Green stories, by Lesley

The musings of Lesley Lopes about the journey to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Month of highs and lows


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It’s with a sigh of relief that I write this editorial, knowing that the hardest job of our editorial calendar has been done – the judging of the Green Lifestyle Awards. The awards recognise the wonderful companies and people who are leading the charge toward a cleaner and greener living environment, covering everything from food, travel and beauty to kids’ products, wellbeing and inspirational non-government organisations.

We had twice as many nominations as last year, and helping us sift through the many entries were five expert judges: author and biodynamic farmer Patrice Newell; Jon Dee, founder of Australian advocacy organisation DoSomething!; marketing director of the Centre for Social Impact Matt Perry; director of EcoDirectory Australia Karel Boele; and sustainable living advocate Tanya Ha. It was certainly an interesting day of discussions. You will find all the winners and highly commended in the story starting on page 46 of the Nov/Dec issue, on sale from tomorrow, 18 October.

The last month has been one of highs and lows. On the upside, we had the chance to hear Canadian environmentalist and broadcaster David Suzuki speak at the EcoXpo in Sydney. He talked eloquently about the problems we face in dealing with climate change in the face of big business interests and government apathy. I’m sure few of you will have missed TV and newspaper reports about his speech at the University of New South Wales in which he criticised the Abbott government’s decision to scrap the Climate Commission immediately upon coming to office – one of the aforementioned lows of the month.

The Commission was set up by the former Labor Government as an independent source of information about the science of climate change. It was designed to offer Australians the most up-to-date information about international research into climate change and efforts by other countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Thankfully, the organisation’s chief commissioner, Tim Flannery, relaunched the organisation under the name of Climate Council as an independent, publicly funded inititiative, with donations sought via its website Within hours, more than $30,000 dollars had been donated, but it’s estimated that it will take about $1 million a year to allow the Council to continue to educate the Australian public about climate change issues. You can help keep the Council afloat by becoming a ‘founding friend’. You’ll find all the info you need on the Climate Council website.

One of the first jobs of the Climate Council is to interpret the latest report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), outlined on page 22 of this issue. There’ll be more about the report coming up on the Green Lifestyle website, so stay tuned into our blogs section.