July 1, 2006

Sydney emergency water supply found.

Well, well... two holes in the ground with water in 'em. Joking aside, two aquifers containing more water than Sydney Harbour have been found deep within the sandstone on Sydney's outskirts. In a report to be released next week the Sydney Catchment Authority confirms that water source is viable in a drought crisis, but it does not mean our day-to-day water problems are over: :::[SMH]

"The volume of groundwater likely to be developed is small (at present) in overall supply terms," the report says, "however, it can reduce the rate of dam depletion and hence is important as a water supply source in severe drought.

"Groundwater should not be seen as a water supply system augmentation. It is too valuable in the context of a drought supplementary supply source for it to be developed as an ongoing source of supply."

John Ross, the authority's groundwater project manager, says that the quality of water is high with low salinity, "mostly basically equivalent to rainwater". The NSW State Government had announced earlier this year it would turn to aquifers in order to help augment the water supply if dam levels fell below 40 per cent. As you may be able to see from my right hand column Warragamba's level was at 41.8 per cent (at time of writing). All the heavy rain we have been getting lately just did not fall in the damn catchment - same old story. Seven sites were targeted for test drilling and at least two seem suitable for the establishment of large-scale bore fields - the Upper Nepean near Kangaloon, east of Bowral, and Leonay, near Penrith. Nepean may have hundreds of gigalitres and if developed as a ground water supply the catchment plans to pump about 15 billion litres of groundwater a year into nearby creeks and rivers flowing into Nepean Dam, of Sydney and Illawarra use.

While good news, don't put off your purchase of a water tank. As the SMH says, 'The combination of climate change and a natural dry cycle may mean that Sydney is facing a water shortage which some predict could last decades.' Large scale engineering simply complements the range of solutions we need to develop to drought proof Sydney in the coming big dry. More on drought solutions: :::[Drought turns Aussie knight historical searching for solutions.]

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June 24, 2006

World map of renewable energy distribution

Want to know what the world will look like post oil and coal? This groovy little flash program shows how far some countries are on their way to renewable energy independance, and also shows the distribution of regions rich in renewable 'natural assets'. Brazil grows 40% of its motor car fuel as sugarcane ethanol. In Iceland, 93% of homes are powered by geothermal electricity. :::[Popular Science]

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June 23, 2006

The solar roof tile: a cool way to harvest the sun.

Demonstrating how renewable energy not only is cool, but looks cool too are these solar and heating tiles from SolarCentury. They sit flush on the roof to give a computer chip like look making the home look intelligent and leaving the occupants feeling smart. :::[moringorbit.com]

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June 18, 2006

Drink beer to fight prostate cancer.

Xanthohumol. It's an ingredient in beer that thwarts prostate cancer, however you have to quaff 17 pints for a medically effective dose.

That's good news for the 1 in 11 men who are currently expected to develop prostate cancer during their lifetime in Australia. A not low incidence, but now your doctor can offer you some hope; get an at-risk of prostate cancer diagnosis and head straight down the pub for some preventative therapy. No more do you have to sit around at home worrying about contracting prostate cancer, summon up some dutch courage, get out there and fight the good fight? The more immersed in the treatment regimen you become the treatment you will realise you made the right choice.

An overlooked part of any cure is support, and there is nothing like being surrounded by your mates, shouting you through your convalescence, to know that you will pull though. A happy side effect is that you will be too drunk to worry about cirrhosis of the liver, but if you want to play it safe you can supplement the last few glasses of amber medicine with pizza. There is a flavenoid in the tomato paste that also protects againt prostate cancer, or order double. :::[Study by Fred Stevens of Oregon State University's College of Pharmacy]

For those who suspect their livers may already be in an advanced state of disrepair, scientists believe it is feasible to make pills containing concentrated doses of xanthohumol. Or even better, to bump up the concentration of the flavenoid in hops:

Scientists in Germany have already brewed up a beer containing 10 times as much xanthohumol as found with traditional recipes, according to Stevens.

