29 Dec 2011

Fringe World 26 January - 19 February

Perth’s first full Fringe World Festival is set to explode in early 2012.

The FRINGE WORLD Orchard and Treasure Chest bars are the place to enjoy a chilled beverage this balmy summer. They are looking for a bar team that can keep the pace, provide incredible service and keep the whole operation running smoothly.

They are on the hunt for bar managers who can man the helms of these hectic, eclectic watering holes. They are looking for experienced managers who are able to manage a team, order, stocktake and provide outstanding service.

They are looking for bar staff, bar backs and glassies to work at this coming festival. If you can pour a killer beer &/or maneuver 100 glasses through a heaving crowd they want to hear from you now.

Availability throughout the festival dates is a must: January 25 - February 19.
Send your CV to staff@fringeworld.com.au NOW.

A must see

There is an interesting discussion going on the LinkedIn Industrial Design Group about this topic:

Have we reached the end of economic growth in the West? Richard Heinberg propose a startling diagnosis: humanity has reached a fundamental turning point in its economic history. The expansionary trajectory of industrial civilization is colliding with non-negotiable natural limits.

More info on Richard Heiberg's website.

21 Dec 2011

19 Dec 2011


More information here

15 Dec 2011

Worthwhile to pump up your bicycle tires!

The fatal GM storm

Ian and Jodi James have been farming near the small WA town of Cunderdin for over 15 years. They’re proud to grow conventional canola that's not genetically modified. But on 3 November, a violent storm washed GM canola from a neighbours’ paddock across their farm.

Ian and Jodi suspected they would have GM canola seeds on their farm, so Greenpeace provided Ian and Jodi with free GM canola test kits.

Over two days of testing, they found numerous GM canola seeds up to twenty metres into their crop. Ian and Jodi were devastated. They have lost their crop, and now face the expensive task of trying to get rid of GM canola from their land. They might even lose their premium for GM-free canola in the future.

Ian and Jodi have lost their right to grow safe GM-free canola. Why should the James’ have to pay for the costs of GM canola contamination, when they didn’t want to grow it?

Greenpeace is urging the Western Australian Government to protect farmers like Ian and Jodi from the costs of GM contamination by introducing Farmers Protection Legislation.
Read article

14 Dec 2011

beauty and the BIKE

Outdoor Movie night
18 January 2012
The Earthcarers organise a free summer outdoor screening of Beauty and the Bike.

Cycling is another great way we can live more sustainably and with less waste. It is an inspirational movie particularly for young women so bring your friends and family.

Why not ride your bike to the movie!

Why do girls stop cycling in car-centric countries when teenage girls in bicycle friendly countries use their bicycles as a vehicle for freedom and independence? The Beauty and the Bike project set out to find out.

Date: Wednesday 18 January, 2012
Time: 6.30pm Bring and share picnic - 7.30pm Screening and presentation
Place: WMRC Offices outside on the lawn, Cnr Marine Pde and Warton St, Cottesloe
BYO: Picnic and rug/beach chair etc

Reinventing the Disposable Coffee Cup,

The construction is simple: The body and two integrated flaps are composed of a single piece of paper; the body is glued to the circular base. Like similar cups on the market, the paper would be waterproofed, though ideally with cellulose-based plastic, so that it could be composted.

The launch date for the 'Complete' cup is still unclear, says Herman, who is in talks with manufacturers and retailers.
Read article

E-waste: the high cost of high-tech

E-waste from used electrical and electronic gadgets such as desktop computers, laptops and iPhones is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. Rapid uptake of information technology around the world coupled with the advent of new design and technology at regular intervals is causing the early obsolescence of many such gadgets.

We all know the benefits of electrical and electronic gadgets. But we don’t know nearly as much about the adverse effects they have once we throw them away.

In the United States, producer of the largest amounts of e-waste in the world, it is estimated that over 100 million computers, monitors and televisions become obsolete each year. That amount is growing every year.
Most of the used electrical and electronic gadgets in Australia end up in landfill.
E-waste contains more than 1,000 different substances. These include toxic metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and flame retardants used in the plastics.
Read article

9 Dec 2011

Saturday 10 December peaceful protest

Peaceful protest about the destruction of Perth's and the western suburbs urban bushland -Monash Avenue bushland at QEII being the most recent example of the destruction.

