World Migratory Bird Day 2015


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Photo: World Migratory Bird Day 2015

This weekend (9-10th May) is World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD). Each year WMBD raises awareness of migratory birds and their habitats. People around the world take action to celebrate WMBD, organising bird festivals, education programmes and bird watching excursions.

Migratory birds connect all corners and almost every environment of the world along their migration paths. WMBD is a global event and also hopes to connect the world, and bring together organizations, governments and dedicated people to protect migratory birds for future generations.

Common Snipe are fast fliers are difficult to photograph in flight. Photo: Stephen Daly
Common Snipe are fast fliers are difficult to photograph in flight. Photo: Stephen Daly

Every year the WMBD campaign has a different theme. This year is all about developing new ways to generate and distribute energy to limit the number of electrocutions and deaths among migratory birds. Why is this important? Every year migratory birds struggle to survive the massive energy generating expansions and infrastructure. The birds are fighting habitat loss and degradation from current energy producing methods which threatens their survival. Click here for more information about bird safe energy.

The global campaign is expanding year after year and already over 1,600 events have been registered in 131 different countries. To register your event or find one locally visit the official WMBD website.

What migratory birds have you seen lately? 

A Day to focus on our fish


Every year on November 21 fishing communities and environmentalist groups across the globe celebrate World Fisheries Day and the importance of maintaining marine wildlife.

The United Nations found in a recent study that more than two-thirds of the world’s fisheries have been overfished or are fully harvested and more than one third are in a state of decline due to factors including the loss of essential fish habitats, pollution, and global warming.

Although there are so many fishing spots along the surf coast, many locations around the world have lost this luxury.
Although there are so many fishing spots along the surf coast, many locations around the world have lost this luxury.

The day highlights the importance of fish in water health, and the lives they sustain in and out of the water through rallies, workshops, public meetings, cultural programs, exhibitions, music shows, and demonstrations.

Without the continual regeneration of fish, the diets of millions of people around the world will be negatively affected and a huge proportion of traditional societies who are reliant on the occupation of fishing will also be impacted.

With the majority of cities placed closely to water bodies, severe ocean and coastal pollution has become an ever-increasing problem with the depletion of fish resulting in a crisis.

Unsustainable fishing methods linked to mechanisation has been a huge factor in the issue.

The World Fisheries Day helps to highlight these problems, and moves towards finding solutions to the increasingly inter-connected problems we are facing, and in the longer term, to sustainable means of maintaining fish stocks.

With the continual pollution and over-fishing around the surf coast, fish may become very difficult to find.
With the continual pollution and over-fishing around the surf coast, fish may become very difficult to find.

Not sure why this is such a big issue?

• Fisheries and aquaculture employ more than 43 million individuals worldwide.
• More than 25% of the world’s dietary protein is provided by fish.
• The human population consumes over 100 million metric tonnes of fish annually
• Globally, annual fisheries exports are valued at 85 to 90 billion dollars.
• Escalating amounts of pollution continue to threaten water quality and fish habitat
• All natural fish stocks today contain at least some mercury

Spring Creek is one of many popular fishing spots along the Surf Coast.
Spring Creek is one of many popular fishing locations along the Surf Coast.

To find out more about the Day and how you can make a difference, visit the event’s Facebook page here.

Celebrate Sustainable Living!


It’s that time of yeara again when we celebrate sustainable living in Australia.

Sustainable House Day 2014 will be held on Sunday the 7th and  14th of September to showcase some of the country’s most environmentally progressive homes.

Did you know that the average Australian household contributes 13 tonnes of greenhouse gas to the atmosphere every year?  That’s enough to fill more than 700 balloons every day …scary.

The event gives you the chance to tour every day Australian homes with a lowered ecological footprint and you can visit some sustainable houses in our region.  Residences in Mount Duneed, Belmont and Queenscliff will be opening their doors for anyone seeking inspiration, tips and ideas about renewable energy, recycling, and other sustainable practices.

Take a look at the gallery of sustainable homes below.  Each residence integrates various sustainable  features such as rain water harvesting, recycled building materials, photovoltaic solar panels, sustainable food production and much more!

 

Source: http://sustainablehouseday.com/item/rohans-house/
Source: http://sustainablehouseday.com/item/rohans-house/
Source: http://sustainablehouseday.com/item/fleurs-house/
Source: http://sustainablehouseday.com/item/fleurs-house/
Source: http://sustainablehouseday.com/item/point-lonsdale-beach-house/
Source: http://sustainablehouseday.com/item/point-lonsdale-beach-house/

 

For more information on Sustainable House Day 2014 or to find a sustainable house in your local area, click here.