"It tastes good," Stevens said of the beer, a microbrew with sales limited to within Germany. "It has a bit of a fresh taste."

So, cheers, here's to your very good health. And mine.

Learn more: :::[Wikipedia/hops plant]

Medicinal use

The medically active ingredients in Hops are humulene and lupulene.

Dried female buds have a high methylbutenol content, which has a mild sedative effect on the central nervous system; it is used in the treatment for insomnia, stress and anxiety. If one has trouble getting sleep, hop tea before going to bed may help, though a quantity of beer has similar results.

Hops' antibacterial qualities also stimulate gastric juice production.

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June 17, 2006

Recycle your own sewage and slash water use

A Sydney scientist has developed a revolutionary sewage recycling technology for homes and apartments that are a spin-off from nuclear research at Lucas Heights to develop antibiotics and environmental repair technology. Dr Tony Taylor, a microbiologist for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has developed technolgy that uses bacteria and fungi to convert sewage into water fit for gardens, flushing toilets and cleaning. :::[SMH]

A home would need a unit, costing about $2000, fitted with 40 to 50 gills - membranes, or panels - each about one metre by 1.5 metres. Sewage flowing down the middle of each gill would seep through, feeding bacteria and fungi growing on the outside.

The bacteria and fungi would eat the waste, using oxygen from the air to remove nutrients and toxins. So, it was also "a stomach and a lung". "We are aiming at reducing water consumption at the house by 40 to 60 per cent. You would still have sewage leaving the house, but it would first go around two or three times."

While existing sewage treatment plants already use bacteria, the new technology was significantly more efficient, and a fifth the cost.

Conventional treatment systems also use oxygen, creating bubbles in the sewage. "But bubbles are very expensive to make," Dr Taylor said. "They use a lot of electricity, producing lots of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels."
The running costs of the 'nano-particulate membrane bio-reactor' are about $A1.30 per kilolitre, the current cost of Sydney town-water.

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June 10, 2006

Sydney hits water conservation glass bottom.

Does Sydney have water conservation fatigue?: :::[SMH]
MOST Sydneysiders have made efforts to reduce their water consumption but few households believe they can do much more to save water, and many are not prepared to make changes that affect their lifestyle.

A major study of Sydney residents' behaviours, attitudes and intentions regarding water use raises questions about where the next great savings in household water use can be made if the current water shortage continues.
The good news is that 87 per cent of Sydneysiders have acted to save water:
- behaviours targeted by water restrictions had changed most dramatically
  • car washing
  • garden watering
- Sydneysiders made changes that required little effort
  • shorter showers
  • turning off taps while brushing teeth
- 97 per cent do not flush toilets less frequently, recycle water for gardens or ensure dishwashers were filled before use

- water restrictions had directly affected only a minority of Sydneysiders because many people did not have a garden or own a car, or did not use water on them to any great extent

- publicity about the water shortage had touched most residents
  • only 13 per cent of people said they had taken no action to reduce their water usage
  • mostly by reducing car washing and garden watering or taking shorter showers
  • high-rise flat dwellers were less likely to change their water-use patterns
60 per cent did not want water prices to be increased to encourage lower water use

Study by Professor Bill Randolph of the City Futures Research Centre at the Uni. of NSW
Other posts on the drought and water conservation:
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The green h2o-me.

I know what it is like to have hit that glass bottom in water conservation. You do what you can. Our apartment is an old 80 year old three story house on the middle level with original plumbing, so taps either leak a little or have to be turned off really tightly. This is a plus for the bathroom hot taps so the little one can't turn it on himself and risk scalding. He's the only one who bathes, in 8 inches of water, so about a quarter full. I estimate about 50 litres (13.2 gallons).

