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Pedal-Powered Author Comes to Yarraville

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on September 16th, 2013

20 September , 2013
12:30 pmto1:30 pm

Soph & Greg bike JPEG 4MB

On Friday 20th September at 12:30pm come and hear author Greg Foyster speak about his inspiring pedal-powered detour from the rat race – Changing Gears – at The Sun Bookshop in Yarraville.

Changing Gears is a high-spirited adventure book charting Greg Foyster’s remarkable, life-transforming cycling challenge he undertook with his girlfriend Sophie from Hobart to Cairns on a quest to find out if we can be happier with less.

Cycling for more than 8 months and 6500 kilometres, Greg and Sophie conducted over 80 in-depth interviews with lone visionaries and engaged communities alike, all seeking a more sustainable life. There’s the barefoot monk who walked from Gold Coast to Townsville with only three robes and an alms bowl, the man who lived in the bush for 20 years without electricity and went on ‘historical treks’ using 18th century tools and clothing, the ‘modern swagman’ who wandered the highway for three decades, and many more DIY downshifters with fascinating stories to tell.

Greg tells a riveting yarn – engaging, self-effacing and with many laugh-out-loud moments. The 6586km bike expedition was a million miles from Greg’s comfortable former lifestyle as an ad man – the furthest he’d cycled in one sitting was 50km and the longest he’d been in a tent was three days at a music festival. Along the way he confronted his own character flaws, contended with bum blisters, tasted road kill and got by on only two changes of clothing.

Greg and Sophie are now on a 60-day, 2000-kilometre pedal-powered book tour, visiting 30 bookshops from Melbourne through regional VIC, ACT & NSW before finishing in Sydney in mid November. Don’t miss out on this chance to hear Greg and Sophie talk about their fascinating stories of life on the road.

WHAT: Greg Foyster’s Pedal-Powered Book Tour

Meet the Author & Signings

WHEN: 12:30pm Friday 20th September

WHERE: The Sun Bookshop, Yarraville


10 Ballarat St Yarraville VIC 3013

(03) 9689 0661

Follow the Pedal-Powered Book Tour at:

Edible Weeds in Australia: Guidebook

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on November 2nd, 2012

The Weed Forager’s Handbook: A Guide to Edible and Medicinal Weeds in Australia

Step into the world of our least-admired botanical companions, peel back the layers of prejudice, and discover the finer side of the plants we call weeds. An astonishing number are either edible or medicinal, and have deep and sometimes bizarre connections to human history.

  • But how do you distinguish a tasty sandwich-filler from its dangerous look-alike?
  • Which of these garden familiars is the most nutritious vegetable ever tested by the US Dept of Agriculture?
  • How do you cook with delicious nettles without fear of being stung?

This book reveals all this and more, and will forever change your concept of where to go looking for lunch.

Authors: Adam Grubb and Annie Raser-Rowland (foreword by Costa Georgiadis)


Creating a Sustainable Table

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on August 16th, 2011

18 August , 2011
6:00 pmto7:15 pm

The Sustainable Table isn’t just another cookbook – it’s a collection of recipes and stories from people who are supporting the environment through their food choices, including notable chefs, farmers, gardeners and winemakers.

Join 774 ABC Melbourne’s Hilary Harper in an enlightening conversation about the challenges and rewards of creating a sustainable table, with Costa Georgiadis of Costa’s Garden Odyssey; Matt Fowles, hunter, conservationist and CEO of Plunkett Fowles Winery; and Graeme Base, author and illustrator of Uno’s Garden.

Hosted in partnership with Yaubula, publishers of The Sustainable Table.

Thursday August 18, 6- 7:15pm

Venue: Village Roadshow Theatrette State Library of Victoria (Entry 3, La Trobe Street)

Free entry

Bookings required – Book Online

Thinking In Systems: A Primer

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on November 19th, 2009


From “Straight Talk for the Planetary Era: A Trio of Book Reviews” by Edward Wolf

Thinking in Systems reflects Prof. Donella Meadows’ lifelong effort to understand systems at all scales – their resilience, their pathologies, their response to perturbations, their capacity to defy prediction.  “A system,” Meadows writes, “is a set of things – people, cells, molecules, or whatever – interconnected in such a way that they produce their own pattern of behavior over time.”  Systems thinking can reveal interconnections, explain behavior, and anticipate outcomes.  Changing outcomes – slowing climate disruption, spreading new crop varieties, containing an epidemic – requires action to change a system’s elements, the interconnections among them, or (more likely) both.   A reader seeking to understand the anomalies of our time and to prepare mentally for the likelihood of disruptive change needs this book.

The book’s final section, “Creating Change – in Systems and in our Philosophy,” sheds welcome light on topics covered in The End of the Long Summer and Whole Earth Discipline. Chapter 6, “Leverage Points – Places to Intervene in a System” (first published in essay form in Brand’s Whole Earth Review) outlines twelve points of influence over the behavior of complex systems. Chapter 7, “Living in a World of Systems,” takes a step toward an ethics for a new human story, offering a humble acknowledgment that the systems view entails new responsibilities exercised in unfamiliar ways.

