Monthly Archives: February 2007

Switch On Ten Sunday 4 March

Hi everyone

The mainstream continues its embrace of sustainability and the question of how we should live our lives more sustainably to reduce our footprints and carbon emissions amidst growing acceptance of the negative impact of human-made global warming, water shortages, environmental destruction, etc.

As outlined below, Channel Ten has a prime time TV event focused on understanding our carbon impacts and looking at ways we can reduce our carbon emissions.

It seems it will be presented in a very accessible style – and while not perhaps addressing all the things some of us involved in these issues might like to see – my hope is that it will prove to be a useful tool for many of you, and a good introduction to the uninitiated.

I encourage you to switch on to the National Carbon Test and get your friends and family to watch it with you – and use it as a means for getting more positive change happening in your homes and communities!

And if you watch it and have any comments – let us know here 🙂


COOL AID: The National Carbon Test
  Author: Network Ten | Feb 19, 2007, 14:14

Network Ten, in conjunction with Beyond Productions, today announced a world premiere television event which explores the issues of climate change.

COOL AID: The National Carbon Test will air on Network Ten on Sunday, March 4 at 8.30pm and will consider the devastating effects that excess carbon has had on the planet and consider simple methods all Australians can implement to reduce greenhouse gases.

Hosted by Sandra Sully, COOL AID: The National Carbon Test will feature exclusive interviews with Al Gore, former US vice president and creator of An Inconvenient Truth, and Australian of the Year Tim Flannery, as well as live performances by Toni Collette and The Finish and super-group EVERMORE.

Working closely with Planet Ark, WWF and a raft of scientific organizations including the Institute for Sustainable Futures at Sydney University of Technology and CSIRO, COOL AID: The National Carbon Test delves into the lives of everyday Australians and audits the environmental footprint of five different household types around the country.

Erin McKnaught, Toni Collette, Paul Salmon and Mark Occhilupo and the band Evermore are among the participants audited over a 24-hour period, with the results revealed in front of the live studio audience.

Nova’s Merrick and Rosso will conduct interviews in their inimitable style and humour with Australia’s most respected environmental scientists and offer simple, straightforward recommendations people can implement on a daily basis to reduce the carbon they create.

TEN’s chief programming officer, David Mott, said: “There is no more pressing issue than climate change, and on this one, we really are all in it together.

“Everyone is looking for advice on what’s occurring and how they can make a difference.

“TEN is excited about joining Australia through COOL AID: The National Carbon Test in taking the first and achievable steps towards change for the better.” You don’t need a cape to save the planet.

COOL AID: The National Carbon Test – Sunday, March 4 at 8.30pm on TEN


My Kyoto

Check out this website which allows you to sign up to reduce your own emissions – even while our government won’t!

You can audit your own emissions, commit to specific reductions, and print your own Protocol certificate!

It would also be a good way to get your friends and colleagues thinking about and talking about the issue.

Did you sign up? Tell us about your emissions and your commitments – and engaging others.

Sustainable Living, Climate Change in the Media

Wow. You can certainly see the momentum shift on climate change in Australia – and the resultant focus on ‘living sustainably’ in various forms of media related to reducing our energy use, water use, carbon emissions, paying attention to the food we eat … What was pretty much ‘fringe’ 12 months ago is now ‘mainstream’! That gives me hope that we will see further rapid shifts over the next decade and avoid some of the more extreme impacts of global warming and achieve communities that are much more sustainable than they are now!

So here are some things I’ve seen and been reading in the media.  I’ll add some of the resources to the ‘Take Action’ and ‘Links’ section as well.

Girlfriend magazine – one of the last places I would have expected to see anything, but the latest edition (probably the January or February 2007 one) had two things grab my attention: 1. its printed on 100% recycled paper; 2. its feature / cover article is ‘Save the World’ and has things like “Petition the PM” and “Measure your Impact” on the front cover! I know its minor, but it’s a start, and hopefully gives us more leverage to involve their readers in more action in the future.

Who magazine – has a ‘sustainable living’ section in it each edition, and seemingly has done so since the climate change issue got traction with ‘An Inconvenient Truth’.

Better Homes & Gardens – had a big write up on the ecological footprint in its February 2007 edition. It includes a challenge – which is seemingly monthly – to all its readers to reduce their footprint and log on to their website and tell them about it. The Feb 07 action is to reduce meat consumption by 150g each (x 300 000 readers). You can go to their website – and click on the “Our Planet” logo to access more info and encourage BHG to give more attention to this issue – and even put it on their TV show! You could even suggest future actions for readers to take. They have other bits and pieces throughout the magazine on reducing water use in the garden and making changes to your home to reduce energy use. Given our homes and gardens contribute so much to our water and energy use – and our carbon emissions – getting this issue on people’s agenda through a mainstream forum like Better Homes & Gardens could really help!

Sydney Morning Herald, Good Weekend magazine (Feb 10-11 2007) – had an interesting discussion of ‘climate canaries’ as part of their ‘A Beginner’s guide to the Modern World’. As it points out:

“Are canaries really sacrificial lambs? Yes. Millions of underprivileged world citizens are already suffering even though they barely contribute to global warming “the average Nepali’s total annual carbon dioxide emissions are equivalent to your use of an electric kettle for a year). Meanwhile, rich nations squabble about carbon trading and their citizens drive cars to their local gym and stick their washing in the rier because its easier than hanging it on the line.”

The article has alink to for advice on ‘fighting the good fight’.

Have you seen anything of interest, inspirational, or eye catching in the media? Let everyone know in a post or a comment. 

Carbon Offsets & Virgin Blue

I just sent the following suggestion to Virgin Blue. I fly all the time for work – to Melbourne mostly – so I’m keen to do ‘less bad’ (not saying its good!). And am in the process of signing up for Greenfleet for car and home.

Feel free to copy the letter as well if you like and send in your feedback! Or start on Qantas!



I read with great interest and happiness the welcome in the Feb 07 edition of Voyeur by Brett Godfrey outlining what Virgin Blue is doing as part of addressing the global warming impacts of airline travel.

As a frequent flyer, especially on Virgin Blue, and member of Velocity, the impact of my flights for work has been on my mind quite a lot in recent times.

So I applaud the initiatives you have announced and welcome the opportunity to purchase credits along with my flights.

It had been on my mind to suggest to you that you find some way to link Velocity accounts for individual users with Greenfleet or some other like-minded initiative. Since Velocity keeps a record of all my flights – origins and destinations – I am sure if there was some way to share this information across to Greenfleet they could automatically calculate my carbon footprint on an annual basis and issue me with an invoice.

As i’m signing up to Greenfleet to help offset my car use and household carbon footprint, I have been looking at the ‘travel’ option as well.

I would think that launching some initiative to link your frequent flyer program with a carbon offset program would be a world first (definitely an Australian first!) – and certainly provide another point of difference with the Virgin Blue brand in Australia and Oceania.

I also refer you to this report by the UK Sustainable Consumption Roundtable which suggested rather than making paying to offset carbon emissions voluntary, they should be automatic with an opt out option – i.e. customers will be charged for their carbon unless they opt out. It remains voluntary but will have a much higher hit rate.

The report can be found here:


Small easy ways to change the world

Check out the link below to see One Big Village’s 4 page guide on how to change the world, by providing you with info and links on how to reduce your home energy consumption, chnage the way you get around, the products you buy, the way you invest your money, and the way you vote…. relatively small but high impact in making your lifestyle more sustainable