Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Easily Green Your Daily Routine

This year’s theme for World Environment Day (WED) is Your Planet Needs You! UNite to Combat Climate Change. But too often we are presented with environmental problems without being given the tools to act. WED is about taking action to be a part of the solution. And the Daily do something Tips are a great start.

We can all do our part to protect the planet by using less and acting more. Going green is not as difficult as you might think. Here we walk you through 30 easy ways to green your daily routine, from the moment you hit snooze on your solar-powered alarm clock to the point when you crawl into your eco-washed, organic cotton sheets.

Make your WED commitment today. But don’t stop at today and don’t stop here. Try to incorporate all of these into your life as a matter of routine. Get others to do so the same. And get involved!

Here are some tips from the World Environment Day Website:


Plant a tree! Help achieve UNEP’s Billion Tree Campaign target of planting seven billion trees – one for every person on the planet – by the end of this year! Three billion are planted. Five billion are pledged. On every continent in the world trees can be planted in June, so start your efforts on WED.

Find needy homes or charitable organizations for things that you no longer need or want rather than throwing it away.


It would seem to go without saying, but many of us forget that we can save water in simple ways like not letting the tap run while shaving, washing your face, or brushing your teeth.

Insulating your water heater will help save valuable energy, and you can go the extra mile by installing showerheads with a low flow in your bathrooms for bathing purposes to help save water. You can also put a timer on your heaters to save power.

Using an electric razor or hand razor with replaceable blades instead of disposable razors goes a long way to cutting back on waste. And plant a tree.

Use towels for drying your face and hands instead of tissues that are used and thrown away. Also, hang your towels to dry so that they can be reused several times. You are after all clean when you use them!

Juice or yoghurt lovers can do their bit by buying juice in concentrates and yoghurt in reusable containers instead of single serving packages.

Many of us like to leaf through the paper as we munch on breakfast, but consider reading the dailies in communal spaces like the office or coffee shops. However, if you prefer to have your own copy, make sure you recycle!
When packing your lunch, opt for reusable containers for food storage instead of wrapping the food with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

As you leave the house, don’t forget to switch off all the lights and appliances at the wall unit (if you have this feature) and unplug chargers as they continue to consume even if they are not charging; saving energy helps reduce air pollution.


Don’t go anywhere without your cloth bag so you can just say no to plastic whenever you shop.

Radical as it may seem, in today’s “the easier the better” society, the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint is by avoiding driving altogether. Power down and Instead try biking, walking, carpooling, public transport or an occasional telecommute.

If you have no other choice than to drive to work, look for the most fuel- efficient car model for your next purchase and keep your tyres inflated to the correct pressure.

If you’re one of the lucky few blessed with clear stretches of road on your way to work, use cruise control, as it saves fuel and also helps you maintain a constant speed.

If you’re among the majority of drivers who spend their mornings stuck in traffic, consider turning your engine off if you will be idling for long periods of time. And plant a tree.

For those who suffer from road rage, remember that aggressive driving lowers your mileage, so if you want to save on fuel and save the planet while you’re at it, accelerate gradually-- something to keep that in mind the next time that bad driver cuts you off! Just count to 10 and say the planet needs me!


Do you have a morning hot drink routine? Using a washable mug is an environmentally-friendly alternative to non-biodegradable styrofoam or plastic cups.

Leave a cup and reusable bottle for water at work to eliminate buying drinks, which get served in plastic cups, or bottled water. 80% of plastic bottles are recyclable but only 20% are actually recycled.

When you need a pad for lists and messages, turn over an old document and write on the back of that instead.
If there isn’t an office recycling system, start one yourself! Recycling our trash actually contributes to reducing global warming emissions. And it is estimated that 75% of what is thrown in the trash could actually be recycled, though currently only 25% is.

When you must have a paper copy, make sure you default your printer option to use both sides. This is an easy tree-saver!

Most computer accessories like ink cartridges and CDs and DVDs are made of materials that could be reused. Computer cords and speakers are fairly standardized, meaning they can be used for a variety of computer models and makes.

Lower your office’s carbon footprint by seeing computers, monitors, printers, copiers, speakers and other business equipment to their energy saving feature and turning them off at the end of the day. And plant a tree!

