Earth Garden www.earthgarden.com.au/ is the original magazine of self-sufficiency in Australia, having run continuously since 1972. A portion of its income is donated to a 'tree tax'. It is so crammed full of useful information that back copies are treasured, and amount to a self-sufficiency library. There is something about owner-building in every issue, including a questions and answers column by me. However, there is a lot more, for example a regular column on gardening by Jackie French.
Owner Builder http://www.theownerbuilder.com.au/ magazine is full of wonderful photographs, informative articles and inspiration for those who are a little scared to start building a house. A regular section of advertisements is very useful, listing businesses who are interested in helping people who are building (as distinct from just organising) their own house. Such building professionals are more rare than you might think!
Grass Roots magazine is just as good, but with a somewhat different focus. It is full of articles by people describing their personal experiences. Most of these give you information on how to do a great variety of activities, sometimes including building. There is an extensive section where people can advertise to contact others of like mind.
If you are interested in Permaculture, Green Connections magazine is a must. It is a well produced, interesting magazine that focuses of a variety of environmental issues. Read an article I wrote for this magazine.
Solar energy and other appropriate technology is advanced by the Alternative Technology Association of Australiawww.ata.org.au. The ATA is an organisation of people interested in solar energy, wind power, resource conservation and many related issues. Their magazine, ReNew, is always full of interesting articles, buying guides etc. My favourite column is 'Noel's Tresures from Trash', supposedly for kids. Noel always comes up with a project: transforming matchboxes, pins and corks into working models of some device. The magazine has a list of advertising professionals that is particularly useful, and I keep back copies for the surveys of particular devices. One issue might check out all 12 V fridges, another inverters, etc. ReNew is available from newsagents.
The ATA is staffed almost completely by volunteers, and is always in need of help. Membership includes free subscription to ReNew, and doesn't cost much more. ATA members often go to Festivals, Fairs, schools etc., bringing interesting demonstrations and displays.
CERES www.ceres.org.au is well worth visiting on the web, and if you are anywhere near Melbourne, in person. You can see alternatives in action: wind and solar power, permaculture and other sustainable forms of agriculture, a bush food display, a permaculture garden, building techniques... It's an exciting place.
Composting toilets are a great way to reduce your environmental footprint. One of the tragedies of civilisation is the way we use our bodily wastes to poison rivers, estuaries lakes and large regions of continental shelves. And yet this material is wonderful fertiliser, designed by nature to be food for plants. Composting toilets do the necessary conversion, and save water at the same time. Up to a quarter of domestic water use can be for flushing toilets! Ecoflo Water Management is Australia's largest manufacturer of domestic waterless composting toilets. Look them up at http://www.ecoflo.net.au. Clivus Multrum www.clivusmultrum.com.au is another Australian-made composting toilet system.
Concerned Residents of East Gippsland www.vicnet.net.au/~croeg / has been defending the magnificent old growth forests of East Gippsland for over 15 years. Their organisation is staffed entirely by volunteers in an often hostile environment, and needs support.
EEBA Energy Efficient Building Association www.eeba.org/ is an association representing building professionals, businesses and government agencies concerned with, well, would you believe, energy-efficient building. They present valuable information at their web site.
Energy Efficiency Victoria www.energyvic.vic.gov.au/ is a Victorian Government agency that has put together a very good, informative web site. You can save money by helping the environment if you follow their advice.
Energy Star www.energystar.gov/ is the place to look for energy-saving software.
Friends of the Earth, Australia has pages hosted by several FOE groups. The best is FOE Fitzroy www.foe.org.au
Friends of the Earth, Australia has pages hosted by several FOE groups. The best is FOE Fitzroy www.foe.org.au(of which I'm a member). Find out about campaigns, activities, information, position papers, and links to other environmental pages.
Greenhouse Gas Technical Information Exchange www.greentie.org/ is an enormous information base: everything you need to know about problems and their solutions relating to the Greenhouse Effect. There are links to many hundreds of sites with relevance to the issue. They have a free Newsletter.
Green Net Australia www.green.net.au/ hosts web pages for over 200 organisations who would otherwise not have an internet presence. Their clients include indigenous, humanitarian and conservationist groups.
Humane Society International is an organisation devoted to the protection of animals. Wildlife conservation is a major part of this. The protection of habitat is a natural consequence of preventing the extinction of more and more species. Visit them at www.hsi.org.au/ .
Institute for Local Self-reliance www.ilsr.org/ has several excellent programs of action. Well worth looling up. They also display links to many other environmental organizations.
