Category Archives: General Information

Useful information for the reader.

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.

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Celebrating 25 years of service to the community

The Chandlers Hill Parkcare Group's 25th anniversary celebration with friends.

The Chandlers Hill Parkcare Group’s 25th anniversary celebration with friends.

I belong to a group of dedicated people who goes out every Monday morning to remove environmental weeds from the nearby Dandenong Ranges National Park. Our working area covers about 1,000 hectares of the southern part of the park, bordering on the suburbs of Ferntree Gully, Boronia and The Basin.

Today we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the formation of this group. Parks Victoria is organising a picnic in the national park for our group. We’ve invited former members of the group, friends and well-wishers to this event.

This part of the national park is looking good. After 25 years, and the removal of many thousands of weed plants, perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising. Our work is neverending, however, because weeds continue to invade the park from neighbouring suburban gardens, carried here by wind, animals, people and even vehicles. Plus the lingering remnant plants from former house sites now long gone.

Today the weather was good. Everyone had a good time, just enjoying the convivial company and the fresh air. A good time to be alive…

For more photos of this event, go here. An article about our anniversary in the November issue of the Victorian Environment Friends Network newsletter, here.

Here is a link to a video about the oldest surviving member of our group.

The tail continues…

I have a couple of possums living on top of a wall under the eaves of my house. My first account of them was written a while back – you can read it here.

These are not noisy or messy animals, so I let them stay where they are unmolested. Most of the time I don’t even notice they are there. Occasionally, I hear them going off foraging in the early evening and sometimes I woke up before dawn to hear them returning to their nest.

The young possums have grown bigger. Today I noticed a tail hanging down the wall when I was taking in my laundry. I decided to investigate further and noticed one of the possums is sleeping “rough” between 2 bricks outside the nest. Evidently the nest is now too small for both of them. (The bricks are there to weigh down the rolled up plastic trellis so a strong wind doesn’t blow it off the wall.)

One of the possums has been "pushed" out of the nest and is sleeping between 2 bricks in a most uncomfortable position.

One of the possums has been “pushed” out of the nest and is sleeping between 2 bricks in a most uncomfortable position.

I’m wondering what to do next. Ringtail possums are known to have more than one nest within their home range, so I guess one of them will have to move out. I could move the brick to make more space for the nest. Hmm.

To see the latest pictures of these ringtail possums go here.

To be continued…

Is this really necessary?

"Honey, I'm going out to spray the weeds in the garden."

“Honey, I’m going out to spray the weeds in the garden!”

There are many ways to get rid of weeds. You can dig them up, burn them or poison them. For many people, the last method is ideal. They even do it when there’s just a handful of weeds to deal with. It’s quick and easy, right?

Let’s think about this for a moment.

Herbicides are toxic chemicals, and you don’t really want any of that to get into your body, regardless of how safe you think they are. Recently, Brazil’s public prosecutor wanted to ban the use of weedkillers containing glyphosate, commonly sold in stores as “Roundup” (read article here).

You need to handle any herbicides carefully. First, wear gloves (ones impermeable to chemicals) and appropriate clothing to prevent contact with your skin. If using a pressure sprayer you should also wear a mask because you don’t want to breathe in any microscopic droplets of herbicide. And eye protection. If diluting the herbicide, you will need to find a place which can be easily washed if spills occur. After use, you have to be sure to clean your gloves, clothing and the spraying equipment, ready for the next time you need them. And you have to do this safely, making sure not to splash chemicals around.

So, you still think spraying a weed is easier than just pulling or digging it out?

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.

Do you feel like hugging some coal?

Photo courtesy of FreeFoto.com.

Photo courtesy of FreeFoto.com.

Things are getting weird. The mining industry has set up a website called Australians for Coal. It extols the virtues of the coal industry. The website also wants you to write to your local MPs showing how much you support the coal industry.

Really?

The coal industry appears to be living in an alternate universe.

Never mind, here is a way to fight back. Go to this website set up by the Australian Conservation Foundation. Have your say. Tell your MP how much you really love coal.