Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Weekly News Digest, Friday 23rd January 2009

Posted on 23 January 2009 by e-news

Key Dates – Summary* Saturday 24th January – Garage sale at MASG from 9am
* Saturday 24th January – Low Solar Energy Display Home open 10am – 3pm
* Sunday 25th January – Low Solar Energy Display Home open 11am-3pm
* Thursday 5th February – next edition of e-news as it will be fortnightly this year.

MASG News and Events

An Information Forum on the Emissions Trading Scheme
There is mounting concern amongst community sustainability groups and industry over the recently announced Federal Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), also referred to as the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).
We are organising an open forum with a guest speaker to help put us all in the picture, and to discuss positive ways forward for MASG and other sustainability groups in this region.
This will be an open forum for all interested parties, with an opportunity for a question and answer session. Date to be announced. Stay tuned!

Garage Sale fundraiser at MASG
Have you cleaned out your cupboards over the Xmas and New Year break and found lots of things you no longer use or need? We’re looking for donations of saleable items. You can leave them in the back garden of MASG on Friday 23rd January, between 9 and 5pm OR from 7:30am on Saturday 24th January. Put this date in your diary and let your friends know also – let’s see how much we can raise for MASG!

Folding chairs for loan to display home
MASG is pleased to be able to run a series of workshops every Saturday during February at the Low Energy Solar Display Home. We need 20 or so fold up chairs for loan during February so our participants can be seated comfortably…and attentively learn how to reduce their energy, water and waste in their homes.
If you could loan MASG a chair for February please place your name on it (a bit of gaffa tape with your name written on it attached to the leg) and contact Dean on 5470 6978 or If you want to know more about the workshops go to the MASG website.

Globe Recycling: Keep those compact fluorescent light globes (CFLs) coming in to MASG for recycling and let your friends and neighbours know as well. A gold coin donation to help with the cost of couriers would be appreciated.

MASG is looking for back copies of Choice magazine to use as a resource for our members. If you have any copies you no longer need, please bring them in to the front office of MASG.

Take the CRAG step!Contact us if you would like to monitor and reduce your carbon emissions at home. This means looking at last year’s levels and working towards a personal goal set for 2009, at the same being supported by MASG and members with shared information, motivation and commitment. You will be rewarded for your efforts! Contact Deanna at MASG for more info or to get started.

Does anyone have? … this new e-news section is a one-line space for members seeking contacts, information, details etc. to help get those emissions down! See your responses in our new ITSR tips section below! Email your ITSRs to
Here are some starter questions:
Does anyone have information on grey water usage/treatments for local home use? Paul M
Has anyone tried LED tubes as a replacement for fluoros? Dean B

ITSR – Information, Tips, Suggestions or Recommendations
Contributions from members to take the stress out of trying to find out which products work, local service recommendations or innovations tried and tested by you! Comments not endorsed by MASG. Send your brief emails to

Here’s some tips and suggestions from Craggers:
* One light policy: I use only 1 light at home at any one time, which just takes a little bit of self-discipline and behavioural change – Carol Mc
* Energy efficient blinds: We installed ‘honeycomb’ concertina-type blinds, off-white in colour – expensive, but they keep our house light when we close the house down during hot spells, so we don’t need the lights on in the middle of the day – Deanna N
* Window shades: As soon as we covered our western windows with reflective silver, transparent product cut to size, the difference was immediate – Wendy W

Events organised by other groups

Permaculture Design for the Goldfields – home grown solutions to environmental problems. Six week course, Thursday 6 – 9.30pm taught by Alanna Moore (3 diplomas in permaculture) @ The Food Garden (bring food for a shared meal) Starts January 22nd – ends Feb. 26th. Fee: $135 in advance or $25 per week. To book: email or phone 5473 4284.

