Thursday, November 20, 2014

Environmentality 19 November 2014, Jodi Jackson, My Everyday Garden - Sensory Gardens
A Sensory Garden is one that entices you (and other creatures) to enter and enjoy the garden through the use of colours, smells, sounds, textures and tastes. Imagine bright colours, sharp and subtle contrasts, sweet smells, plants you can’t help but want to touch and feel, buzzing bees and chirping birds and mouth-watering fruits and berries hanging around you, sounds like a kind of paradise and that is the idea of a sensory garden, a paradise for the senses.

This week we spoke with Jodi and she didn’t disappoint with her expertise and advice on sensory gardens. In the studio we also got treated to some show and tell from Jodi’s garden which really highlighted the way these plants can capture your senses in a variety of ways. If you missed the show, listen to the podcast here. Some of Jodi’s advice from the show on the plants for the various senses included:
Our studio turning green...

(Grey Foliage) Salvia ‘Berggarten’, Senecio cineraria
She-oak (beware that you will need a bit of room for these. They are often used as wind breaks
Lime Geranium – Pelagonium nervosum
Kaffir Lime – Citrus hystrix
Lemon or Lime Verbena – Aloysia citrodora
Balotta pseudodictamnus
Adananthos cunninghamii
Isopogon formosus
Fruits, vegetable, herbs and edible flowers

Jaime with some Kaffar Lime
Balotta pseudodictamnus

If you would like to see more on sensory gardens then I would recommend heading to Jodi’s "Sensory Garden" Pinterest board where there are heaps of photos and examples of sensory gardens and interesting plants that would make a good addition to your sensory garden.

Don’t miss next week’s show with Liam Farrelly, Greens candidate for Pascoe Vale just 3 days out from the election. Send us any questions you would like answered.

Music tracks this week:
Daydream by Thriftworks
Starkville City Jail by Johnny Cash (guest selection)
These Days by St Vincent
All Your Gold by Bat for Lashes

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Environmentality 12 November 2104, Robyn Deed, Editor of ATA's ReNew Magazine

It has become quite obvious now that sitting around and waiting for our governments to take action on the issue of addressing climate change is not an option. The good news is that there is a lot of movement from communities and organisations across Australia who are taking things into their own hands.
Issue 129

This week on the show we spoke with Robyn Deed, editor of Renew Magazine about the current issue (Issue 129) which has a strong focus on Community Energy including articles ATA and community energy, Community -owned microgrids, Community solar, Energising rural communities and piece on virtual net metering. If you missed the show, you can catch up on the discussion here.

Some of the things we touched on during the show include Fossil fuel divestment, transition towns, collaborative consumption and the future of global energy!
Here are some links to keep you following these topics:

Fossil fuel divestment (Superswitch)
Collaborative consumption (Open Shed, GoGet, Car Next Door)
Transition towns - Transition Sunshine Coast Australia's first transition town and is now a great resource and provide support services to communities looking to establish their own transition town.
Alan Pears Report - Future global energy giants
If you'd like to find out more about the magazine or subscribe, please head to or

Next week on the show, we'll be speaking with Liam Farrelly, Greens candidate for Pascoe Vale just 4 days out from the 2014 Victorian election. If you'd like a question answered then let us know via twitter or text in during the show on 0447 777 989.

Music tracks from this week:
What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Home by Phillip Phillips
Rise and Fall by Craig David feat. Sting
Where I Stood by Missy Higgins (guest selection)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Environmentality 5 November 2014, Jaime De Loma-Osorio Ricon, The Australian Greens candidate for Broadmeadows