I used to recycle his used bathwater by gravity-fed siphoning it well into the garden via a long hose otherwise left hanging through the bathroom window bars. I was pretty chuffed with this but in the middle of planning improvements at the garden end to the concept we became aware of being struck by the scourge of Sydney, rising damp. A forced shower renovation over-turned that project, and now the little one has taken to farewelling his 50 litres on its way to Sydney Harbour. He had been delighted with the previous arrangement ever since he first understood how the garden being watered and feels that Nemo and his dad already have all the water they needs.

We installed a water efficient shower head that can set the plumbing system off screaming like an alarm when the pressure is up to far. My wife doesn't use it's efficiency settings but can finish her shower inside a commercial break most mornings, and in a flash when she is running late. I like a 15 minute one but now do it hopping around under the heated trickle most mornings to distribute the warmth evenly between shoulder-blades and upper and lower back. It's winter and I am showering to warm up. I get reminded of the makeshift winter bush camping showers of my youth, and other camping trips. I need my 15 minutes, I won't relinquish them. At a flow of say, three litres (0.8 gallons) per minute my 15 minutes uses 45 litres (11.8 gallons) a day for my ritual shower. I would not be surprised if my wife's water consumption here was 20 litres or less.

I am sure I am the only one who flushes the toilet less when it's reasonable, only slightly depressing the button to dilute to suit although, because I do the toilet training, I am inculcating my boy to be conscientious. Learn 'em when they are young.

In accordance with bucket-not-hose council water restrictions, bath water will also be recycled to wash the car, infrequently as is the case, usually it goes to the carwash bloke in Randwick who keeps recycling his water, and I'll scrub the wheels myself on return. Needing to improve the bucket system, I started saving our empty 1 liter PVC plastic water bottles to collect the used bath water whenever the car started looking dirty. I've done it on occasion but nothing has 'stuck' yet. The sticking point is storage space for the bottles. The missus wants them out of sight and no suitable (handy) storage space has been scoped for the DA.

The dishwasher is for storage. She considers using automatic dishwashers to wash dishes as lazy and overruled my defense that the dishwasher has eco-cycle and a low energy rating. I'm the greenie, I'm dubbed dishwasher! I reckon, what, 10 to 20 litres a day?

The washing machine water consumption I could not even begin to guess at. Not my job although I get roped in to hang the clothing out to dry. My wife thinks it's ridiculous that people with options still use drying machines in our climate. Here we can both agree.

Other posts on the drought and water conservation:

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June 4, 2006

Kiwi classics

"Nobody in Rugby should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."
Jono Gibbs - Chiefs
This is just one of the quotable quotes to come out of this last rugby Super 14 season from across the dutch, er, I mean ditch :::[Not PC] Ok one or two more and I'll hand you over to Not PC:
"I'm going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes."
Rodney So'ialo - Hurricanes - on University

"I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father."
Tana Umaga

"I never comment on referees and I'm not going to break the habit of a lifetime for that prat."
Ewan McKenzie

Murray Deaker: "Have you ever thought of writing your autobiography?"
Tana Umaga: "On what?"
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June 2, 2006

Snowy Hydro sale scuttled by disgruntled backbenchers

This next post is dedicated to the memory of Clem Grothaus of Gippsland Victoria, who died a few years ago after a long life raising a family arriving in WW2 from the ruins of a defeated Germany to work on the massive Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. He and 100,000 other people like him from over thirty countries in 1949 who worked on constructing Australia's largest engineering formed the nucleus of Australia's contemporary multicultural society.

I am sure his surviving family, daughter Eva, Michael his son and Pauline his wife are pleased to know that all Australians will continue to be shareholders in his shared legacy. May we always.

Snowy schemers too clever by half.

