For all the talk on repealing the carbon tax, one might be tempted to think that, following the Federal elections, Australia has all but forgotten about the global commitment to improving the environment. However, this is not entirely true – at least not where community action is concerned. Reports from around the country indicate that, for what it’s worth, Australians are harboring a new-found appreciation for the beauty of nature. More and more, initiatives and solutions for a green lifestyle are cropping up around the country. Here’s three of them that caught our eye this week:
Landscaping Aesthetics and Functionality
The sun shines a-plenty in Australia, which is both a blessing and a curse. With 8-9 hours of sunshine per day, the year round, in most parts of the continent, it only makes sense that most households choose to forego tumble dryers in favor if sun drying their laundry. Yet some homemakers opt out of using clotheslines, for strictly esthetic causes. Clotheslines take up space and can turn into quite an eyesore. In come clothes line covers, which can effectively turn clotheslines into an umbrella. That umbrella can be used for any number of purposes, from relaxing outdoors on a sunny day, to creating a play area for the kids. And, as one homemaker in Victoria explains, it also solves the issue of landscape beauty – no more sheets blowing in the wind, when they’re concealed underneath a cover. To boot, air-drying the laundry is CO2-emissions free, as it makes use of no non-renewable energy sources.
Victoria Community Discovers its Collective Green Thumb
The Orbost Community Garden, situated on Ruskin Street, is the result of a collective effort undertaken by groups of residents in the area, students from the local schools, and other locals. Last year, there wasn’t much there to speak of, save from some debris and a destitute patch of land. Now it’s got flower beds in bloom, a beautifully manicured lawn, veggies thriving under the spring sun, as well as a building where the entire community can assemble. The project took a year to complete, but it is now ready, just in time for the crisp spring weather. Throughout the past twelve months, it drew the attention of many people passing through the area, who were curious to know what was going on. Of course, the garden didn’t just miraculously appear overnight: the locals took courses and participated in workshops, during which they learned all about techniques on fertilizing the soil, as well as about how to properly maintain their tools. But the effort sure looks like it was well worth it – an initiative other communities in Australia ought to consider!
Australia has a New Dolphin Species… for Now
In early November, marine biologists took multiple DNA tests and other morphological examinations, to conclude that a new species of dolphin had been found swimming off the coast of the continent. It had been previously believed that humpback dolphins in the waters of the Indo-Pacific Ocean all belonged to a single species, whose scientific name is Sousa chinensis. Yet it seems that the Australian humpback dolphin is an entirely different species altogether, which stands to enrich the continent’s fauna. This also comes with an important impact on the environment and preservation strategies – if there is more than but one species of such dolphins, this means that international conservation agencies have their population numbers all wrong. It also means that more research and trustworthy estimates need to be produced, based on which the scientists can come up with appropriate strategies for saving the mammals. Given the actual numbers, humpback dolphins might be reclassified by risk of extinction, and it is likely that the Australian species will be considered endangered.