Tuesday, December 23, 2014

That's So Kind

Have you ever struggled to find a gift for someone? Have you ever received a gift you didn't really like?

Why do we feel forced to buy physical stuff from stores, when people would much prefer other gifts? Ones that don't end up in landfill. Often it's because we don't know what people want. So Kind fixes that problem.

So Kind gift registry

It's like a wedding gift registry, but for any occasion - and also for non-tangible gifts.

You list gifts you would like - the kind of gifts that would make you say "That's so kind". They might be vouchers, homemade gifts, or a second-hand item you would like (if one of your friends has one and doesn't need it). Maybe even a donation to your favourite charity. There are plenty of ideas for your list, and other lists to get ideas from. Then tell your friends and family about your list.

For the gift buyer, just look at the list and pick something from it. You'll know for sure that it's something they'll like - and won't be in landfill next week.

It may be too late for this Christmas, but a good time to start one for your next special occasion.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hot Springs

Last year I wrote that 2013 was Australia's Hottest Spring. Now, 2014 has broken that record.

Possibly not surprising considering we had the warmest September ever, Australia's Hottest October Day, and a November heatwave.

This is getting serious. We really need to act.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The Ready-made Gift

At this time of year it can be stressful - searching shops for something special for friends and family.

But perhaps their gift is already in your home. There are plenty of items of yours that you can give as gifts.

Bernadette created this gift tag, to show the recipient why the gift is special - that you are caring for them, and also the planet.

We hope you don’t mind. We hope you understand. While your gift’s been carefully chosen, it does come second hand. By doing this we are trying, to be conscious of our buying. Becoming more sustainable, so a better future is obtainable

It's an idea that makes so much sense. Books and DVDs that I've read/seen once are still effectively new. Why not give them to someone who can enjoy them for the first time. There are many other items that also make great gifts.

You're giving a gift you know is good quality. As a side-benefit, you reduce your own clutter and prevent another item from ending up in landfill. You also save money and reduce needless consumption.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Who is Katharine Hayhoe?

This is Katharine Hayhoe. A Texan. A Christian. A Climate Scientist. Star of the documentary Years of Living Dangerously. One of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People

Katharine Hayhoe picture

She is also an author. Her and her husband, evangelical pastor Andrew Farley, have authored the book A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions.

Book Cover. A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions

Could be an interesting read. It's currently out of print, but a new version is coming out in 2015.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Living Dangerously in Australia

Remember when I wrote about the US documentary series Years of Living Dangerously? It stars Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarznegger, Jessica Alba, Don Cheadle and James Cameron.

Now it's being shown in Australia. I caught tonight's episode on SBS.

You can see it too. Each Tuesday at 9.30pm on SBS.

Or watch it online, through SBS On-Demand.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Should I Buy This?

Especially at this time of year, advertisers tell us to buy, buy, buy. Whatever our question - even if we didn't have one - the answer is to buy something.

Some things are good. Some things are just "landfill waiting to happen".

So I enjoyed this tongue-in-cheek yes/no guide for whether you should buy.

Should I Buy This - top of flowchart

It's simple to use. Just go to the full chart, start at the top, answer each question, and it will lead you to the answer.

Spoiler alert: The majority of paths point to NO, because most of the stuff we buy, we don't need.

Should I Buy This - end of flowchart

Of course as well as saving money and having less clutter around the house, there is also a planet benefit.

If we don't buy those pointless items, factories will waste less energy, and produce fewer emissions, making junk that we don't actually need or want.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Energy Freedom

Want to reduce your energy bills and your greenhouse emissions?

Energy Freedom is a program helping Australians make their homes high-performing, comfortable and zero emissions. With technology available now, home owners can be highly-efficient - cutting energy consumption to a much smaller amount - and then generating that amount from solar.

Energy reductions households can make

There are example Success Stories - a family in Victoria is now saving $4700 a year. A Brisbane family has halved their energy costs despite the addition of two children - and still has further savings to make.

House that has achieved Energy Freedom

One of the strategies they suggest is to switch from gas to electric - as there are more efficient electric products. A new report by ATA - Are we still Cooking with Gas? - has determined that for a new homes it is not even worth connecting to gas. Also, warmer states (like mine) have the best economics for converting to electric.

