You can Make a difference
In your own way, be part of the solution on climate change. The WarrandyteCAN community will assist you to make changes: work on a worthwhile project like 'No Plastic Bags', go solar with the best deal, grow your own, draught-proof your home and much more.
Despite being just a small part of a large planet, every action you take either helps or harms your world,your future and those for whom you are responsible. So, choose to be part of a community that thinks, speaks and acts as though it CAN make a positive difference, and You will!!
CAN is completely not-for-profit with all efforts contributed voluntarily. Your help is needed.
Post-Launch No Plastic Bags - Update
The no plastic bags project has been a terrific success to date, thanks to our community. Quintons Supa IGA reports a 90% reduction in its use of plastic bags with locals getting behind the change with gusto. Watch out for ongoing reminders in the Warrandyte Diary, designed to keep us committed to bringing our reusable bags when shopping. Complete the Survey too - See Events
Climate Action + Activism
Eradicate Plastic Bags:
Our current lead project is to substantially reduce the use of plastic bags in our community, as overwhelmingly supported, replacing them with Jute Bags. 90% of our community requested this but only 14% reported taking their own bags when shopping. Plastic Bags no longer free - MORE
For our part, WarrandyteCAN aims to assemble knowledge and ideas and to inspire personal action.
We recognise the need for positive and sometimes uncomfortable, unpleasant interaction with Government aiming to advance change much more rapidly than is happening.
We work with groups like 100% Renewable to help implement Australia wide community projects.
"The crisis is in the present not in the future." These are the words of Bill McKibben of 350. org spoken to the 'faithful' at the April 2012 Climate Summit. Mass action is required in all parts of the globe if Governments are going to listen to the people and work faster towards reducing climate emissions.
Sept 18 Info Night on the power of Divesting from fossil fuel companies: You hold considerable power when you join with this major Divestment Movement helping to moderate and change the plans of major miners and energy retailers by moving your Super and savings away from investments supporting these industries. Two expert speakers (from 350.org and from Responsible Investment Assoc Aust'asia. 8.00pm at the Neighbourhood House, L 1, Yarra Street. Gold Coin entry. See story below.
Now: Visit www.facebook.com/warrandytecan and Like our page - loads of action + activism there.
Have you signed Solar Citizens petition giving support to the RET? It still counts! Please do it now. The voices of those who love renewable energy are not being heard.
Fri Sept 5 Get Involved -Trains - Not Toll Roads. Your help is needed: 7.15am to 8.30am on the corner of Hoddle Street and Alexandra Parade. The event, which are organised by members of Yarra’s Public Transport Advocacy Community Committee (PTACC), has been running for 12 mths every Friday morning, except for over the Christmas break.
Sun Sept 7, 14 - Sustainable House Day - Visit a Warranwood open house - gain inspiration and ideas 1 / 30 Kardinia Cres Warranwood (gold coin donation) 10am to 4pm.
Sat Nov 15 - Start Spring Cleaning Early: Set aside now to recycle all that stuff so valuable to others but not to you. Check out the list of recyclables at Riverflow and bring along to the Uniting Church 10-12pm.
WarrandyteCAN was delighted to be awarded Nillumbik’s Community Project Award 2013, at the recent Sustainability Awards night preceding the Practically Green Festival. See Facebook for more.
March 23, 2013 started a new era in Warrandyte's shopping precinct with plastic carry bags no longer coming free to shoppers. Read why over 90% of Warrandyte's residents wanted this to happen. HERE Plus: SEE WHY ON VIDEO The Majestic Plastic Bag Mockumentory
Local Food Connect's current Food Swap Dates
Is your money being used to support fossil fuel projects?
Did you know that a highly effective way to combat climate change is based on how your money is used? OK, so you want to do something about climate change: perhaps you are careful with your power usage, you may have a fairly sustainable house, and drive a fuel efficient car, but how do you get the big guys to take action – corporations, governments? Individuals can make a minimal impact surely… Not true!
You can be part of a mass divestment movement against the use of fossil fuels!
Do you have a bank deposit? Are you a member of a super fund? Do you own shares in any of the four big banks (NAB, Commonwealth, Westpac and ANZ)? If so, your money is probably being used to finance the companies that extract, transport, and burn coal, oil and gas.
Since 2008 the big four have together loaned close to $19 billion to fossil fuel projects such as coal mines, coal fired power stations, coal ports, gas plants and gas export facilities. Without such investment, these projects would be less likely to go ahead.
There are many alternative banks (such as Bendigo Bank), credit unions, and building societies that have publically stated that they are not involved with financing fossil fuel projects. A survey carried out by Market Forces, an affiliate project of Friends of the Earth, Australia, provides the positions of over 120 banks, credit unions and building societies on investing in the fossil fuel industry (http://www.marketforces.org.au/banks/compare).
WarrandyteCAN is running a forum on Thurs September 18 to explore Mass Divestment from fossil fuel companies, and particularly from the four big banks. It will also look at the responses of superannuation funds and how they can be influenced to invest in clean energy solutions.
Already in the US, universities, local government, religious institutions as well as individuals, have divested from fossil fuels. This is a similar to a movement of money that helped bring an end to apartheid in South Africa.
In Australia, the movement is gaining momentum, and it is slowing investment in fossil fuel projects. For example, a failure to secure financial backing from Deutsche Bank is preventing the Indian conglomerate Adani Group from expanding the port at Abbot Point to ship Queensland coal.
A survey of superfund members recently conducted by the research think-tank (The Australia Institute) found a significant number - worth almost $250 billion – would be willing to switch from super funds found to be investing in coal mining and coal seam gas.
This survey also looked at steps needed to switch to “fossil-free finance” options.
