Tania Tan is a climate action leader. Marketing guru, technical whizz and wearer of many hats, her ambition is to leave this world in a better shape for her kids. Volunteering with ZESN is just one of the ways she is pursuing that ambition.

“We got solar panels about 12 or 13 years ago, then when we reclad our house we put in extra insulation. We have switched one of our cars to an electric car and we have installed water bladders under our deck. We don’t have a lot of space on our property, but no matter how small your piece of land, there are creative ways of living more sustainable. And always thinking about buying local and living the three Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle.

no matter how small your piece of land, there are creative ways of living more sustainable.

“I’ve worked as a graphic designer for most of my life and I have a computer science degree, so I worked in IT for a while. At Zero Emissions I help with social media on the advertising side and also I look at strategy going forward.

“I want to be leaving this world in as good as or better shape for our kids than how it is for us. There is no planet b. Even if there’s the tiniest possibility that carbon emissions are causing our planet to heat, we have to act on that, even if it’s 1% possibility.”

You can see Tania’s work on our social media pages (including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). And if you like what you see, please like / repost / retweet / comment / engage. It all helps towards reaching more people.

My first car was an electric blue Citroen Dyane called Hermione. She had a 602cc engine and, with a following wind, could almost get up to the speed limit on the motorway. She sipped petrol but struggled with hills. Hermione went to the great scrapyard in the sky many years ago and now, like so many of us, I drive a big wagon which guzzles the gas and gets the family from A to B. I’d love to switch to a renewable energy option. I’ve looked enviously at my friend’s shiny new Tesla, but I always thought that an electric vehicle was out of my price range. 

Turns out there might be another way.

The Good Car Company is a start-up founded by three sustainability entrepreneurs, Anthony Broese van Groenou, Anton Vikstrom and Sam Whitehead, who are passionate about decarbonising transport.

You don’t see many electric cars around Australia, but there are probably more than you realise, especially when you look past the luxury models such as the Tesla and the Rivian. Outside Australia, many of the big manufacturers are offering electric and hybrid models, and there is a growing market for second hand electric cars. The great thing about buying second hand electric is that there are very few parts to go wrong: compared to a petrol engine, an EV is cheap and easy to maintain and ages with grace. Which is why the Good Car Company is collaborating with communities around Australia to deliver Electric Vehicle Bulk-Buy’s.

 If you’ve never considered an EV, here are some of the benefits:

  • Lower fuel costs, less maintenance and lower cost of life

  • Zero particulates and no fumes on cold mornings

  • Avoid service stations, holiday price gouging & oil wars

  • Great driving experience, fully automatic with hill start assist.

They are now offering 2017-19 40kWh Nissan Leaf, 2015-17 30kWh Nissan Leaf and 2014-17 24kWh Nissan Leaf. All vehicles are offered below normal rates, with savings in shipping and compliance, passed onto to you. They are also passing through any savings achieved at auction to make getting an EV that much easier. This offer includes all of their standard upgrades including Japanese to English head-unit (stereo and controls), dash instruments and an Australian 10A portable charging cable, full support and warranty.

The bulk-buy of affordable electric vehicles will help drive a step change in the transformation of transport to a low carbon emission future.

I’m determined that Hermione #2 will be electric.

Did you know that most pool pumps run at more than twice the speed they need to for 99% of the time?

Chris Lee does. Chris is a volunteer with Zero Emissions Sydney North’s Home Energy Efficiency group and he has made a short video about how to dramatically improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your pool pump with a pool pump controller. It’s an easy fix which has an immediate impact on carbon emissions (and your electricity bill). If you’ve got a pool, it’s a no-brainer!

Check out Chris’s video here, and find further information below. 

If you’ve got a home energy efficiency idea, let us know or, better still, join us

Continue reading “Big savings for pool owners”

Solar Open House, August 23, 9am-12pm

Thinking about solar but not sure where to start? Drop by and meet the locals in two Manly homes that have installed solar. They’ll share their costs, electricity bills and payback times, show you their solar systems and answer any of your questions. 

WHEN: Sunday, August 23, any time between 9am-12pm.

WHERE: 41 and 43 Smith Street, Manly. 