“Systems thinking by itself cannot bridge that gap (between understanding and action), but it can lead us to the edge of what analysis can do and then point beyond – to what can and must be done by the human spirit.” Just past that edge is where the activism, politics, diplomacy – and innovation – of this century really begins.

Read the full article by Edward Wolf.

REVIEW: Challenging “politics as usual” – Climate Code Red

Posted in Research by Ferne Edwards on November 19th, 2008

This review was recently published on Australian Policy Online. To see the original document visit REVIEW: Challenging “politics as usual” .

Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action
David Spratt and Philip Sutton
Scribe, 2008

Reviewed by Peter W. Newton

THIS is one of a growing number of books about climate change. Its title incorporates the key words “code red,” a medical term denoting a patient needing immediate and advanced life support. It is a powerful metaphor for our planet in relation to the symptoms beginning to materialise in relation to the “virus” of climate change (after Al Gore) which will rapidly accelerate as our planet progressively heats by one, two, three and possibly more degrees Celsius in the decades ahead. This would represent its most significant transition of the past 10,000 years – from an era of “remarkably stable climate that has allowed the whole period of human development to take place” (as the authors put it) to a future world with temperatures where livability as we know it becomes highly uncertain.


Posted in Seeking by foemelb on September 1st, 2008

Friends of the Earth Melbourne is currently seeking weekday volunteers for the Bookshop Collective.

*Are you a retiree, part-time worker, unemployed or a student?
*Do you want to help promote environmentally sustainable and ethically made products?
*Do you have experience or are you looking for experience in a retail environment?

We are currently seeking volunteers for Monday – Friday shifts

if interested, stop by the shop to fill out an application at:
312 Smith Street, Collingwood
~or contact~
(03) 9417 4564
(and ask to speak with Sarah or Meagen)

* * * * *
View Volunteer Ad Poster

* * * * *
The bookshop is run by volunteers, and there are two volunteer shifts each day:
10am-2pm, and 2pm-6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-1pm and 1pm-4pm on Saturdays.
(currently we are only seeking volunteers for Monday through Friday shifts)

About the Volunteer Position:

In this volunteer position, you will be supporting an internationally known grassroots organization
by selling environmentally sustainable and ethically made products and by providing friendly customer
service to the Melbourne community.

During your 4 hour morning or afternoon shift, duties will include (but are not limited to), operational
activities in the bookshop such as: sorting and displaying stock, housekeeping, some light computer work,
customer service & sales and assisting the food co-op with minor cleaning tasks. Training will be provided.

Skills and Experience:
Good computer skills (email checking, entering stock, etc.)
Good customer service skills

Previous retail experience
Knowledge of Friends of the Earth campaigns and collectives

Benefits of Volunteering with Friends of the Earth:
Complimentary organic, vegetarian lunch on the day of your shift
10% bookshop discount
Knowing that you are helping a progressive grassroots organization achieve its goals.

“The Conscious Cook” cookbook by Giselle Wilkinson

Posted in Models by Ferne Edwards on April 3rd, 2008

The Conscious Cook” is a cookbook written by Giselle Wilkinson which takes us on a journey into the breadth of food-associated issues, helping to connect the issues and demonstrate the complexity of sustainability and the simplicity of many of the actions involved in achieving it. As remarked on the website,, Wilkinson’s recipe book “is completely different from other cookbooks. It looks at food, not only from the point of health and taste, but also through the lens of the global sustainability movement working to reduce our impact on our very stressed planet. The Conscious Cook raises awareness of the interconnections that link human health and wellbeing with that of the health of the planet”.

For more information about this book and how to buy a copy visit

The Conscious Cook -

‘Water Not Down the Drain’ book by the ATA

Posted in Models by Ferne Edwards on January 11th, 2008

Although Christmas is over a book that provides a guide to using rainwater and greywater at home is a good gift all round – especially in our drought-stricken climate. This book recently released by the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) has over 150 pages of comprehensive information and diagrams on how you can sustainably use water around the home.

Topics include:
* Choosing rainwater tanks and harvesting rainwater
* Supplying rainwater to the house and garden
* Setting up a greywater diversion system for the garden
* Greywater treatment systems for the house and gardens
* Health and environmental concerns with greywater
* Creating a raingarden to capture stormwater
* Cutting greenhouse emissions while saving water

The author, Stuart McQuire, has reduced his familys mains water use by 96%, using just two and a half buckets of mains water per day, but still has a thriving garden full of fresh produce.

Published by the Alternative Technology Association and supported by the Smart Water Fund. To find out how to get a copy visit the ATA website at

'Doing the Dishes' by Mowling