Blogs

Inner-North 'over the back fence' tour: Making a weatherboard house more energy and water efficient

SEE-Change Inner-North went on a visit to a 1962 weatherboard house in O'Connor before it received a serious makeover. Resisting advice to demolish and build a 'real' sustainable house, the owner used this opportunity to gather ideas to dramatically improve the existing house, without losing too much of its '60s character.

The living areas of the house receive good sun on winter days but lose it on dusk through uninsulated timber walls and large windows.  The ‘sandwich’ roof also has inadequate insulation, so the house acts like a sieve. In it comes, out it goes!

Celebrating Recycling Week by visiting the Hume Recycling Centre

Rubbish two storeys high in a big shed – it’s all come from our yellow-lidded bins and it’s what we see through the window of the education classroom at the Hume Materials Recovery Facility. Not a view to envy, but Linda Kwong, the Education Officer, is passionate about it what’s happening here. She’s also proud of the fact that 10,000 school children visit the education centre each year. Not to mention groups like ours.

17 members of the Inner North SEE-Change group were gathered to see what actually happens to the contents of those yellow-lidded bins we trustingly place on our kerbs. Could we dispel the ‘it mostly ends up in landfill’ myths?

Transport Series 2011

SEE-Change Inner-North organised a transport series over the months of February and March 2011. In total, around 130 people attended and got an insight into car-free living, electric bicycles, alternative fuel types and electric vehicles.

Session 1 - Car Free Living

Session 2 - Electric Bicycles

Session 3 - Car Options (fuel types)

Session 4 - Car Options (electric/hybrid)

 

Geelong Summit on Transforming Australia

 Last weekend in Geelong, I attended a National Summit on “Transforming Australia”. This was a three-day meeting of 60 invited activists from various civil society groups around Australia.  We were united by a common concern that Australia will not be able to deal effectively with the problems that now confront the human world without transformative change in the way we manage our institutions, and especially our economy. The firm view of this group was that simply tinkering around the edges of “business as usual” is a formula for national catastrophe.

Walking and Cycling to School in the ACT

Unfortunately the number of children and young people getting to school via an active travel mode has been in decline; however the ACT Government is looking at ways to encourage families with children and young people to once again choose to walk or ride to school, rather than using the car. What do you think would encourage more children to walk or cycle to school in the ACT? You can have your say at the Time to talk website.

Maybe we can learn from the experience in the Netherlands where they have managed to maintain their rates of walking and cycling to school, with policies, infrastructure and road safety campaigns to achieve this.

An Orwellian Climate

Although SEE-Change will always be primarily about practical action, we may called upon sometimes to justify the need for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. 

This article from The Conversation about the obfuscation and wilful ignorance in the debate surrounding the anthropogenic causes of climate change, gives a measured view on the tactics employed by skeptics.

 

our critical decade

I've just returned from 5 months of travel, full of wonder at the marvels we have seen. While still jet lagged (writing this at 5 am) I attended two events this week that have helped to wake me up and put me in tune with the reality of living here, now.

Could Canberra be the next New York?

Let's face it, there are many Canberrans who don't have a back yard but love gardens.

SEE-Change members have been noticing (and living in) the many apartment blocks appearing in Canberra.

There have been discussions around the SEE-Change table about how people might utilise rooftops as a green space. So I thought I'd share this to get the idea bubbles blowing!...

Click here for the New York Times'
"Urban Farming, a Bit Closer to the Sun"

article by Marian Burros.

 

Can the multiparty carbon package fly?

Two days after the release of the multiparty carbon price package, the Belconnen SEE-Change group met with a climate change scientist, a carbon trader and an advocate for renewable energy, to consider the package and its likely impact on emissions and on Canberra’s future. The mood was generally optimistic. It would appear that minority government has delivered a political outcome that after 10 years of debilitating partisan debate, could at last launch our country on its journey towards a low carbon future.

Transforming Australia. A discussion paper about the need for major change in our economy and our governance

 Abstract.  Humanity faces a difficult century and a particularly challenging decade.  Radical transformative change in the way humans live and organize their activities is now apparently the only sensible response to the huge threats that now loom for our near descendants. 

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