Pacific Solar www.pacificsolar.com.au is a joint venture of the University of NSW and Pacific Power. They run the biggest solar research and development effort in the Southern Hemisphere, and present explanations of how solar electricity works.
Planet Ark www.planet.ark.org is an organisation set up through the initiative of tennis star Pat Cash. It is a source of information about environmental problems, and advice about attacking them. This is an organisation well worth your support.
The Rainforest Information Centre is well worth supporting. Their work is one of the central issues of saving a future within Australia. Visit them at http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/.
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition www.svtc.org/ arose when ground water was found to be polluted by the computer industry. They campaign tirelessly against such abuses of the environment, and are looking for support in their work.
Sun Frost www.sunfrost.com/ make refrigerators that use far less electricity than the usual you can buy. Their fridges are designed for use with solar power.
Sustainable Energy Development Authority of New South Wales www.seda.nsw.gov.au has schemes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage the use of appropriate technology. Contact them if you live in NSW.
Tasmanian Conservation Trust is particularly devoted to Tasmanian issues (not unreasonable!) but they also have wonderful information from all around the world. For people outside Australia, the island State of Tasmania has been the scene of many environmental battles, and is the home of the Australian Greens political party.
Wilderness Society www.wilderness.org.au/ My wife and I have been members of the Wilderness Society for years. It is one of the leading groups for environmental activism in Australia, and has had sufficient clout to sway the results of Federal elections. They need your support.
Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) www.wwoof.com.au is a wonderful worldwide organisation that has been run in Australia for many years by my friend Lionel Pollard. At Moora Moora we get a steady stream of lovely people who stay for a while, giving of their labour, enthusiasm and energy in exchange for food, lodging and experience. Two of my children have gone around Australia WWOOFing, and came home better for the experience.
World Solar Challenge www.wsc.org.au is presented by the South Australian and Northern Territory Governments. There are races and worldwide conferences relating to solar-powered vehicles, like the solar car race.
Worldwide Fund for Nature www.wwf.org.au is too well known to need an introduction from me. It used to be the World Wildlife Fund, but they changed the name because in some languages 'wildlife' has unfortunate connotations. Their work is incredibly valuable. Support them.
Alex Cranford has a web site designed to help you to live more cheaply and with greater environmental sensitivity. This is what he says about it: "Save time and get things moving.This site deals with cheap, quick, pragmatic methods of getting things done. Rather than repeat information that is commonly found elsewhere, this site fills in what is not easily available or not found at all.
Pages: Recommended Texts; Hints; Information Not found Elsewhere; Home Energy Reduction; Hard To Find Suppliers; Book Shops; Other Places To Shop; Links; Notice Board; Other Ways To Save Time."
Help yourself to stop wasting money and resources- check Owen Paynter's site. He is the inventor of the poly pipe HWS booster. Check his latest inventions out, including how to use aluminium cans to grow seedlings and hang them up out of harm's way. http://members.fortunecity.com/wasteless.
Situated at beautiful Nimbin in NSW, the Rainbow Power Company www.rpc.com.au is synonymous with appropriate technology. They have developed and are manufacturing many devices for those who want to use non-polluting sources of energy.
They are worth a visit even if you are a city dweller.
Green Harvest publishes the free Australian Organic Gardening Resource Guide, 48 pages of organic gardening products and hints. The website www.greenharvest.com.au and online shop has a wealth of information and products including books, tools, propagation supplies, water saving products, organic seeds and hard-to-find pest control products to manage pests organically.
Ian Sims of Greenspeed Bikes ihpva.org/com/Greenspeed/ is one of the main advocates of recumbent bikes and trikes in Australia. These wonderful devices leave a conventional bike for dead. Highly recommended, and fun, the ideal way to commute. Ian sells custom-made recumbents to order around the globe, and will also supply plans for those who want to make their own.
Straw bale houses are the ultimate in thermal insulation, fire safe if properly constructed, quick and relatively cheap to build. Anvil Straw Bale is run by Brian Hodges, and his son and daughter-in-law, Micah and Gabbi. They offer regular workshops and are an excellent source of help and advice.
Rammed earth: NSW owner-builder Roger Garlick has posted an excellent web page documenting the building of his solar-efficient hand-rammed home. Visit him at http://members.optusnet.com.au/~rogergarlick/ and http://community.webshots.com/user/rogergarlick. - A comprehensive Australian-based Rammed Earth site with an owner-builder's story, photos of many projects, links and links to world-wide resources.
The Swap Site Swapcycle is an online swap site where you can list or look for anything from a bunch of bananas, antiques or car and swap it for something else. Instead of junking it, have someone get a use from it. This has both environmental and personal benefits.