By Tanya Ha. Tanya Ha is an award-winning author, science journalist, television presenter and environmental campaigner. Tanya spent seven years working for the green group Planet Ark and continues to support and assist the work of a range of other environmental organisations. In , Tanya was one of the notable Australians selected to participate in the Australia Summit Sustainability and Climate Change stream. Greeniology provides practical advice on what we can do to lessen the load on the planet. An informative and entertaining read.
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By Tanya Ha. Tanya Ha is an award-winning author, science journalist, television presenter and environmental campaigner. Tanya spent seven years working for the green group Planet Ark and continues to support and assist the work of a range of other environmental organisations.
In , Tanya was one of the notable Australians selected to participate in the Australia Summit Sustainability and Climate Change stream. Greeniology provides practical advice on what we can do to lessen the load on the planet.
An informative and entertaining read. Tanya Ha shows people how to live their lives in a more sustainable way—every woman should read this book. Simple things count, like saving water, recycling and smart buying. It all adds up to saving money as well as helping the planet. Short, snappy tips and explanations help keep the pages turning. Invaluable reading for those aged 10 and up. Have you ever seen a news story about the thousands of hectares of rainforest being felled each year to provide grazing land for hamburger cattle?
While there are a few hard-core activists at the frontline of the environmental movement who are not afraid to further the green cause through extreme and very public acts, this approach is not for everyone. Public protest was and still is necessary. After all, we purchased the products that harmed the earth through their manufacture or disposal.
We bought and used the hairsprays that contained ozone-destroying CFCs. Our generation has made many environmental mistakes innocently. The way to move forward is to take back responsibility for looking after the planet—to stop complaining and to start concentrating on being part of the solution, rather than just feeling guilty.
So who is part of this new wave of environmentalism? They are ordinary people, with jobs, friends, families and busy lives—people who happen to be very far-sighted and who want to preserve this beautiful planet and enjoy it for years to come. They want to enjoy the best and most comfortable lifestyle possible but are also determined to balance their needs with those of the planet. Rather than waste time just sitting around and talking about it, they want to get up and do something, by changing their everyday lives, by not using the products that cause harm and by supporting those that are greener.
They draw the line at excessive consumption. They want there to be enough resources for their children and grandchildren. They have a vision for the future, and they want to make headway today. Greeniology is about living green today with a vision for the future. It shows you how to change your life to make it greener, and helps you to understand why those changes matter. There are so many things that we can all do to preserve the planet: saving energy and water in our homes, recycling, buying wisely and using less paper at work.
These actions may seem like small things, but if we target our efforts where they will be effective and keep our eyes on our goals, we will achieve a huge amount. Many of these topics are also covered in a fun and informative way in the book Green Stuff for Kids. It not only contains some cold, hard truths about what to expect in coming years, but also describes the kind of strategic approach that will help you to achieve results quickly.
If you would rather cut straight to the action, then move on to later chapters, which cover the various aspects of green living, from saving energy and water to building houses and buying cosmetics. Start today! Then each week, try to change at least one habit in your life to a greener alternative.
Set goals and use the worksheets in the book as a reminder and checklist to monitor your progress. If you believe all the gloom and doom in the media, the future looks dark and grim, like a scene out of the movie Blade Runner. I have a different mental picture of the future. To me, the future is green—literally. We will have blurred the line between city and country, bringing life back into our cities, with trees to provide shade, vegetated roofs to provide insulation, fruit trees on nature strips, and vegie patches in backyards.
A hundred years ago, Swanston Street in the centre of Melbourne was a grey, building-lined street, dominated by the sombre tones of local bluestone. This greening of cities is catching on, and not because of some caring, sharing, tree-hugging sentiment.
They also know that urban gardens and rooftop vegetation can help control stormwater and flash flooding. Humans are resilient, innovative and adaptable creatures, which is why I have such hope for the future. Change is coming for a number of environmental, social and political reasons.
This chapter provides an overview of current and future environmental challenges. Before plunging into the advice and tips for action that form the vast bulk of this book, we need to understand that aspects of our environment and society will inevitably change, such as weather patterns or the price of electricity, and these changes will affect our living habits and our ability to shape them.
In sporting terms, this chapter is all about examining the playing conditions and coming up with a game plan. While we may not know the exact number of centimetres that sea levels will rise, if mobile phones will be made without tantalum or when peak oil will be reached, there are a few things that we do know are likely to happen. At first glance, they may seem depressing, but keep in mind that humankind has survived world wars and other traumatic challenges over its history, and has gone on to thrive.
