clear the air


How Australian’s can get practical advice to reduce their energy usage

Sydney-based Todae offers businesses practical advice for cutting down energy and water usage and reducing their environmental impact.

For $A 399, a Todae consultant will come to an office or store and check everything from recycling to heating and cooling systems. The business is then provided with a detailed report that explains how to cut costs and go green. Todae’s service is geared to small to medium businesses looking to save money, be less harmful to the environment and create a “strong environmental brand ethos” amongst customers and staff.

It’s an excellent concept, and Marquette Turner believes many consumers would also be interested in environmental assessments. Plenty of people would like to diminish their negative impact on the earth, but aren’t sure exactly what to do about it. Or are too lazy or busy or both 😉 Having an environmental expert come to the door and give a home a full check-up would definitely help. Besides compiling a checklist of very specific issues to improve, ‘home greeners’ could of course offer to implement the necessary changes, too. So, set it up, brand it well (how about eco badges for homes?), and start knocking on doors. Before you know it, you’ll be running your own franchise.

P.S. Todae also sells a wide variety of eco products for homes and businesses, both through their website and from a recently opened shop in Sydney’s Glebe district.

Website: www.todae.com.au

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Australia’s Carbon Emissions Timetable

As reported by Mike Preston in Smart Company today, by the end of this year, business should have a clear idea about the extra costs they will face under a carbon emissions trading scheme after a timetable was released by the Government yesterday.

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said she will release a green paper setting out what a carbon trading system will look like by July 2008, to be followed by draft legislation in December.

That will be followed in 2009 by a round of intensive consultation with business and community groups, Wong says, before the legislation is passed – although it will require independent support in the Senate – in mid-2009, wuth the carbon trading scheme commencing early in 2010.

“The introduction of emissions trading will constitute the most significant economic and structural reform undertaken in Australia since the trade liberalisation of the 1980s,” Wong said.



Earth Hour Launched
earth-hour.jpgBusiness leaders have gathered in Sydney to support Earth Hour 2008 and its global launch.Earth Hour involves people and businesses turning off lights and appliances for an hour to send a message about curbing destructive carbon emissions.

NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, speaking at the launch accused critics of the event of pedalling ‘utter rubbish’.

‘The critics and sceptics need to get on board,’ he said. ‘It’s utter rubbish to say that symbolism can’t lead to change. Yes it’s about symbolism, but it’s a very powerful one – it’s about saving the planet.’

Mr Iemma announced that all government departments would take part in Earth Hour at 8pm on March 29th, and said he had allocated $100,000 from the state’s Climate Change Fund to support the program.

In 2007, 2.2 million Sydneysiders switched off their lights for an hour, a sight which was broadcast across the world.

In 2008, 24 major capital cities will take part, along with hundreds of other smaller cities.

WWF Australia, which is organising Earth Hour says 75 per cent of the top 100 companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, all of the state’s major property companies, 70 per cent of the state’s one, two and three hat restaurants, the top five banks, 85 per cent of the state’s main hotels and the 50 largest local councils in NSW will also take part.

Simon Turner



Scrap! NIKE Launch “Trash Talk” Green
March 11, 2008, 5:05 am
Filed under: Facts, Global

Back in 2006, Nike generated copious amounts of street cred with techies when it partnered with Apple and released its Nike + iPod Sport Kit, which allowS gadget-loving runners to synch their iPods via a special sensor placed inside their Nike shoes.

Now, the US athletic shoe manufacturer seems determined to win over green-minded customers, too. In January, Nike introduced the Air Jordan XX3, which uses eco-friendly materials. Then in February Nike went a step further with Trash Talk. From the sole to the shoelaces, this shoe is produced not only from ‘environmentally preferred’ materials but also recycled waste, with much of the latter coming from Nike’s own production facilities—scraps that would otherwise have been discarded.

Trash Talk is the brainchild of Nike celebrity endorser Steve Nash.The All-Star guard for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns is a committed green-living advocate. And a retail price of USD 100 aptly illustrates how a company can turn garbage to gold. That’s a lesson which should be well taken by beleaguered manufacturers in the US and other developed nations. As these manufacturers look for ways to compete with lower-cost producers in Asia, they might find the secret to reinventing themselves is stacked up in the trash bins of their own factories. Yet another way for brands to rack up those greenie points 😉

Website www.nike.com



Travel With Your Own Green Personal Assistant

Travelling for business and want to be environmentally responsible? Take along your very own Green PA to help take care of the logistics of eco travel.

