Your source of ideas, inspiration, resources and links on how to...

Ward off Climate Change

About the author


Gary Warden was raised in the Perth Hills. After graduating from the University of Western Australia with a degree in Geology, Gary joined BHP Billiton where he spent 18 years working in a variety of roles in a number of locations around the world. Prior to leaving BHP Billiton in December 2006, Gary was Global Manager for the company's US$1Billion business improvement program.

While he was originally sceptical about the claims relating to climate change, he became convinced of the urgency of the issue in early 2006. He left BHP Billiton primarily to spend more time with his young family, but also to dedicate himself to creating a more sustainable life for himself and his family and to support others in making that change.

In September 2007 he was trained by Al Gore and has delivered the "Inconvenient Truth" lectures to thousands of west australians since then. In November 2007 Gary ran for the senate in the Federal Election representing the Climate Change Coalition.

In addition to his climate change lectures, he has facilitated Living Smart workshops across Perth. Between 2008 and 2009 he was on the Executive Committee of the Conservation Council of Western Australia including one year as Vice President.

Gary co-founded and is Executive Director of the very exciting Days of Change program, one of the largest sustainability programs in Australia and is now General Manager WA for Eco-Kinetics, one of the largest Solar PV companies in Australia and subsidiary of ASX-listed CBD Energy.

Switch to Green Power

by Gary 7/7/2009 7:05:00 AM
The single, easiest and most cost-effective way to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions is to switch to Green Power. I am ashamed to say that here in Western Australia, less than 1% of electricity subscribers have signed up for Green Power. This compares with 8% in New South Wales which is the next worst state. Green Power is a nationally accredited scheme where you can opt to pay extra for your electricity, knowing that your investment is helping contribute to the installation of additional renewable energy infrastructure such as wind farms. Synergy offers residents in WA two options to sign up to greenpower
  • Natural Power where you  can opt for 100%, 50% or 25% renewable; or
  • Easy Green where you can subscribe in $10 annual increments.
100% Natural Power in my view is the best option as it will eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from your electricity usage, which represent about 17% of average household emissions. This will cost an extra 4.4c/unit which works out at about an extra $150 per year. Signing up is easy—simply phone Synergy on 13 13 53, or visit their website. If you are concerned about the fact that here in Western Australia we are continuing to build dirty coal-fired power stations to produce our electricity, then you can take a stand by saying NO and purchasing one of Syergy's Greenpower products.

Currently rated 5.0 by 1 people

  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tags:

Reduce Your Emissions | Tip of the Week

Free Solar Power for your Home

by Gary 5/15/2009 9:30:00 PM

For a while now I have been negotiating special deals on solar panels for participants in Living Smart courses that I have facilitated.

It is amazing the see how the price of these systems have come down in recent times, however I was amazed to hear of an offer to install a 1kW system for free for households that qualify for the $8,000 federal goverment rebate.

The company behind the offer is called Regen Power. Basically their offer is for a 1.02kW grid connect system.

A 1kW system will produce about 5kWh on average per day. Based on the current A1 residential electricity tariff, this will save you $250 every year, however I fully expect electricity prices to double over the next couple of years (we are currently only paying about half of the true cost of electricity production), which will translate into a saving of $500 per year.
 
If we end up with a feed-in tariff in WA, the savings will be even higher - all for an investment of the massive sum of $0.
 
For more information on this offer, visit the Regen website at http://www.regenpower.com/other/systems.php?ID=30
 
The company is making the offer to the first 250 subscribers, so you will need to hurry. The $8,000 rebate is disappearing at the end of June (to be replaced by a more complex, less rewarding (for households earning less than $100,000) system).
 
Note that this offer represents the price for a basic installation. It does not include any extra costs associated with modifications to existing switchboards, or where the installation is complicated by factors such as double story, difficult access etc.

I'm not making any warranty as to the relative merits of this company or the system they are offering and I always recommend you shop around, however I think that the mathematics in this case are pretty simple. Feel free to forward on to your contacts.