Electricity prices have already begun rising in much of Australia. A price on carbon, if introduced, will have a relatively small influence on price, particularly compared with the high capital costs of electricity infrastructure. Households and businesses with solar panels will be cushioned from these price increases.
While increasing living costs are naturally of concern, keep in mind that Australia has had the luxury by world standards of cheap electricity for many years—residents in Germany pay more than double the average Australian tariff, and Danish households pay triple. Water prices will rise for similar reasons. As well as the increasing costs of supplying the demands of a growing population and replacing ageing infrastructure, climate change research predicts less rainfall overall. Petrol prices have risen, fallen and risen again.
Some experts put the temporary fall down to the economic downturn that followed the global financial crisis. But oil prices will continue to rise due to increasing demand from growing economies in developing nations such as China, India and Brazil. Alongside this growing demand are troubles in the regions that supply us with oil. Wars in the Middle East in recent decades—along with more recent conflict and political instability stemming from the wave of protests in the Middle East and North Africa in —11—have seen sharp rises in the price of oil.
This is reflected in the price at the pump when we refill our cars. The good news is that we can insulate our hip pockets against the affects of these price rises by reigning in our consumption. This book is packed with ways you can reduce your consumption of electricity and energy in general , water and petrol.
Whether through a carbon tax or a permit-trading system, putting a price on carbon is intended to make polluting technologies and activities more expensive.
This creates a marketplace that is more favourable to the development of less-polluting alternatives. Some experts argue that putting a price on carbon is really a way of making the price of fossil fuels reflect their true costs, and of making the user pay.
There will be health consequences from climate change, so a cost to the major contributors to climate change seems a fitting way to meet these future health costs. A price on carbon will increase the price of electricity derived from fossil fuels and the cost of products that have a large carbon footprint. Whether that will increase your living costs depends on you. Ideally, it will make people think twice before wasting energy, encouraging more energy-efficient behaviour.
Products that are made with energy-intensive materials will theoretically become more expensive, but manufacturers who want to maintain their market share will have an incentive to make their products using different materials so that they can offer them for the same price. Some things we can safeguard against at a household level; others require action from government.
Australia is a large country with many different climate zones, so climate change will have different consequences depending on the region. Temperature increases All of Australia is expected to see rising average temperatures, with stronger warming inland.
Heatwaves can lead to deaths and illness from heat stroke. In fact, the extreme heat in Melbourne in the lead-up to the Black Saturday bushfires is estimated to have caused deaths above the normal mortality rate, eclipsing the deaths from the fires themselves.
It is vital, then, to provide proper shading to prevent heat gain see Keeping Cool in Summer. You can also landscape to provide shade and the natural airconditioning effect of vegetation see Landscaping to Save Energy.
Changing rainfall patterns Decreases in rainfall are likely in the southern parts of Australia, while increases in rainfall are possible for the Top End. Some areas are expected to experience less frequent but more intense rainfall episodes, which can damage and erode soil and cause flash flooding.
This is particularly problematic in urban areas where housing density has increased without capacity improvements to stormwater drainage systems. For example, the City of Port Phillip in Melbourne lies on the coast and has seen a shift over the last few decades to higher-density housing because of high land values and easy access to the city. Suburban blocks that once had a house with a garden that soaked up rainwater are now being replaced with multi-unit dwellings that almost completely cover the ground with roof or concrete.
All of the rainfall on these developments flows into stormwater drains, and the region has less garden space to soak up some of the stormwater. Consequently, some areas are prone to flooding. This may be an emerging problem in your suburb. The benefits of rainwater tanks in areas like these go beyond just providing an alternative source of water.
Drought Decreased rainfall and declines in soil moisture produce drought, which affects the livelihood of farmers, the price of food and the health of ecosystems. It can also kill trees in urban settings, which may then be more vulnerable to high winds and storm damage. Keep this in mind if you have large trees on your property. Have them checked by a tree surgeon, particularly after periods of prolonged drought. The areas most at risk are southern and south-western Australia.
Bushfire Heatwaves, low rainfall, high winds and drought combine to create a perfect storm in terms of bushfire risk. Find out if you live in a high-risk area and develop a bushfire plan.
Take particular care with landscaping. Coastal areas are at risk, particularly from storm surges caused by intense weather systems. Shifts in climate patterns Changing climate patterns are seeing tropical conditions shift south.
This is changing the distribution of certain species, such as fish stocks, agricultural pests and disease-carrying mosquitoes. Changes in storm patterns are worth thinking about in relation to your roof materials and structure if you live in storm-prone areas.
Greeniology 2020: Greener Living Today, And In The Future
Greeniology 2020 : Greener Living Today, and in the Future
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