21 Dec 2014

Wake Up Call

This Little Video Will Make You Question Consumerism Like Never Before!

Rubbish volumes in Australia rise by 30%.

The average Australian is buying 16 gifts during this time and spending around $475 in the process. Most of the items we buy will be packed in unnecessary amounts of plastic, cardboard and foam, held in place with plastic or metal ties.

Over-consumption and waste in our throwaway society are placing an intolerable strain on the planet’s natural resources. Over 4 trillion kilograms of waste is sent to landfill each year in Australia, with climate change a devastating symptom of the problem. It’s not just Australians; Americans throw away 25% more rubbish during the festive season.

If we reduced our holiday landfill by just 1 kilogram per person, we can make a real difference. Imagine if a million people did that, we could save approximately 10 billion litres of water waste (that’s 4000 Olympic swimming pools), prevent 8 million kgs of carbon dioxide pollution (growing a forest of approx. 45,000 trees) … and we would collectively save millions of dollars!

19 Dec 2014

Expert cycling advice from the Netherlands

An Australian delegation has taken part in a cycling tour of the Netherlands, to learn from one of the world’s best cycling systems. The tour was arranged by the Cycling Promotion Fund and the Netherlands Government through the Dutch Embassy in Sydney.
The delegation consisted of a range of transport professionals and advocates, including the Department of Transport’s Network Planning Director Craig Wooldridge.
Mr Wooldridge said the tour was a perfect opportunity for the State Government to learn from the Netherland’s passion to drive innovation in active transport in the short, medium and long term. 
“The tour consisted of a mix of presentations by Dutch experts from regional and local government, the private sector and advocacy groups along with practical cycling and walking experiences,”
“While the Netherlands approach to urban and transport planning is vastly different to Australia’s, due to very high urban densities, the advice I have been given is that there are some key learnings that could be explored,”
“These include looking at greater separation for cyclists on high volume arterial roads, creating lower speed environments on local roads and different options for end of trip facilities and bike education in schools,” Mr Wooldridge said.
Dutch planning and design experts will visit Australia in March next year to run a one day workshop with representatives from state and local government, the private sector, advocacy groups and interstate experts.
Mr Wooldridge said these new opportunities tie in with the key initiatives in the Western Australian Bicycle Network Plan (WABN) 2014-2031 which has seen $39.95 million allocated by the State Government to cycling infrastructure from 2014/15 to 2017/18.
A report summarising the trip and key learnings can be found on the 2014 Netherlands cycling study tour page.

15 Dec 2014

Uruguay Takes on London Bankers, Marlboro Mad Men and the TPP

"From the bankers' perspective, Uruguay is setting a bad example by taking care of their people instead of catering to global financial speculators".

"The fact that a sovereign nation trying to protect the health of its people is being forced to defend itself in expensive litigation against the profiteering of a multinational corporation in front of a supranational World Bank tribunal is already far down the wrong path".

I think we can learn something from this South American country!

Factory farming - The Secrets of Food Marketing

Think you aren't being fooled by advertising tricks?

We only get away with it because everyone is prepared to look the other way...

Take a look at this so-called expert revealing food marketing's secret weapon.
No amount of marketing makes factory farming acceptable but not all farming is factory farming either!

Do your homework, research where your food comes from!

Think before you buy a trinket...

Either we come together now to make these the last days of ivory-funded terrorism or we witness the last days of elephants in the wild.Created by Director Kathryn Bigelow, Writer Scott Z. Burns and Annapurna Pictures and in collaboration with WildAid.

Take action! 

14 Dec 2014

Defendant 5: Opening Shot

Defendant 5 is the personal story of one young woman who learnt that fighting for what she believed in had repercussions beyond her wildest nightmares.

Young filmmaker Heidi Lee Douglas goes to Tasmania to make a film about the effect of logging on the community. She discovers that one company is profiting most from the logging of the old growth forests, Gunns Ltd, the biggest wood chipper in the Southern Hemisphere.

As the campaign to protect the old growth forests escalates, Heidi takes more risks and crosses the line from filmmaker to activist. Community support to protect Tasmania’s forests spreads across Australia and around the world. But the issue is divisive, with timber workers, many of whom work for Gunns, believing their futures are at stake.

Without warning, Heidi and 19 other critics are sued by Gunns for .4 million dollars for allegedly conspiring to harm the company's business. The defendants are a disparate group - elected politicians, campaigners, a doctor, a dentist, an author and students. Together they become known as the Gunns 20. 

Heidi discovers Gunns wants to use her footage as evidence of its allegation of conspiracy. She faces a crisis of conscience as the footage she had been gathering to help the community now threatens to harm them. She is asked to stop filming independent protests because it’s believed she is under surveillance. With her privacy and rights under question, Heidi turns the camera on herself.

Click here to watch on ABC Iview until 7 January 2015

12 Dec 2014

Do not idle your car!

WHAT'S POSSIBLE: The U.N. Climate Summit Film

Presented to world leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York in September 2014, this short inspirational film shows that climate change is solvable. We have the technology to harness nature sustainably for a clean, prosperous energy future, but only if we act now. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, it calls on the people of the world to insist leaders get on the path of a livable climate and future for humankind.