The final twist in the Snowy Mountains saga has left the body twitching and turning in the wind.
When John Howard pulled out of the deal decision to support a sharemarket float of the hydro-electric scheme due to backbencher pressure, taking the Federal Governments 13 per cent share of the scheme with him, the 'done deal', the fiat that the Iemma Government had presented us with, collapsed like a house of card. The NSW Government immediately announced they were pulling their 58 per cent, and the Victorian Government soon after pulled their 29 per cent share. :::[SMH]

A) It is ours to begin with, thanks to people like Clem. B) How can Australia's competing interests for something as fundamental as water be sorted out by the sharemarket? I believe in a free market but what sort of blind faith in unbridled capitalism is this that potentially allows an overseas entity to make the decision about when our farmers get the water and when the hydro-electric scheme does based on strict profitability? Thank goodness the people powered by commonsense triumphed over one-eyed ideology.

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Snowy Hydro sale: Engineer steals Iemma's wind.

Yesterday I made mention of a letter signed by 56 prominent Australians objecting to the sale of Snowy. In today's SMH is the story of how the campaigner Doug Nicholas became fired up when NSW Premier Morris Iemma denied in Parliament his intention to sell. I guess he didn't trust Premier Morris.

That was last year. By yesterday he could unfurl his 56 Aussie a-lister autographs before the House of Representatives and the Senate, taking some of the wind out of Iemma's defense of the sale to the National Press Club of the same day. He has also done so in a manner that allows each of the signatories to claim a conscientious motivation: :::[SMH]

"I didn't win a single person [over] by telling them a single [other] person on the list," Mr Nicholas said.
But that is not stopping Morris Iemma who says we need the sale to fund health infrastructure. I am pleased the Premier recognises the past neglect to hospitals, but thought funding hospitals and schools is what I already pay my tax for.

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June 1, 2006

Colorado family tackles global warming from home

I write a blog called The Green House, Will Toor of Boulder County, Colerado and his family live in one. :::[USA Today]

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Drought turns Aussie knight historical searching for solutions.

You have to give it to Ian Kiernan. The man is a one man crusade, having started the unbelievably successful Clean up Australia Day 16 years ago he is not about to rest on his knighthood. He is now turning his attention to the formidable problem of solving Sydney's water problem, which he attacks in typically pragmatic style: :::[SMH]
Mr Kiernan said Sydney had to abandon its reliance on big engineering fixes to solve its water shortage and instead focus on innovative schemes that made the most of the water the city already had.

"We are capturing water that would otherwise be wasted as it flows to the ocean outfalls," he said. "We just have to keep turning over rocks and finding new opportunities to save water."
There is not one solution, but hundreds, and some of these have been worked out before:

SYDNEY could soon be tapping into a world of sandstone tunnels, disused industrial tanks and long-forgotten water courses, in an ambitious effort to take pressure off the city's dwindling water supplies.

The NSW Government yesterday provided $430,000 for the first stage of a Clean Up Australia project to restore the historic Busby's Bore as a source of recycled water for Hyde Park and Cook and Phillip Park.

The bore, hewn out of sandstone by convict labourers in the 1830s to pipe water to Sydney, runs 3.6 kilometres from Centennial Park to Hyde Park. The city eventually outgrew the bore, but water still runs through it.

In the more ambitious and costly second stage of the project, an underground lake formed in the dead end of a 1920s derelict train tunnel near the State Library could be used to capture and store run-off, stormwater and seepage to irrigate the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Domain.

The initial relief this puts on reducing demand to Sydney's water supply amounts to 110,000 litres a day, or 40 Olympic sized pools a year. There plenty of other opportunities to investigate as well. Well done Ian Kiernan.

It is also worth noting that Clean Up Australia has been extending it's horizons to Clean Up the World for 13 years now, with 'Clean Up' days organised in 100 countries and mobilising 35 million volunteers annually so far. The idea proved so viral in Australia I was sure it will easily pass borders, the extent of the success is breathtaking. It is one of the largest community-based environmental campaigns in the world, so if it comes to your town, be sure to roll up your sleeves and join in for a day.

More from their website. :::[Clean Up Australia website]


Fifty six prominent Australians sign a letter objecting to the Snowy Mountains Hydro Ltd sale, amongst them my favourite actor, Cate Blanchette. It is just madness that a government can sell us what we already own. :::[Who signed?]