The approximately 50 hecatres of bushland in the last 2 years cleared, approved for clearing under this Government or under threat includes:

- AK Reserve in Floreat,
- Edith Cowan University site, Churchlands,
- Autism Association site Selby Street Shenton Park,
- Grace Vaughan House, Shenton Park,
- Banksia Farm cr Stephenson Ave and Rochdale Street Mt Claremont,
- Underwood Avenue, Shenton Park,
- Lot 11194 Bedbrook Place, Shenton Park,
- Monash Avenue Bushland and another small remnant inside QEII Nedlands,
- 115 mature endemic trees along Winthrop Ave outside QEII,
- Remnant bushland on the cnr of Winthrop Ave and Monash Ave Nedlands,
- Former TAFE site, Carine Glades,
- 140 trees at Perry Lakes redevelopment site. Many food and habitat trees destroyed of the Carnabys that roost there.

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Australia's 10 greenest universities

GREEN with envy? We list the top 10 universities in Australia, according to their environmental credentials.

1. Monash University
2. Australian National University
3. Macquarie University
4. University of Western Sydney
5. University of Adelaide
6. University of Melbourne
7. Charles Sturt University
8. University of the Sunshine Coast
9. James Cook University
10. La Trobe University

No universities from WA in this list...
Read more about it here

Sydney beats London in race to be green

More than half of Sydney companies have changed or modified their jobs to improve green performance, compared with only 3.5 per cent of London firms, a new report has found.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) congratulated Sydney at the report's release in the city on Tuesday.

"We have to change our way of producing," OECD Centre of Entrepreneurship director Sergio Arzeni told reporters.

"We need a major transformation."
Read article

Invite to AGIC Weightings Survey

AGIC is a member based industry association committed to the delivery of more sustainable outcomes from the design, construction and operation of Australia's infrastructure. AGIC was formed in 2008 by industry professionals from engineering, environmental, planning, legal, and financial and construction backgrounds working in both private and public organisations related to infrastructure.

The Australian Green Infrastructure Council (AGIC) Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Scheme will assess infrastructure projects and assets on a broad range of environmental, economic and social attributes. These will be assessed and given a score, then the scores will be combined using weighting factors to compute the final overall score. The relative importance of the different attributes (weighting) is a matter of subjective judgement. AGIC is therefore inviting the opinions of a wide range of stakeholders to contribute to its weighting study and invites you to contribute your opinion. The exercise should take about 10 minutes to complete.

To participate, please download the latest copy of the weightings sheet from this link AGIC Weightings Sheet.xls just before completing the survey.

8 Dec 2011

Carbon capture trial begins near Harvey

A multi-million dollar research project in WA's south-west could aid international efforts to reduce the impact of carbon on the environment.

The Department of Minerals and Petroleum is beginning the drilling for the carbon capture trial near Harvey.

The $8.5 million trial will determine whether carbon can be extracted from the air, turned into liquid, and then stored in sandstone lying three kilometres underground at the site.

It is one of only a few carbon capture trials in the world.
Read article

Make helmets optional to double the number of cyclists in Australia

It’s time to abandon Australia’s “helmet experiment”.

There’s little doubt Australia would have healthier communities if more of us chose to cycle for transport, exercise or even relaxation. But mandatory helmet laws, introduced in Australia in the 1990s, continue to deter many potential riders from getting on a bike and increasing their fitness.

One in five (23.6%) Sydney adults said they would cycle more if they didn’t have to wear a helmet, with occasional cyclists (those who cycled in the past week or month) most likely to cycle more. Even non-cyclists (19%) said they would get on a bike if they didn’t have to wear a helmet.
Read article

The silly helmet doesn't stop me from cycling but I can tell you it feels so much nicer to cycle without a helmet with your hair in the wind...

I reckon only cyclists on racing bikes going faster than 30km p/h should wear a helmet, not the ones who cycle in a normal pace on normal bikes!

And with all the new lock 'n' ride bike shelters at a lot of train stations in Perth nobody has an excuse not to take the bicycle out for a ride!

Perth Cyclist on how it all works

2 Dec 2011

Half of emissions from 5 countries

More than half of all carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere comes from five countries, according to a national ranking of greenhouse gas emissions.

The first 10 countries on the list, made available during UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa on Thursday, account for two-thirds of global emissions, said the report, compiled by British-based firm Maplecroft, specialists in risk analysis.

China, the United States, India, Russia and Japan top the ranking, with Brazil, Germany, Canada, Mexico and Iran just behind.

Advertisement: Story continues below Three of the top six countries are energy-hungry emerging giants developing their economies at breakneck speed.
Read article

Update 7 Dec:
"Big Three" polluters oppose binding climate deal
DURBAN, South Africa (Reuters) - The world's three biggest polluters China, the United States and India refused to move towards a new legal commitment to curb their carbon emissions on Tuesday, increasing the risk that climate talks will fail to clinch a meaningful deal this week.