Rearden Commerce, creator of the first on-demand personal assistant and the first on-demand platform for services, unveiled the new green-focused Rearden Personal Assistant to provide business travelers and organizations a first-of-its kind Total Green Travel Experience when booking travel and related services.

Its new eco-friendly features and functionality includes an intelligent Carbon Calculator, hybrid car services, and Web and audio conferencing.

“The Rearden Personal Assistant has always saved people time and their companies, money. Now, it’s doing its part to save the environment by minimizing the impact of business travel,” said Patrick Grady, Founder and CEO, Rearden Commerce. “’Visual guilt’ has already proven transformative in helping users make financially responsible decisions for their companies and now we have the opportunity to guide over a million business travelers toward environmentally responsible choices for their planet.”

Read more from Rearden Commerce in the US



Travel With Your Own Green Personal Assistant

Travelling for business and want to be environmentally responsible? Take along your very own Green PA to help take care of the logistics of eco travel.

Rearden Commerce, creator of the first on-demand personal assistant and the first on-demand platform for services, unveiled the new green-focused Rearden Personal Assistant to provide business travelers and organizations a first-of-its kind Total Green Travel Experience when booking travel and related services.

Marquette Turner is especially impressed with some of the features and functionalities that include an intelligent Carbon Calculator, hybrid car services, and Web and audio conferencing.

“The Rearden Personal Assistant has always saved people time and their companies, money. Now, it’s doing its part to save the environment by minimizing the impact of business travel,” said Patrick Grady, Founder and CEO, Rearden Commerce. “’Visual guilt’ has already proven transformative in helping users make financially responsible decisions for their companies and now we have the opportunity to guide over a million business travelers toward environmentally responsible choices for their planet.”

Read more from Rearden Commerce in the US



Water, Not Down The Drain

Water: Not Down the Drain


A guide to using rainwater and greywater at home
by Stuart McQuire

It’s time to think of other ways to secure water for the home. This book shows you how.

Water Not Down the Drain is a comprehensive guide to sustainable water use around the home. With Australia experiencing one of its driest phases in history, everyone has to think about how they use the water available to them and find ways to reduce their day to day water use. The good news is that with rainwater and greywater, people have more water available to them than they think.

Topics include:

  • Making the most of the water you have
  • Saving water, including tips on how to use less water
  • Top water greenhouse savers
  • Calculating how much water is available including rainwater, greywater and stormwater
  • Where can you use rainwater, greywater and stormwater
  • Rainwater tanks and where to place them
  • Tank types including under floor tanks
  • Regulations
  • Rebates
  • Selecting a greywater system
  • Greywater health and safety
  • Watering systems for greywater
  • Composting toilets and complete treatment systems such as worm farms
  • Wise watering in the garden
  • How to use stormwater at home

Water Not Down the Drain includes case studies from author Stuart McQuire’s house, including examples of how he uses rainwater, greywater and stormwater. Useful tips and advice appear throughout the book to help you make changes at home.

About the author
Stuart McQuire’s household used to be above average suburban water users. Since then they have reduced their mains water use by 96 per cent. In fact, they use just two and a half buckets of mains water per day, but still have a thriving garden full of fresh produce. All other water comes from the site either as rainwater or recycled water. Stuart began using rainwater and greywater in the early nineties to save water, and his home has gained a national and international profile for its role in pioneering environmental technologies and sustainable living.

Stuart McQuire is an environmental scientist and past president of the Alternative Technology Association. This is his second book about water. In this book, he shares his journey to sustainable water use and shows readers what he’s done at home. Stuart’s house is surrounded by a permaculture garden with 20 fruit and nut trees, and features grid-connected solar electricity, solar hot water, rainwater tanks, water recycling, composting and chooks. The book includes photos of Stuart’s water smart house and garden.

Retail price only: $29.95

Click here to order your copy.

Now Available in Borders – check both the magazine and book section of the store to locate a copy.

The book is published by the Alternative Technology Association and supported by the Smart Water Fund.