Live EconoSpace Making Workshop presented by Peter Cowman: Learn how to design and build a low-impact, low-cost, sustainable cabin. Yapeen, Castlemaine on Sat and Sun 7th and 8th February. Time: 10am – 5pm. Details or phone 9005 5833 (local call rates apply)

Produce Exchange: Saturday 14th February, 10 -1pm, 61 Main Rd, Campbells Creek (just past Book Heaven on the way to Daylesford). To reserve a space for your scrumptious goodies, ring 5472 2605 before the above date.

Green Steps @ Work: Professional Development in Organisational Sustainability
This program offers a 50% discount for participants from not-for-profit organisations, plus Green Steps and VCOSS Clearing House are offering one FREE place for a participant from a community sector organisation. Highly interactive and intensive, Green Steps @ Work, with generous support from the Victorian Government Sustainability Fund, brings together motivated people with a passion for creating positive environmental change in their workplace and beyond. For further information, and to apply, click here. Applications close Monday 9th February 2009.

Interesting Information and Links

Human Pressure on the Planet Growing – Australian’s are amongst the world’s worst. The Living Planet Report 2008, shows that at the current rate humanity is using natural resources and producing waste, by the early 2030s we will require the resources of two planets to meet our needs.
Australians rank 5th in terms of our per capita footprint , requiring on average 8 Global Hectares per person with the earth’s capacity to sustain us estimated to be 2.1 Global Ha per person. Click here for a copy of the report.

Green wash guide:
Greenwash misleads the public by stressing the environmental credentials of a person, company or product when these are unfounded or irrelevant. A recent UK report identifies 10 signs of greenwash, be it in an advert or a speech by a government minister, and it is big business. For example in the UK nearly £17 million was spent on advertising containing the words ‘CO2’, ‘carbon’, ‘environmental’, ‘emissions’ or ‘recycle’ from September 2006 to August 2007 alone. For a copy of the report click here.

Cyclerides is an exciting new venture that is seeking the support of the cyclists Australia wide to assist in creating an online cycling community and most importantly a resource for the benefit of all cyclists everywhere. For further information see the following website.

Last month, the US car industry finally got its bailout. But is it time for Americans to rescue their own finances from their cars? US families are bracing for the mother of all recessions. They’re looking for every chance to save a dollar. Forget lattes and store-brand cereal. If you really want to see where your money is going, take a closer look at your car. Foreign or domestic, it doesn’t matter. It’s a cash guzzler, and it is probably costing you more than anything else except your home. Full report.

Sustainable shed competition! Win a 20 watt solar panel and LEDs for the shed!
Spending time in the shed could be well worth it this summer, with entries to the sustainable shed competition closing on 30th January. ReNew magazine is looking for a shed that excels in sustainability. Are you building an electric car in your shed or just a simple water-saving device? Does your shed have a wind turbine? Or did you build your own wind turbine in your shed? Is your shed made from materials that would otherwise end up in landfill? Go to for more details.

The Independent (2nd Jan 09) reports a survey in which a majority of 80 international specialists in climate science believe that an emergency “Plan B” using the latest technology is needed to save the world from dangerous climate change. The “geoengineering” approach would involve highly controversial proposals to lower global temperatures artificially through daringly ambitious schemes that either reduce sunlight levels by man-made means or take CO2 out of the air.
Full report.

Old couch available for recycle? Shed/workshop going unused? Cath Ryan, from the Barking Owl theatre, would like to hear from you on: 5473 4407 or 0419 102 516

Melbourne Making a DifferencePreparatory event for Parliament of world’s religions, Sunday 8th February from 4-8:30pm at Melbourne Town Hall. For further info: 1300799 691 or email:

Seed awards for 2009 For information about the SEED Awards: Calling entrepreneurs in sustainable development. Applications close 16th March 2009

Fresh thinking and new learning are needed if we are to avoid responding to today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions, while tomorrow’s challenges engulf us.”
From Dilworth, R.L. (1998)

MASG’s E News is compiled by Jill Bryan. If you would like to advertise an event or comment on any items, please send to: by 3pm Wednesday 4th Feb
For further information ring: 5470 6978.

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