Action on climate, not words, needed to save Africa
DURBAN, South Africa (Reuters) - Only a binding global accord on cutting greenhouse gases will spare Africa, the world's poorest continent, more devastating floods, droughts and famine, a senior African climate change official said on Tuesday.

29 Nov 2011

Eco-design reduces costs

INCORPORATING environmental design can reduce waste and improve your company's financial position.
That's according to a leading Dutch eco-design expert. Delft University applied environmental design Professor Albert Stevels told a recent Innovate SA seminar while so-called eco-design is intended to reduce a company's environmental impact, it must also fit into its overall business strategy, reduce costs and give it a competitive advantage.

"You want to be better than the competition, you want to use eco-design to be better," he said.

But Prof Stevels said there was an existing prejudice among many businesses that "green" strategies were expensive, while consumer studies showed that - despite what they say - customers won't buy products simply because they are "green".

"A lot of people are thinking `green always costs money,' which is not true," he said.
Read article

28 Nov 2011

Save the Tarkine Rainforest in Tasmania

In the north west corner of Australia's island state, Tasmania, lies the Tarkine. The worlds second largest temperate rain forest.

For the past 50 years, conservationists have been waging a battle against successive governments to have the Tarkine turned into a national park and given World Heritage listing, protecting it from destructive logging and mining practices.

Mining companies want to destroy it. Earlier this year the Australia Heritage Council made a clear recommendation to protect the Tarkine, but Environment Minister Tony Burke let its emergency heritage status expire, and has yet to visit the area.

Tony Burke is just days away from making a decision on the Tarkine's heritage status and is under pressure to look the other way - but if he sees the beauty of the Tarkine first hand, he'll see for himself why he must protect this area. Check the Get up, action for Australia website and sign the list!

The Tarkine: Saving the last of Gondwana from Brent Melton on Vimeo.

Wasted Resources (2011)

Wasted Resources (2011) from Nat Campbell on Vimeo.

Another interesting video made by an old student of mine; Nat Campbell.

This video documents the journey of 3 students as they attempt to raise the awareness of water and wind resources that go unused daily in Sydney, Australia. The giant pin-wheel and water bombs succeed in stimulating imaginations and conversation, and capturing social fears and attitudes.

Created for:
Interdisciplinary Design: City In Crisis
University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

25 Nov 2011

26 November: Buy nothing day Perth

Here is the schedule for Buy Nothing Day celebration at the Blue Room Theatre in Northbridge!

12 noon-5pm -- clothing swap -- bring clothes to leave and try on and take whatever fits you! Bring a friend whose closet you've always wanted to raid!

1-2pm -- upcycling workshop taught by EcoFaerie LaFee Verte -- learn to refashion your old clothes (or ones you've just got from the swap) into luscious new looks

3-5pm -- video screening of What Would Jesus Buy? -- a hilarious documentary about US activist Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping, inspirational and inspiring!

ALL DAY: plastic bag collection (for recycling), credit card cut-up station, walking map to open house of REmida Creative Reuse Centre

Celebrate Buying Nothing with us! Entrance to everything is, of course, FREE! If you'd like to spend the day, bring a snack to share!

Not buying it: Could saving your cash also save the planet?
September 27 was declared Earth Overshoot Day – the point when, according to researchers, “humanity's demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what the Earth can regenerate in that year”.

24 Nov 2011

The Story of Broke

More info here

Keep it local

Need to buy Christmas presents and want to spruce up the local community instead of cheaply produced goods sold by big giants who only fill the pockets of huge foreign enterprises from low wage countries?

Why not think of a gift certificate from your local hair dresser, beautician, gym, car wash, handyman, garden or cleaning services?

Or a gift voucher for a nice dinner at a local owned restaurant or a gift basket full with local produced skincare products, soaps and fragrant oils. Or a box of nice wines. And for the ones with a sweet tooth delicious local made chocolates and other goodies.

Take your family to a concert with local musicians, or the ballet if that's more of their fancy.

Check out the local crafts people who spin their own wool & knit them into scarves. They make jewellery, & pottery & beautiful wooden boxes.

It's time to think outside the box! Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?


23 Nov 2011

Pig as a raw material

Watch this talk from Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma

22 Nov 2011

Don’t get eggs-cited about free range: the realities of poultry production

If it's ethical eggs you're after, the backyard may be the best source.

There are three main options for the large scale egg producers. The first is barns with rows and rows of cages containing five birds each, which provides about an A4 piece of paper of space per bird.

