Posts

Showing posts from August, 2012

2012 Sustainable House Day

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Principle 8: Integrate rather than segregate


Abdallah House will be open for Sustainable House Day on Sunday the 9th of September 2012, from 10am till 4pm. It's a nation-wide (Australia) free event and everyone is invited. No need to book, just turn up on the day to: 1a Abdallah Road, Seymour, Victoria. Peter Lockyer, the builder / architect that I worked with on the project will also be here to answer questions.

Here's a speil from the event organisers:
Sustainable House Day gives people the chance to get a real-life look inside houses that have been designed, built or fitted out with sustainability in mind and talk to owners, receiving unbiased advice.As event organisers we’re seeing greater investment in harvesting water and solar energy as communities realise our resources are finite and likely to become more expensive. By becoming energy efficient today, you’ll be on the front foot to save on energy bills and help the environment now and into the future.
Sustainable H…

Communicated diseases

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Principle 5: Use and value renewable resources and services

An article, entitled Wind turbine syndrome:a classic 'communicated' disease written by Simon Chapman, Professor of Public Health at Sydney University - describes how opponents claim and extraordinary array of health problems associated with wind farms. Towards the end of the article he writes:

"When anti-wind farm leaders move around communities, sometimes with entrepreneurial lawyers, spreading anxiety that the turbines can harm heath, we can get a potent combination of poorly informed, worried and angry residents seeded with the idea that their protests might lead to a payout." He goes on to say "Fortunately, anti-wind farm voices in the bush are in a small minority, as this CSIRO study shows."
As the wind farm issue heats up opposition groups, like the Orwellian named 'Australian Environment Foundation' and 'Landscape Guardians', hold local meetings to enlist locals an…

1 year of Solar PV

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Principle 2: Catch and Store Energy

In my last Solar PV post, about a six months ago I mention the challenges that we were having getting the Premium Feed-In Tariff (PFiT) that we signed up for. It was a very long process to get sorted out, but we got there eventually. For those of you that are interested you can follow the story later in this post - The battle for our PFiT.
I really wanted to focus this post on our reduced energy use since installing our own solar PV system. I've found that when I take personal responsibility for collecting resources myself (like electricity / water / wood) I respect those resources more and reduce my consumption. I have a greater awareness of how much energy there is around me and how to make the best use of it.

Electricity use for the year 29/7/11 - 29/7/12 (conservative estimates made in June 2011, before system was installed) Total energy generated by our 1.5kW solar PV system: 2274 kW/h
(376 kWh more than my estimate of 1898 kWh - 5.2kWh per …

Cherry Tree Windfarm site visit

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Principle 4: Apply self-regulation and accept feedback

The Cherry Tree Wind Farm has moved to the planning stage with the application submitted to council. There's a one month window for community feedback, which officially ends on the 17th of August, but will continue until council makes a decision about it.
The proposed Cherry Tree Wind Farm site is located on the Cherry Tree Range, between Whiteheads Creek and Trawool, approximately 80 km north-east of Melbourne and 15 km south-east of Seymour. Project Site is accessed via Homewood Road. It's a $100 million development, easily the largest in the region. The proposal includes:Construction of 16 wind turbines with a height of approximately 150 metres (poles height of 100 metres and blade height of 50 metres)Associated infrastructure including a substation, overhead and underground cabling, site office and an operations buildingEarthworks to allow access to the siteRemoval of native vegetation to facilitate access and infrast…

'Relocalising our Food System' presentation

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Principle 12: Creatively use and respond to change

I have been a committee member of BEAM, our local environment group over the past year and have taken on the revitalisation of the newsletter. I've had some great feedback on what has been achieved and plan to continue this work over the next year. The newsletter has a shire wide focus and is available to members of the group, the website and facebook pages are kept up to date of what BEAM are up to along with other items of interest.
I invited David Holmgren and Su Dennett to present at our AGM this year and am glad to say that they were happy to join us. The presentation, 'Relocalising our Food System: Theroy and Practice' will focus on how we can become more self-reliant by producing food closer to where we live.
I've been interested in getting our members more active in what the group is up to, so when the idea of a BYO local food dinner came up I got very excited. It was inspired by the "Food Revolution"…