Greenprint

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This is a Greenprint that identifies strategies, actions and approaches for moving us towards a sustainable future.

Contents

Transport

Blade Getz electric car fill up
Blade Getz electric car fill up
  • Drive a green car
  • Catch a train rather then fly
  • Build very fast trains to reduce reliance on air travel
  • Ride a bicycle
  • Use public transport
  • Walk

House

Dont:

  • use an air conditioner or evaporative cooler
  • use electricity for heating purposes
  • build a house with bricks on the outside - put them on inside walls with insulated cladding on the outside - this is the best location for thermal mass
  • put in a swimming pool
  • use incandescent or quartz halogen lighting
  • use an electric clothes drier; use a washing line instead when possible

Garden

  • Create a water wise garden
  • Grow a permaculture garden with herbs, vegetables and fruit and nut trees
  • Keep chickens
  • Put scrap food on a compost heap, in a worm farm or a bokashi bucket

Dont:

  • Grow a lawn that requires watering or regular mowing
  • Grow plants that require a lot of watering

Government action

The following actions are the province of governments. If yours is dragging the chain, let you local, state and national political representatives know your views, and ask them what they will do to represent your views and suggestions.

Energy policy relating to greenhouse gas emissions and energy

  • Put a price on carbon and introduce carbon rationing.
  • Carbon environmental assessments should be mandatory of all major government projects, activities and policies.
  • Remove government subsidies for fossil fuel use in Australia.
  • Introduce mandatoryappliance energy efficiency standards
  • Implement rigorous building energy efficiency standards and apply them to domestic and business building construction and renovation.
  • Implement a feed in tariff which provides payment for clean energy of 5 times the retail rate (e.g. to those with solar panels that feed power into a grid). This has been very successful in Germany.
  • Mandate that new buildings to produce 20 per cent of their energy requirements in building energy efficiency standards. This encourages both energy efficient design and installation of solar panels and/or wind power. This legislation has been successfully introduced in Germany.
  • Implement a revolving energy fund (REF) to provide a financial incentive for councils or other levels of government to implement energy efficiency measures and practices.
  • Introduce legislation to charge coal fired power stations the full cost of the very large amount of water they use.
  • Shift existing coal fired power stations to usage of recycled water rather than drinking water.
  • Introduce legislation to promote the use of sustainable biofuels such as crop residues and waste organic matter.
  • Remove subsidies that encourage the use of fossil fuels , such as the commercial diesel fuel rebate in Australia
  • Price fossil fuels according to their environmental impact and scarcity. For example, a larger amount of diesel is obtained from a given volume of crude oil compared to petrol, and diesel engines are more efficient than petrol engines. Diesel could therefore be cheaper than petrol.
  • Remove tax concessions that encourage the use of fossil fuels - such as the tax deductible car leases that mandate a minimum distance the vehicle must travel per year.
  • Transition existing street lights to low energy street lights
  • Fund research and development for distributed energy storage to make wind and solar power more effective and economic.

Don't

  • Invest public money in the high risk ventures such as so called clean coal. It is not proven, it may not be commercially or scientifically viable, and it will take 10 to 15 years to implement (if it can be made to work).
  • Use nuclear power as an energy source as it is not sustainable, the nuclear waste problem is intractable, and new nuclear power stations will take 10 to 15 years to build so it will be too late.
  • Promote the use of unsustainable biofuels such as burning woodchips from native forests, making ethanol from corn or sugarcane, or palm oil.

Transport policy

  • Allocate more funding to rail transport, public transport and green cars rather than building more roads and freeways.
  • Include measurement of carbon emissions in all major project decision making and planning.
  • Transition government car fleets to low emission vehicles such as electric, cng/h2 and/or hybrid vehicles.
  • Mandate for dedicated commuter quality bicycle paths to be constructed along railway lines, new roads, and to form a grid network that adequately services your town, city or region.

Other environmental matters

  • Ban plastic shopping bags (or at least put a tax on them)
  • Introduce laws to make suppliers of goods responsible for disposing of the packaging they come in, rather than passing on this cost to consumers and/or local councils.

Activism and politics

  • Join a local climate change action group or environment group
  • Write a letter to local, state and federal parliamentary members to communicate your views on sustainability and tackling climate change and ask them what they are doing about this
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local, state and/or national newspapers
  • Write your own blog articles to express your thoughts and observations on sustainable living. You also publish the letters you write to politicians and newspapers.
  • Vote for political candidates who espouse green living and sustainable policies.

Environment

  • Plant trees
  • Protect all old growth forests and water catchments from logging
  • Protect habitat and biodiversity

Work

  • Form a Green team in your workplace to promote and undertake environmental and sustainability initiatives.
  • Commute using public transport, cycling, or telecommute.

Water

Don't:

Food and diet

  • Eat less meat, or even become vegeterian or vegan
  • Buy organic food
  • Use reusable shopping bags
  • Buy locally grown food from shops and farmers markets

Don't:

  • Buy or eat GM food
  • Buy foods with excessive packaging
  • Use plastic shopping bags

Investment and finance

  • Put money and superannuation into ethical investments.

Dont:

  • Invest in companies engaged in destruction of native forest or uranium mining

Recreation and travel

General

  • Make paper telephone directories optional. Provide households that request them with telephone/address book data on CD roms and cheap CD/LCD display units for households that request them. Allow households to opt out from all directory distribution - some may choose to just use the Internet.

See also

References

    External links

    Personal tools