Saturday, June 30, 2012

Carbon Tax starts tomorrow

The world will continue with the carbon tax, my strawberry farmer neighbour and his sign "families can not afford the carbon tax" will continue to farm and the sign to rust into the ground (yipppeeee) and I will be happy to see a price on carbon. Sure this will see an increase in prices and greedy businesses passing this tax on to their consumers, but there will be a recognition for the environment in the economics of business and we may start to make some realistic decisions about what we should and should not invest in.

The environment should not be an externality but something that is costed within prices and this is what the carbon price is about.

I enjoyed reading "Greening of Gavin" blog's post on this topic. Go and have a read and maybe you might also see some light at the end of the tunnel too! Pin It

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Changes to QLD Feed-in tariff

The Queensland State Government has announced that they will be reducing the feed-in tariff rate for solar energy produced from residential houses from 44 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh) to 8 c/kwh. This change to the tariff will occur after the 9 July 2012, but those already receiving the 44c/kwh feed-in tariff will continue as long as you still meet the relevant eligibility criteria.

A State Government factsheet is available at:

This change will have a significant impact on the amount of income that a house can potentially generate in the future and also reduce the incentives for families to invest in this technology. Hopefully the investment that the residential sector has generated over the last few years will have brought the cost of solar panels to reasonable level and still provide enough incentive for families to continue to think of this renewable source of power as a reasonable alternative to traditional non-renewable sources of power.

Pin It

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Commonwealth Marine Park Estate

The Labour government has just this month promised to increase Australia's marine protected area estate. This initiative will see the Commonwealth marine parks increase from 27 to 60 throughout national waters and represents 3.1 million square kilometres. Can you even imagine?

The national marine park estate will include:
  • parts of the Coral Sea;
  •  the south-west marine region extending from the western end of Kangaroo Island in South Australia to Shark Bay in Western Australia;
  • the temperate east marine region running between the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef to Bermagui in New South Wales and includes Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands' marine areas;
  • the north marine region including the Commonwealth waters of Gulf of Carpentaria, Arafaru Sea and Timor Sea up to the border between the Northern Territory and Western Australia; and
  • the north-west marine area proposed to stretch from the Western Australia/Northern Territory Border down to Kalbarri, south of Shark Bay. 
This represents a massive milestone in terms of environmental protection for Commonwealth marine waters. Detailed information about these marine reserves areas, including mapping and regulatory proposals can be found on the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website

The final push on this government policy will soon be available with the government seeking public comment on whether this proposal should or should not go ahead. Presently, their website just states this comment will be sought in the near future. If you want to keep tabs on when this public comment period is available keep an eye on the following website: .
Pin It

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Save electricity

Turn your microwave off at the wall.

Sure you won't have the clock function but did you know that your microwave will actually use more energy to run the clock than the energy used to cook or defrost the food.  I'm sure this is dependent on how much you actually use your microwave, but I would assume most of us don't use our microwaves to cook every meal and as such believe that it is likely that this statement is probably true.

Pin It

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Google view can go anywhere

On Treehugger's website there is an article about the Google group now having the capability to capture "Street View" in areas that don't have roads. Now you can check out all sorts of places from the comfort of your own lounge chair.

I'm not sure this is a step forward for the human species. In the future I fear there will be no exploration available for one to undertake in their own life and imagination will be a thing of the past.

Have a look at the full article at: Pin It

Friday, June 15, 2012

Here is my possum drey

After my post on how to make a ringtail possum nest I thought I would give it a go. Went to my local hardware store and picked up two hanging baskets for less than $10 (this included the coconut fibre inserts). I then connected these together using zip toes, cut a hole in the fibre in the bottom section of the basket to allow an entrance and removed one of the hanging chains. All this in less than half an hour.

I have now hung this in a tree in my front yard and hope to have some new tenants in the near future.

One thing I think I will modify in the near future is to add an additional smallish hole on the opposite side to the existing entrance. This will allow any inhabitants to escape any unwanted guests, such as an interested snake.

This is such an easy way to create additional fauna habitat in your very own backyard! Pin It

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Human-induced climate change

I just bumped into an interesting article on the Skeptical Science website entitled "10 indicators of a human fingerprint on climate change".

I think the last paragraph is great and provides a bit of perspective for non-scientists about science and climate modelling. I thought I would share it with you all.

"Science isn't a house of cards, ready to topple if you remove one line of evidence. Instead, it's like a jigsaw puzzle. As the body of evidence builds, we get a clearer picture of what's driving our climate. We now have many lines of evidence all pointing to a single, consistent answer - the main driver of global warming is rising carbon dioxide levels from our fossil fuel burning."

Food for thought.  Pin It

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ringtail possum nest

I was just looking at the Hollow Log Home (HLH) web page because I would like to invest in some nest boxes to put around our property to encourage some new wildlife opportunities. There are currently no significant hollows in any of the trees on our property and having roosting and nesting opportunities for native wildlife would be excellent.

On the HLH page they have some great suggestions for creating nesting/roosting opportunities out of regular household items for some of our more common native wildlife. Have a look at the first link page on the following webpage: The link is a pdf document and explains how you can create nesting opportunities for brush-tail and ringtail possums and microbats out of regular gardening/household objects. What a great idea!

The one I thought I could easily create, and I have done so in my days as a wildlife carer, is the ringtail possum "drey", which can be made out of two wire hanging baskets. I will have to compare the costings of these items at my local hardware store to those of purchasing a "proper" nest box for these creatures from somewhere such as HLH.

 (Source: My Growing Passion)

Great initiative and some suggestions that we could all follow. Pin It

Saturday, June 9, 2012


I had my birthday this week and got a fabulous present...a breadmaker! How exciting to be able to wake up to fresh bread each morning. My new present is a programmable version, which can make all manner of bread types, including white, wholemeal, seeded, rye and brioche. It is even capable of making jams, compotes and some cakes.

I have made one loaf of white bread so far, which was delicious and consumed in just 24 hours! I will be a little more adventurous later this week, once the family has consumed all of the store bought bread in the house! Don't want to be wasteful now.

I would also like to try and get some sourdough yeast, instead of the dry packet yeast, but I think this will have to wait until I am a little more confident with the bread cooking process. Let the experimenting begin!

Pin It

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

World Environment Day

Yesterday was World Environment Day and I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to write before or on the day, but I am interested to hear what you got up to.

The theme this year was 'greening your local economy', and in the consumptive phase that our communities seem to be obsessed with at the moment, this is a great one to attract the more mainstream community to join in and become more aware of the environment and the impact each of us have upon it.

To celebrate this day, and particularly the theme, I decided I would encourage a bit of a socialisation in my office and hold a tea-tasting event. You may wonder what this has to do with either World Environment Day or the green economy theme. Well, all teas I purchased for the day were teas produced or owned by companies in my local area. In addition to this, I asked participants for a gold coin donation, with the proceeds to be donated to a local wildlife caring group run by volunteers and which my work requests assistance from occasionally.

Great way to get together over a cup of herbal tea and chat about the environment! 

Pin It