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May 30, 2006

Oil price makes biodiesel competitive

Leichhardt Council in Sydney is taking the opportunity of high fuel prices to respond meaningfully to the threat of global warming by fully converting its fleet of 59 street-cleaning and council vehicles to use biodiesel. :::[Video].

Nick Dyer, the mayor for Leichhardt described the biodiesel as a carbon neutral fuel, "What is grown this year is used as fuel the next."

Other councils in Sydney have plans to go green, and Sydney Ferries is also said to have a biodiesel trial project underway. Because spilt biodiesel decomposes rapidly it is ideal for water transport.

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You can fight cancer with exercise

Dr Andrew M M Haydon and colleagues at Monash Medical School in Melbourne have looked at baseline body mass index and levels of physical activity for subjects in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study, a prospective study of 41,528 adults recruited between 1990 and 1994, and compared baseline levels of IGF-1or IGFBP-3 with those measurements. Insulin-like binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) is a protein that inhibits another protein called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and in this way blocks IGF-1's proliferative effect on cell growth. Cancer is uncontrolled cell growth.

The researchers have identified new cases of colorectal cancer in this way as they analysed 443 colon cancer patients followed over more than five years: :::[SMH]

Among subjects who were physically active, an increase in
IGFBP-3 was associated with a 48 per cent reduction in colon
cancer-specific deaths. No association was apparent for IGF-1.

For the physically inactive, there was no association between
IGF-1 or IGFBP-3 and colon cancer survival.

Haydon said that "physical activity can increase IGFBP-3 levels,
which, in turn, reduces the amount of free IGF-1". IGF-1 has been
shown to stimulate cell growth, inhibit cell death, and promote
angiogenesis - the formation of new blood vessels, which tumours
need to grow.

This is not the first time a link between reduced cancer risk and exercise has been found:
"Other studies that have looked at this have shown a
dose-effect, meaning the more exercise the lower the risk, however
our study did not try to address this issue. We were examining the
effect of physical activity on one's prognosis following a
diagnosis of bowel cancer and the possible mechanisms behind this
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Poor diet as bad as smoking.

A Dutch public health agency (RIVM) has concluded that eating too little fish, fruit and vegetables is as bad for human health as smoking in a new report by the Dutch public health agency that will be used in an upcoming European Food Safety Authority analysis of food and diet risks. :::[SMH]
Each year in the Netherlands, poor diet causes about 13,000 deaths due to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, while obesity claims 7,000 lives by causing heart disease and cancer, it said.

The Dutch researchers also say that about 25 per cent of deaths and serious illness caused by overweight and obesity would be avoided if all adults shed 3 kg.

"In particular, attempts at reducing saturated and trans fatty acid uptake and increasing fish, fruit and vegetables consumption could save many lives," the report said.
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May 11, 2006

Hip to Tony Abbott's sleight of waist.

How is this guy, Tony Abbott, he who should never walk into a wind tunnel?

The story so far is that Tony Abbott wants to avoid regulating the food industry advertising their goodies to children and has come up with a proposal to supposedly address the grotesque childhood obesity figures Australia sees in the national mirror. He is happy for them to keep advertising to kids but wants to 'force' advertisers to prominently display percentage of the recommended daily intake of their product on their packaging. Source: :::[SMH]

Good job Tony. You are the Australian federal Health Minister; in today's upside down world your new job is not to protect the health of Australians from predatory food practices like pushing carbohydrate tolerance by calorie cramming or Little MacAthletics sponsorship programmes. Your job is to protect fast food, advertising and media companies and their constituent shareholders from skinny returns.

And like a mad monk of mammon you seem to have perfected the bald-faced lie to protect these profits:

The minister, who has refused to ban the advertising of food during children's television viewing hours, said that Sweden and Quebec had had bans for more than a decade "with no discernible impact on childhood obesity".