Turning off all unnecessary lights, especially in unused offices and conference rooms is an easy way to save energy.
If you’re in search of something to personalize your workspace, look no further than the humble houseplant. Houseplants are good for the environment because they remove quantities of pollutants present in the air.


In the summer/warmer months, consider using an interior fan in conjunction with your window air-conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home. While you’re at it, in winter, lower your thermostat and put on a jumper. In summer, increase it and wear lighter clothes, you will also save money!

Don’t place lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat as it senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air-conditioner to run longer than necessary.

When cooking dinner, match the size of the pan to the size of the heating element to lower energy wastage.

When you are feeling at your laziest, don’t throw clean clothes in the hamper to avoid hanging them up! Wear jeans more than once…

When you wash, use only eco-friendly products in your home. It’s best for you and the environment! And did we mention plant a tree!

No Impact Man To The Rescue!

Have you Heard of No Impact Man?

It's a blog by Colin Beavan about what each of us can do to end our environmental crisis, make a better place to live for ourselves and everyone else, and hopefully come up with a happier way of life along the way!

Now doesn't that sound nice!

Please visit the blog!

Here are No Impact Man's Top Ten Eco-Lifestyle Changes:

No Impact Man's Top Ten Eco-Lifestyle Changes
1. Stop eating beef. Worldwide, beef production contributes more substantially to climate change than the entire transportation sector. Plus, a diet with no or less beef is better for you anyway.

2. Give up bottled water. The production of plastic water bottles together with the privatization of our drinking water is an environmental and social catastrophe. Bottled water costs more per gallon than gasoline. Plus, the health consequences of drinking water from plastic are not clear.

3. Observe an eco-sabbath. For one day or afternoon or even hour a week, don't buy anything, don't use any machines, don't switch on anything electric, don't cook, don't answer your phone, and, in general, don't use any resources. In other words, for this regular period, give yourself and the planet a break. Keep your regular eco-sabbath for a month. You'll find that the enforced downtime represents an improvement to your life.

4. Tithe a fixed percentage of your income. Currently, many of our societal health and welfare services, at home and abroad, are tied to consumer spending which, in turn, depends upon planetary resource use. But the idea of buying stuff to help people is crazy, especially when you consider that our consumption is harming the habitat that we depend upon for our health, happiness and security. If you want to help, don't go shopping. Just help. Commit to tithing part of your income to the non-profits of your choice.

5. Get there under your own steam. Commit to getting around by bike or by foot a certain number of days a month. Not only does this mean using fewer fossil fuels and creating less greenhouse gasses, it means you'll get good, healthy exercise and we'll all breathe fewer fumes. A city with pedestrian and bike traffic is a lot more pleasant to live in than a city filled with vehicles.

6. Commit to not wasting. Wasting resources costs the planet and your wallet. Don't overheat or overcool your home--a few degrees make a huge difference. Let your clothes hang dry instead of using the dryer. Take half the trips but stay twice as long. If your old cell phone works, consider not getting another. Repair instead of rebuy. The list goes on and on.

7. Build a community. Play charades. Have dinners with friends. Sing together. Enjoying each other costs the planet much less than enjoying its resources. Let's relearn to joke around and play in ways that cost nothing to our pocketbooks or our planet.

8. Take your principles to work. The old adage "the cost of doing business" can no longer hold true. We must act as though we care about the world at work as much as we do at home. A company CEO or a product designer has the power to make a gigantic difference through their business, and so do the rest of us.

9. Dedicate a day's worth of TV viewing to eco-service each week. The average American watches four and a half hours of TV a day. Take one day off from the tube each week and joining with others to improve our planet. Voluntary eco-service is a great way to find community who support your values and also a great way to learn about environmental issues and the quality of life issues that go along with them.

10. Believe with all your heart that how you live your life makes a difference to all of us. We are all interconnected. We make a difference to each other on many different levels. Every step towards living a conscious life where we consider the consequences of our actions provides support to everyone else--whether you know it or not--who is trying to do the same thing. We are the masters of our destinies. Let's act as though it is so.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Community Courtyard Potted Herb Garden

Lovely Danika Jones helped me to plant a gorgeous Community Courtyard Potted Herb Garden for all News Staff members to utilise! Here are some snaps of the journey.

