27 Feb 2013

An Australian first - Free soft plastic recycling at Coles

In an Australian first, The Red Group, in partnership with Coles, has developed and implemented an innovative closed-loop recycling initiative, the REDcycle program. The program is set up as a product stewardship scheme involving 10 of the biggest food companies in Australia. These companies are taking responsibility for their product packaging, and covering the costs of the collection and recycling of the soft plastics.

The program is aimed at collecting the soft plastics you can't put in your kerbside recycling bin. The processed materials will be converted into outdoor furniture and signage for schools and communities by program partner Replas. It works likes this:

1. YOU COLLECT - Collect all the soft plastics that you can't recycle at home:
Bread bags, Biscuit packets, Frozen food bags, Rice and pasta Bags, Confectionery packets, Newspaper wrap, Plastic shopping bags, Old green bags
2. YOU DROP - Drop them into the REDcycle collection bin at selected Coles stores.
3. REDcycle RECYCLES - Your packaging gets recycled into outdoor furniture for schools and communities.

Find your nearest Coles store with a REDcycle bin.
If you don't have a convenient soft plastics recycling location near you, you can mail your soft plastic toRED Group
Attn: Plastic packaging recycling
80C Maffra Street
Coolaroo, VIC 3048
Read article

WA isn't participating yet, this is the answer I got on my email:
Thanks very much for your enquiry. We are planning to launch Perth Coles stores by the end of April. If you check the store locator on our web site closer to the date, it will be updated with the participating Perth locations.

This Sunday, 3 March: Clean up Australia Day!

Clean Up Australia Day is a simple way you can take action to clean up Australian beaches, riversides and parks.

In 2012 an estimated 591,400 volunteers cleaned up 16,169 tonnes at 7,363 sites right across Australia. .
Get involved  this year by registering your own Clean Up Site or by volunteering at a site near you.

Need ideas? Join for example the Mosman Park clean up of Minim Cove or help cleaning up the picnic areas at Kings Park.
Too far? Join the clean up of Bathers beach-Roundhouse in Fremantle instead or Riverside Road in East Fremantle.

If you don't have time this Sunday you can join the Lake Claremont clean up next Sunday 10 March 8.00-11.00am.


25 Feb 2013

Made in 3D

Warm up your modeling skills for this brand new edition of the Made in 3D Contest! Dassault Systèmes and Innovation Award winner Sculpteo are teaming up again to offer you an opportunity to win an iPad and a 3D print of your winning model.

The contest will run from January 11, 2013 to March 3, 2013.

The joy of wood

Greg Miller is doing his wood workshops again in March.If you are interested in learning hand skills in wood working check here the March workshops

I met Greg when I was teaching one semester at the school of wood in Dwellingup long time a go. Since then he is giving lots of interesting workshops on wood in Perth. He has heaps of hand tools and saw stools and a lot of knowledge on how to use them. And best of all; he recycles all the wood he comes across.

I did a whole weekend of workshops with him a few years ago with the Earthcarers and had heaps of fun making my own cutting board from an old piece of yellow box, spoons and spatulas from old church pews and jarrah floor boards. And a small round side table top with carving from a cupboard door made of some obscure Chinese wood.

After those two days I was sore for another few days using the hand tools and all the muscles I forgot I had, but boy, I had fun!

If you are interested in some old fashioned hand skills or just love to work with wood, I can really recommend to sign up for an evening or day with Greg in March.

21 Feb 2013

Midway - film project

MIDWAY : trailer : a film by Chris Jordan
The MIDWAY film project is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch.

Returning to the island over several years, the team is witnessing the cycles of life and death of these birds as a multi-layered metaphor for our times.
Production of the feature film "MIDWAY" continues through 2013.
More info here and here

20 Feb 2013

Launch pad 2013 - submit your design

(Click to enlarge)   More info on the website

18 Feb 2013

Environment on the agenda for WA

Before it's gone forever...
Continued logging is destroying the last refuges of the endangered numbat, plastic continues to clog our waterways and fracking risks our critical water supplies.

But this election when MP’s are listening most, you can make sure this is not the future for Western Australia. By contacting your MP today, you can ensure that the environment is firmly on the agenda for the next four years of State Government.

Imagine giant new marine parks protecting the whales and coral reefs of the Kimberley, our forests preserved for our unique wildlife and a 10c recycling refund on drink containers dramatically reducing litter.

Ask your MP what they're doing to protect WA's environment here or here

Is your water at risk?

