Monday, June 29, 2015

After a break, Environmentality will be back on air on Friday the 10th of July!

Please note that the time of the show has changed and will now be on air every Friday from 9am until 10am.

During our break we decided to expand the scope of the show, we will now discuss social justice issues as well as environmental and animal rights issues.

Furthermore, we have created a new blog: Follow our new blog to stay updated on upcoming shows!

We look forward to putting the show back on air, tune in next Friday to listen to an interview with Robert Bender who will be discussing the mass euthanasia of koalas in the Otways.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Environmentality 15 April 2015, Jodi Jackson with Everyday In The Garden

Jodi didn’t disappoint this week, in fact, Jodi has never disappointed us with her light hearted, energetic, information packed shows. This week we discussed green manure, planting in punnets vs planting direct into ground and Brussels sprouts, yep that’s right, the good old Brussels sprout. If you missed the show then you must have a listen to the podcast…MUST.

If you have a highly clayey or a highly sandy soil then you’ll be a big winner from using green manure. Green manure is the planting of a fast growing species such as wheat, rye, barley, corn etc. that you use to generate large amounts of biomass in a short period of time before turning into the soil to add some new rich organic matter ready for the planting of your actual vegie crop. The green manure crop should be left to grow to about knee height before turning into the soil. What a great little tip for those of us in sand or clay rich soils!

A green manure crop
Nematodes, anyone for nematodes? Well before I knew what one was I had a feeling it wasn’t a good thing to have and turns out I was right. A parasitic roundworm living in the soil that can significantly reduce or destroy your crop is not something you want in your garden. Jodi has the tre
atment… Fumigate them with a totally natural, organic method using mustard plants. All you need to do is spread mustard plant (from the Brassica family) seeds when sowing your green manure crop such that you have some mustard amongst your fast growing grass species. When the mustard plant is turned in with the rest of your green manure, the leaves will break down in the soil releasing a chemical that acts as a fumigant for nematodes, EASY!
Plant mustard among your green manure crop
Sowing in a punnet vs sowing direct in the soil? Well, one thing is for sure, the answer to this is not black and white and you could spend hours reading about which species do better in one or the other.  Jodi took us through some the type of seeds that prefer punnets and some that prefer direct into the ground and why! For all the details you’ll have to listen to the show ;)

Brussels sprouts have copped a bad rap in the past for being unappetising but I think we managed to identify the main culprits for this false charge this week. I remember as a kid that despite having never tried brussel sprouts, I thought that they were yuk! I must have picked up this impression from someone and I bet that someone had only ever had OVERCOOKED Brussels sprouts. Jodi believes it is time that our listeners know the truth and that is ‘Brussels sprouts are delicious AND a great source of minerals and nutrients’. There you go, you’ve heard it now so go out and give them another go but this time without overcooking them. Yum! Listen to the show to hear tips on how to train your Brussels sprouts to grow taller and with more sprouts.

To see and hear more of Jodi’s work, head to her website and you may as well sign up for Jodi’s newsletter while you’re there.

This week is the last show for at least the next 4 weeks so make sure you follow us on twitter @enviro_pod and keep checking this blog to keep updated on what is happening with the show and when we are returning.

Music from this week:
Messages by Xavier Rudd
Island of Oceans by John Williamson
Wild Animals by The Cat Empire
Wonder by Emeli Sande

Environmentality 1 April 2015, Ryan Collins - Planet Ark Recycling Programs Manager

In 30-40 years’ time, will our children’s children be sitting in a history lesson learning about the early 21st century when we used to produce materials that were non-recyclable and instead of re-using would throw away into giant landfills or the oceans? I hope this is the case and I hope it sounds bizarre, crazy, stupid, wrong, wasteful and even arrogant when they hear of this happening because it sure as sunrise sounds like it to me now as I think about it. To get from here to there we need organisations like Planet Ark to lead the way through their behaviour changing initiatives and recycling and stewardship programs. This week we were lucky enough to have Planet Ark’s Recycling Programs Manager, Ryan Collins, speak to us about waste, recycling and the way forward to a sustainable future.