Significantly, it found that the switch can involve little cost or risk, while providing protection the growing long term risks of the carbon bubble.
All of these issues will be addressed in Warrandyte CAN’s forum with guest speakers Isabella Morand, Melbourne coordinator of 350.org and Simon O’Conner, CEO of Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). There will also be a brief presentation from Bendigo Bank.
350.org Australia is part of an international movement committed to achieving effective climate change action. The RIAA is the peak Australian body for financial advisers, fund managers and consultants working in responsible investment.
So if you care about the future of the planet, come and learn how to put your money where your mouth is. September 18 at the Warrandyte Neighbourhood House, Level 1, 168 Yarra Street, Warrandyte 8:00 pm. Gold coin entry.
Solar Citizens Email - Lindsay Soutar
It’s news worthy of a sitcom - but it's our political reality. Yesterday, mining magnate Clive Palmer stood next to former US Vice President and environmentalist Al Gore to announce that the Palmer United Party will support the renewable energy target. As Clive himself said -
“When in opposition the Abbott-led coalition at the time promised the Australian people prior to the last election that Australia would retain its Renewable Energy Target (RET).
“Now he seeks to break this promise. We will therefore not support any change to the RET before 2016 – after the next election.
“There is more than $15 billion in the renewable energy investment pipeline, which will be at risk, along with the associated 18,400 jobs if the RET is dismantled.”
As you know - Palmer is right. Before the election, Abbott did say that the bi-partisan Renewable Energy Target would be supported - but he immediately changed his tune once in office, and the Abbott Government is currently conducting a review of that target that is stacked with fossil fuel backers and is looking to stall the growth of solar in Australia.
Palmer's announcement yesterday is big news because the Palmer United Party Senators hold the power to stop legislation in the Senate. If we can make sure that Palmer's announcement wasn't just hot air - and he in fact wants to stand strong for solar - we will keep the renewable energy target in place and lock in the benefits of the sun for millions of Australians like you and me.
Help make sure Clive knows how much solar is supported across Australia. Will you send an email to Clive and the Palmer United Party Senators, thanking them for their support - and asking them to keep solar strong? Here's his email - click to create:
Clive also announced that the Palmer United Party would support the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), the highly profitable bank that provides financing for large scale renewable energy projects. This means that we can grow not only rooftop solar, but also big solar farms across the country.
Let's make our nation's future a bright one powered by the sun. Send an email to the Palmer United Party, thanking them for their support for more solar across Australia.
Across Australia, over 1.3 million homes have installed rooftop solar. This has saved families $684 million in power bills - and million want to be able to do the same by making the move to solar. Not only that, but solar has created thousands of local jobs and is ensuring a new thriving industry.
It's important that Clive and his party knows this. Many hundreds of Solar Citizens wrote to Clive in support of solar last time they made a statement on the Renewable Energy Target. Thanks to you, they have heard the message: solar is hugely popular.
Of course, politics is a tricky game, and it's important that we remain ever-vigilant to ensure these politicians carry through with their promises. That's why we're not just taking Clive at his word - we're going to keep him to it. Help us make this possible by sending an email today.
May 15, 2014: The budget is all over the news, and the analysis is everywhere - it's good; it's bad; it's broken promises; it'll clean up a mess. But the question remains - what does the budget mean for solar?
Before the election, Tony Abbott promised "A Million Solar Roofs," a program to install solar on a million more solar homes. But, in yesterday's announcement, there was no mention of a million solar roofs - and the program seems to have quietly disappeared.
Instead, we heard that the Australian Renewable Energy Association (ARENA) - previously established with bipartisan support - has been axed. And, along with it, the 190 renewable energy projects in development, worth approximately $7.7 billion. 
Will you chip in so we can continue to grow Solar Citizens to fight back against these continued attacks on solar?
ARENA provided funding for renewables projects, including big scale and community solar. And a million more solar roofs would mean millions more Australians running on the sun. If the Government wanted to grow solar, create more jobs and ensure families can take real power over their bills, they would have kept these programs - not axed them.
It looks like the real winners in this budget are big energy companies who want to kill solar. Now that we know where the Government really stands, it's clear there is still a lot of work to be done. And that’s why Solar Citizens needs your support.
The big energy companies might have friends in Canberra - but there are many things on our side too. Five million people who have solar, millions more who want to go solar, real market power, and we are literally taking the grid back into our own hands. So far we're 50,000 strong, but we need to keep growing our numbers and impact - can you chip in to help us to do this now?
We have big plans to shape solar and combat the voices of the big energy companies. In the next month, we'll be bringing Solar Citizens together for large public meetings all over the country, where we'll talk about threats to solar and prepare to take action to protect it. We are launching a new campaign to influence the federal Senators on key policy issues. And we are continually working to make sure a tax on the sun is never considered.
But, Solar Citizens is only as strong as our community support, and our funding - just like our influence - is reliant on the support of many individuals like you chipping in to give a hand. Help us continue to fight back against the power companies by donating $30 or whatever you can afford today.
The new Federal Government may not be delivering on their election promises, but if Solar Citizens continues to grow in numbers and profile, we can start to show real electoral power to our politicians.
National Director, Solar Citizens
PS - Donating just a small amount - whatever you can afford - is one of the ways that every solar owner and supporter can help grow the power of the solar vote across country. If you can, please chip in today to help us fight back.
PPS - Don’t quite understand what ARENA and other acronyms in renewables policy are? Read a breakdown by The Age here: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/the-state-of-government-funding-for-renewable-energy-20140512-zrajr.html
Solar Citizens is working to protect the rights of million of Australian solar owners to cut bills, create cleaner power and take energy generation back into our own hands. You can also keep up with Solar Citizens on Twitter or like us on Facebook.