The Victorian government has endorsed the activites of a family called the Sustainables. This family has identified 10 things that we can all do to save the planet. They are:
1. Take a four minute power shower
2. Take reusable bags with you when you go shopping
3. Turn off lights and appliances at the switch when not in use
4. Sign up to Green Power with your electricity supplier
5. Buy the most energy and water efficient appliances you can afford
6. Put your food or plant scraps in the compost or worm farm
7. Look for products without unnecessary packaging
8. Walk, cycle or use public transport when you can � and leave the car at home
9. Grow plants native to your area in your garden
10. Go green when you clean.
For more information see http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/thesustainables/who.htm .
I wonder what would be achieve for the environment if every Melbournian subscribed to these activities? Would the planet really be saved?
My list is a bit different.
Gillian Lord says
Compost attracts rats.
Rats increase biodiversity.
(One can reduce the rat/mouse problem by keeping the compost moist.)
Compost is one of the everyday miracles that keeps us all alive.
Ender, you are a pretty entertaining chapeee,
you probably already know the one about Beethoven, they said when he died they couldnt stop his hand from moving.
They said he was decomposing.
jennifer marohasy says
Remember when Jo Bjelke got his jocks in a knot over the picture “Save water: shower with a friend”?
Combining the thread of compost and the above vein “Save water: pee in the garden”?
… received as an emailed from that anonymous guy who needs to get himself an anomalous email address
Think of it this way:
1) Do you think the world’s six billion could be maintained at an average Australian level of consumption?
If yes, then congrats for your optimistic outlook.
If no, then
2) do you think we need to start looking for ways to maintain our lifestyle while consuming less resources?
If no, then you must be ok with other people either living at a lower living standard than us in the long term, or the worlds population shrinking in the long term.
If yes, then…..
Where do you start!? We live in a largely free-market society where many people have little experience of saving resources, little short term need to, and little knowledge of earth carrying capacity, ecology, waste, etc etc etc.
You start out with feel good, voluntary stuff, and when everyone fails to respond, and the approach gets criticised by people like Jen, then you are able to justify a more compulsory approach, *and* you will have already lessened the impact of that compulsory approach because the early adopters will be already doing what you ask.
Conversely, when compulsory, more serious measures such as ratifying kyoto (measures that are probably both cheaper and more convenient for most Australians than asking them to have shorter showers and get rid of electric hot water systems) prove politically impossible, govts need to do some warm and fuzzy stuff to not look as though they are completely ignoring environmental issues.
jennifer marohasy says
I think there needs to be a more ‘discerning’/’intelligent’ approach taken to what individuals should/can do to ‘save the environment’.
1. I am concerned about energy consumption. I ride a bike and don’t have an airconditioner (it can get very hot in my recycled house which is what I work from in Brisbane in the middle of summer).
2. In contrast, I think some of the hype surrounding ‘saving water’ in Australia is misguided. I have an amount of sympathy here for the Mr Salt argument – which is the post that follows this one – minus the towel example.
Jen, both ‘sides’ want the same thing, a more efficient allocation of water. But the left cannot be seen to accept a market based solution.
The socialist state government is rationing water to keep itself in power by attracting the watermelon vote. Their vain hope is to distract the public from the inevitable inconvenience and price rises by manipulating the demand for water rather than investing in the supply of more water. They cannot reduce demand by making the supply dearer because that’s ‘not what socialists do’ and it’s not a vote winner.
Steve accuses Australia of overconsumption. How can 6 billion afford our lifestyle? He assumes poor countries lack of development is due to scarcity of resources. Rather, it is their inability to generate sufficient surplus wealth to invest in the infrastructure required to support an equivalent standard of living through the efficient use of fewer resources. Typically constrained by corrupt governments, with inadequate support for democracy and free markets. Fortunately in Australia we can just vote them out.
I fail to see how ratifying the Kyoto treaty, that will transfer our industry to countries not constrained by their carbon emissions and reduce our competitveness with European welfare states will benefit the environment, here or anywhere else. The Europeans and New Zealanders have found that ratification is in fact physically, economically and politically impossible.
He then goes on to claim: “…free-market society where many people have little experience of saving resources”. Nothing could be further from the truth. When petrol gets dearer, does Steve go out and buy more? Is this what they teach in schools these days?
“govts need to do some warm and fuzzy stuff to not look as though they are completely ignoring environmental issues.” Too right…
Steve says that the world is a ” largely free-market society”
Wrong Steve, most of the world does not have a free market, it is regulated and controlled (take Europe as an example)
Steve says that the world wants to live at Australias’ standards. You know this as a fact Steve?
Steve then accuses everyone (the majority) of not responding to the “feel good, voluntary stuff”(of the minority) and when that “feel good, voluntary stuff” gets criticised (by the majority) “you are able to justify a more compulsory approach” (by the minority)
Sounds like a recipe for regulated market and a regulated society totally controlled by the “wise few.”