30 Jan 2013

Staron Design Awards 2013

This Staron® Design Awards program is open to any designer, architect, developer, kitchen/bathroom designer, student or any other designer who has created a design project using Staron® Solid Surfaces. The Staron® Design Awards have been designed to create exposure for designers and architects using Staron® in outstanding applications.

The program is open in three categories: Commercial - Residential and Concept.

Show them a good sustainable design idea!
More info here

29 Jan 2013

24 February - Concert for the Kimberley

There are many activities to save The Kimberley and this is a very pleasant one, come along!
Save the Kimberley is also on Facebook, click here.

20,000 people turned out to hear the John Butler Trio, Missy Higgins and Bob Brown among others in a concert and rally and march for the Kimberley in Fremantle on February 24, 2013.

24 Jan 2013

WA's water dilemma

It is known for having the fastest growing population of any state in the country, and its capital is already being heralded as the major Australian urban centre of the future, but Western Australia faces on enormous infrastructure problem.

The state and in particular its capital Perth has been experiencing hot weather and ever-diminishing rainfall, drying up the state's system of dams and prompting water restrictions and dire warnings of shortages.

As panic over water supply sets in, two expensive and electricity-intensive desalination plants have been built. The Perth Seawater Desalination Plant, built in 2006, already supplies roughly 20 per cent of the city’s drinking water needs, and is powered by the Emu Downs Wind Farm. More recently the Southern Seawater Desal Plant, near Binningup in the Shire of Harvey, was opened in 2011. Prompted by further drought, the state government has already begun construction to double its capacity. Combined, the two plants currently provide 95 billion litres of drinking water each year.
Read article

Premier says desal will 'drought-proof' Perth
The Premier Colin Barnett has opened the second stage of the Southern Seawater Desalination plant near Binningup.
"It comes at a price but it means we are secure in water supply."

My question is; what happens with all the salt? Is it carefully being discarded or will it be another environmental desaster in the making?


A Great Kimberley Marine Park

Right now less than 5% of the regions coastline is protected as sanctuaries for it’s stunning marine life. The rest of this outback treasure could be mined, dredged and polluted tomorrow as mining spreads rapidly across the Kimberley.

West Australians deserve a Great Kimberley Marine Park to rival the Great Barrier Reef.

With an election in less than 7 short weeks we need to do everything we can to make this a reality and get it over the line.
Read article or visit Facebook site if you want to help.

23 Jan 2013

More oceans swamped by plastic 'soup'

Australian scientists say it will take at least 500 years to stop the growth of five swirling masses of plastic waste in the world's oceans.

Even that grim scenario would depend on an immediate ban on more plastic going into oceans, they say.

A swirling mass of plastic debris was first discovered in the so-called north Pacific gyre about 15 years ago.
Since then more areas of plastic have been discovered in other oceans.
Read article

21 Jan 2013

Promote cycling in Australia

A few photos of friends and family cycling in my home country The Netherlands where the average person has 3 bikes at home and uses de bicycle daily for commuting to work, school or doing grocery shipping. Most bikes are fit out with a decent frame on the back often with bicycle bags and some have racks on the front.

When you have kids there are various accessories to hook on your bike to transport them. And best of all, there is no helmet law!

Lots of bicycles are motorised now, not only for the elderly but also for the young crowd.
A class mate of mine, Leon, started Spiked Cycles which recently won the innovator award. He designs and manufacturers cool bicycles with a bit of spike; electric power.
You would think it's pretty easy cycling in the low lands because it's all flat, but there is a lot of wind, hence the windmills... so the electric motor comes in handy.

Would love to see his bicycles here in Australia do concur the hills!


Take a 7 minute break, watch in HD big screen and enjoy people having fun in nature without destroying it!

No free speech in Perth city!

(Click to enlarge)

18 Jan 2013

Made to last...

Ever find yourself thinking, "Things just don't seem to be made the way they used to..."?
The Story of Stuff Project

17 Jan 2013

Scary article: A poisonous influence

Man-made chemicals are saturating the planet and doing untold damage to life on earth.
While climate change has grabbed the media and policy limelight, another problem has a far larger impact on humans, our planet and all life on it.

Humanity produces more than 83,000 different chemicals, a third of which are known to cause or suspected of causing cancer, mutations and birth defects and most of which are toxic. The global output of chemicals is about 30 million tonnes a year, and the United Nations Environment Programme says the industry will be worth $6 trillion by 2020, and triple in size by 2050.