There are two main problems with this system: the restricted space stops them performing their natural behaviours such as flapping their wings. And the barrenness of the cage provides no possibility to dust bathe or forage in the dirt. The chickens' food is provided automatically by a conveyor belt and their dung is removed equally automatically by another belt, so the bird is just a machine in the middle of the process.

The second option is to have groups of several thousand birds loose in barns. Consumers pay a premium for these type of eggs. This set-up improves the birds’ behavioural freedom because there is more space and variety in the environment, but there is increased fighting and even cannibalism.

A third alternative is allowing birds to have access to both a house and free range. This gives them the opportunity to go outside, but usually offers little protection from aerial predators or the extremes of weather. As a result the birds often don’t venture outside.

Organic chickens – according to the international NASAA standard – are provided least eight hours continuous darkness every 24 hours, and must have access to natural light and forage areas for at least six hours per day. Farmers have to provide at least one square meter for every five birds.

So maybe the best way to support chicken welfare is to hunt down that backyard producer that sells a few eggs on the side. Even better, if you have a yard buy a few chooks and recycle your vegetable scraps.
Read article
I've five chickens in my backyard keeping my waste to a bare minimum as they eat all scraps, provide manure for my veggie patch and provide me daily with too many eggs. So if you are interested in buying organic eggs (they only get fed grains, veggie scraps and whatever bugs they dig out of the yard) let me know as I've too many eggs for the two of us at the moment.

Bicycle Rush Hour Utrecht

Morning rush hour in the 4th largest city in the Netherlands. Streets look like this when 33% of ALL trips are made by bicycle!

This is an ordinary Wednesday morning in April 2010 at around 8.30 am. Original time was 8 minutes that were compressed into 2 minutes, so everything is 4 times faster than in reality. The sound is original.

This is one of the busiest junctions in Utrecht a city with a population of 300,000. No less than 22,000 bicycles and 2,500 buses pass here every day. And yet Google Street View missed it. Because private motorized traffic is restricted here.

These cyclists cross a one way bus lane (also used by taxis and municipal vehicles), two light rail tracks and then a one way street that can be used by private vehicles.

Behind the camera is a railway (you can hear the squeaking sounds of the trains passing) and the main railway station is very close too. A number of rental bikes from the station pass and many of the cyclists will have come by train for the first part of their commute.

For those who frown upon the total absence of bike helmets in this video, consider these findings from a US study:

"Cycling in the Netherlands is much safer than in the USA. The Netherlands has the lowest non-fatal injury rate as well as the lowest fatality rate, while the USA has the highest non-fatal injury rate as well as the highest fatality rate. Indeed, the non-fatal injury rate for the USA is about 30 times higher than for the Netherlands.

Injury rate per million km cycled: USA 37.5; NL 1.4
Fatality rate per 100 million km cycled: USA 5.8; NL 1.1"
I wonder what the rate is in Australia... But I would like to see this in Perth!

2011 not compressed

21 Nov 2011

Curtin University for Table & Chair

Curtin University Interior Architecture students let their imaginations run wild in a fun collaboration with Perth's Table & Chair.
Over the past 5 months, Table & Chair have been inviting Curtin University Interior Architecture students to design the showroom's window display, teaming up their own products with items from the Table & Chair range.

The results have been a diverse mix of ideas, beautifully executed to demonstrate the great talent on tap at Curtin Uni.
Read article

These five pieces are chosen from the unit 'Furniture Design Workshop' I did last year at Curtin University with Interior Architecture students. They had to design and prototype a desirable piece of furniture or lighting from industry off cuts or waste materials.

In December 2010 the top 15 was exhibited at The Grove Library in Peppermint Grove (slideshow) and this year five pieces were chosen to exhibit at Table & Chair. I am very proud of my students!

Perth Green Drinks 29 November

Click on picture to enlarge
Please RSVP to greendrinks.perth@gmail.com by Thursday 24th November!

Shame on WA government!

40% of Monash Ave bushland was destroyed today at the behest of the state government and their henchmen.
These are the people who are meant to lead and who are invested with the duty and power to protect our natural environment and health.

We believe more bush is to go tomorrow.
We want to stop it.
Please help us to do so. We need your support. It is only with numbers that we will stop this.
Please forward to all your email contacts and ask them to come along too.

We meet tomorrow at 7:00am on site.

People's assembly
Monash Ave. Bushland. QEII Medical Centre, Nedlands
7:00 am Tuesday 22nd November
Bring signs
Bring shame signs

Thanks for your support.
The Campaign to Save Monash Ave bushland.

