Marvellous Microbes

Sustainable Communities has hosted two talks recently on the microbes found in our soil: the first, at the One Planet Market in May, focused on the diversity of fungi; and the second, a Grow Grow Grow workshop in Unley covered what makes soil so productive, and needing to be treated with care. They fit into a growing awareness of the importance of microbes and their role in biological interactions.

The sheer diversity and abundance of microbes on this planet is astounding. A gram of soil contains thousands of species of microbes. I’ve known that bacteria can exist in many harsh ecosystems around this planet, but I was surprised to find out that fungi too have been found in extreme places such as deep ocean beds, in thermal springs and high in mountain ranges.

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Heroic Tourism did it for the dolphins!

by Jessie Panazzolo

Heroic Tourism, a local Adelaide conservation venture run by Jessie Panazzolo and Shannon Moulds, was proud to focus its first event in 2018 on the plight of dolphins in the tourism industry.

Since 2014, Heroic Tourism has been running as a global initiative to promote positive ethical alternatives to detrimental tourist ventures for wildlife. The event featured a screening on 7 March 2018 of The Cove, about Ric O’Barry’s investigation into the dolphin industry and the impacts that capturing dolphins has on captive individuals, wild populations and the health of Japanese citizens. After the screening, we held a discussion to find out how much the attendees knew about dolphins in tourism, what shocked them and what they had learned from the event.

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Here are some reactions:

It’s important to see these things even if you know about the situation, to truly understand the enormity and make that emotional/cognitive connection. Humans (the ones in power) are motivated by greed and have an incredible amount of cognitive dissonance and or willful ignorance. You’re either an activist or an in-activist.

That dude’s persistence to make a change- proved to me that individuals can make a difference. Also how much exposure and understanding can impact an issue – we all need to share as much info as we possibly can!

I had no idea about how dolphins were being treated and mass murdered for no reason. Like I was aware that, yes, captive animals have a lower quality of life compared to wild animals in their natural environment, but I assumed that places like SeaWorld took care of its animals. Now I wonder how many other animal related attractions take terrible care of their animals!

After watching the documentary, 100% of attendees said that they cared more about dolphins in the tourism industry and 78% of people said that since the event they are more inclined to see animals in the wild rather than in tourist facilities.

On Saturday 10 March 2018 we hosted an excursion to swim with Adelaide dolphins on the Temptation sailing boat. We saw two species of dolphins, the local residents, Bottlenose Dolphins as well as the migratory Common Dolphin. It was shocking to hear that Bottlenose Dolphins can live up to 60 years in the wild, but only live up to five years in captivity which just goes to show that being a tourism hero can add 55 years to a dolphin’s life!

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If you want to get involved with Heroic Tourism and our future events, please check our website www.heroictourism.com or our Facebook page for updates. Our next event, Education for Elephants on 20 April 2018, in aid of SA Youth Week, will focus on elephants in the tourism industry.

Thank you to Sustainable Communities for supporting this event and we look forward to working with them and a brand new lot of Tourism Heroes in future!

 

 

The power of stories to inspire change

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There is something so powerful about a well told story to move people in a way that reams of dry facts never will. On my travels last year I had the opportunity to attend a live session of The Moth in New York, where the audience members are also the story tellers. These live true story-sharing events draw in a wide cross section of the community and a similarly diverse range of stories.

It was for me a splendid example of how we all have stories to share and so can entertain each other without having to resort to mass produced, corporate-controlled forms of story telling. It gives power back to the common folk to share what is important to them. The sharing goes both ways. In a world were too many of us are isolated and disregarded, the story  teller is empowered to share a part of their life to a receptive audience. It also enriches the audience by giving us a glimpse of another person’s experiences and in this way widens our view of the world. Continue reading

Is your money making the world a better place?

Is your money making the world a better place – or is it supporting the continuation of fossil fuel and other industries that contribute to climate change?

Did you know that banks lend our money to large coal, oil and gas companies and projects, and super funds and insurance companies invest customers’ money in these industries.

Come along to our free public meeting:
When: Wednesday, 5 October 2016 from 6pm to 8.30pm
Where: The Joinery111 Franklin Street, Adelaide SA 5000
Please register online to attend!

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You will learn how to exert influence and make a positive change for sustainability by making sure your money is working for good. Divesting your money from fossil fuels is a powerful thing to do. It is the opposite of investment – it’s taking your money away from damaging industries and businesses that threaten our future.

Our speaker is Jack Bertolus from Market Forces, a Melbourne-based organisation that works with the community to prevent investment in projects that harm the environment and drive global warming.

A simple meal will be provided from 6pm, prior to the talk – we suggest a donation of $5 per person to help cover costs.

This is a DIVESTMENT DAY event. Saturday 8 October 2016 is Divestment Day. Meet at 11am in Hindmarsh Square to join with others to deliver a message to banks about their obligations regarding compliance the Paris Agreement to keep global warming to below two degrees.