PS. Another benefit of being energy neutral is that (as batteries become cheaper) you could disconnect from the grid and stop paying electricity bills.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Consuming Creation

Christians must see climate change as a spiritual and not just a scientific problem. It's not just a material problem. It goes into the heart of the human spirit - what it means to be a human being.

It seems to me that what we have to do is face a fact that at the heart our refusal to engage with the issue of climate change is our consumption economy.

Our refusal to listen to the signs of change in the atmosphere in the oceans and the weather and in the earth's system more generally is a reflection of a spiritual problem of what the prophets would call an idolatry, not just of materialism.
These are the words of Scottish theologian Michael Northcott, in a talk entitled 'consuming creation', given to a conference of evangelical Christians. In Encounter's podcast, Steve Bradbury, had this to add:

Why is it so many people in the church don't catch this - and don't understand why we should be so concerned about climate change. Part of the answer lies in the cultural captivity of the church.

In the 18th century, the Anglican Missionary Society inherited two slave plantations. They did two things - gave the slave a little bit more time off each week - and rebranded the slaves with the initials of the mission society.

We react in a shocked manner. How could they do that? But they were captives of the culture of their time....

I think we're looking at a situation where we are captive to a particular worldview. It's tied to this idea that we have to have economic growth, we must keep trying to get more and more in order to satisfy our needs and aspirations.

The strong teaching in the new testament that we have a choice between serving God or mammon (money) is a choice we don't give enough thought to.

Michael Northcott also mentioned Jesus' parable about a rich man, who dreamt of building more barns to store his enormous surplus of corn. In this parable the man dies before ever eating or selling the corn.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mother Nature's sense of irony

Australia is a large country, but our heatwave (like the world's leaders) has honed in on Brisbane this weekend.

Map of Brisbane's heatwave 14-16 November 2014

The irony is that G20 hosts Australia have refused to put global warming and climate change on the agenda. This has provided lots of material for cartoonists.

Cartoon: Australian Prime minister ignoring heatwave and US-China Climate deal at G20 meeting

Meanwhile, down in Sydney, a group of 400 people have paid tribute to the Australian government's attitude to climate change by sticking their heads in the sand.

400 people at Syndey's Bondi Beach poking fun at the Australian government's ignorance of climate change

Related G20 links:
USA and Chine lead the way - the game-changing agreement
Should Merkel shirtfront Abbott - a farmer's plea
Climate Change at the G20 - satire video
The Banned Ads - and the conflict of interest
G20 or G19? - cartoon

Thursday, November 13, 2014

USA and China lead the way

The USA and China have announced their biggest climate change deal.

This agreement reduces carbon pollution by the equivalent of the entire world's emissions from 1990-2013.

Australia's position, coming into the G20 meeting is best summed up by this cartoon.

David Pope's cartoon showing China and the US working on climate change solutions with Australia represented as a child playing off to one side.

Or maybe this cartoon of the G20.

And while the future commitments are great, China is already doing some amazing things. The Climate Council posted this summary before the announcement.

Infographic of China's carbon reduction achievements

It's an impressive set of statistics:
  • 1st in renewable energy capacity and investment
  • 2.6 million jobs in renewable energy
  • in 5 years have shut down more coal power than exists in Australia

Friday, November 07, 2014

Should Merkel shirtfront Abbott?

I love this "Go Solar" message - made with a plough by a Queensland farmer.

Obviously with extra "2" is a reference to the upcoming G20 meeting. When asked, the farmer said "I hope Angela Merkel shirtfronts Tony Abbott and asks him, if Germany can go solar then why on earth can’t Australia?".

(For non-Australian readers, the word 'shirtfront' is a reference to a bizarre comment recently made by Abbott.)

The farmer also summed up the issue quite well:

Farmers are at the pointy end of climate change. Last year was our hottest on record, this one’s shaping up to be even worse, and we’ve got a raging drought over a vast area. In spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence, our idiotic politicians are hooked on coal and gas, which is the cause of the problem.

We have huge reserves of sunshine, so making use of it is simply a matter of common sense. Our government’s reluctance to do so is an international embarrassment."

