Quick links and long reads

A roundup of links. 


The case against long, murky supply chains.

How one innovative brand is using blockchain to enable transparency in sourcing.

And on that debate about fibres. “If you want to be as eco-friendly as possible, there is only one thing you need to remember: use your clothes until they are worn out.  That is more important than all other aspects, such as how and where the clothes were manufactured and the materials they are made of” – Sandra Roos, researcher.

Can we design cities that make us kinder?

Men who feel secure in their manhood are more comfortable going green. And vice versa.

The behavioural economics of recycling.

Sneakers from recycled chewing gum. And here’s how two Indian entrepreneurs are cleverly recycling shoes.

With China effectively banning low quality recyclable materials, local governments around world are struggling with how to clean up their recycling streams. In Canada, co-mingled recycling programs are associated with significantly higher contamination rates.

Even Theresa May wants to see the end of single use plastic.

I appreciate the ACCC, and this is an interesting case taking on unsubstantiated environmental claims. So is this one.

Quick links and long reads

Some links for you, on this public holiday. 


‘Made in Australia’ might mean using more carbon than elsewhere.

The word Koala is thought to mean ‘no drink’. So when they start to drink, scientists worry.

Good thing then, about Australia’s hidden water.

Speaking of landscapes and the ground, Christine Jones, who is a soil scientist, explains in this podcast episode how mycorrhizal fungi work and why they are so important. I love her food analogies – hyphae are like ‘fairy floss’ and soil rich in organic matter is ‘chocolate cake’.

Aussie brush turkeys are, amongst other things, great composters.

Lastly, if you’re curious about the controversy surrounding the date of Australia Day, read what historian (and friend of mine), Stef Bonatti has to say.

Image source: ABC

Quick links and long reads

Some links, pour vous. 


The War on Waste came back (or never left, for some of us). Watch all four episodes on iview if you missed the series. In the follow up episode broadcast earlier this month, host Craig Reucassel revisits the issues to find out whether the series had any impact on Australian behaviour. Here’s a link to the survey results (over 36,000 people participated!).

Meanwhile, in Canada, the folks are nice, but very trashy (which I’ve mentioned before). Here’s look at how Toronto’s highly efficient waste management actually obscures the dirty truth from the worse wasters.

A community fridge project in New Zealand, one year later.

Glitter is gaining attention as the next target for micro plastic bans.

This TED talk asks us to reconsider the apocalypse language and scientific jargon to be more persuasive in communicating environmental issues. Completely agree, and part of this relates to who we are speaking to. What works on early adopters doesn’t work for the critical masses (this is a general rule of thumb for social diffusion) who are more attuned to what friends and neighbours say, than scientific evidence.

I replace a whole slew of commercially marketed cleaning products with vinegar. It’s surprisingly effective, but don’t dilute if you want the bacteria killing action.

Quick links and long reads

Happy Sunday folks.


Noticing nature, even in small doses, improves one’s “willingness to share resources and the value placed on community” says a new study out of UBC. Here’s more from different research into the relationship between wellbeing and indoor plants. As if I needed another excuse.

Did you hear about the surfer who built a surfboard with 10,000 cigarette butts? Here’s a video if you want to see how he did it. 

Paris has been making other cities look bad since way back, and now again by putting sparkling water fountains around the city. It’s part of an initiative to encourage Parisians to choose tap water over bottled. Sydney, let’s do this!

A good example of the value of tapping into existing motivations, rather than trying to change a person’s motivations, or ‘motivate’ them.

Return and Earn – the container deposit scheme for NSW kicks off next week!

It’s been a year since California kicked the plastic grocery bag habit and here’s what’s happened since.  And here’s what changed in Canberra in the five years after the ACT banned plastic bags.