Wednesday, 30 September 2009

World Habitat Day

Let's stand up on World Habitat Day and let it be known that affordable, adequate housing should be a priority everywhere—in our communities, in our towns, in our country, in our world.

This year on Oct. 5 in Washington, D.C. and around the world, please join Habitat for Humanity in support of this global observance as we come together and declare that the lack of decent, affordable housing is unacceptable. According to the United Nations, more than 100 million people in the world today are homeless. Millions more face a severe housing problem living without adequate sanitation, with irregular or no electricity supply and without adequate security. Take a moment in your busy life to think about these very important issues.


Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Greenfest - a place for fresh energy

Greenfest is being presented by Brisbane City Council on June 5-7 at the City Botanic Gardens. Over 100 exhibitors from most industries and government have committed to promote fresh thinking, new clean-tech products and innovative services for a cooler planet.

Some features of the event include:
  • Free World Environment Day Concert
  • Heart of Golf Film Festival
  • Workshops for a cooler future
For more information on the event go to

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Thursday, 26 February 2009

Wake up Sydney!

There is a great event happening in Sydney for people who are interested in contributing to a more kind, conscious and sustainable is called Wake up Sydney! Wake up Sydney will be an uplifting evening of casual elegance blending live music, elevating film, an inspirational guest speaker and mindful awareness - followed by wine & chocolates.

The purpose of the evening is to honour and connect social entrepreneurs, artists, yoga lovers, fair traders, sustainable leaders, educators, social justice groups, dharma teachers, solution journalists, film lovers, cultural creatives, indie bookshops & cafes, organic/eco business, philanthropists, scientists, indigenous elders, holistic practitioners, intelligent optimists, corporate catalysts, green & conscious media, meditators, visionary authors, scientists, peace activists and other good-time evolving souls.

Here are the event details:

Date: Wed 1st April, 2009 (no this is not an April Fool's joke)

Meet & Mingle: 6.30pm

Official Program: 7 - 9pm

Where: Chauvel Cinema - located in the historic Paddington Town Hall, Corner of Oxford and Oatley Road, Paddington

Guest Musician: Bobby Flynn

Guest Speaker: John Milton

Ticket Price: $30

To find out more information and book tickets go to

Bobby Flynn

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Thursday, 19 February 2009

Jon Dee and Bayer-UNEP begin search for Australia’s “eco” students

Australian university students with something “eco” on their minds are being asked to step forward with their ideas on sustainable energy solutions for the 2009 Bayer-UNEP Eco-Minds Forum, and be in with a chance to represent Australia at an International Forum in Auckland, New Zealand.

One of the ways the competition is being promoted is through 2 YouTube videos where you are Ideas on How Not to Save the World & Non-Practical Ideas for a Sustainable future.

In partnership with the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), the Bayer Eco-Minds program aims to foster awareness, thirst and passion for the environment amongst students from across the Asia Pacific region. In return, the winning students receive an all expenses paid trip to Auckland for the opportunity to present their ideas and participate in solution-orientated group work, cross-cultural activities and knowledge sharing in a bid to tackle real-life sustainable development issues.

In Australia, the initiative is being supported by leading environmentalist Jon Dee who believes the Eco-Minds Forum is an ideal opportunity for students to put their passion to good use.

“What better way for young Aussie students to get their suggestions for sustainable energy solutions out there,” says Dee. “Eco-Minds provides the perfect forum for tomorrow’s leaders to exchange ideas with each other in a proactive, pan-Asia effort to make a very real difference to the future of our environment, today.”

2009 will see the third bi-annual Eco-Minds Forum take place. At the 2007 Forum in Thailand, university students Rachel Cain from the University of Adelaide, Laura Joseph from the University of Western Sydney and Eric Knight from Sydney University represented Australia when the best minds from across Asia Pacific came together to explore real-life issues and sustainable development ideas for fresh water supply.

Rachel Cain, who has been involved with the Youth Environment Council of South Australia, as both a member and mentor, and has completed voluntary work in Central America, says: “Eco-Minds has helped to fast track my career by providing me with an unforgettable experience to work alongside students from across the region to try and solve issues of sustainability that affect all of us.

“Each student brought their own knowledge and skill-set which helped fuel the discussion and ideas and allowed each of us to learn so much from each other. It’s opened up doors for me and I’ve created some wonderful friendships.” said Ms Cain.

The 2009 Eco-Minds Youth Forum will focus on a topic that is of growing importance to the world - Sustainable Energy Systems: Challenges and Opportunities. As part of the week-long event, participants will look at some of the challenges around energy supply, including climate change, and the practical solutions that can overcome such challenges with a visit to New Zealand’s hydro and geothermal supply systems.

For those “eco-minded” students who have ever seen something and thought “I could do it better”, this is their chance. The Bayer-UNEP Eco-Minds is open to all university students aged 18-24 years with delegates from Singapore, Thailand, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, India, Indonesia and China attending.