And if the farmer's word about the drought wasn't enough, the overhead shot certainly shows just how dry the land is.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Climate Change at the G20

Australia decided to avoid talking about climate change at next week's G20. As usual, the Roast summed this up brilliantly, describing other nation's attitude as:
At a forum to discuss the economy it's a good idea to mention the planet that economy happens on.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Here are the Banned Ads

Australia hosts the G20 next week, and has tried to exclude climate change talks from this year's meeting.

Some non-profit groups got together to put these messages on billboards around the airport. But the airport (whose chairman is also a coal company board member) said no.

Fireman: action on climate change is on my agenda

This man, Dean McNulty, represents the firefighters who put their life on the line more frequently as bushfires become more severe with increased heat.

Farmer: action on climate change is on my agenda

This man, David Bruer, lost $25,000 worth of grapes when a 46°C day hit his vineyard.

The On My Agenda website encourages people to tweet the world leaders to encourage them to talk about climate change even if the Australian government wants to avoid the topic.

Of course, you can also share the images above. Brisbane Airport can't censor your internet.

PS. The hypocrisy of Brisbane Airport has been exposed, as they have allowed mining and oil companies to display political ads, but deem the climate change ones inappropriate, because they are 'political'.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Australia's Hottest October Day

Monday wasn't just a hot day. It was Australia's hottest ever October day - with an average maximum of 36.39°C (97.5F). And it's not even summer yet!

Australia's hottest ever October Day - the weather map

Some places even passed 42°C!

Of course, last October we had spring bushfire - so I guess we can at least be grateful that hasn't happened again. But it's frightening to think that this is only the start of what climate change will bring unless we act to stop it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Getting Satisfaction at the Bank Branch

Two things happen when you take your money out of a bank that finances fossil fuels. First, the good feeling from knowing that your money is no longer being used by the bank to ruin our planet - and that you've done something to improve life for yourself - and people everywhere.

The second is that you get a chance to tell off your old bank.

Move to a non-coal bank - that's the description on my statement of why i'm withdrawing my money.

As I transferred my money, I entered the description "Move to a non-coal bank". I don't know if anyone reads that, but I feel good when I read it on the statement.

I also took the time to write the bank a short note to say that
  • I'd learnt they were funding fossil fuels,
  • I didn't think that was a responsible use of money, and so
  • I'm taking my money elsewhere.
PS. See whether your bank deserves the same treatment, and perhaps switch banks.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tell the Government to Keep Renewable Energy

This is your chance to influence the future of Australia's energy.

Yesterday the government said it wants to reduce the Renewable Energy Target. Now it's negotiating with the opposition to settle on a position. So now is a great time to contact any of the men in the negotiation.

Negotiators of the Renewable Energy Target - MacFarlane, Hunt, Hockey, Butler, Gray and Bowen

Here are their contact details:
Ian MacFarlane - facebook or (02) 6277 7070
Greg Hunt - facebook or (02) 6277 7920
Joe Hockey - facebook or (02) 6277 7340
Mark Butler - facebook or (02) 6277 4089
Gary Gray - facebook or (02) 6277 4913
Chris Bowen - facebook or (02) 6277 4822

This suggested policy, described as a free kick for fossil fuels (which would also increase the price of electricity) would be a 64% cut in future investment, according to the Clean Energy Council.

Already, just a day after this announcement, one wind turbine manufacturer has had to let go of 100 jobs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More Dramatic than Terrorism and Ebola

"For all the immediate challenges that we gather to address this week - terrorism, instability, inequality, disease - there's one issues that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate."
That's how Obama began his address to the UN Climate Summit.

He describes the effects on the USA, recognises that "the climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it", and acknowledges that we have to cut carbon pollution in our own countries and work together as a global community before it is too late.

"We cannot condemn our children, and their children, to a future that is beyond their capacity to repair.

This is the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and last generation that can do something about it.

In the US, there is triple the wind power, and 10 times more solar than when Obama became president. Cars are going to be twice as fuel efficient in the next decade, and every major car maker offers electric vehicles. Over the last 8 years, the USA has reduced carbon pollution by more than any other country - and is well on target to reduce emissions by 17% by 2020.

In Obama's words "the United states of America is stepping up to the plate. We recognise our role in creating this problem. We embrace our responsibility to combat it." He goes on to say that to be successful we must all work together.

Of course, Australia's leader failed to attend the Summit. Our foreign minister attracted a much smaller audience.

Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop speaking to a very small audience at the UN Climate Summit

Perhaps this not surprising. Australia has no effective climate policy at this time and a much smaller goal of a 5% reduction by 2020. Even as I write this, Australia's 20% renewable energy target (small by world standards) is being further reduced.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Uruguay - You are Great

At the recent UN Summit, Uruguay committed to reduce its greenhouse emissions by 85% by 2030.

Uruguay commits to reducing emissions by 85% by 2030

Of course there are many other nations with admirable and responsible commitments. (Not Australia though. Still just a 5% reduction)

I've been tagging all my posts like this one, about other nations doing great things, with the tag 'the world'.

But the Climate Council has put it all together in a clickable map.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Getting our money back

On the weekend hundreds of bank customers around Australia took their money back and closed their accounts.

It was an ethical move - to stop the banks using our money to finance fossil fuel burning.

Man with a large novelty cheque to celebrate his divestment from banks investing in fossil fuels

This man with the novelty withdrawal slip was completely serious about taking his quarter of a million dollars elsewhere - for the sake of his kids' future. Others brought their kids along - to feel the experience of taking a moral stand.

father and daughter cancelling the family account with ANZ

A couple of news outlets covered the day. Here's the best tv coverage.

To hear from the people themselves, check out this compilation video.

See Divestment Day Live, for more pictures of the event - from cities and towns around Australia.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Celebrity Endorsement

Missy Higgins is taking part in, and promoting, this Saturday's Divestment Day.

It's a day to encourage people to move their money from banks that invest in fossil fuels, to banks that don't. (In case the interest rate difference wasn't enough reason).

Missy Higgins endorses Divestment Day

As Missy Higgins wrote on her facebook account:

"... my bank has loaned over $6.5 billion to dirty fossil fuels since 2008. I don't know about you but I don't like my money being used to accelerate climate change, it seems insane in this day and age. I'd much prefer my money to be funding renewable energy projects and development, things that might actually save our planet rather than destroy it. So I've written to my bank and told them that if they keep funding fossil fuels I am going to leave. It's our money, we should be able to decide what it's invested in, don't you think? The big four banks have all lent billions to fossil fuels, so if you bank with ANZ, CommBank, NAB or Westpac, join 'Divestment Day' and tell the banks that, "if you choose fossil fuels, we'll choose another bank."

See how your bank invests your money - and look for a better deal on my bank comparison table.

PS. This comes after Felix Riebl joined a previous divestment event.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Warmest September Ever

Following hot on the heels of the warmest August on record, September 2014 was the warmest September so far.

temperature chart of September 2014 warmest September on record

The way things are going, it looks like 2014 may become the hottest year we've ever experienced.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The "Value" of Coal

I've talked a bit about divestment - the idea of getting money out of fossil fuels.

Part of the reason is to make an ethical stand. But the other part is pure finance - taking money out of something that's losing value.

This chart is an example of what I'm talking about. It shows how Australia's coal companies have been losing value and dropping in share price over the past couple of years.

I'm no financial analyst, but to me they seem to past their 'best before' date.

In related news, this Saturday is Divestment Day - a day for taking money out of banks that still invest in fossil fuels.

(Of course, you could do it any day you like, but it's fun to make a special day.)

PS. I was surprised at how much these companies had collapsed in the past few years, so I checked up each company on the Australian Stock Exchange website. It's shocking stuff.

New Hope Corporation (NHC)
Whitehaven Coal (WHC)
Aquila Resources (delisted) High of $11.07 - Jan 2012 $5.85 - Sold at $3.40
Yancoal (YAL)
Cockatoo Coal (COK)
Bandanna (BND)
Carabella (delisted) High of $2.50 - Jan 2012 $1.10 - Sold at 45c
NuCoal (NCR)
MetroCoal (MTE)
Stanmore (SMR)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Why Not?

For the recent UN Climate Summit, 8 young people combined to put together the questions Why Not? to the world's leaders.

It's a good video, and it's a very good question.

why not solar power?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Outbreak of church ethics

I've just read that the Canberra division of the Anglican church has decided to divest from coal, oil and gas companies. "The Diocese accepts that it is both ethical and responsible to divest from fossil fuel stocks."

Canberra Anglican church divest from fossil fuels

The comes very soon after the Perth Anglicans and the Uniting Church in Western Australia also decided to stop investing in fossil fuels.