Australians are good at recycling at home but when it comes to the workplace we seem to forget how to separate our waste. Ok, maybe it’s not as simple as forgetting but 46% of workplace waste is sent to landfill which is not good! Planet Ark recently published a report (written by our guest Ryan) identifying a number of key barriers to workplace recycling and how to overcome them and it seems that the number one reason is insufficient support from management with four out of ten Australian workers feeling that their managers aren’t supporting recycling behaviour. A good start for recycling in the workplace is to introduce some of the free recycling initiatives such as the Planet Ark printer cartridge recycling program. Check out the website or call the hotline 1300 763 768 to learn of more ways you can improve recycling in your workplace.

On a more individual/household level there is really no excuse to not be recycling everything that is recyclable. To find out what can be recycled and where it can be recycled head to Did you know you can recycle computers, batteries, printer cartidges, mobile phones, fluorescent light tubes and even plastic bags! Plastic bag collection points are often located at major supermarket stores but they are not just for supermarket bags, you can place most soft plastics in there such as your pasta packets, lolly bags, biscuit packets and the like so start saving those too.

This week on the show two relatively new concepts in the world of recycling and business that were touched on were the ‘Circular Economy’ and ‘Industrial Ecology’. The circular economy is an emerging way of doing business whereby products and materials are designed such that the end-of-life of the product or material has been considered and is either reused or recycled as part of the life-cycle process with the idea being that there is no waste. Industrial ecology is similar to the circular economy however is more targeted at industrial processes and using the waste (output) from one process as the input for another and so on.

To find out what else was covered, make sure you have alisten to the podcast. One thing you will hear is Jaime’s passion for the topic of waste in our society.

Thanks to Ryan for his song selections this week:
Sophia by Laura Marling (Jaime’s choice)
Pyramid Building by Hilltop Hoods
Eyes Wide Open by Gotye
What’s My Scene by The Hoodoo Gurus

Environmentality 25 March 2015, Emily Braham, Editor of Sanctuary Magazine

If I was to tell you that this week we would be talking about biomimicry, indoor plants for health and air quality, induction cooktops, designing a home for climate change and a house that has a positive ecological footprint you may well think that our studio was going to be packed with guests each with their own piece of expertise. Well in a way you may be right, however all this information is delivered in the form of Sanctuary Magazine and was discussed with our guest Emily Braham, its Editor.

Biomimicry is something I for one am fascinated by. It seems to be so intuitive that we look to nature to get ideas for design and innovation. The environment that surrounds us has spent millions upon millions of years trying to reach the most efficient way of living, breathing, building, running, swimming, flying and so on. It is only recently that humans have started to tap into this free resource of ideas like the shark-skin inspired swimsuit design that resulted in an avalanche of world records being broken, the termite mound inspired buildings that use 90% less energy than conventional buildings through the use of ventilation tunnels and chimneys and the paint that repels dust, dirt and water inspired by the lotus flower’s ability to do the same thing when emerging from muddy water. Have a listen to the show to hear more the biomimicry article in the current issue of Sanctuary.
A building inspired by the termite's mound efficient way of regulating temperature
Who knew that the humble pot plant was so good at improving health and air quality in the indoor environment? Well I had my suspicions but there is now new research from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) that gives us an explanation of how the plants do it and how good they are at doing it! Plants are able to remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), dust, carbon dioxide and monoxide from the indoor air which is obviously a real benefit to us indoor inhabitants. Check out the article for more info or have a listen to this week’s show.

If you’ve been listening to our show regularly you would have heard us talking about induction cooktops over the past few months and how they are becoming the way of the future in terms of energy efficient cooking and moving away from gas. This issue of Sanctuary takes us further with our understanding of induction cooktops and why they are the easiest, fastest, cheapest and most efficient option for cooking. The article also takes you through ‘What to look for when selecting an induction cooktop’ which is a must for anyone in the market for purchasing one.