Danika Jones and lovely Bunnings Staff member who helped us with composting advice.

Hello Greenie carrying potting mix to the car.

Danika Jones' amazing plant donations!

After planting the community courtyard herb garden Danika Jones shows Alexandra Gordon.

Eco office

Some snaps of some eco changes around the office.

Recycled Paper Notepads - for one more use before recycling!

Environmentally friendly dishwashing liquid in the kitchen.

Kitchen Compost.

Environmental spray cleaner.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

REuse REcycle

The REuse your unwanted print-outs before recycling challenge is going well! Have a look at our collection trays (which are filling up!)! Thank you everyone!

Inside Out Magazine's Grace Lee getting involved in recycling unwanted print-outs. Thank you Grace~!

Inside Out's recycle paper collection area.

Inside Out Magazine's unwanted print-out area.

First Floor unwanted print-outs and CD recycle area.

Our CD and CD case recycle bin.

Replacing our dishwashing liquid with an eco-friendly alternative. For some more ('after') pics please stay posted.

Love Love
Hello Greenie.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Recycling Labels

Leah Twomey has found a company that will recycle our CD's and CD cases. So Aimee Marshall and I have started a collection bin in our Editorial area to start collecting unwanted discs and cases. Keep an eye out for these signs marking the CD bin and the PAPER RECYCLE bin.

Thank you everyone!

Monday, May 11, 2009

How To Grow Your Own Fresh Air

Click here to watch a great clip on how to grow your own fresh air.

The three best plants are:

1. Areca Palm

2. Mother-in-law's Tongue

3. Money Plant

Wouldn't it be great to get some for our office!

David's Coffee Mug

David Clark's One Degree of Difference Mug

Our Editor, David Clark, got involved in the 'Ban disposable cups and refill your mug challenge' today! In fact, David's coffee mug made it's way home from Cupcakes and Wheels cafe with a little encouragement message from the lovely cafe staff!

Thank you David!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Chippendale Urban Farming

Watch an inspiring local urban farming story in Chippendale here. Find out more here and here.

More team members join in the 'Ban the disposable coffee cup and refill your mug' challenge!

Leah Twomey, Conor Burke, Hello Greenie and Richard Waller.

Cupcakes and Wheels cafe

Leah and Conor were next to join in the 'Ban the disposable coffee cup and refill your mug' challenge. Thank you Leah and Conor! The environment loves you for it!

And don't forget you get a large coffee for the price of a small coffee when refilling your mug!

Let's all join in!


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Liane Rossler Eco-Inspection

(Liane Rossler and David Clark - Note David's 'One Degree of Difference' Mug!)

Danika Jones, Liane Rossler, David Clark and Leah Twomey

Liane Rossler and Leah Twomey

On Friday we were lucky enough to have a lovely visit from Al Gore Spokesman Liane Rossler. After a team morning tea, Liane and I walked around the office area with (recycled) notepad in hand taking notes on where we could make eco changes for the better within our team. Liane will be emailing us a to-do list shortly! But in the time being Liane showed us how to set our computers to Energy Saving mode by allowing the screen to go to 'sleep' after 3 minutes of no activity. Lodge your call with IT Helpdesk (x 2323) today to get your computer set to Energy Saving Mode.

Thank you Liane!

Black Google

Our Art Department Intern Conor suggested we all switch to Black Google to save energy. An all white web page uses about 74 watts to display, while an all black page uses only 59 watts. You can find out more information here, here and here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Liane Rossler - Al Gore Climate Ambassador Eco-inspection

Today at 11am we have a special visit from Dinosaur Design's Liane who is an Al Gore Climate Ambassador. Liane will be inspecting our office offering us tips on how to make our team more eco-friendly.
Thank you lovely Liane! We are so lucky to have your help and guidance!

Here is an article about Liane spotted on news.com.au:

AS awareness of global warming grows, consumers are becoming eager to support businesses making an effort to be environmentally responsible.