Industry tells us their practices are safe, but fracking wells have already started leaking pollution in Western Australia.

Last year, gas started bubbling up through the Corybas well, just south of Dongara. It is not surprising. Last year an independent study by Cornell University found that 6-7% of fracked wells were leaking into water aquifers within a year of drilling. With estimates suggesting that WA could see 130,000 wells, that is a scary statistic. Because once our groundwater is polluted, it will be forever.

Our water is too precious to lose. That’s why we’ve launched our new campaign, Clean Water Healthy Land, to tell our politicians that it’s time to take control of gas fracking before it’s too late. Email your local state election candidates.

Currently, instead of protecting us from this industry, the state government has halved the royalties for gas fracking companies, used Royalties for Regions money to sponsor fracking exploration, and failed to ensure that the Environmental Protection Authority assesses projects – instead placing control over projects in the hands of the deeply conflicted Department of Mines and Petroleum.

With encouragement like this, fracking will soon be pockmarking the landscapes we love. Indeed, the pristine Kimberley, the Ningaloo coast, and the farming districts and wildflower country in the Midwest are considered the most prospective gasfields in WA.

Feel like you’d like to know more about shale gas fracking? Shale gas is extracted from deep rock bodies by fracturing (‘fracking’) them, by pumping a mixture of chemicals, sand and vast amounts of water at high pressure to unlock the gas. Find out more here.

14 Feb 2013

Solar Goldfields


Rampant antibiotic use in China may impact Australian food

Health experts have long warned against the use of antibiotics for farming, now there's frightening evidence of the consequences.

US scientists say antibiotics are in such rampant use on Chinese animal farms that it could lead to wide human antibiotic resistance on a vast scale.

An infectious diseases expert warns it's creating super bugs which Australia may be importing into its food supply.
Read article

ENERGY 2029 launch

It was great to see so many people yesterday on the Energy 2029 launch by The Greens and listen to the talks about energy.

And then read today about the Investec plans 50MW solar PV plant near Kalgoorlie.
Global banking and asset management group Investec is working on a proposal to build a 50MW solar PV power plant near Kalgoorlie, in what is likely to be the first solar plant of its size in Australia.

Investec is hopeful of sealing land tenure at Mungari, about 26kms from Kalgoorlie, in the next month or so, and then will go to market to seek a power purchase agreement and lock in project finance. Construction on the project could begin next year.

It was also good to read about the Bumper year for solar and wind energy
2012 was another bumper year for renewable energy worldwide with solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity surpassing 100 gigawatts for the first time and wind energy capacity expanding by almost one-fifth.

On the other hand it's sad to read that Burke approves huge gas and coal plans
A clutch of big coal and coal seam gas projects, including the controversial Whitehaven mine near Narrabri in NSW, have been approved by the federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke.

And reading about the anti wind lobby A fiery wind power conspiracy groups financed by the big shots who want to keep on going with their dirty power to create alarm to stop renewables coming up.

But knowing that more and more people are aware of the situation that we have to look ahead and start investing in new technologies for renewable energy is great!

No plan for fertiliser bans, says Marmion

Although the Liberals promise to spend $16 million on rivers when they win the state election they have no plans to ban fertiliser...

Environment Minister Bill Marmion has conceded the Liberal Party has no plans to ban water soluble fertilisers entering the Swan and Canning Rivers despite their role in causing algal blooms.

Despite most of those nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphorous – key drivers of toxic algal blooms) coming from water soluble fertilisers used by agriculture in the Swan’s catchment, Mr Marmion acknowledged there were no plans to forbid them.
Read article

12 Feb 2013

A MUST SEE: State of Siege

Some of Perth's residents recently had the privilege of viewing the new documentary "State of Seige " by Dennis Grosvenor last weekend but all Western Australians have the right to see the extraordinary parallel between WA and NSW but apparently the documentary is too hot for mainstream media.

WA citizens have a right to know what is apparently being hidden from us.
"State Of Siege tracks the modern conflict between development and urban conservation. Steeped in a culture of political donations and driven by the interests of powerful lobbyists, modern politics has put the basic tenets of democratic rights under threat."

For all of us in WA who have watched in horror the litany of destruction of our built and natural heritage, our parks, reserves, remnant bushland and many thousands of wonderful trees, this documentary only confirms our suspicions and raises a number of important questions.

Channel 44 - WTV is showing this documentary on TV this Saturday, 16 February, at 9pm


UPDATE:If you missed it, here a great review on this documentary.