During this week’s chat with Emily we discussed the article ‘Design for climate change – tropical Australia’ and through this article we touched on the concept of The least house necessary. This is a philosophy that really makes sense to me. Smaller house designed on actual spatial needs = more outdoor spaces to enjoy, less cost for heating and cooling, encourages moving into the outdoor space, less destruction/alteration of natural environment, room to plant more trees and gardens/vegie gardens, less cost to build… this all seems to point to “less is more!”.

Head to the ATA’s website or Sanctuary website for more information about environmentally sustainable home design and architecture.

Music tracks from this week (thanks Emily)
Palace by The Antlers
Frankie's Gun by The Felice Brothers
Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead
Flame Trees by Sarah Blasko

Friday, March 20, 2015

Environmentality 18 March 2015, Jodi Jackson - My Everyday Garden

Well summer passed us by without delivering a day over 40°C but hopefully it did deliver some good crops and reward you for your gardening efforts! Unfortunately it’s time to say goodbye to your tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, basil and beans but fortunately it’s time to say hello to whole heap of winter vegies! Before you get started though, make sure you make use of the last of your summer crop and don’t forget to prepare your soil to restore those essential nutrients ready for a great winter. This week our resident gardening expert Jodi Jackson talked us through all of this and more so be sure to have a listen to hear how to make use of your last tomatoes and basil, some soil prep tips and hear about some must have crops this winter!

Jodi brought in some special surprises this week which included some seeds for an exotic beetroot variety called Giant German Gold. The Giant German Gold is a large variety of beetroot that you cannot buy anywhere in Australia, Jodi managed to get hold of some though and let one of the beetroots go to seed. The beetroots should be harvested once they are around 15-20 cm in diameter, however if left to go to seed they reach a massive size, equivalent to a very, very large watermelon! If you’d like some seeds, let us know here at Environmentality and we’ll see if we can arrange something.

Also on the surprise list were some Burgundy Blush potatoes, described by Jodi as sexiest potato she has ever seen and if you’ve seen their colour you might guess why! A deep red/burgundy colour which at first glance could be mistaken for a radish. Jodi  got the seeds for the potatoes from Tas Potatoes if you’re interested in getting some for yourself.

Celeriac from the Celery family

Celeriac Mash (
One thing we did discuss that was promised for the blog was Celeriac, also called turnip-rooted celery. It is actually a variety of celery that is cultivated for its roots rather than its stalks. Jodi promises us that celeriac mash is a super tasty dish and highly recommends planting some now so you can enjoy over the winter. Another recommended planting by Jodi is Funugreek which is a very common ingredient in Indian curries but also has many other uses including making tea, salad addition and used in many middle-eastern dishes.

Fenugreek seeds

If you have any questions for Jodi, make sure you tune in on the 3rd Wednesday of every month and send us a text or tweet us during the show!

Next week on the show we are chatting to Emily Braham from Sanctuary Magazine about the current issue (29) which is an Australian Design Special. Sanctuary is a showcase of sustainable building design and architecture and is published by the Alternative Technology Association, a not-for-profit organisation.

Music tracks from this week:
I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons
Moorings by Andrew Duhon
Lanterns by Birds of Tokyo
Time In A Bottle by Jim Croce

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Environmentality 11 March 2015, John Englart, Colleen Jones & Brian Bainbridge - Sustainable Fawkner and Climate Action Moreland

More and more I’m realising that real and important social and environmental change is driven by local community and eventually filters UP to local, state and federal governments rather than the other way around, especially in Australia given our governments’ lack of foresight, creativity and vision when it comes to planning Australia’s future. Volunteer run community groups give me great hope for our future and have led to movements such as Transition Towns, Landcare and many local climate change action groups including the very local (to us here at Environmentality) Climate Action Moreland.

