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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.

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Changes to Federal Government Solar Rebate

by Gary 2/10/2009 5:59:00 AM

I’ve got good new and bad news.

The good news for those of you who don’t currently qualify for the $8,000 solar rebate from the Federal Government because your household income is above $100,000, is that from July 1 this year the $100,000 means test is to be scrapped.

The bad news is that the new scheme is horribly complex, and it is impossible to predict exactly how much the rebate will be as the value of it will be tied in with the Renewable Energy Target Scheme and will therefore vary.

What is certain is that households earning less than $100,000 will also get less assistance under the new scheme.

For example, under the current scheme, a household earning less than $100,000 can install a 1kW system and receive a $8,000 from the federal government.

Under the new scheme starting in July 1, the same household will receive as little as $4,500. To receive the maximum rebate, the household will have to install a much more expensive 1.5kW system, in which case a rebate of approximately $7,500 will apply.

Households earning more than $100,000 will be the big winners, going from receiving no rebate under the current means test, to receiving the same rebate as lower income households as described above.

So what should YOU do?

If your household income (total income less allowable tax deductions) is less than $100,000, then you should move quickly to sign-up for panels before July 1. If you wait until after July 1, you will lose up to  $3,500 in rebates compare to the current system.

If your household income is above $100,000, then you are probably better off waiting until July 1 to sign up for your system.

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Climate Change | Reduce Your Emissions | Tip of the Week

The Story of Stuff

by Gary 2/4/2009 8:56:00 AM

The Story of Stuff is a 20 minute video that tells the story of how things that you buy are produced.

This is a truly amazing video—funny, appalling, informative and inspiring—all rolled into one.

Your shopping habits will change forever once you have watched it.

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Climate Change | Humour | Reduce Your Emissions | Tip of the Week

Foodscraps to Fertiliser Workshop at Environment House

by Gary 2/2/2009 9:52:00 PM

Environment House is a shop-front community environment centre located in First Avenue in Maylands. The shop features a range of sustainable products and they have an on-line catalogue.

Environment House runs a range of community education programs including "Foodscraps to Fertiliser" workshops covering three popular methods in two hours - compost bins, wormfarms and the bokashi microbial fermentation method. This workshop is for those who've never had a go, as well as for those who've tried and failed - working out what went wrong means you're well on the way to success!

The next workshop is being held from 9:30am to 11:30am on Saturday February 21. Visit the Environment House website for more details and how to enrol.

Environment House offers the following general advice on composting.

If you've got an average-sized backyard we suggest one or preferably two well-sealed compost bins (like we sell!) with the Compost Mate corkscrew aerator - effective and easy on the back

If you've got a courtyard or villa sized garden we suggest a worm farm and/or bokashi microbial fermentation bucket (needs a minimum 7 square metres of garden space). It sits in the kitchen but is emptied into the garden every month or so where it turns into great compost within a few weeks; it deals with all food scraps including those the worms don't like - like meat, fish, milk products, onion, citrus. (Bokashi microbe mix costs around $1 per week.)

If you've got a pot plant garden and balcony-or a roomy bathroom/laundry- a worm farm could work for you - must have full shade.

 

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Tip of the Week - Bokashi Bucket

by Gary 1/2/2009 9:18:00 PM

The Bokashi Bucket is a great way of minimising your waste to landfill. It will accept any kitchen wastes, including meat, citrus and onion waste which typically cannot be processed by worm farms, chickens or compost heaps/tumblers. You gradually fill the bin with your scraps, and each night you compact it down with the supplied "stomper" and sprinkle over some of special Bokashi powder. This helps the waste to start fermenting. Keep filling the bin over a period of 1 week to 2 weeks. When the bin is full, simply dig a hole in the garden and bury it. Because of the fermentation process, there is no odour associated with the bin. The bin may produce some "Bokashi Juice" which can be drained off from the tap and applied in diluted form to your plants. The buried waste will decompose quickly and enrich the soil in your garden beds.

Bokashi Buckets are available from Planet Ark in Fremantle, the One Earth Outlet in Balcatta, and on-line at http://www.bokashi.com.au/index.html

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Tip of the Week - Onya Veggie Bags

by Gary 12/20/2008 9:34:00 PM

I sometimes wonder who gets more out of my Living Smart courses—the participants or me.

It is amazing how many great ideas or great products I hear about from the participants.

In the product category is the Onya Weigh Bag which one of the participants brought along to last week’s workshop.These bags are simply brilliant.Inside each colourful sack are 5 reusable netted vegetable bags. Simply clip the sack to one of your green reusable shopping bags, and you’ll never need to use plastic bags for your fruit & veggies again!

There are two sizes of packs. The 5-pack is priced at $12.70 and the 8-pack is priced at $17.20 plus postage and handling. You can order them online at https://www.onyabags.com.au/index.php 

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