The Good News
I hope our fair nation is feeling significantly lighter and its waterways are flowing more freely following a massive effort by more than a million volunteers for Clean Up Australia Day last Sunday.
As I posted on Facebook this week, going above and beyond was Australia’s Muslim community, something the traditional press neglected to pick up. BuzzFeed confirmed with Clean Up Australia that the Ahmadiyya Muslim community around the country raised the most money and had the most volunteers. The website was tipped off about this after Pauline Hanson appeared on Insiders saying the Muslim community doesn’t assimilate or contribute. Talk about responding with awesome.
You can now recycle all your beauty packaging! Shampoo bottles, old lipsticks, eyeliners and mascaras, shaving foam containers, lip balm pots – all those tubes for lotions and potions. You collect them, send them to TerraCycle for free and L’Oréal Australia pays for them to be recycled. Hurrah! You also get to nominate a charity and earn 2 cents per item for the school or charity of your choice. Find out more here.
The ABC reported this week that fixing stuff is becoming cool again. This is great news for the environment as Australia is one of the worst offenders for ewaste. This “repair cafe” is in Marickville in Sydney, and I know there’s a monthly one up here in Maleny. Do you know of a “repair cafe” near you? Let us know in the comments!
Meanwhile, on the Sunny Coast, we are soon to finish the state’s biggest solar farm, one of six planned for Queensland.
In other random news, a new museum in Perth is asking people to bring in a container of water taken from a source that is meaningful to them. The Museum of Water is designed to document our relationship with this precious resource, which we may one day value as much as oil.
Finally, New Zealand vodka makers 42Below have launched an initiative that collects used lemons from people’s drinks in bars, turns them into liquid soap and then gives the soap back to the bars. You can read more about it here. Every little bit helps, people, every little vodka helps.
The Bad News
The Great Barrier Reef is in complete crisis. Let me say this slowly: we could lose the whole thing. And the billions of dollars it generates for our country, the thousands of jobs and countless species that depend on this World Heritage site.
It was widely reported that mass bleaching of coral has occurred for the second year in a row. Bleaching is part of the reef’s life cycle, but it needs 15 years between events to recover and flourish. Two years in a row is a catastrophe: This. Has. Never.Happened. I saw a scientist reduced to tears as he talked about the fact that our reef is dying and no one seems to care. Please, please, please, support the Fight for Our Reef campaign in any way you can. Sign a petition, join an event, protest, volunteer – whatever you can offer.
Another story that caught my eye was the discovery of Australian ewaste in and African dump. And not just any dump, an infamous one where children scavenge and then die before they reach their 20s from the toxic environment. This upsets me not only because the thought of Australia dumping its waste on developing countries is horrific (and actually illegal) but also because there is a pervading view out there that recycling is all a big scam. How many times have you heard people say that “it all ends up in the same incinerator/landfill”?
I have visited materials recovery centres and spoken to many passionate people who work hard to recover as much waste as possible. Please don’t let this story discredit their hard work and speak up if you hear anyone bagging out recycling. It’s great that this problem has been discovered, hopefully now we can get to the bottom of how it happened.
In global news, Donald Trump’s new environment minister says global warming is not caused by CO2. FFS.
The Lovely News
This International Women’s Day found me more feisty than usual. I was furious to see that my local paper, the Courier-Mail FORGOT to mention IWD at all on March 8, instead leading with the horrific capture and rape of a British backpacker for two months (can you see the irony here?). I ranted on Facebook, complained to the paper and defaced the newspaper at work in protest.
My spirits were soothed by the other wonderful media coverage for IWD that made my day. I’ve chosen my three favourite IWD videos, saving the absolute best for last. I am not kidding, I am going to watch this once a week for the rest of my life. You’ll see what I mean. So here you go, my top three vids from International Women’s Day 2017:
One to sing out loud:
One for the kids:
And my favourite…
Have a beautiful day, thanks for everything you do.
photo credit: Danimezza Danimezza Swim 2012 Swimwear Resort Summer Holiday Plus Size Fashion Lookbook-11 via photopin (license) Shot at the Great Barrier Reef.