It does not take much research to check that Quebec has the lowest childhood obesity rates in Canada; a recent study by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) has determined an unholy correlation between hip and knee replacements and obesity: Source: :::[CNW Group]

The provincial rates for obesity are generally in alignment with varying rates for joint replacement surgery. The provinces that reported the highest rates for hip replacements (Saskatchewan and Alberta) and for knee replacements (Manitoba and Nova Scotia) also have reported obesity rates that are higher than the national average of 23%. Mirroring the same relationship between BMI and joint replacement surgery, British Columbia and Quebec consistently had among the lowest rates for both surgeries and similarly have reported obesity rates that are lower than the national average.

That's because the kneebone is connected to the hip bone and the hip bone is connected to the tummy bone. A July, 2005 study confirms that childhood obesity in Quebec is well below national levels: Source: :::[Statistique Canada]

In 2004, the combined overweight/obesity rate of young people aged 2 to 17 was significantly above the national level in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Manitoba. The combined rate was significantly below the national level in Quebec and Alberta

Tony never had a childhood and doesn't have children. It's the only explanation for his seemingly blatant lie about his purported children's television food advertising restriction not working in Sweden: Source: :::[Swedish National Institute of Public Health]

11.2% of the girls and 14.5% of the boys were found to be overweight, and 3.3% of girls and 3.7% of boys were obese.

In Australia the proportion of overweight and obese children is 21% for boys and 23% for girls. With those jumbo ears Tony Abbott has, he needs a growing nose as much as our children need growing waists. Ok, I needn't be so harsh, I have checked my facts and he indeed does have children, but at least I do minimal fact checking; it seems Tony doesn't, or he does and is a liar. As it is rumoured he once wanted to be pope I am giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Not that I am against his basic concept for food packaging RDI labeling. Who could be? But it is no substitute to not creating the demand for excessive calories in the first place. Children get their calorie requirement messages from their bodies and it's worked fine for us throughout evolution. They don't need these naturally regulated messages overridden by increasingly sophisticated television advertising. Three other things strike me about the clear RDI labeling proposal if you are targeting children in the hope that they can control their calorie intake:
  • once the Mars Bar is in the kid's hand it seems a measure too late to put a warming on the package - wouldn't banning Mars from advertising to children in the first place be smarter?
  • you are going to need a RDI for each age-group, from tots to tweens to teens and twenty-somethings. Is this a plot to upsize products to accommodate a table on the label?
  • you hope the kid can read at minimum, then understand the concepts of recommended daily intake, body mass index, so have basic biological and nutritional knowledge as well as the ability to calculate the accumulated daily intake adjusted to the child's age group.
How many of us adults can do that? It's much easier to teach your children that if the food that has no packaging it is far more likely to be healthier for them. And their children when they have them, because the carbon footprint of unprocessed and unpackaged foodstuffs is minimised.

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April 5, 2006

How the Foley family cut greenhouse gas emissions by 65%

Jonathan Foley lived the American dream: a five-bedroom house on a large double lot, a wife, a young daughter, two dogs, two cars, and two jobs in the city.

One day Jonathan, a climatologist at the University of Wisconsin researching how humans are altering the global climate , worked out how much this lifestyle was costing in terms of atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions. The family's direct emissions of carbon dioxide calculated at 42,000 pounds per year (19,050 kilograms). This is slightly less than average for two adults in the United States*.

Once Johnathon understood his family's contribution to global warming he knew they had to make changes. From Audubon.org:

His examination of his family's role in the process was a turning point. "Am I willing to put my money where my mouth is?" Foley asked himself. If not, he figured, he had no business telling others to do their part.
As the headline suggests, the rest is history. Find out how the Foleys went about cutting their GHG emissions by 65%. This Audubon Magazine article has plenty of practical links for US readers interested in what companies can help them cut their own greenhouse gas emissions.

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March 29, 2006

Change the planet globe by globe.

