31 Mar 2011

Grow trees in the desert with the Waterboxx

I just read the story about the amzing simple Waterboxx on the Dutch website Wereldomroep

The Groasis waterboxx is introduced by AquaPro Holland, a private company founded by the inventor Pieter Hoff. The Groasis waterboxx is a biomimicry technology, it's an artificial copy of how Mother Nature solved the problem (Look at the animations).

With the waterboxx eroded areas including many deserts (mainly caused by human activity) can be restored with little effort and at low cost. Please read the summary or, if you have more time, read all the documents and download further information and calculations. You'll than understand the principle, know the costs, see the (business) opportunities created by this invention.

It migth also be an excellent product to promote growing trees in the Australian outback! The Waterboxx is not expensive at 10 Euro per box and you can re-use it every year.

The business of social media

The business community in Australia is waking up to the possibilities presented by social media.

A Pathway to deep cuts in CO2 emissions. Free presentation on 18 April

More info here.
Please RSVP to under sponsorships@westernpower.com.au by 13th April.

30 Mar 2011

International Design Competition

The Call For Entry has begun for the Spark competitions. SparkPro, for work that is in production or pre-production, produced or built, and SparkConcept, for conceptual work.

Spark:Concept >ENTER HERE

The New Spark Awards are exciting competitions created to promote great design and designers and encourage people to explore their creativity. We invite everyone to participate--designers, art directors, architects, engineers, teachers, design firms, manufacturers, institutions, ad agencies and entrepreneurs may enter, interact and enjoy Sparking. Design is a critical tool to accelerate human progress.

May the hottest Sparks win!

29 Mar 2011

Western Bushland Forum

“Bringing stakeholders together NOW to protect our bushlands FOREVER”

Saturday 2 April 2011
1:00 – 5:00 pm
WA Ecology Centre Bold Park
165 Perry Lakes Drive Floreat

A half day public forum focused on protecting our remaining bushlands in Perth's western region
Register go to.... http://westernbushlandforum.grouply.com/
Registration closes 31/03/11


Opening address: The Hon. Bill Marmion, MLA and Minister for Environment; Water
Speakers include: Greg and Bronwen Keighery, Dr. Ric How, Teagan Johnston, Prof. Paul Hardisty, Loretta van Gasselt, Renata Zelina
Facilitator: Margo O’Byrne

28 Mar 2011

Perth Green Drinks 12 April 6-8pm

RSVP greendrinks.perth@gmail.com

Sustainability events

Check here for more info

Graduate sustainable design exhibition

Dear Design Academic,

The entire design industry can benefit from positive change. Your University and talented recent graduates are now able to contribute and benefit directly from inclusion in SRD Change 11 : graduate sustainable design exhibition.

After 7 successful years, annually promoting great graduate projects just from Sydney and NSW, for the first time, the exhibition is now open to National entries until COB 15th April 2011. The application process is simple, free and online...

The criteria is to select the best projects to advance Responsible Design, so we all benefit from developing the discussion, promoting socially and environmentally valuable ideas while encouraging great graduates that will all naturally reflect well on your institution.

Only open to projects recently completed as part of Design degrees from Australian Universities. The salient point is that major sustainable and or ethical considerations are to be a core component of the project, to complete the modern notion of good design.

There are major prizes for exhibiting and participation (2010 totalling $10,000). The selection procedure is monitored by design professionals and lecturers to ensure a very high and inspiring standard is met. The work over 7 years has been well received, the subject of a paper presented last year at the International Design Education conference ConnectED 2010 and received good media coverage in press, national radio and online. Review some recent years work online

We can all participate in positive change.

Kind regards,

Greg Campbell
SRD Convenor / Change curator

25 Mar 2011

Zero Carbon Australia Launch 2020

Last week Monday night I visited the Zero Carbon Australia launch at Perth Town Hall with a few of my Sustainable design students and was happy to see so many people there, the huge presentation area was overflowing.
Totday I got a follow up email which I like to share with you:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for coming along to the Perth Launch of the Zero Carbon Australia 2020 Stationary Energy Plan.

The event was a great success and we would like to thank everyone who volunteered their time to help put it on and to our fantastic speakers.

We would also like to thank Sustainable Energy Now (SEN) for taking the lead in organising the launch. They are based in Perth and would love to have more people helping out with their projects and events. You can contact them via their website or email contact@sen.asn.au.

Thanks again for being part of our Perth launch and we look forward to working with you all towards a 100% renewable energy future!

