Category Archives: Environment

Topics on the environment, climate change and living sustainably.

Sustainable Living – It Can Be Done

Sustainable City, Dubai. Image courtesy of ME Construction News.

Visit this link here. It’s an example of an integrated technological solution to climate change and sustainable living. It’s a glimmer of hope.

It can be difficult to reduce one’s carbon footprint (one’s contribution to global warming), but at least think about doing something. It can be done, and many people all over the world has managed it. Moderate your consumption of material goods, think about what you really need to be alive, and choose the things you buy wisely.


An echidna in my garden

It’s early summer now, and the birds and other animals are active in my garden. One of the nice things about living near a national park is that the local inhabitants sometimes come for a visit. Echidnas have been visiting my garden ever since I came to live here, in the eastern outer fringe of Melbourne.

This echidna was rather unafraid of my presence as I took its picture. Although its eyesight is poor, it definitely can hear and smell me. At one point it walked past my foot a few centimetres away, so close I could have reached out to pat it. I didn’t – do you see those spines?

I made a short movie of it as it ambled around my garden. See it here.


Eddie the echidna. I tend to call all echidnas that visit my garden Eddie… To see a larger image click on the picture.

Renewed threat of cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park

Tawonga Hut, in the Alpine National Park, surrounded by cattle in 2004.

Tawonga Hut in the Alpine National Park, surrounded by cattle in 2004.

I’m fed up. The previous Labor government in Victoria stopped cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park in 2005. Now the current LNP coalition government wants to put them back.

They are introducing cattle back into parts of the national park, ostensibly as “scientific” trials. So we’ve become like the Japanese with their “scientific” harvesting of whales. The Federal Minister for the Environment is letting this go ahead. Why?? Time for another fight to save the fragile, pristine environment of the Alpine National Park.

What is the point of designating an area as a national park if cattle can graze there? Doesn’t the term “national park” mean anything any more? When are the LNP politicians and their cronies going to understand “no means no”?

If you want to learn more about this issue, go here. This link also gives you a chance to send an email to the Premier of Victoria, and donate to the cause.

Climate change action

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) is running a campaign of letter writing and petitions to try and convince the Senators and MPs that our current climate change laws and the bodies (such as the Clean Energy Finance Corporation) set up to combat climate change are working and should not be abandoned.

If you feel the same way as the ACF, go here to help them with their campaign. And spread the word if you can.

The battle with environmental weeds

Sweet Pittosporum

Sweet Pittosporum trees growing along a street near my house. This tree is a major invasive weed in the nearby national park.

I belong to a group of crazy people who goes into a national park to remove environmental weeds. We cover an area slightly over 1,000 hectares. Weeds spread into the park from the surrounding suburban gardens, from abandoned house sites within the park, and from illegal rubbish dumping.

Weeds spreading from surrounding suburbs into the national park is a constant source of annoyance to us. The most invasive is a tree called Pittosporum undulatum, or sweet pittosporum, an Australian native prized for its sweet-smelling flowers and shady habit. BUT it does not belong in my local national park!

The local city council does offer cash payments for removal of weed trees, but there is very little publicity about it. Apathy and inaction abound. It’s heart-breaking to spend years removing pittosporum trees from the national park, only to find them growing profusely along the streets in my neighbourhood.

I think it’s time for a concerted campaign to rid the suburbs surrounding the national park of this highly invasive weed. Any ideas, anyone?