Churches are really starting to catch on - that it's difficult to love one's neighbour while at the same time as funding climate catastrophes.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Australia at the United Nations (sort of)

Comedy program The Roast once again provides great coverage of current events, while being funny at the same time. (I might have mentioned that before).

This week it was the UN Climate Summit, the no-show by Australia's PM, and several related actions of the government here.

It's quite sad that when world leaders meet to act on climate change, Australia's leader isn't there. But at least it provides good material for comedy programs.

30,000 rally for climate action in Melbourne

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

An Australia that doesn't cost the Earth

Occasionally you see a great little statement that sums it all up in just a few short words. This shareable graphic from ACF was an example of that.

I want an Australia that doesn't cost the earth

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Super Switch - find a better super fund

What if our retirement funds are delivering us a world unfit to retire into? That's the problem Super Switch is here to solve. It's helps you pick a superannuation account that matches your values.

Find the best superannuation for you

Use the site to check up your super fund. Find out how much of your money is invested in fossil fuel companies. I compared my current one (SunSuper) to Australian Ethical (on the right).

Comparison of super funds

It seems Super Switch had a hard time finding out where SunSuper invests my money. So have I - particularly when asking about their "ethical" option. Australian Ethical looks much better, with around 90% invested in fossil free companies.

The site also gives you the option to contact your current fund to ask them to offer a fossil free option - and the option to switch to a better one.

Improve your super or switch to a better one

There's also a ranking of super funds according to the amount of fossil free investment.

Comparison table of superannuation funds

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Uniting Church to disinvest from fossil fuels

"With national governments reluctant to take difficult decisions, it falls to us as members of the body of Christ to show leadership in taking action to reduce damaging pollution."
Those were the words of Uniting Church president Andrew Dutney, as the church resolved to divest from fossil fuels companies.

"As Christians we are called to respect and care for the whole of creation," said Rev. Prof. Dutney. "To avoid damaging climate change we must move quickly to a clean energy economy. The Uniting Church recognises that continued investment in fossil fuel industries does not support the change needed."

Perhaps because of the church's strong connection with Pacific island churches, there is a recognition of the effects of fossil fuels on other nations - and how starkly that contrasts with 'loving one's neighbour'. For the church, this is a matter of social, environmental, and intergenerational justice.

The president also recommended that other churches follow the Uniting church's lead.

More info:
Uniting Church website
Brisbane Times article

PS. The move also seems popular with church members. When the news was posted on the church facebook page, the article received more likes than the page has followers.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Weekend Project Inspiration

My friend made this planter box over the weekend. Made from a discarded pallet; painted white, and then sanded for the 'used look'. It's a great example of 'upcycling' - where an otherwise discarded item is given new life as a different object.

An upcycled planter box made from an old discarded pallet

Apart from having a unique and stylish planter box for the garden, he has saved a pallet from going into landfill, saved himself some money, and avoided the production of another needless item (and the pollution that comes from that). Well done, mate.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Penny-Farthing of Energy

When the report on the Renewable Energy Target was released this week, the Roast devoted most of that night's episode to it. One of the highlights was Jazz's look at outdated industries.

He describes coal as "For 5 millenia, the best idea we've had for energy is: Find rock. Burn rock."

While I've picked his segment as a highlight, it's worth seeing the whole episode. For a show that's meant to be comedy, it does a good job of explaining the news while keeping it entertaining.

The Roast 1 September 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hope for Creation

Hope for Creation is a movement of Australian Christians, who commit to prayer and action on climate change.

If the world is God's creation, and climate change threatens that creation - particularly the world's poor - then it makes sense for Christians to be interested in action on climate change.

Hope for Creation Sunday 7 September 2014

One action is Hope for Creation Sunday, where churches make a special effort to reflect on climate change and pray for creation and the poor. There are prayers, presentations, and Sermon ideas available for download.

If you attend a church that doesn't get involved in Hope for Creation, there are resources that can help you individually learn, act, advocate and pray about this.

You can make a small start now, by taking the pledge.

The pledge - I am a disciple of Jesus, who is Lord of creation. I am a steward entrusted with care for all that God has made. I am a creature dependent on the grace of God and God's gifts in creation.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Australia's New Coat of Arms?