Urban bushland Council WA
CCWA Concervation Council WA

Click on picture to enlarge

20 Nov 2011

WindyLight™ - Wind Operated Outdoor Lights

WindyLights are wind operated outdoor lights designed to let soft gusts of wind blow light into our world. WindyLight envisions a future in which human activities are based on a deep participation within the natural environment.

WindyLight aims to become a “high social-environmental value & fair profit” venture in which for-profit activities create revenues to support non-profit developments
for communities that are not connected to the grid.

With this social-environmental vision, the next challenge is how to fund WindyLight in a way that will allow maximizing its environmental and social potential. After exploring different possibilities, its decided to go with the “by the people, for the people” approach and launch a crowd funding campaign on KickStarter.

How can you be part of this? Back WindyLight on Kickstarter - Funding opportunities start from $1 (via Amazon). Every supporter receives unique rewards that were specially crafted for the campaign. One can also pre-pay a WindyLight™ and become one of the first owners of a wind-operated light worldwide.
More information here

18 Nov 2011

Kids and cycling to school

This is a picture of my brother in law in The Hague, The Netherlands, where he is bringing the kids to school in the morning and as you can see both girls fit easily on the bike!

We live across a big private boys school for boys from 7 up till 18 years old and most of them are brought and picked up by car every single day!

Every morning and afternoon our street is one big traffic jam because of this. In front of our house there are cars parked everywhere with the sound of the motor running because they might get too hot without the airco...

This generation of parents is too protective of their kids, they say it's too dangerous because of the traffic, THEY ARE THE TRAFFIC! They say the kids backpacks are too heavy to carry as they have all kind of sports after school to be brought to. Use a roller bag! They say kidnappers and child molesters are waiting on every corner, ooh, please get real!!!

Take a bike, urge councils to provide save bicycle lanes and footpaths. Public transport is already around the corner but used only sparingly because they have to walk two minutes. It's easier when mum is waiting in her big 4WD probably with tea and sandwiches... What a weak generation we are creating...

Scary news: WA's non-GM sector could vanish within 10 years

WA'S non-genetically modified (GM) grain sector could vanish within the next 10 years due to contamination from GM crops, some farmers and conservation groups fear.
Nic Dunlop, environmental science and policy co-ordinator for the Conservation Council of WA, says feral GM canola plants have been found on road verges in the state's Esperance district some 20 kilometres away from the nearest GM crop.

The discovery shows that the requirement for a five-metre gap between GM and non-GM crops under the state government's limited commercial-size trials is ineffective.

The main purpose of the trials is to assess whether segregation is possible.

Dr Dunlop said GM-free canola could be a thing of the past in WA by the next decade, given that eight per cent of roadside plants recently sampled by the Conservation Council in the Esperance region were GM, only one year into the trial.
Read article

It will be harder and harder to find GM free staple so if you care for healthy non GM food, please write to the government and local council and make yourself heard!

Or write to The West Australian: letters@wanews.com.au and cc WA Agriculture and Food Minister Redman: Minister.Redman@dpc.wa.gov.au
Premier Colin Barnett: Premier.Barnett@dpc.wa.gov.au
Minister for Regional Development Brendan Grylls: Minister.Grylls@dpc.wa.gov.au

Tuna industry whistleblower reveals whale shark slaughter

The never-before-seen footage shows protected marine life caught as bycatch, then killed after being lured into massive purse-seine nets by Fish Aggregating Devices, nicknamed death magnets.

The whistleblower, who worked as a spotter onboard a tuna fishing boat in the Pacific said marine species, such as dolphins, manta rays, marlin and whales, were caught almost every time FADs were deployed.

Greenpeace Ocean Campaigner Nathaniel Pelle said the majority of canned tuna eaten in Australia is caught in this manner.

WA shoppers eat more canned tuna than any other seafood, despite evidence that overfishing has pushed stocks into serious decline, with some on the brink of collapse.

Mr Pelle is urging WA consumers to demand retailers stock more sustainable tuna varieties, such as Safcol, which sources tuna not caught using FADs or purse-seine nets.

“Greenseas should be congratulated for recently pledging to stop using FAD-caught tuna by 2015, but that’s several years away,” Mr Pelle said.
“Brands like John West, Coles and Woolworths have refused to make any such commitments.”
Read article

17 Nov 2011

Why volunteering is far better then giving money...

There is a lot of commotion around the actual 1.8 procent of many millions that is spend on breast cancer research by Pink Ribbon in The Netherlands. It seems that Pink Ribbon is mainly lead by huge marketing companies focused on a lot of pink and glamour to raise money for research while spending 98.2 procent on marketing. (collumn)

Is that only in The Netherlands or worldwide? And is this the only organisation or are there many more 'good cause fundraising' organisations working in a similar way?