Join us online:
Donate to BZE
BZE google calendarBZE on facebook
BZE on Twitter

24 Mar 2011

ANNO design competition for students

Linking Industry & Education
Anno is an online design competition for students with dreams as vast as their talent, and for the industry heavy-hitters looking for the next generation of superstars.

The competition and showcase encompasses the disciplines of advertising, architecture, fashion design, graphic design, illustration, industrial design and photography.

Anno is open to anyone currently studying or graduating in 2011 in any of these categories at a tertiary level.

And entry is simple. Work is voted on each month with the Top 25 in each category being showcased for ongoing industry and public viewing. Entries Close April 30.2011
More information here

Have a look at last years work here. And check here

“ THE HAND’S THOUGHT ” product design competition

I've posted this design competition in October last year and got send an email update via Design Victoria on it today:

Bosch have sponsored a product design competition called "The Hand's Thought", which seeks to explore how the hand is the perfect tool for giving actual existence and shape to the mind's thought.

Due to inadequate results for the achievement of the fixed goals, the promoters have reopened the terms of the announcement for the competition. Therefore the deadline for the presentation of the printouts has been moved to 31 May 2011.

Furthermore, amendments have been made to facilitate participation relative to article 5 and 8.

Let me know if you are interested and I will forward you the information by email because it is far too long to post here.

Launchpad: From prototype to production

Click to enlarge

More info here

Queen of the sun

I love honey, I eat a spoon full of it every day in my breakfast.

In 1923, Rudolf Steiner predicted that the practice of artificial queen bee-breeding would bring about the demise of the honeybee. Now, pesticides, herbicides, and genetically engineered plants exacerbate the problem, and the current bee crisis confirms Steiner's dire predictions.

Check also the website

Great news on GM wheat in WA!

Commercial production of genetically modified wheat appears to be off the table for WA growers, after Premier Colin Barnett refused to back it.

Binned: Premier sidelines GM wheat
Mr Barnett told Parliament on Tuesday he supported GM canola and cotton, but not GM wheat.

“I support science and I support research programs, but this Government has not made any decision to support GM wheat, and I do not expect we will,” he said.

Following a visit to Japan earlier this month, Mr Barnett said: “We are not contemplating GM wheat and I did note Japanese consumers would not support GM wheat.”

Mr Barnett’s stance on GM wheat is out of line with funding decisions already made.

Agriculture Minister Terry Redman has repeatedly supported GM technology, in the belief that it is part of the State’s future.
Rear article

22 Mar 2011

Exclusive interview with Clarke Vincent

Clarke is one of the candidates in the Earth Hour Award and I got the pleasure of interviewing him for my blog:

1. At the moment you have the highest score of the people's choice for the categorie Workplace Champions, do you think you have a good chance you are going to win in a few days?
- My lead in my category is only by a handful of votes and so I think it is still very much open for anyone to win.

2. What are the 3 most important workplace champions achievements that brought you up in this competition and how did you achieve them?
– The three most important achievements we are proud of are:
1. Actively paying staff to commute green to work every day. This is a real coup, and I suspect quite unique in the workplace. Permanent staff are all entitled to a Green Bonus of up to $1,000 every six months if they travel green to work. So, for taking public transport, walking or cycling staff claim the bonus. For most who claim it, it easily covers the entire cost of their commute, making the cost difference between driving and finding a greener alternative very financially compelling.
2. 100% green (wind) power in our largest office (in Brisbane) – it is a large office with about 60 staff who work long hours, so it’s great to know that all the energy we use during the day comes from a sustainable source
3. A Company policy to promote and enable reduced carbon burning from travel. Our staff and clients are scattered throughout Australia and even beyond (Canada, Hong Kong, UK) so we have an active company policy to reduce travel and make remote working effective and this reduces our travel and carbon emissions hugely. We are all comfortable and regular users of video-conference, tele-conference, webinars, online presentations and good old email. It works very well for us and the ease with which it works has helped many other companies we do business with copy our approach. Many staff also get connected and work from home 90-100% of the time and those that do need to travel on business pay extra to off-set their carbon output.

All of our achievements came about in the same way. A few of us started talking in the office about what we could do, we did a bit of research to work out how to make it happen including the cost, people, time and other considerations and then the ideas were presented and discussed with the owners of Pareto. Fortunately, they were willing to consider the benefits and not just the cost to the business and decided that it was a worthwhile investment in our business and the environment. The strong green initiatives that exist within Pareto help to make us very proud to work for the company.