David Pope drew this new coat of arms to reflect the Australian government's abolition of carbon pricing.

Parody of the Australian coat of arms after Australian renegged on carbon pricing

It's not often a political cartoon becomes a t-shirt, but this one has.

While this might represent Australia's place in the world at the moment, hopefullly we can do better in the future.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Zero-cost Electricity

Well done Queenslanders. Last week the cost price of electricity got down to zero. And on other days it's been quite low.

In winter we have low daytime energy use - and lots of solar panels making electricity for free. Polluting power generators have to drop their prices to compete. It's another great thing about renewables, and inspired this cartoon.

Cartoon about solar helping the electricity price go negative

So thankyou fellow Queenslanders, for being energy efficient and making lots of clean energy from your roof.

Related video: Wind power makes energy cheaper - explains how renewable energy makes all electricity cheaper.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Hooray for Port Augusta!

Port Augusta is the community that's looking to replace it's dying coal power station with something else.

The took a town vote, and solar was the hand-down winner. Then they walked 300km from Port Augusta to Adelaide to let the politicians know.

They asked the company to consider building solar on the same site. And now it looks like the company also sees the benefits of solar-thermal technology, rather than burning coal or gas.

It's good news for the residents. For jobs, for health (previously the area had high lung cancer rates) and for clean energy for Australia.

This is one of the shareable graphics they made to spread the good news.

Solar Power for Port Augusta. A community voted. They walked for solar. They asked Alinta to make the right choice ... and they have.

Sorry for the extra-large graphic, but this is exciting news.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Palmer Party Details

Here are the contact details for the politicians from the Palmer United Party:

Clive Palmer: (07) 5479 2800, Clive.Palmer.MP@aph.gov.au
Glenn Lazarus: (07) 3001 8940, senator.lazarus@aph.gov.au
Jacqui Lambie: (03) 6431 2233, senator.lambie@aph.gov.au
Dio Wang: (08) 9221 2233, senator.wang@aph.gov.au

Why would you need the contact details?

This group of Senators, sworn in today, now have the deciding votes in the Australian Senate.

They've been criticised in the media for changing their mind frequently and having no set policies. But this could also be a positive. These Senators may be open to the persuasion of the general public.

As important issues come before the Senate in coming days and weeks, it may be worth making a call or email to your nearest PUP representative.

PS. The extra person in the photo is Ricky Muir. Technically not in the Palmer Party, but you'd be forgiven for thinking he is.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Happy 2nd Brithday

As of July 1, Australia's carbon price has been operating for 2 years. In that time, electricity pollution has dropped 10% - and renewables are up 37%.

No wonder people are urging the government to not drop the ball on climate action.

Happy birthday carbon price. Don't drop the ball on climate action.

On moral grounds, a group of multi-faith leaders have already called for bipartisan support for carbon pricing - and a recent survey showed more people favour carbon pricing than oppose it.

To me it seems the obvious thing to do is to keep it.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Brazil's Solar Stadiums

The venue for the World Cup final is Estádio do Maracanã (Maracanã Stadium). It features 1,556 solar panels - enough to to power 240 homes.

Quite a few of the stadiums now have solar. It's reducing the carbon footprint of the world cup - and also offering a solution to Brazil's energy crisis.

Brazil's world cup stadiums will provide more than 5.4 megawatts of solar energy - more than any world cup before

5.4 megawatts means a total of about 21,000 solar panels. Enough to power thousands of homes. Go Brazil!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Happy New (financial) Year!

To help the banks and superannuation companies celebrate the new financial year, some people from 350.org popped in with cakes and cupcakes.

350.org cake celebrating financial new year

These wonderful cakes also had a message - that the majority of Australians would prefer their bank and superannuation to not be investing in fossil fuels.

Majority of Australians would choose a bank or super fund that doesn't invest in coal or gas

Of course, another way to give banks this message is to move our business to banks that don't invest in coal. Same goes for superannuation.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Get Rewards for Recycling

They are reverse vending machines. You put in a recyclable container - a can or plastic bottle - and then choose your reward.

Envirobank reverse vending machine

They've been overseas for a few years, and now the idea has reached Australia. The Envirobank Locator can find the machine closest you.

7-Eleven franchises seem to be the main locations so far, at least in my city. Perhaps I'll contact my local 7-Eleven to see if they are going to get one.