For entry details and application forms, students can log on to, or contact the Australian Eco-Minds Co-ordinator on (02) 4736 0892. Entries close on 28 March 2009.

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Thursday, 29 January 2009

Muster up your old mobiles...we are!

I was at a business networking event last year called Business goes Barefoot and I got a bag full of goodies. One of the supporters of the event was MobileMuster and so in the bag of goodies was a MobileMuster mobile phone recycle satchel. We have been doing some cleaning up around the office lately and I found some old mobiles downstairs which reminded me of the MobileMuster recycle satchel still sitting in the goody bag next to my desk. I got the satchel, filled it with the old mobiles and put it in the post today. It was so simple and I felt really good doing it so I thought I would give a quick outline for anyone else wanting to recycle their old mobile phones. This is just some info I got off the MobileMuster website:

MobileMuster is the official national recycling program of the mobile phone industry in Australia. Initiated voluntarily by the telecommunications industry in 1999 its overall aim is to prevent mobile phones ending up in landfill. The program collects and recycles mobile phone handsets, batteries and accessories from a network of over 2000 mobile phone retailers, local councils, government agencies and businesses drop off points across Australia. To get a recycle satchel you can pick one up at a participating Australia Post outlet.

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Friday, 6 June 2008

World Environment Day Awards 2008 Wiiners announced

Tonights dinner was an amazing experience- I feel honoured being able to attend the World Environment Day Awards 2008 dinner and being amongst some of Australia's outstanding achievers.

The following organisations should be commended for their work, and a big congratulations to the Winners for the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Awards 2008.

Building Commission Award for Best Sustainable Residential Development
Landmatters Currumbin Valey - "The Ecovillage at Currumbin"

Sustainability Victoria Meeting the Greenhouse Challenge Award
WINNER: Global Renewables - "The UR-3R Process"

ITW Industrial Packaging Education/School Award
Mount Manypeaks Primary School - "Natural Resource Management Program"

Lincolne Scott Triple Bottom Line Award
Sustainable Living Fabrics - "Kiss and Leap: A Business Model with Moral Sustainability"

Szencorp Green Building Award
FMSA Architects/Cundall - "St Leonard's College Sustainability Centre - Cornish Campus"

DSE Excellence in Marine and Coastal Management Award
Moreton Bay Seafood Industry Association - "Development and implementatio fo an Environmental Management System for Professional Fishers of Moreton Bay, South East Queensland"

Excellence in Water Management Award
Randwick City Council - "Randwick City Council's Retrofitting Randwick for Water Conservation"

Business Sustainability Awards

Best Specific Environmental Initiative
Greening Australia/Alcoa Point Henry - "Moolapio"

Environmental Best Practice
InStyle Contract Textiles - "An Integrated Company Approach to Sustainability"

Local Government Awards

Excellence Overall Environmental Management
City of Ipswich - "City of Solutions: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally"

Best Specific Environmental Initiative
Fairfield City Council - "Nalawala Sustainability Hub"

Community Award
The Community of Castlemaine

Individual Award
Dr. John Geoffrey Mosley

Media Award for Environmental Reporting
Mark Corcoran, Vivien Altman, David Martin, Simon Brynjolffsen and David Verrechia; ABC TV Foreign Correspondent - "Bolivian Meltdown"

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Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Google Search Trends for Earth Hour in 2008

Regular readers of my blog may remember a post I did around this time last year showing the search trends on Google for the keyword "Earth Hour" in 2007.

Just a reminder, I'm getting these results from Google Trends, a great tool used to show search trends for a specific keyword, or for even comparing search trends.

Well, this year has produced some amazing results! I thought last year was impressive, but this year the number of searches smashed 2007, with almost 8 times more searches in 2008.

Now lets look at these results a bit closer, breaking them down by region showing the proportion of searches that were made from each region globally.

The concept for Earth Hour originated in Australia, so it's expected for most of the searches to have been made by Australian users. The interesting spike in my opinion is seeing how Canada has moved in to second place, from fourth last year, leaps and bounds ahead of New Zealand, the US and UK.

Another interesting way to look at the number of searches is by city. Here's where the biggest surprise was:

My first thoughts were "Wow - surprising that Earth Hour in Toronto was a bigger event than in Sydney". When you put it in to population terms, Toronto has almost 4 times more residents compared to Sydney, so Earth Hour in Sydney proportionally had more searches per person than Toronto.

These massive results I believe are no doubt due to the big marketing and media push in 2008 following on from the success of the event last year. The amount of news articles showing up in the Google News archive clearly shows this:

All in all it's definately safe to state that Earth Hour 2008 was a huge success with some good energy reductions shown in results for cities around the world in Wikipedia. Kudos to WWF for putting together such a credible event.

I have some big expectations for Earth Hour in 2009, and see this movement as being more than an hour of support, instead becoming more than an annual event in years to come.

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