#EarthHour2017 a decade of turning lights off…

#EarthHour2017 a decade of turning lights off…

Earth Hour 2017

Happy 10th Anniversary Earth Hour!

Congratulations to lasting the distance!

Congratulations Earth Hour  to one decade of persuading the world to turn the lights off for an evening or even the night. What commenced as a simple gimmick has turned into a world wide phenomenon stimulating debate about climate change and environmental issues.

Initially I viewed Earth Hour as a soft campaign making it easy and comfortable for people to indulge in a small gesture and feel good about themselves as they are ‘fighting’ climate change.

But it lasted the distance and is tackling some difficult issues. For example the slaughtering of innocent, beautiful dolphins by Japanese entitled ‘the cove’ airing today on SBS.


Bringing us also the beauty of Australia so we can see what is at stake here if we are complacent and let things continue to get out of control: https://youtu.be/keefdWpsqTM

It is National Eucalypt Day!

It is National Eucalypt Day!

There is a day for absolutely anything you may think and yes, naming a national day for a cause is a frequently employed marketing strategy. Why? Because it can be a very effective to raise awareness – hopefully it will work for the National Eucalypt Day as well!

Ghost Gum

Ghost Gum a painting by Albert Namatjira

The National Eucalypt Day is an initiative of the Bjarne K Dahl Trust. It aims to raise awareness of the iconic gum tree and celebrate the important place they hold in the hearts and lives of Australians.

Eucalypts are the epitome of the Australian landscape:

Eucalypts, commonly known as gum trees, form an integral part of the Australian identity with the bush. From the children’s song Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree through to the distinctive smell of eucalypts to iconic paintings and photographs, eucalypts are an essential part of Australian culture, featuring in art, music and literature. Quoted from http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/eucalypts


Koala and Gum Tree

Koala and Gum Tree

The gum tree is essential for the Australian landscape and for many animals – including the equally iconic Koala. We need to preserve eucalypts and there was a symposium about this very issue, read more here: http://www.eucalyptaustralia.org.au/conserving-eucalypts-symposium

The Australian Koala Foundation has released a tree planting list – of course, to be useful for Koalas, trees have to be planted in groups and need to be connected to other Koala habitat.

Let’s celebrate the Australian gum tree today and ensure they are here for future generations.


Further information:

Eucalypt Australia is a grant making Charitable Trust that focuses on eucalypts – a significant aspect of Australia’s natural environment and biodiversity. The Trust would like to inspire the public to appreciate eucalypts.  It used to operated under the name of Bjarne K Dahl Trust as it was set up by his estate.


How to find Happiness?

How to find Happiness?

Why we need the International Day of Happiness

Some say that emphasising happiness actually makes us unhappy because we can’t be on a high all the time and might be putting too much pressure on ourselves. However, the definition of happiness is much broader than a particular feeling and relates to how content we are with our life.

“Happiness is about our lives as a whole: it includes the fluctuating feelings we experience everyday but also our overall satisfaction with life. It is influenced by our genes, upbringing and our external circumstances – such as our health, our work and our financial situation. But crucially it is also heavily influenced by our choices – our inner attitudes, how we approach our relationships, our personal values and our sense of purpose.” quoted from www.actionforhappiness.org

“Happiness is neither a frivolity nor a luxury. It is a deep-seated yearning shared by all members of the human family.” – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, 2014

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International Women’s Day 2017 – #beboldforchange #DayWithoutAWoman

International Women’s Day 2017 – #beboldforchange #DayWithoutAWoman

Women Standing Up For Their Rights

This year, International Women’s Day is getting a bit more attention in the industrialised world, especially in the USA, due to a certain President whose name I don’t want to mention as he is getting enough attention already… it’s a bit like certain reality TV personalities whose name I don’t utter because I am hoping they’ll go away sooner rather than later…

It is estimated that up to 4.6 million women marched peacefully on the streets of America for their rights: rights gained over centuries and not to be taken for granted anywhere in the world.

Rights to enjoy in some countries and not others; rights constantly under threat and rights never to be taken for granted.

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10 Tips How to Set up a Worm Farm – A Quick Guide.

10 Tips How to Set up a Worm Farm – A Quick Guide.

Why Farm Worms?