Gary Warden

Currently rated 5.0 by 1 people

  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tags:

Reduce Your Emissions | Tip of the Week

Home Brew More Sustainable

by Gary 4/24/2009 11:36:00 AM

An analysis by Brett Menzel has shown that the environmental impact of home-brew beer is less than for beer purchased in glass stubbies or aluminium cans as a result of its relatively lower transported volume and weight, less packaging materials and the reusability of the PET final bottles.

The environmentally aware consumer is faced with a perplexing array of marketing and sales-driven product options in today’s retail outlets; options that will almost certainly have a range of different environmental impacts. 

For the Australian beer consumer, in addition to beer styles and alcohol strengths, there is a large range of packaging, volume and convenience-level alternatives. 

The analysis found that Home-brew offers the beer consumer a choice that has a lower life cycle environmental impact compared with glass stubbies and aluminium cans.  The relatively lower environmental impact results from lower transport weight and volume, the reusability and ultimate recycle ability of PET and the greater utility of the concentrate.

Home-brew beer is also the most economically favourable option although it is considerably more time consuming and less convenient than stubbies or cans and unfortunately convenience is more strongly marketed and sought after by the consumer than a lower environmental impact. 

References

Brezet, H. and Van Hemel, C. (eds.) 1997, Eco-Design: a promising approach to sustainable production and consumption, United Nations Environment Program, Paris.

Coopers 2008, Environment - water usage, Coopers Brewery Limited.  S.A. Retrieved March 8, 2008, from http://www.coopers.com.au/environment.php?pid=2

EcoRecycle Victoria 2004, Information sheet 7 - Glass.  Retrieved March 8, 2008, from http://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/resources/documents/Info_7_-_Glass.doc

The Aluminium can group n.d, retrieved March 9, 2008, from http://www.aluminium-cans.com.au/Facts2.html

 

Currently rated 4.0 by 1 people

  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tags:

Reduce Your Emissions | Tip of the Week

Plan Your Journey on Transperth with Google

by Gary 2/25/2009 4:04:00 PM

While I am passionate about catching buses or trains in preference to hopping in the car, I realise that not everyone shares my passion. One of the reasons that people give for not taking public transport is that they don't know what services are available or when.

The Transperth website has a journey planner that is slightly better than awful. However it is not particularly intuitive, tends to be exceedingly slow, and forget about trying to get up a map that shows your journey.

Julian Ilich (my Days of Change program partner) and I were mulling over this the other day and thinking "wouldn't it be great if you could use Google Maps to do your public transport travel planning for you", and were even wondering about sending an e-mail to Google suggesting this.

You can imagine our delight then when a colleague of Julian's told him that Google Maps have exactly this functionality already.

And it works BRILLIANTLY!

Today we had to travel from our office at 110 William Street to the UWA Club in Crawley. We went to Google Maps and typed "from 110 William Street Perth to Corner Mounts Bay Road and Hackett Drive Crawley" into the search field, pressed enter, and voila, the following screen appeared showing a range of bus options, a map of the route, stop information etc.

 

This is the last time that I use the Transperth Journey Planner. The Google planner is simply brilliant.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Google maps, simply go to http://maps.google.com/

If you know anyone who catches the bus or train, then send them this article. I suspect that most people wouldn't know about this functionality.

And now you have one less excuse not to use the bus or train!

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tags:

Reduce Your Emissions | Tip of the Week

Check Out This Video - Garbage Warrior

by Gary 2/22/2009 8:54:00 PM

Toni and I found a new release movie entitled "Garbage Warrior" in our local video store.

The movie tells the story of Michael Reynolds who for 30 years has been on a crusade to build self-sufficient, sustainable homes from what most people would consider garbage - used tyres, drink bottles and cans.

It includes his efforts to overcome archaic planning laws in his home state of New Mexico and his inspirational work helping survivors of the Boxing Day tsunami build new homes.

Check it out at your local video store, however here is a taste of the movie.

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tags:

Tip of the Week