Dinosaur Designs, the Sydney-based jewellery and homewares company, found that being good to the earth had also been good for business.

The company engages in a range of environmentally sustainable initiatives such as offsetting all its carbon emissions, using green electricity and recycling water.

Liane Rossler, one of the designers and co-founders of Dinosaur Designs, said there had been “the most incredible response” from customers to their environmental efforts.

It had also made the business a more attractive employer.

“We just interviewed for a position in the company and every single applicant said how impressed they were with our environmental initiatives and said they wanted to be part of our company because of that,” Ms Rossler said.

Easy being green

Since forming in 1985 Dinosaur Designs had always been sensitive to the environment, she said. They recycled paper and plastic for years and their premises were designed to encourage natural airflow and remove the need for air conditioning.

But after becoming more aware of global warming last year, Ms Rossler and her colleagues made it a priority to reduce their company’s environmental footprint.

They comissioned an energy audit by a private company to identify how much energy they were using and where they were wasting it.

They switched to green energy from Origin Energy, which produces electricity from wind, solar and hydro power.

Offsetting emissions

To offset their carbon emissions they tallied up how much CO2 the business generated through national and international freight (they have stores in New York, Sydney and Melbourne), plane travel and car use.

For every tonne of CO2 generated, Dinosaur Designs invested money in Australian company Climate Friendly to use in wind and solar farms.

The business also offset their car travel by investing in Green Fleet, a company which plants trees to help absorb the amount of CO2 you produce.

Other initiatives included using recycled paper in packaging and marketing materials and soy based ink and waterless printing in their catalogues.

In the office they recycled all water used in the production process, re-used printing cartridges and installed low-energy tri-phosphor light globes.

The price is right

It might sound like a lot of effort and money, but Ms Rossler said it wasn't. It simply required a different way of thinking and that staff embraced the changes enthusiastically.

As for cost, the company will probably end up saving money, she said.

”It does cost a little bit more to use green energy because there’s less demand for it. But we’ve become more conscious about cutting our usage – turning off the computers, turning the dishwasher and microwave off so they're not on standby,” she said.

“Whatever we paid extra I’m sure we’ve now saved because we’re using less of it.”

Businesses had no choice but to start doing things differently to save the environment, she said.

“In business we all want to grow and go forward, but we can’t go on doing business the same way. It’s really important we look at another way of doing things.”

Seal of approval

Environmental expert Paul Klymenko, research director at Planet Ark, was impressed by the lengths Dinosaur Designs had gone to.

“They’re pretty much doing as much as they can, as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

He commended the business for offsetting carbon emissions from both personal travel as well as freight. However when it came down to offsets, Planet Ark preferred investing in solar and wind farms as opposed to planting trees, which could take decades to mature and wouldn't necessarily last a long time, Mr Klymenko said.

"The only other thing I can think of is in their jewellery production, some metals can be quite highly polluting in their extraction,” he said.

"That’s beyond their control, but if they haven't already they could look at the downstream impact of some of their raw materials.”

The 'Ban the disposable coffee cup and refill your mug' challenge!

Hello Greenie and Richard Waller

Yesterday was Day One of the 'Ban the disposable coffee cup and refill your mug' challenge. We had Richard on the case from the start, and Leah joined in today so lets all ban disposable coffee cups and take our own mugs to Astoris and Wheels and Dolls Baby.

Greenie Special!
Cupcakes and Wheels Cafe (aka Wheels and Dolls baby) will give you a large coffee for the price of a small coffee if you bring your own mug! Thank you Wheels!

Click here for some more eco office tips!

Stay tuned for some more Eco-Challenges!

Love Love
Hello Greenie

The 'Reuse unwanted print-outs before recycling' Paper Challenge!

Zoe Doyle

Country Style's Designer Zoe Doyle was first to take part in the 'Reuse unwanted print-outs before recycling' Paper Challenge today. Thank you Zoe!

Printed out the grid at the wrong size? Printed black and white instead of colour? Why don't you place your unwanted print-outs in the tray provided (above the vending machine near the colour printer) and I will turn into eco notepads for one more use before they are recycled.

This is part of the REuse REduce REcycle idea. To find out more please click here.