I donate my time to organisations and causes I like to help instead of giving money to organisations who are pretty vague about where the money actually ends up...

Time is far more valuable than money and you are more engaged with the cause. The past few years I volunteered for several organisations and donated many days of my time. And I really enjoyed doing it!

So next time think about donating your time instead of some tax deductible dollars!

A container deposit scheme is proposed for WA

Would you take your used plastic and glass bottles, milk cartons and aluminium cans to a recycling machine in exchange for money?

West Australians use about 1.2 billion containers every year equating to about 500 containers per person.

But, WA lags behind other Australian states or territories when it comes to recycling. According to the 2010 National Waste Report, WA's recycling rate for bottles and cans is 33 per cent.

Labor's environment spokeswoman Sally Talbot says that means 960 million empty drink containers each year end up in landfill or as litter and that's not good enough.

"WA's recycling record is appalling, the lowest in Australia," she said.
"A container deposit scheme could be expected to lift that rate to at least 70 per cent."
Read article


15 Nov 2011

The Building Green Guide to Insulation Products and Practices

It is really hard to get people excited about insulation. As Tedd Benson says in the introduction to BuildingGreen's Guide to insulation,

It’s invisible and boring. Like reinforcement in concrete, it’s often seen as kind of a cost nuisance rather than something you’d want to consider improving. Similarly, “out of sight, out of mind,” aptly explains why people don’t give much consideration to insulation.

But it is probably the most important factor in the design of a building. Tedd notes:

We can literally insulate our way to a much brighter energy future while insulating our- selves from the ever-higher cost of energy. Every highly insulated building is an energy miser forever. Every building weaned from fossil fuels is weaned forever.

Read the rest of this e-book review

14 Nov 2011

Clean water by design

Portable water purifier by Steripen
Steripen has produced 'freedom', a highly portable purifier that uses UV light to sterilize water for drinking. The company is well-known for its water purification devices, of which 'freedom' is the lightest and smallest.

The device need only be immersed in up water and its UV lamp will illuminate, within 48 seconds (per 0.5 L of water) killing over 99.9% of bad bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. 'freedom' offers 40 treatments on a single charge, while the UV lamp and battery last for over 8,000 uses. the device recharges via a micro USB port, connectable to computers, solar chargers, or normal wall outlets. the device also features an LED flashlight.

solar powered water filter by gabriele diamanti
Italian designer Gabriele Diamanti has developed 'Eliodomestico' a solar-powered water distiller made from terracotta, recycled plastic and anodised zinc.
The device produces 5 litres of drinking water daily and is one of 12 finalists in the prix émile hermés 2011 competition. Compared to traditional solar stills, 'Eliodomestico' is designed to function without filters nor electricity, and requires minimal maintenance. Using traditional technologies, the system has no negative environmental impact and will create positive outcomes for the local economies because it's to be produced by local craftsmen. Taking from archetypal forms and materials, the distiller is easy to use: in the morning fill the water tank with water from a local source and in the evening collect clean, evaporated and re-condensed water in a portable basin placed underneath the tank.

Care to repair?

With the cost of consumer goods dropping to their lowest ever levels, the side effect may be a loss of our skills to repair, make and invent.

WITH APPLE'S CO-FOUNDER Steve Jobs passing away recently, the media was deluged with obituaries rightly lauding his visionary genius in the realm of consumer electronics and entertainment. Many of those offering plaudits knew of him through his easy-to-use, sleekly designed computers, music players and phones.

A small cadre of hold-outs, however, continued to express their bitterness over Mr Jobs' intricately crafted gadgets, because they leave little opportunity for under-the-hood tinkering.

His adulation reflects a change in society. We have become consumers. Rarely creators. We spend much of our precious time working, in order to afford purchases from an every expanding cornucopia of new 'stuff'. Stuff we know how to use. But not how it works. Or, importantly, how to make it work again after it stops performing.
Read article

Repair is, against the odds, quietly making a comeback.

13 Nov 2011

Materials recycling data base

MATREC (Material Recycling)is the first free Italian eco-design data base dedicated to materials ensuring a low environmental impact and to their use in the world of production and design.

Conceived by Architect Marco Capellini, MATREC was established in 2002 as an online portal, in co-operation with the National Recycling Consortia CiAl, Comieco, and CoRePla. In 2006 MATREC changed from virtual to real, also thanks to the collaboration of the Lombardy Region and of Cestec. In a dedicated area at the Polytechnic Design School of Milan, samples of recycled materials from all over the world are exhibited to the public for free.

