you can recieve a 10% discount on bookings of 4 people or more.
What the ticket price includes:

Ticket price includes a native edibles tour and talk, cooking demonstration, canapes, two-course seasonal lunch,  alcoholic drinks as well as a take-home native seedling and guide.
WHEN: 11.45am – 4.00pm, Sunday 23 June

WHERE: The Merri Table, CERES, Cnr Roberts and Stewarts Streets, East Brunswick. For transport options (Bus, Tram, Bike, Car parking) click here.

Buy your ticket online here.

We hope to see you there!


Garbage Warrior film & recycled building discussion

Posted in Events by EcoCentre on June 11th, 2013

17 June , 2013
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

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EcoCentre June Film Night – Garbage Warrior. 

What do beer cans, car tyres and water bottles have in common? Not much unless you’re renegade architect Michael Reynolds, in which case they’re tools of choice for producing energy-independent housing.

For 30 years, New Mexico-based Reynolds and his green disciples have advanced the art of ”Earthship Biotecture” by building self sufficient, off the grid communities.

Shot over 3 years and in 4 countries, Garbage Warrior is a portrait of a determined building visionary.

The film will be introduced by Melbourne based architect, owner-builder and eco village enthusiast Tony Kenny, whose own home has been fashioned from largely reclaimed materials for well under $60,000.

Date: Monday 17 June
Time: 7pm
Venue: Port Phillip EcoCentre
Corner Blessington & Herbert Streets, St Kilda
(in the St Kilda Botanic Gardens)

Cost: $2 on the door

Bookings: www.trybooking.com/CGJL
Phone: 9534 0670

 

 


Printed Flexible Solar Cells: CSIRO

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on June 6th, 2013

CSIRO Flexible Solar Cells

From CTRL+P: Printing Australia’s largest solar cells by Crystal Ladiges:

Scientists have produced the largest flexible, plastic solar cells in Australia – 10 times the size of what they were previously able to – thanks to a new solar cell printer that has been installed at CSIRO. The printer has allowed researchers from the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium to print organic photovoltaic cells the size of an A3 sheet of paper.

According to materials scientist Dr Scott Watkins, printing cells on such a large scale opens up a huge range of possibilities for pilot applications.  “There are so many things we can do with cells this size,” he says. “We can set them into advertising signage, powering lights and other interactive elements. We can even embed them into laptop cases to provide backup power for the machine inside.”

Using semiconducting inks, the researchers print the cells straight onto paper-thin flexible plastic or steel. With the ability to print at speeds of up to ten metres per minute, this means they can produce one cell every two seconds. As the researchers continue to scale up their equipment, the possibilities will become even greater for this technology. Eventually they hope to see solar cells being laminated to the windows that line skyscrapers and embedded onto roofing materials.

Read the original article by Crystal Ladiges on the CSIRO news blog.

Imagine…!

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Photo: malloreigh via flickr CC


Living Green Workshops at CERES

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on June 5th, 2013

Have a look at this screen grab of some of the workshops coming up at CERES – they just get better and better.
What are you doing on the weekend?

CERES Workshops

>>www.ceres.org.au/Training/workshop.html 
>> download the March-June 2013 brochure 


(How Do We Develop) Post Carbon Pathways? Learning from international research & policy

Posted in Movements, Policies, Research, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on June 3rd, 2013

PostCarbon Pathways

Post Carbon Pathways: Towards a Just and Resilient Post Carbon Future

Learning from leading international post carbon economy researchers and policy makers

 

Key messages

1. The probability and risks of global warming of four degrees or more are rapidly increasing. This is, however, an argument for visionary leadership and decisive action – not political paralysis and buck-passing.

2. The technological and economic roadmaps showing the actions we need to take to avoid catastrophic global warming are now widely understood. From Germany to California and from the United Kingdom to China the global momentum for implementation of large scale de-carbonisation strategies is rapidly accelerating.

3. The biggest roadblocks preventing implementation of large-scale de-carbonisation strategies at the speed required to prevent runaway climate change are primarily political not technological. The key roadblocks are:

  • Climate science denial
  • The power of the fossil fuel industry and its allies
  • Political paralysis
  • Unsustainable consumption of energy and resources
  • Path dependencies and outdated infrastructure
  • Financial and governance constraints

4. The key actions needed to overcome these political roadblocks are:

  • Clear understanding of the necessity and possibility of an emergency speed transition to a just and resilient post-carbon future
  • Broad recognition of the potentially enormous social and economic benefits of switching investment from fossil fuels to energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon sequestration
  • Game changing social and technological innovation
  • Decisive leadership and skilful implementation by communities, business and government at every level of society
>> Go to the PostCarbon Pathways site to read more, download the Report, or download the Interview Transcripts