3. What kind, ot what would be your ideal environmental project you and your workmates looking for to spend your two days of volunteer leave on this year?
– We’re still looking for an ideal environmental project, so if anyone who reads this has one in the Brisbane area that we could help with please let me know. Quite a few of us went out and volunteered with the clean up after the recent floods in Brisbane, but we’re also looking for a longer term project (each staff member gets two days per year volunteer leave) that we can work on as a team so we can something together outside of the office that isn’t just a trip to the pub and leaves us with a sense of achievement.

4. To hear if you'll win you are invited to the awards night in Sydney. How will you travel there?
– I am not planning to travel to Sydney for the Awards – I have asked my manager, who is based in Sydney to attend instead.

5. The winner of the Workplace Champions Award will receive a luxury holiday package at a Resort in Port Douglas, who will you take there?
– If I win an award I will auction it amongst our staff and donate the proceeds back to Earth Hour – that makes more sense to me because I am really just the representative for my company in the awards – many staff are passionate about reducing our impact on the environment and have helped deliver all of the ‘green’ changes we have in place. And WWF certainly needs the money because there is a lot more campaigning needed still to change our current habits and save our planet.

6. And how are you going to offset your carbon footprint on this flight?
– When I do travel I typically off-set using the option the airline offers when booking. We have also used carbon sequestering companies like Greenfleet to block purchase offsets too.

Thanks Clarke, for your inspiring answers!
You can still vote for the people's choice, click here.

16 Mar 2011

Cycling: Bike Week

More information on what's going on during Bike Week in WA check here.

13 Mar 2011

6 day Steam bending furniture course with David Haig

We are loosing our skills while living the fast life. Here is a chance to get some good old fashioned wood skills:

Perth Wood School would like to offer you the opportunity of attending a six day steam bending course conducted by David Haig during the first week of May.

David is an internationally renowned furniture designer maker and lecturer from Nelson in New Zealand. He has been teaching since 1996 both at home and in the US at the Centre for Furniture Craftsmanship in Maine and the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. His work features in Australian Wood Review and international publications.

Perth Wood School is lucky enough to be able to secure his services just before his next extended trip to Maine. David will be coming to Perth to conduct a six full day course on steam bent furniture making in the first week of May (Monday 2nd – Saturday 8th) During the course participants will learn all about the fascinating techniques involved in bending timber while making their own seat.

Cost for the 6 days is $1200 per person.
Please contact Tracey, Lyn or David to register your interest email: info@perthwoodschool.com.au or call 08 9277 5558

12 Mar 2011

Stand up to Monsanto! - 16 April - Fremantle

Who is Steve Marsh?
Steve Marsh is an organic farmer from Kojonup who lost his organic certification on 70 per cent of his land, when genetically modified (GM) canola blew in over the fence from his neighbour's paddock. Under the current law the only way that Steve can recoup his losses is to sue his GM growing neighbour, who is being supported by GM giant Monsanto. Already Steve's legal fees amount to tens of thousands of dollars and he accepts he could lose his family farm in this legal battle.

What's wrong with GM crops?
GM canola was introduced in Western Australia last year despite serious concerns remaining about its environmental and human health impacts. When GM canola was fed to rats it resulted in increased liver sizes of up to 15 per cent - yet our regulators tell us it is safe to eat! The introduction of GM canola will also increase herbicide use and threaten the ability of conventional and organic farmers to grow non-GM crops.

Please join with us in standing up against the gene giant Monsanto and helping ensure justice for small family farmers!

A fantastic array of International and Western Australian performers are rallying round to support Steve by playing at the gig, and big names such as Michael Franti, the Cat Empire and Dave Mann have donated merchandise for us to auction on the night.

"We want clean air, water, and food. That's why we are supporting organic farmers in this way".
More info here

Food Alert Forum - 21 March - Peppermint Grove

Hear Steve Marsh
Organic farmer decertified over GM contamination
His legal battle is Australia’s first test case

-- Come to show your support! --
Monday March 21, 2011
7pm for 7.30 pm start, to 9.00pm
The Grove Community Centre
1 Leake St, Peppermint Grove WA 6011
(350 metres from Cottesloe Station)

Josh Byrne: Environmental scientist;
Dr George Crisp: Doctors for the Environment;
Hon Lynn MacLaren MLC: Greens spokesperson on GM;
Mick Murray MLA: Shadow Agriculture Minister;
Frances Murrell: Mothers are Demystifying GE (MADGE);
Julie Newman: Network of Concerned Farmers;
Bob Phelps: Gene Ethics, to Facilitate.