MATREC is a tool, but first and foremost a service aimed at companies, free-lance professionals, designers, Universities, and Research centres for the development of low-impact products.

Information on the main issues of eco-design, on sustainable products, and on several materials obtained from recycling is available in the website, divided by categories and supported by descriptions, including composition, technical properties and applications.

MATREC is also a research centre at the service of companies for the development of innovative, sustainable, and design products.
Read article

The repair workshops

The latest newsletter from Saturday in Design had an interesting article on a project with the repair workshops in Melbourne. And I was positive surprised that one of the designers involved was in my class at Curtin University several years ago; Wil Campbell!

The repair shop project challenges us all to think about how products are designed to break so easily and why we are losing the ability to repair.

Great work Wil!
More info on The repair shop here or follow them on Facebook.

10 Nov 2011

Airdrop Design Pulls Water From Air to Irrigate Deserts

The winner of this year's James Dyson Award is one that focuses on the water crisis in Australia. A continent faced with severe droughts, it is no wonder that Edward Linacre from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne wanted to come up with a solution that will provide fresh water where there is no source on the ground.
More info here

9 Nov 2011

The 11th Hour; it's 11.59...

This film with Leonardo DiCaprio is from 2007 and still it looks like there is little improvements done in the past four, five years.

We hit the 7 billion people mark and although economies are weak we are still focused on materialistic stuff, want to live in huge houses filled with products we are hardly aware we posses while craving the urge for more, driving our own car, eating more processed food than ever and nature is dying around us to make space for more people craving for more stuff...

When will we realise we need nature to survive?

8 Nov 2011

Strictly Hypothetical at City Farm

A truly different night out!
Help raise funds for City Farm's inaugural Food Film Festival in 2012.

Would You Like Lies With That?
Production, Packaging, Pesticides & Politics
11 November

Eating for a Small Planet
Cows, Carbon, Culture and Climate Change
25 November

Darling, What’s for Dinner?
Sustainable, Seasonal, Secure and Shared
9 December

Panel members:
• WA Young Chef of the Year, Matt Stone (Greenhouse Restaurant)
• Wholefoods trailblazer and author Jude Blereau
• Senator Rachel Siewert and Hon. Lynn MacLaren, MLC for South Metro
• Dr Felicity Newman: food culture lecturer and unashamed Jewish mother!
• Sustainability pioneers, horticulturalists and radio gardening experts Chris Ferreira and Steve Wood
• Vince Gareffa: celebrity butcher and organic meat specialist

Bookings Essential

2 Nov 2011

An example for Australians living in huge houses:

Two years ago, Debra and her family lived in a nearly 2000 square foot home on an acre and a half of land. Then her husband lost his job and they began to work 4 jobs between them to pay the mortgage, until one day they remembered they had a choice.

Before having their son, Debra and her husband Gary had spent 9 years living in very tiny homes in South America. Living small hadn't felt like a sacrifice, but a way to stay focused on what is important. They decided they wanted to get back to that.

They stopped working so hard, sold or gave away all of their extra stuff and began looking for the perfect tiny home.
Debra had always liked the Mississippi shotgun style homes, and one day, while browsing craigslist, they noticed an ad for a local Arkansas company custom building tiny homes for a price that could mean an end to house payments.

Six weeks and $15,000 later they had their own fully paid-off dwelling. Today, Debra, her husband and 13-year-old son live in a 320-square foot home that is not a sacrifice, but exactly what they need.

Inflatable Solar-Power Light

A new design for a solar powered light called LuminAID is quite different from any other design, the light is an inflatable, waterproof bag that contains an LED bulb, and a solar cell on the outside. Created as a solution both for backpacking or disaster relief, the design shows a lot of promise for a compact light that expands when needed.
Check it out here

LuminAID: Give Light, Get Light from LuminAID Lab on Vimeo.

Short Course - Resilient Regions: People and Practice - 1st to 6th December

Are you curious about ideas of resilience? Bio-regionalism? Sense of Place? Putting sustainability into practice in a regional setting?
Join a small group of Murdoch University students to explore the theoretical and practical elements of
sustainability and resilience through direct experience and field trips in Denmark and the Great Southern region. This course is run in partnership with Green Skills and Centre for Sustainable Living in Denmark.

This week long intensive and residential course will expose you to all of these influential ideas that will be important in creating a sustainable future.

Please see website for more details.