As the election draws closer, we are starting to see and hear more about the various political party policies, ideas and promises. This week we got in on more of the political action and had a great chat with Jaime De Loma-Osorio Ricon. Jaime is the Greens candidate for Broadmeadows in the upcoming Victorian state election. Regular listeners will probably know that Jaime is one of regular hosts of the show, however this week the tables were turned and Jaime was a guest on the show and subject to the tough interrogating interview style of Environmentality. Again, regular listeners will know that this is far from the truth as our interviews are casual and relaxed and this week was no different.
Jaime, like many politicians is very passionate about his work and this came across strongly during our chat this week. We discussed the important issues facing the Broadmeadows electorate including unemployment, public transport, education and health as well as some broader Victorian and Federal issues such as climate change, east-west link, renewable energy and we even touched on foreign policy.
Although it may seem that we diverted away from the usual environmental theme of the show on some of the topics during the show, I would like to point out that many of these issues are actually linked to the environment and it was great to hear many of these links being expressed and explored. If you missed the show, you can listen here.
Jaime has just released a YouTube video to launch his campaign, take a look here and let us know what you think in the comments below. You can also follow Jaime on twitter using @jaimeloma.
Jaime will also be taking part in a debate for the seat of Broadmeadows with other candidates including current Labor member and candidate Frank McGuire at John Fawkner College on the 11th November. See here for more details.
Earlier this week, the ABC launched its online Vote Compass tool which allows users to determine where they stand in the Victorian political landscape. The tool uses your answers to a set of simple multiple choice questions and provides a full analysis for you to review. Have and go and suggest it to all your friends and you never know, you may find that your usual preferred political party does not stack up with your personal views.
Some other useful links:
Victorian Election Environmental Expert Policy Review - The Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ) and RMIT University are hosting a panel of renowned environmental practitioners to review the environment policies offered by the major political parties.
Don't miss next week, we will be talking with ReNew magazine editor Robyn Deed about the current Issue 129.
Music Tracks from this week:
Painted Black by The Rolling Stones
I See Fire by Ed Sheeran

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Environmentality 29 October 2014, Dr Stephen Bygrave, CEO, Beyond Zero Emissions

Well what can be said about this week’s show… Brilliant, informative, intelligent, inspiring and at the same time, devastating. Here’s why:
This week we were fortunate enough to be speaking with Beyond Zero Emissions CEO, Dr Stephen Bygrave. For those unaware of or unfamiliar with Beyond Zero Emission (BZE), they are a not-for-profit research and education organisation doing fantastic work designing and implementing a zero emissions economy for Australia. The organisation oozes ambition but it is more than just their vision that makes this organisation stand out. Their ongoing partnership with the University of Melbourne Energy Research Institute has produced a number of high quality plans, reports and publications provided free of charge through their website

On the show this week we had a good discussion with Stephen about BZE’s most recent release Land Use: Agriculture and Forestry which details how emissions from agriculture and forestry can be reduced to zero net emissions. Following this discussion, we moved onto the Stationary Energy Plan detailing how 100% renewable energy is both achievable and affordable and can be done within 10 years. We finished the show discussing the High Speed Rail report which is a fully detailed feasibility study into a high speed rail service between Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney-Brisbane.

All this discussion was “brilliant, informative, intelligent, inspiring” and those who were listening live I’m sure would agree. Now the “devastating” part of this week’s show is that the recoding has been lost, and by lost I mean it was never recorded due to a problem with the radio stations data logger which we discovered during our post show high fives and back patting. After some tears, we managed to pull ourselves together and be grateful for the opportunity to speak with Dr Stephen Bygrave and the benefits that brought to the live audience. Unfortunately our blog subscribers and podcast downloaders will miss this gem UNLESS someone out there in the wide world who reads this blog managed to record the show? Please let us know.

All I can suggest is that you get onto the BZE website, have a look through the work they have already produced, follow BZE on twitter and Facebook and spread the word about this organisation as they will be in the headlines more and more over the coming months and years.
Some links worth having a look through:
Agriculture and Forestry: hidden emissions, solutions in plain sight. An article by our guest Stephen published in RenewEconomy last week.
High-speed rail: Australia could build network for more than $30 billion less, according to Beyond Zero Emissions. A great article appearing on summarising the report and all the latest developments when it comes to potential implementation.
The freedom revolution to kill power bill confusion. Another piece by our guest Stephen published in Climate Spectator in July. This article provides the background to an initiative of BZE called Energy Freedom, check it out!
Next week on the show we will be having a chat with Greens candidate for Broadmeadows, Jaime De Loma.