Talk, panel discussion, Q&A
GM-free refreshments
More info + RSVP Maggie T: 0412 836 777 E: mlilith@iprimus.com.au
Hosted by the GM-free Australia Alliance

11 Mar 2011

An evening with Roz Savage - 31 March

(Click on picture to enlarge)

An evening with Roz Savage
hosted by ABC radio's James Lush

The Boat Shed UWA
Car Lot 23, Hackett Dr Crawley
On the corner of Stirling Hwy/Mounts Bay Rd

31 March
Suggested minimum donation of $15
Cash bar

For online reservations, please click here and click on Events. You'll find the link to Roz's reservation page on 31st March on the events calendar (it'll go up on the website Monday afternoon...again, thanks for being patient).

For more info, please contact june@rozsavage.com

10 Mar 2011

5 Mar 2011


YMCA HQ Gallery is currently looking for artists to exhibit in 2011. Now in its second year, the gallery is free to hire for artists under 25 who earn less than $30,000 a year. Artist over 25 or who earn more than $30,000 a year, can also hire the space for a nominal $100.00 per week.

What you get
This unique opportunity was made possible with sponsorship from YMCA and Healthway’s Drug Aware Youth Arts Unearthed program and offers artists a chance to exhibit their work with:
• Professional lighting
• A hanging rail
• Weekend openings
• Publicity and a;
• Full time Monday-Friday gallery attendant.

How to apply
If you are interested in exhibiting, download the application form and email YMCA HQ Community Art Co-ordinator, Poppy van Oorde-Grainger at poppy.vog@ymca.org.au or call 9328 3221.

3 Mar 2011

Design competition - Call For Entries

Create a symbol of "Hope" for a local textile industry in Bangladesh

(A) Design a brand new check pattern
(B) Design a product with a check fabric

1st prize $3,000 in each category

Entries close March 31, 2011

Click for details on Weaving Love, Creating "Hope": Textile design
Click for details on Weaving Love, Creating "Hope": Product design

1 Mar 2011

Last week to apply for Earth Hour awards!

Earth Hour, the global environmental campaign created in Australia and taken up by the world, will take place at 8.30pm on Saturday 26 March.
To celebrate the fifth year of the campaign, WWF-Australia is looking for inspiring stories of people who have gone ‘beyond the hour’ and taken action to help create a more sustainable planet.

For the first time, WWF-Australia will run the Earth Hour Awards, recognising the efforts of people from around the country.
“The phenomenal thing about Earth Hour is the changes it has inspired people to make in their every-day lives,” said WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman.

“It is not about one hour of darkness; it is about a lifetime of sustainability.
“Australians continue to show leadership on this important issue, therefore we look forward to seeing some of Australia’s best examples of people going beyond the hour.

We know that to create a sustainable planet, we all need to play our small part.”
Every Australian can take part in the Earth Hour Awards, with five categories* drawing on different ways people might take action. A People’s Choice Award will be drawn from the pool of finalists.

Nominations can be made online at www.earthhour.org.au Finalists will attend a special Earth Hour Awards ceremony in Sydney to mark the event and watch world famous icons like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House go dark.

Jamie Durie, WWF’s Earth Hour Ambassador said he was proud to see how far the message of Earth Hour had spread.
“I cannot emphasise enough how important Earth Hour is. I love that it’s a true grassroots movement, starting off locally in Sydney in 2007 and now involving an aweinspiring lobal community of over 140 countries!”
“It is one of the most simple and effective things we can all do to raise awareness of our impact on the planet.”

The categories for the Earth Hour Awards are as follows:
Young Panda Award: This award is for the under 15’s, recognising young people who have been proactive in reducing their environmental footprint or inspiring their friends and family to take action.
Workplace Champions Award: This award is for an individual or team with big ideas who has taken exceptional initiative within their workplace to benefit the environment.
Future Makers AwardOpen to one and all, young and old, this award is for individuals who always go beyond the hour, taking innovative action to protect and preserve our planet and inspiring others to do the same.
Lifetime Achievement Award This award will recognise a leader in the community, who in demonstrating an ongoing dedication to the environment is leading by example and guiding younger generations to make a difference.
Education AwardThis award will recognise people who are making a significant contribution to educating others on how to live more sustainable lives. It might be a teacher, school, or scout group.
WWF Earth Hour People’s Choice Award Drawn from a pool of 20 inspiring stories, the community will have the chance to vote online for their favourite. Nominations for the WWF Earth Hour Peoples Choice Award will run throughout March with the winner being announced on Earth Hour night.

WWF Earth Hour Awards Night
On the night of Earth Hour, March 26 2011, the winners of the Earth Hour Awards will be announced at a special event in Sydney.
More info here