This makes the world output of toxic or carcinogenic chemicals about 1.4 kilograms a person a year globally, and 5.6 kilograms in the US. Australia is probably somewhere between the two. To put this in perspective, it contrasts with 2.5 kilograms a head a year to which Vietnamese rural people were exposed during the Agent Orange phase of the Vietnam war (and which is documented as having killed or maimed 400,000 people and deformed 500,000 babies).

What is new about this, apart from the scale of chemical output, is the discovery that man-made substances are pervasive throughout earth's system and are moving relentlessly around the planet in water, air, soil, animals, fish, food and trade.
Read article

That's why I avoid cleaning products, pesticides, artificial fertilisers, cosmetics, paints, smoking, etc.
I can't believe my eyes when people are spraying pesticides on a weed what is so easy to pull out or poor boiling water over it to kill. Or those 'apparantly safe pesticides' to kill all bugs in your home... There is so much rubbish what you eat, put on your face or breath in. Every one you can avoid makes you a little bit healthier person.
Update: The greatest human impact of all
Humanity currently produces more than 83,000 different chemicals, a third of which are known or suspected of causing cancer, mutations and birth defects and most of which are toxic. Current global output of chemicals is around 30 million tonnes a year, in an industry which the UN Environment Program says will be worth $6.4 trillion by 2020, and will triple in size by 2050.

16 Jan 2013

10 most expensive energy projects in the world

Six out of these 10 most expensive energy projects in the world are located in Australia! Run by foreign companies...

Our growing thirst for energy means today's projects dwarf most past endeavors. The Hoover Dam cost $49 million in 1936. Adjusted for inflation, that's only $825 million today.

1. Kashagan - $116 billion - Location: Kazakhstan - Companies: KazMunayGas, Eni, Shell, Exxon, Total, ConocoPhillips, INPEX

2. Gorgon - $ 57 billion - Location: Australia - Companies: Chevron, Exxon, Shell

3. Ichthys - $ 43 billion - Location: Australia - Companies: INPEX, Total  

4. Bovanenkovskoye  - $ 41 billion - Location: Russia - Companies: Gazprom  

5. Australia Pacific LNG -  $ 37 billion - Location: Australia - Companies: Origin, ConocoPhillips, Sinopec

6. Wheatstone - $ 35 billion - Location: Australia - Companies: Chevron, Apache, Tokyo Electic Power Compnay, Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company, Royal Dutch Shell, Kyushu Electric Power Company

7. Queensland Curtin LNG - $ 34 billion - Location: Australia - Companies: BG Group

8. Kearl - $ 33 billion - Location: Canada - Companies: Imperial Oil, Exxon Mobil  

9. GLNG - $ 30 billion - Location: Australia - Companies: Santos, Petronas, Total, Kogas  

10. Three Gorges Dam - $ 28 billion - Location: China

Read article on CNN Money with photos of the projects.

15 Jan 2013

Litterbugs face heavier fines

People dropping items of rubbish deemed dangerous such as lit cigarettes will face hefty fines of up to $5000 from today under new anti-littering rules introduced by the State Government.

Amid WA's continued poor performance with littering compared with other States, the Government has significantly increased the penalties applying to people caught dumping rubbish and waste illegally.

Environment Minister Bill Marmion said the laws would see those caught dropping hazardous material such as glass or lit cigarette butts liable to on-the-spot fines of $500, up from $200.
Read article

Hot weather records increase fivefold

Global warming has caused monthly records for heat to increase fivefold in frequency, according to a study by scientists in Germany and Spain.

In parts of Europe, Africa and southern Asia, the frequency of months with record-breaking heat has surged tenfold, said the study published on Monday.

The evidence comes from an analysis of 131 years of monthly temperature data, monitored at 12,000 points around the world, which are stored in a NASA database.

If man-made warming is stripped out of the equation, 80 per cent of the records for hottest-ever months would not have occurred, it said.
Read article

Extremes of rain, heat on the way
As Australia recovers from last week's record-breaking temperatures, the head of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it is clear heatwaves are occurring more frequently, and will increase further with global warming.