Sustainable Fawkners Community Garden - The Dandelion Patch
This week on the program we spoke to Colleen Jones and Brian Bainbridge and John Englart from Sustainable Fawkner and John is also involved with Climate Action Moreland. Sustainable Fawkner was established with the principles of transition towns in mind and has since been successful in maintaining a regular food swap, community garden and craft workshop. These types of events and having a community garden may, at first, seem to be quite low impact in terms of making an environmental difference but in fact they are essential in developing relationships among neighbours and communities and provide a platform to discuss the important issues such as climate change and the shift towards a zero carbon economy. This point and many more were discussed on this week’s show so be sure to have a listen and leave a comment if you so desire. Keep up with Sustainable Fawkner and their events through their website as well as their Facebook page.
A Food Swap at Sustainable Fawkner
Climate Action Moreland is a non-profit group working locally to take action on climate change and John is one of their many members from the Brunswick, Coburg, Fawkner and Glenroy areas. If you are wanting to take action on climate change such as putting pressure on political leaders and promoting community education and awareness of climate change then get in contact with the group or perhaps another similar group that may be more local to where you are. Find Climate Action Moreland on twitter using @CAMoreland.

John Englart has been blogging about climate change for over 10 years now ( and contributes regularly to the Climate Action Moreland website as well as writing for During our show this week John also mentioned a literature review he completed on climate change heatwaves and Melbourne so be sure to check that one out as well. John will be attending the UN climate talks in Paris in December this year to report directly on the negotiations and keep a specific eye on the negotiating positions and spin from the Australian Government so stay tuned to Environmentality as we hope to follow John’s reports and have him back on the show following his trip!
Next week on the program we have Jodi Jackson's My Everyday Garden answering all your questions. 
Music tracks from this week were selected by our guests, thank you:

Who’s Gonna Stand Up by Neil Young
The Commons by David Rovics
Shadows by Sirroco
Little Suitcase by Luluc

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Environmentality 4 March 2015, Operation Newstart - Boneseed in The You Yangs Regional Park

One thing that really makes me smile is when the younger generation takes an interest in and engages with the environment. Whether it is in the form of learning about and researching an environmental issue or just enjoying the great outdoors and developing an appreciation for the world in which we live, it doesn’t really matter as one will eventually lead to the other.
Big Rock in the You Yangs Regional Park (

Operation Newstart is an outdoor, adventure based intervention program for 14-18 year old students at educational risk and it has managed to, among other things, incorporate environmental engagement into their program. This week on the show we were lucky enough to have students from the Operation Newstart program come and talk to us about a recent camp to the You Yangs RegionalPark and their new found knowledge of the issue of the boneseed weed that has proliferated in the park. The high school students spoke to a Ranger at the You Yangs before setting off the do some of their own research and finished off the process with presenting their information live on our show! If you’d like to have a listen, click here.

the boneseed weed (
Boneseed (or Chrysanthemoides monilifera –listen to the show for Josh’s pronunciation) is a Weed Of National Significance (WONS) that has infested the You Yangs Regional Park which is now one of the densest boneseed infestations in Australia. The boneseed outcompetes native vegetation and leads to a monoculture in the lower and middle story of the bush. Apart from losing flora diversity, boneseed inhibits the regeneration of eucalypt seedlings and leads to long term effects on canopy trees and the animals reliant on the ecosystem.

boneseed infestation
The management of this issue is heavily reliant on the work of volunteers as one of the most effective management practices is the manual removal of boneseed. These volunteers do great work in managing the boneseed weed and preventing its spreading and deserve to be thanked for their great work. If you would like to get involved, there are a number of ways to do so including contacting your local Landcare or Coastcare group or the Friends of The You Yangs Regional Park.

If you have boneseed in your garden or on your property, it is very important to destroy before they flower or set seed. Once destroyed, new seedlings that may sprout must hand-pulled immediately. So make sure you know what it looks like and make sure you spread the word to friends and family so that any future infestations can be avoided

Thanks to Brendon Delaney, Northern Metro Operation Newstart Coordinator, for approaching Environmentality and providing our listeners with the opportunity to hear from the students. Congratulations to the students Josh, TJ, Eray, Maddy, Alex and Reece who did a great job speaking about their research into the issue of boneseed in the You Yangs Regional Park. It’s great to see students getting involved with an environmental issue and then having the courage to speak about it live on air!

Music tracks this week were selected by our guests:
Take Me To Church by Hozier
Sun Goes Down by Robin Schultz
4, 5, Seconds by Kanye West & Rhianna
Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Ray
Dear Mama by Tupac

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