Compost is an essential resource in any garden. Even in a small space, container gardening will be easier when you can create at least some of your own growing medium. In larger gardens, compost is a necessity. It can help you make sure that your soil remains healthy and capable of providing high yields. Fortunately, you can create compost even in the smallest of spaces.

A worm farm is a great way to create compost and worm farms come in all sizes. Worms can help you to break down kitchen waste into a great soil-enriching material, full of nutrients that will help your plants to grow. [Read more…]

The First Day of Spring: Celebrating Wattle Day

The First Day of Spring: Celebrating Wattle Day


Most of us are aware that the 1 September is the 1st day of spring in Australia. (In the astronomical calendar spring begins the 21 September but we do things differently here.)

If we are walking through life with our eyes wide open we notice nature blossoming all around us during this time of year, in particular, the strikingly yellow blossoms of a vast variety of wattles.

Wattle Day & the Golden Wattle

The Golden Wattle in full bloomThe 1st day of spring is also Wattle Day and the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) is Australia’s official national floral emblem.

The Australian national colours of green and gold are derived from the Golden Wattle and are very well known due to national and international sport events – it would be interesting to find out how many Australians are aware of their origins.

The Wattle League Foundation

I was reminded last year when I was lucky enough to be involved in the launch of the Wattle League Foundation, a wonderful initiative aimed at providing supported transitional accommodation and support to veterans who find themselves homeless or at risk of homelessness as a result of mental health concerns.

As part of the background research for setting up this foundation I came across Wattle Day and loved that this common and humble plant is the national floral emblem of Australia. How very fitting and it wouldn’t it be lovely to make the wattle fashionable.

Plant a Wattle

Wattle Bush in Broken Head

Wattle Bush in Broken Head

I have planted quite a few in my garden and they are prospering and are much loved by bees and birds.

Why not plant a Golden Wattle or any other variety this September to celebrate Australia and all its beauty? You can find instructions on this fact sheet!


Sustainability education: educating young change makers

manthinkHow do we ensure that future generation are equipped to deal with the challenges they will face? Climate change consequences and overpopulation are two of the major issues forcing us to take a good look at the way we live including our diets: the production and distribution of food; land ownership; the nature of work and the entire economic system.

One of the greatest tasks for society then is to equip children with the attitudes, values, knowledge and skills necessary to rethink and change current patterns of action and to secure healthy, just and sustainable futures for all. (Davis and Cooke, 1996)

Sustainability Awareness

Knowledge and information about the world around us is more available than ever before. Society is finding ways of solving social and environmental problems and making the shift towards creating change. But practical change is slow. [Read more…]

The 17 UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDG’s)

The 17 UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDG’s)

This is an overview about the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, about the what, why and where to from here and why should we care about them. Please note that the information in this article is largely derived from the resources and links quotes in it.

The UN set up a very comprehensive website about the Goals which is complex and quite confusing. It shows just how difficult it is to break down positive sustainable development meaningfully.

What are the sustainable development goals – the basics

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) are a set of 17 goals with 169 associated targets designed and guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.  The SDG’s replace and build on the Millennium Development goals (MDG’s). The major difference to of the SDG’s are that they are broader in scope and go much further in addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people.

The new Goals are universal and apply to all countries, whereas the MDGs were intended for action in developing countries only.

What do the SDG’s mean?

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The best Mother’s Day present

The best Mother’s Day present

There is something unifying about Mother’s Day that few other commemorative days have to offer – we all have a mother and wouldn’t be in this world without her (our fathers have played a minor role of course… but that is a story for another day.)

Mother’s Day is for all of us and, regardless of circumstance, is an opportunity to cherish women for what they bring to the world. Women, like men are diverse human beings and come in all shapes and forms. Women are not perfect by any means however, today is not about a balanced discussion about the complexity and diversity of women. [Read more…]

International Women’s Day: girls and women – where to from here?

Here we go again, it is International Women’s Day 2016. A great day to celebrate women’s achievements and their place in the world. If you are a man, cherish the women in your life. If you are a woman and lucky enough to live in circumstances that allow you to kick back and relax, do whatever makes you feel good – and yes, I know it is Monday, but what the heck! We deserve it :)

250 million girls live in poverty worldwide

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