Why Australia needs the Renewable Energy Target

why Australia needs the renewable energy target

I’m guessing we’ll be hearing a lot about the Renewawble Energy Target (RET) over the next few weeks so today we’re going to chat about what RET actually means, why Australia needs it and how the government is trying to get rid of it. I’ll also give you some ideas on how to show your support for the renewable energy target if you feel compelled to do so (which I hope you do!)

What is the renewable energy target?

The RET is a federal government policy put in place to ensure 20 per cent of Australia’s energy needs comes from renewable sources (wind, solar, geothermal ect) by 2020. It started out modestly in 2001 with a 2 per cent goal; this was increased to 20 per cent in 2009 in the light of emerging climate-change science.

How to write a letter to your MP

how to write to your MP

There was a time when the words “write to your MP” made my eyes glaze over. “I am NEVER going to do that,” I thought. Well, here we are, a few years and many letters to my MP down the track. I guess there comes a point in your life where clicking on petitions and liking Facebook statuses no longer suffices in the War On Various Injustices. If you’ve got something to say, you may as well say it properly and to someone who just might listen.

You may have noticed I’m pretty passionate about climate change and think the government’s stance is somewhat lacking in this area (I just removed eight expletives from that sentence, see tip 10 below). I have recently been badgering communicating with my LNP member of parliament on this issue and have shared my two most recent letters for inspiration.

But first, some ideas on how to find your MP and how to craft a letter or email that gets a response.

How to be a better recycler

recycling tips

I recently took my son on a free, open-to-the-public tour of our local tip and recycling facilities (I know how to show a four-year-old a good time). We sat in the education room watching the recycling trucks dump their loads on the other side of the glass, then the bulldozers move it into the pit for sorting. The kids had a great time pointing out all the contaminants, which included bubble-wrap, plastic bags filled with cans and bottles, palm fronds, a plastic hose, shredded paper, socks, shoes and… a toaster.

Between 20 and 40 per cent of all the waste collected in recycling bins ends up in landfill—not because the council can’t be bothered recycling it, but because people use the kerbside recycling bins incorrectly. And it’s not just because people don’t care, even the most dedicated greenies can cause glitches in the process. I was gutted to learn I’d been making mistakes that made my recycling efforts less effective and I’ll share these with you below.

Organic cotton is better for bubs plus a $300 Purebaby giveaway!

purebaby competition

I’m thrilled to have $300 worth of Purebaby vouchers to give away as I have been a long-term admirer of this Aussie brand and adored the Purebaby Essentials collection when my little people were babies. Even more exciting is the chance to speak with a fellow mum who was not only concerned about the chemicals in baby’s clothes, but did something about it!

Fifteen years ago, Mirabai Winford was on the hunt for pure, beautiful and affordable clothing for her new baby. When she couldn’t find what she was looking for, the 22-year-old created Purebaby with the vision that clothing free from harmful chemicals should be accessible, affordable and stylish too. Today Purebaby is a thriving eco-business that is loved by mums all around Australia and overseas.

Australia’s dodgiest products & services for 2014

Choice Shonky Awards


Consumer watchdog Choice has released the winners of the 2014 Shonky Awards and, as always, the list makes for interesting reading. “Follow-on” milk formulas, see-through swimwear and even beloved Tim Tams were named and shamed this year, along with (don’t hate me) Thermomix.

Without further ado, here are the winners of the 9th Annual Choice Shonkys:

Me, yabbering about climate change

climate change presentation


I’m giving my first official presentation as a Climate Reality leader next Wednesday. The idea is to spread the word peer-to-peer so I thought I’d start with an audience I know pretty well: mums! If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you at the Anne Shearer Kindergarten – it’s an open event and free, and I promise to keep it upbeat! Thanks to lovely Rebecca from 4 My Earth, I also have some awesome gifts to hand out to those brave enough to ask questions.

If you would like to come, pop over to the Facebook event page to RSVP or let me know my email or commenting.

And finally, once I’ve popped my public-speaking cherry, I am willing and able (and free) to speak to any audience about climate change. I’d absolutely love to speak to your tribe, no matter how small or large about this issue cos, in case you haven’t noticed, it means quite a lot to me [winks in a creepy, old uncle way].

Wish me luck!





Seven tips for Buy Nothing New Month

buy nothing new

How are you going with Buy Nothing New Month? We’re a week in and I hope you’re thinking, “Hey, this isn’t too hard!” You’ve probably realised you can save money, time and the planet’s resources and still have everything you need – and more.

Just in case you’re getting the urge to spend up on some virgin product, here are a few tips to keep you motivated and cruising through Buy Nothing New Month.

1. Know what you need

Keep a list on your phone of all things you need around the house, for the kids and for yourself, and keep an eye out for them in charity shops/garage sales. My hubby and I share an op-shop list using Wunderlist, but pen and paper works too!

Six eco-friendly activities for kids

eco fun at home

So it turns out that all kids want to do in the school holidays is hang out at home. Who knew? I always thought school hols meant Go-Go-GO! But when I asked my little man what he wanted to do he was quite clear: “I want to stay at home, make a mess, tidy it up, make more mess and then watch TV.”

Nothing says “mess” to me more than craft, but I am still quite new to this whole genre of fun. Thank goodness for the interweb! A quick scout through some of my favourite learning blogs yielded some great activities that required nothing from the shops, got us playing with and talking about nature, upcycling some rubbish and—shhhh, don’t tell the kids—learning something.

First up we downloaded some of the fabulous printables from Mother Natured (TIP: reuse paper that has been printed on one side!) including dinosaur masks for colouring in and this groovy turtle template for our nature collage. Collecting the leaves, flowers, grass and weeds was half the fun, we then glued these down using our Auro eco-craft glue.

Coal is not my future

Coal is not my future

My kids and I attended the People’s Climate rally on the weekend, joining thousands of people in Brisbane and hundreds of thousands around the world to demand action on climate change. Marching through the streets with a two- and a four-year old, a dodgy pram and  three cardboard signs is tricky, but it was well worth the effort. I’m not embarrassed to say  I was almost in tears at some points, feeling hopeful that the movement is gaining traction and we might actually get somewhere in time.

The signs we made for the kids said “Coal is not my future” and a discussion on Facebook over the weekend has prompted me to explain the meaning of this here today.

Encouraging green habits in kids

green habits for kids

This is my latest post over on Childhood 101 for the Easy Green Series.

Encouraging children to put the environment first develops skills in resilience and empathy. By gently teaching them to reduce waste, conserve energy and water, protect wildlife and consume less stuff, we set them up for a lifetime of connection to our natural world and prepare them for future challenges.

There are any number of easy green habits kids can develop from a young age, here are ten examples:

  1. Turning off the lights when leaving a room.
  2. Putting reusable shopping bags back in their place by the front door.
  3. Bringing toys in from the garden so they don’t get ruined.
  4. Fixing broken things (with the help of an adult).
  5. Checking all packaging for the recycling symbol.

Keep reading here