Music Tracks from this week:
Heart Out by The 1975

You Give Me Something by Jamiroquai

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Environmentality 22 October 2014, Jane Garrett, Labor member for Brunswick & Colleen Hartland, Greens member for Western Metropolitan

As we ramp up to the State election on the 29th November, we are going to start hearing and reading a whole heap in the media,  a lot of promises, argumentative debate back and forth, he said she said, policy releases…you know, all the normal stuff. That’s why it is great to have a chat one on one with some of the local members and candidates to find out a little bit about who they are and what they stand for without too much of the official politics involved.

This week on Environmentality we were fortunate enough to have Jane Garrett and Colleen Hartland generously donate some of their time to us and all our listeners. We spoke separately with each for around 20 minutes and covered some interesting and topical issues such as Victorian (anti)wind-farm laws and the east-west link. If you missed the show, you can listen here to find out what our guests had to say.
Jane Garrett is a member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), the current member for Brunswick (lower house) and is running as a candidate for the 2014 state election. Colleen Hartland is a member of the Australian Greens, current member for Western Metropolitan (upper house) and is running as a candidate for the 2014 election. We wish them both all the best.

If you are feeling a bit left out of the political loop or just want to get a better grip of the environmental issues of importance facing Victoria at present you'll find some useful links below. Please feel free to add your own links or provide any comment!
The ABC website has a full list of electorates and candidates as well as some interesting tools like a calculator to predict who will win and a breakdown of the key seats.

Check out the Environment Victoria website for a thorough look through the environmental problems, the solutions, the actions as well as the providing a top 10 priority list for environmental policies for Victoria.
Vic Labor flags state-based renewable target if Fed folds – With clear environmental and financial benefits of renewable energy investment including more jobs, it looks like parties with pro-renewables position are going to have an electoral advantage. Victoria’s current lack of government led support for renewables is at odds with the 71% of Victorians who support state government policies that encourage renewables.

The East West Link…what can we say here…Just do a search on this topic and you will find many aspects of this issue hotly under debate. Just to name a few, there is the secrecy surrounding the business case and it’s non-disclosure, huge spending on a road rather than public transport, environmental impacts of construction as well as encouraging more cars, trucks and air pollution and emissions that come with it, compulsory acquisition of housing to construct, waiting 3 years then cannot wait another 8 weeks until after election to sign the deal, a undisclosed cancellation amount ($$) written into the contracts in case the opposition form government and can the project. From an environmental point of view, this project will be a disaster and another clear example of government being blind to the social, environmental and economic benefits of steering away from road infrastructure in favour of public transport.
Next week on the show Dr Stephen Bygrave, CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions will be coming in to the studio to have a chat with us about the work of the organisation, we are super excited for this one. Check out their website before the show to get an idea of the kind of innovative, inspirational, ground-breaking work and reports they are delivering to the public and Government.
Music tracks from this week:
Rip Rip Woodchip by John Williamson
Geronimo by Sheppard
From Little Things Big Things Grow by Paul Kelly

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Environmentality 15 October 2014, Jodi Jackson, My Everyday Garden
This week on My Everyday Garden, Jodi shared her wisdom on seed saving your winter crops, how to best use your worm juice or weed tea for growing seedlings and what to plant in your garden to bring bees and biodiversity. AND as always, we covered and discovered many more interesting topics along the way thanks to our regular tangents and digression, oops. Listen to the podcast to catch up with what Jodi had to share.
One of the things from the show I wanted to pick up here was the discussion around the Spanish Ramallet tomatoes. Tomàtiga de Ramellet are from the Mallorca region and have a thicker skin and a pasty flesh and in Spain are commonly strung by hand and hung to dry. The tomatoes can then last for long periods and are actually used all year round, usually after the more common tomatoes have finished their season and have been used up. I want to put a call out to our listeners and readers to ask whether someone is growing Ramallet tomatoes here in Australia? If you are or know someone who is, please post the details or let us know on the next show with Jodi on Wednesday 19th November. It would be interesting to know and maybe we could do some seed sharing!!