Australia heat wave lights fire under climate inflation
It seems certain that it will not just be the general population that will be reassessing climate risk in the wake of the extraordinary heat wave to have hit Australia this year – as they did in America with Hurricane Sandy – it will also be stock market investors.

Climate inflation is a rapidly emerging theme in global stock markets – or at least it should be after the International Energy Agency last year pushed the concept of a global “carbon budget” into the mainstream. We discussed last October what that might mean for the fossil fuel industries and those whose company valuations are based around fuels they have yet to extract.

In recent days there have been a couple of really good reads on what the Australian heat waves might mean for the general population, and potentially for politics – Tim Flannery and George Monbiot are just two of them.

14 Jan 2013

Kimberley update for new and existing volunteers

The new year has brought with it many changes, including some great additions to the WA Perth campaign team. Join them on Tuesday Feb 5th from 5:30pm to meet the new team, hear a campaign update and get involved in exciting actions and events coming up!

What: Kimberley update for new and existing volunteers - meet our new staff!
When: Tuesday, Feb 5th
Time: 5:30-7pm
Where: 2 Delhi St. West Perth, main conference room

There are lots of opportunities coming up to help protect the Kimberley, that we need energetic and engaged volunteers to help us successfully run. These include a big concert for the Kimberley, lots of actions and events in Mt. Lawley and stall holders for festivals!

So join us to have some nibbles, hear about the latest developments in the Kimberley campaign welcome three new, exciting additions to our WA Perth team;

•Community organiser: Sarah Yani Vann-Sander
•Outreach Coordinator: Marie Bout
•Stalls Coordinator: Warren House

Please RSVP by contacting jenita.enevoldsen@wilderness.org.au

13 Jan 2013

Activism history tour of Fremantle and Sustainability Policy Information Evening

Join prominent sustainability and climate policy expert Professor Peter Newman as he leads a free guided tour around historic Fremantle, focusing on the history of activism in the historic port city.

After the tour the group will return to the Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute for some food and beverages whilst learning about the growing importance of sustainability and good climate policy, the work CUSP is doing on global issue, and how the world is and how you can play a part in this change by studying at CUSP.

This informal information session will provide you with a wonderful opportunity to speak with leading experts and professionals in the fields of urban sustainability, coastal sustainability, climate policy, new technologies and participatory sustainability.

You will learn about the range of short courses and postgraduate degrees offered at CUSP Institute, including our inter-disciplinary program in Sustainability and Climate Policy, which covers the major sustainability issues facing the world today, with specific vocational skills in how to solve them.

If you want to find out more about Fremantle’s interesting activist history, and sustainability and climate policy, and explore your options for a career in this field, then we look forward to meeting with you. We encourage you to register your name by emailing Christine.Finlay@curtin.edu.au

To find out more visit: sustainability.curtin.edu.au or view our short video about studying at CUSP.

Event: An Activist History of Fremantle and Curtin Sustainability Information Evening
Date: Wednesday 16 January 2013
Time: Tour commences 5:30 – 7:00pm, followed by refreshments and presentation
Where: Curtin University Sustainable Policy (CUSP) Institute, 3 Pakenham St, Fremantle
RSVP: Christine.Finlay@curtin.edu.au

9 Jan 2013

Free screening of DIVE! and guest speaker from Foodbank WA

The free outdoor movie at Earthcarers for 2013 is the beautiful documentary Dive! Inspired by a curiosity about a country's careless habit of sending food straight to landfills, the multi award-winning documentary DIVE! follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles. Here is the trailer.

The film goes into issues of redistributing unwanted food to charities, so we thought it would be great to hear from our own Foodbank WA. Anne Graydon from Foodbank WA will join us to talk about their work and its environmental impact.

When: Friday 18 January 2013

Time: 6.30pm for picnic/cuppas (tea/coffee are provided, so no need to pack a thermos!)
7.15pm for talk from Anne from Foodbank WA
7.30pm for screening

Where: Outside WMRC Earth Carers office, Corner Marine Pde and Warton St, Cottesloe (look for the blue Earth Carers signs)

BYO Picnic and blanket, bean bag etc

6 Jan 2013

World domination by people

"Man is the most destructive species on earth and we are just pilfering the planet in the way it suits us, not seeing how we are so disconnected from ourselves and others, destroying our health and future in the process. We need to look at long term progress, where the focus is on happiness and not economic gain". OC

Watch video and think...