After my brush with the City of Sydney's box of energy efficient light bulbs giveaway of yesterday I have consoled myself and am back to exploring the subject with enthusiasm. There is plenty of information around.

Greenhouse.gov.au's Home Technical Manual has a comprehensive section on efficient househouse lighting, an overview of different types of lightinting and their correct application. It confirms big savings are to be made by switching to CFL. The table below shows the lifecycle costs for lighting systems using different globes to produce the same amount of light. Lifecycle costs include purchase, running and replacement costs.

20 W CFL100 W
Running cost over
10,000 hours*
Average life10,000 hours1,000 hours2,000 hours
Purchase cost

1 lamp

10 bulbs @ 50c
5 lamps @ $4
Total cost$45$105$95

* Based on 10 cents per unit of electricity,
** Includes magnetic transformer losses.

Get smarter - use CFL light bulbs
Ecovoice report in their March 2006 edition that NSW will be saving $2.8 million by converting all traffic light from incandescent bulbs to new, highly efficient light emitting diode (LED) technology.

I also found a link to neco.com.au, an online eco friendly hardware store where I can buy my bulbs.

Remember, if the old idea is now no good, change the lightbulb.

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Drop my watt?

The easiest way to combat global warming is to put fewer emissions up there. Since 90 per cent of our electricity is generated by burning coal, which creates greenhouse gas, lowering the electricity bill seems a good place as any to start.
So I was delighted to Google up an offer from the Lord Mayor of Sydney for free energy efficient light globes.

"City of Sydney residents who want to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions can receive a free box of energy efficient light bulbs, which are being provided through a joint initiative between the City and Low Energy Supplies and Services (LESS).

Each box contains five 15 watt bulbs, which are equivalent to a 75 watt incandescent globe, but last eight times longer than regular globes. Households who use the bulbs should save about $240 over their lifetime.

I do the maths - 20% of the energy usage of filament based light bulbs. A saving of $240 per lightbulb. That box is a $1,200 giveaway by the City of Sydney.

Great! Except I live in Wentworth, not City of Sydney. So close ... so I post as a service to my neighbours, and for a cleaner climate.
LESS estimates that 2,000 boxes will potentially help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4,800 tonnes, the equivalent of around 1,066 less cars on the road.

Ta: City of Sydney resident blogger nicholsstreetsurryhills

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March 26, 2006

Welcome to The Green House.

Global warming is real, and there is nothing the skeptics can do about it. But you can, and I can. Along with a growing movement of millions who are making simple and easy adjustments to their lifestyles to make big reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions.

75% of the world's energy that sustains the global economy that supports our lifestyle is derived from fossil fuel. Global warming skeptics argue that changing is going to cost too much money. They claim the maths just does not add up. And so we still have the situation where 75% of the world's energy is provided by oil and coal despite the 'realness' of global warming becoming more and more apparent every day.

Those with the hands on the levers of the economy protect the status quo to drive growth, pumping more and more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Humanity's collision path with habitat collapse has us looking like the proverbial deer in the headlights, but we don't have to sit there and wait for global warming to get worse. We can take action now, small but effective cumulative actions, to mitigate extreme climate change.

That is what this blog is about. I am here to teach myself how to make slight adjustments to my lifestyle to minimise my carbon footprint and, over time, find out how to neutralise the effect of the carbon dioxide that is emitted into the atmosphere as a result of my lifestyle. I am also curious to see how much money I can save by conserving energy.

This project is about living within one's means by taking into account the true cost of goods and services, and it is about learning stewardship, and passing on to our children the ability to prosper in a sustainable way. Teaching them to trade in the currency of life, energy.

I will be looking at how my spending can be adjusted to send out market signals to support sustainablity. An example is how the costs of cheap oil and coal should not be borne by humanity and habitat just down the track. There's not just me, there's millions, and green business is becoming big business.

Mainly this blog journey is about my becoming part of the solution, and not being an on-going part of the problem. So bookmark me, blogroll me, furl-me, but come back and see how I am going.

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