Please direct any queries or registrations to Nicole Hodgson, Murdoch University.
Email: n.hodgson@murdoch.edu.au
Phone: 0438 750 751

1 Nov 2011

"I will be a hummingbird" - Wangari Maathai

This is the trailer for Dirt, the movie

Dirt! The Movie is an insightful and timely film that tells the story of the glorious and unappreciated material beneath our feet. Inspired by WB Logan’s acclaimed book Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth. Dirt! The Movie takes a humorous and substantial look into the history and current state of the living organic matter that we come from and will later return to. Dirt! The Movie will make you want to get dirty. 80 minutes
At the The Painted Fish, 21 Hulbert Street, South Fremantle.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT SHANI 0417 941 991 stay@thepaintedfish.com.au

For more clips about the movie check the website.

31 Oct 2011

I was number 3,180,992,994

Today we reach 7 billion people on this planet. Find out where you fit in this time line here.

What do you think about it?

In my opinion we should stop breeding for a while but that seems to be a non topic...

Population growth sees myths reborn
It is silly to suggest that the additional 2 billion people projected to arrive by 2050 will have the same environmental impact as the last 2 billion. No, they won't. Each person added to the population in the future will likely, on average, cause more damage to humanity's critical life-support systems than did the previous person.

26 Oct 2011

Bid launched to make Freo entirely free of plastic bags

COULD Fremantle become a plastic bag-free city?

A campaign to drive sustainable use of plastics by businesses and residents was launched on Saturday, aiming to recognise businesses already avoiding supplying plastic bags and encourage others to follow suit.

Plastic Free Fremantle spokeswoman Lisa Griffin said she had originally envisaged Fremantle banning the use of plastic bags, but having spoken to businesses quickly realised that many were already taking steps to reduce their use.

“We thought why don’t we first off give recognition to those businesses already doing it,” she said.

“That would possibly make those businesses not doing it think twice and stop giving away plastic bags.”

On Saturday, the group gathered outside Old Shanghai food hall gathering signatures on a petition to gauge community support for the initiative.
Read article

24 Oct 2011


The QEII hospital redevelopment is beginning. See the devastation along Winthrop Ave, the massive removal of trees...

Monash Avenue Bushland is next. Any day now!

Temporary parking is needed. Monash Avenue will be destroyed to do this.

After which Ronald MacDonald House will be built on the site in 3 years.
But the government has failed to find an alternative location or temporary car park solutions!

We think they can!

There is still time to find alternate parking solutions: nearby Graylands Hospital and Grace Vaughan House have large existing parking.
Public transport and cycling are other options.

Appeals to the EPA have failed despite Monash Ave. Bushland being an important ecological linkage between Bold Park and Kings Park.

Please come to the rally!
It will take local and immediate action by everyone. If you can't come send an email to Bill Marmion, minister for environment about your concerns: Minister.Marmion@dpc.wa.gov.au

20 Oct 2011

Cyclists overtake the car as recyclists take over the capital

AUSTRALIA'S love affair with cars is souring slightly, Melbourne is growing faster than Sydney, Canberrans are keen recyclers and the housing shortage is particularly severe in Sydney. These are some of the findings of a comprehensive new snapshot of Australian cities.

The State of Australian Cities 2011 report, to be launched today in Brisbane by the federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, assesses the productivity, sustainability and liveability of Australia's 18 biggest cities. Sydney continues to lead the country in several key trends.

Between 2009 and 2010, Sydney had the highest use of public transport of all cities in terms of passenger kilometres travelled. Overall car use flattened in the past year. Bicycles outsold cars by 2 million units in the decade to 2010, with more than 11.5 million bikes sold in Australia in that period.
Read article

No Moore marine parks

Western Australia does not need a marine park network because its fisheries are ''some of the best managed in the world'', says Fisheries Minister Norman Moore

Mr Moore today said he opposed federal government plans to establish a network of marine sanctuaries along the west coast and accused conservationists of trying to 'lock up' vast tracts of ocean.
Read article

While at the same day in the paper:
Read more: http://www.watoday.com.au/environment/conservation/no-moore-marine-parks-20111019-1m804.html#ixzz1bIbGyKBp

Conservationists slam dolphin by-catch
The number of dolphins being killed during commercial trawling in Western Australia's North West has prompted new calls for measures to reduce the by-catch.

Skippers operating off the Pilbara coast reported 17 bottlenose dolphins being caught in fishing nets last financial year.

Researchers are frustrated that the by-catch has not been reduced, despite recommendations on how this could be achieved.

Michael Fishbach narrates his encounter with a humpback whale entangled in a fishing net on Valentine's day 2011.