On the topic of bringing diversity to your garden, we spoke last month about insect hotels and I shared on the blog a few images for those, like me, who had not seen them before. After chatting with Jodi off air this week I discovered that Jodi actually makes these creative insect habitats herself so feel free to contact us during next week’s show for any advice otherwise head to Jodi’s etsy page to see what they’re all about.

If you would like something in particular covered by Jodi, please let us know by posting a comment below. Alternatively, contact us when Jodi is on next (Wednesday 19th November) via text on 0 44 77 77 989 or via twitter using @enviro_pod or #environmentality.

Next week on the show we will be talking environmental policies with candidates for the upcoming State election. Jane Garrett, ALP, current member for Brunswick electorate(lower house) and Collen Hartland, Greens, current member for western metropolitan electorate (upper house).

Music Tracks:
Steal The Light by The Cat Empire
Tombs by Hiatus
I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate by Cecile McLorin
All Of Me by John Legend

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Environmentality 8 October 2014, Simon O'Connor, CEO, Responsible Investments Association Australasia

Question: Why don’t you invest in a responsible and ethical superannuation fund?

Answer: Well, I’ve worked all my life to get some money into my super and I don’t want to be left behind, I don’t want to lose out on my grand plans for retirement… I want the larger and more reliable returns from sticking with the proven performers.
Hmmm… you may want to read on!! “For 13 years the Responsible Investments Association Australasia has been producing a report that assesses the industry including its size, growth and performance of both responsible/ethical funds and the mainstream funds. What has been shown over the last 13 years is that responsible and ethical funds have been outperforming the market (ASX300 index & the average conventional funds) in nearly all time horizons and nearly all investment classes.” Simon O’Connor, CEO of Responsible Investments Association Australasia on the show this week.

This week is a must listen (listen here) and although I think we might be preaching to the converted here, I recommend heading to the Responsible Investments Association Australasia (RIAA) website to get your head around what it means to invest responsibly and ethically. It is a great resource for those looking to find out some more info on this topic, and there is probably more to it than what you first think.
If anything, when looking into moving your investments, whether that be you bank savings, your super, your investment portfolio, make sure you look for the Certified Responsible Investment logo. The Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) is the peak body for professionals working in responsible investment so you can be sure that if it’s certified by RIAA it’s has been thoroughly checked out and ticks all the right box’s, and that applies to financial advisers too.

Links from this week’s show:
On the show this week we discussed a recent piece written by our guest Simon which appeared in The Guardian, Beyond Politics: how finance can influence climate change in Australia.

China coal consumption down 23% as more funds dump fossil fuels. Some key points from this article include a long list of public and private institutions, organisations and groups moving away from fossil fuel investments, a common myth used by fossil fuel linked industries around losses to retirement savings and also the issue of moving out of fossil fuel in favour of nuclear…is this still responsible and ethical? A question I would have liked to ask Simon. What do you think?

Vested interests cutting down clean energy, resisting change. As the title suggests this piece shines a light on the great progress that the clean energy sector has been making in recent years and the current moves to halt progress, including the overtly biased Warburton review of the RET. If the RET is weakened, it will effectively transfer $10 billion from renewable energy generators back to fossil fuel generators.

Hopefully you are still reading and not bored completely by this stuff but I for one find the topic of responsible/ethical/renewable investment not only interesting but I think it is the crucial link we need to promote in order to achieve the rapid positive environmental change required to keep climate change in check.
On next week’s show we have our resident gardening expert Jodi Jackson in the studio. Tune in live to 98.9 North West FM or download the Tunein or North West FM app and search for us on there!

Unfortunately, the music tracks were omitted this week due to time constraints, however Simon did provide some suggestions before the show which we will play over the coming weeks! Stay tuned.

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