(No. 41 is a household of 2 people with a smaller solar system of 5kW. No. 43 is a household of 4 people with a large solar system of 10kW and a battery.)

COVID-19: Social distancing will be observed at this event so small groups of a maximum of 4 will be shown around the houses at a time. 

We’ll also have a table with information, free tea and coffee, and of course hand sanitiser. You are welcome to wear a mask. Let us know if you’re coming so that we can put the kettle on!
This event is organised by Zero Emissions Sydney North, a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers. The focus is to encourage more people to go solar – to get you from ‘just finding out more’ to ‘let’s do this!’ In just 6 months Zero Emissions Sydney North has helped 20 households go solar.

We look forward to seeing you in Manly.

What do Australia’s fire, emergency, climate and defence experts think? We heard from a panel of experts at the launch of the National Bushfire and Climate Summit, by the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action and The Climate Council.

Ursula Hogben summarises the key points:

Why have the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action come together?

“I have grandchildren and I’m very focused as they are going to inherit a world that will be significantly unliveable.” explained Greg Mullins, former NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner

Is it just Australia? An international perspective

Ken Pimlott, Former Head of CalFire, joined to discuss the situation in California. “Firefighters in California are seeing climate change first hand. They’re all saying the same thing – clearly there are changes to our weather patterns. The lengthening fire seasons, often year round, challenge our ability to share fire-fighting resources across the world.”

What does Australia need to do? – from the experts

  • “Governments have been listening to scientists on COVID 19. We need to do that with climate science as well.” Professor Lesley Hughes, Macquarie University
  • “We need to reach out to our Indigenous brothers and sisters. They’re part of the solution to dealing with bushfires and climate change.” – Greg Mullins
  • “We must urgently reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. If some real action isn’t taken right now then it’s going to be beyond everyone’s capacity to respond.” – Naomi Brown, former CEO of Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council.
  • “New renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels, a green economic stimulus will create far more jobs, and get Australia’s economy back on track.” – Professor Lesley Hughes
  • “We don’t need any new gas. The Australian Energy Market Operator agrees. It says we can have 75% renewable energy now. We need to invest in renewable energy backed by storage. There is no sense to discussing gas, except due to vested interests in gas.” – Amanda McKenzie, Climate Council CEO

What are business and governments doing?

  • Big business is showing significant concern about climate change, including divesting from thermal coal, investing in renewable energy and reducing their carbon footprint. The RE 100 group are influential companies over the world that are committed to 100% renewable power. Australia’s Paris target is “woefully inadequate… The target is not enough and we are falling to meet that target.” – Lesley Hughes
  • The Australian States are, in some ways, making up for Federal failures. Most States have net zero emissions targets by 2050, and have renewable energy targets for the next 5 and ten years to achieve the goals. Local Governments are also declaring climate emergencies and targets and making changes.
  • Defence Departments around the world are aware of issues and risks. “Climate change is creating multiple flash points where conflict could occur in the future” says former Head of Defence Preparedness, Cheryl Durrant. Ms Durrant described preparations by the UK, New Zealand and other countries, however said that her experience working in government, as “The past 10 years have been a barren field for action on climate change.”

What next?

Amanda McKenzie discussed that we need energy to run our economy. New renewables are cheaper than new fossil fuels, we need a green economic stimulus to create more jobs. The renovation grant could be going to a green stimulus to rebuild our economy based on renewable energy. This would provide jobs in energy generation, electric transport, heavy industry and other sustainable areas. Beyond Zero Emissions and the World Wildlife Fund have released reports showing the new jobs that can be created if the economic stimulus is directed to renewable energy and sustainable industry.

Professor Lesley Hughes emphasised that one outcome from the pandemic is showing that Governments can listen to medical and health scientists, we need to do the same with climate scientists. We need to listen and take early action.

“We need to stop talking about climate change as just an environmental problem. Yes it is an enormous environmental problem, it is also a security problem, economic problem, health problem, it is affecting everything about our lives.”

Our Governments need to take a far more holistic approach. We understand the science, we know what is causing climate change, we don’t need any new technology, we have everything we need now, to take action.

This post is part of the ‘Reporting On..’ series, where ZESN volunteers share research and report back on forums they have attended. To get the latest reports and updates delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to our blog here.