SCEG Hosts August Film Night


Australians generate approximately 41 million tonnes of waste each year. Half of this waste is not being recovered for recycling (Clean up Australia, 2009).

To help encourage recycling practices, the Surf Coast Energy Group (SCEG) are inviting the community to attend the August film night, which will showcase the award winning film, ‘Waste Not’.

The 30 minute film, created by Total Environment Centre follows the journey of our rubbish as it is sorted and handled by an army of workers. The night aims to transform the community into ‘Waste Wizards’ and raises awareness about the importance of recycling.

Plastics collected from the beach by a count group
Plastics collected from the beach by a count group

After the screening of this empowering film, the evening will continue with engaging activities for the whole family including:

•    ‘Sort it’, where the whole family can decide what should really be in the recycle bin.
•    ‘Show and Tell’, an opportunity for community members to present their best reuse and recreate item for the chance to win a prize.
•    Rubbish experts from the Shire and Barwon Regional Waste Management answering your questions about where to recycle other items.
•    A discussion about the Surf Coast Shire’s vision to reduce landfill.
•    A delicious supper provided by Zeally Bay Bakery, Hidden Secrets and SCEG volunteers.

SCEG encourages everyone to come dressed in their best op shop outfit and walk the red carpet at Surfworld Theatrette Torquay, on Friday 2nd of August, commencing at 7pm. Entry by donation.

Watch the Waste Not trailer to gain an insight into the film:

For more information, visit:
http://sceg.org.au/

For more information on environmental issues, visit:
http://gorcc.com.au/

Related blog posts:

107Rubbish dumping still a threat to our coast
1362014657_KABwhitebackground Deal with waste responsibly

Green Mums want ‘greener’ groceries


When you are filling your trolley with your favourite fruit and vegetables from the supermarket, do you ever wonder exactly how fresh they are and where they come from?

Well, there are a number of Surf Coast women asking these same questions.

Green Mums, a network of environmentally-orientated women are working to establish a “farm gate” fresh food cooperative to encourage healthier and more sustainable living in the Surf Coast region.

Green Mums are striving to create a healthier and more eco-friendly community. (Picture courtesy of Green Mums)

How will the initiative work?

The Green Mums initiative will develop a weekly collection of food from producers in the Surf Coast region which will then be sorted, packed and delivered to designated community pick up points by rostered cooperative members.

They have also applied for a grant from the Surf Coast Shire for additional support of this initiative.

 

How will the cooperative benefit our community?

This cooperative would allow regional farmers to distribute their produce fairly and provide opportunities for the community to buy locally sourced groceries.

Leanne Reinke, a member of the Green Mums group, said this initiative will be beneficial to both our health and the environment.

“This initiative will result in carbon emissions being reduced by people buying food that is not sourced interstate or overseas, families eating healthy, fresh food and community friendships being fostered,” she said.

Ms. Reinke also said the initiative would build a more locally-based and self-reliant food economy within the community.

“We want to pay a fair price for good food and local farmers need support and a fair and consistent return, so this initiative will deliver a sustainable and secure food future.”

 

Are there other regions which support similar initiatives?

Green Mums is drawing on the thriving Melbourne food network Ceres Fair Food, for inspiration.

Ceres Fair Food is a popular organic food delivery service which sources produce from local growers who are paid a fair price for their produce and also practice eco-friendly farming.

For more information, click here to see the Ceres Fair Food website.

Leanne Reinke from Green Mums seeks advice from Jesse Hull at Ceres Fair Food.

On a global scale, trends suggest that consumers are increasingly looking to understand where their food comes from and exactly what goes into it.

“There is a growing international desire to be more sustainable and to live a healthier life, and a realisation that these two objectives complement each other.

“It is possible to have a much more tangible relationship with who is growing our food and changes inevitably ripple outward to our local community and ultimately impact globally,” said Ms. Reinke

How can I help?

Ms Reinke said anyone wanting to make a healthier change now has the ability.

“My advice when shopping would be to think when you shop- where it comes from, how it got here, how much packaging does it have, what was used to produce it, and say ‘no’ to plastic bags”

Those wishing to get involved or learn more about the cooperative can email Green Mums at vicsurf@bigpond.com , visit their blog http://greenmums3228.wordpress.com/ or Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/GreenMums-3228/159130697443346