Category Archives: Consumerism

environmental issues and stories around consumerism and overconsumption

Christmas Lights doco on tonight. Merry Christmas!

Christmas Lights documentary - Jack and Milvia

Here’s a Christmas present. Check out the trailer to this interesting documentary about Christmas Lights (and why people do it.)

Video:
Christmas Lights documentary trailer. The film is on the ABC tonight at 10pm.

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Christmas Month v. Earth Hour: a snapshot of our sustainability schizophrenia

Christmas lights on suburban Sydney house
Climate crisis, what climate crisis?

Audio:
Have a listen to our Christmas lights podcast. In it we hear from people with ‘over-the-top’ Christmas lights on their houses to find out why they’ve done it.

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James Woodford’s grid-life crisis: one man’s journey to leave the city and live sustainably

James Woodford

Lots of people dream of making a ‘sea change’ to escape the rat race of the city. Some people even do it.

But how many leave with the intention of living sustainably? To live on the land, grow their own food, generate their own power and water, and even restore their new patch closer to its original, natural state. James Woodford and his family are working on just that.

Audio: Interview with James Woodford about his new book ‘Real Dirt’.

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The car lobby lobs back – on peak oil and the Fuelwatch ad

The car lobby is given the right of reply in this podcast. I speak with Alan Evans, President of the NRMA, Australia’s largest motoring body. He says the GetUp organisation need to get real. To build public transport to all parts of Sydney and into the country is simply not going to happen. That people are always going to have a need for mobility. And since most of the growth of the traffic in our cities is commercial operators, do we really want to see refrigerators being wheeled onto a train instead? Listen to the interview with Alan Evans from the NRMA – on cars, public transport, fuel price increases and peak oil.

FuelWatch ad: the future is f***ing expensive

This commercial takes the p**s out of the government’s FuelWatch scheme. Made by GetUp to make the point that we need long term planning for a sustainable transport system.

Watch the FuelWatch commercial.

Just add water (to food labels)

Here in Australia we know we should be watching how much water we use for things like showers, gardens and washing cars.

But really, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to how much water goes into the products we consume.

Now an Australian academic has proposed that the amount of water used in making food and other items be clearly shown on product labeling. Listen to the interview with James Hazelton.

To see how much water goes into making different products, check out www.waterfootprint.org.

Here’s the big picture

The Story of Stuff

Above is a link to a great video on YouTube. It provides a good, simple explanation of how and why old-fashioned commerce is damaging the planet. (Part 1 is first up. Click on the ‘menu’ to bring up the other parts after that. Each is a few minutes long.)

What’s the answer? Bring on the second (smarter) industrial revolution where business works in a cyclical way like nature. More on this idea in Hawken’s book ‘The Ecology of Commerce’.