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WE WON ONE!
inGrained  Foundation Grant!

Bundjalung indigenous cultural fire knowledge to be revived through ZEB’s inGrained Foundation award

 

“We are thrilled that we have received $21,840 funding from the 2022 inGrained Foundation grants for our Good Fire project,” announced ZEB Director, Dr Anne Stuart.
"The grant will allow us to reinvigorate Indigenous cultural connections to Country, and to re-establish traditional and proven fire management practices in the Northern Rivers, particularly the fire-dependent ecological communities in Broken Head and Koonyum Range.” A further generous donation was also received that will address areas not covered by grant funding.
A public education program will focus on the benefits of re-establishing traditional, proven fire management practices to preserve fire-dependent biodiversity, and to reduce carbon emissions – as practiced by indigenous peoples.

Byron Shire landholders with open, fire-dependent forests will be encouraged to undertake coordinated cool burns to reduce the risk of greenhouse gas-emitting wildfire.

 The Good Fire project will develop a template Good Fire Property Plan, for use in the Northern Rivers and hopefully beyond, Dr Stuart added. As well, a series of Good Fire burns in the Shire will be documented. 

We're back in business with our
second Zero Emissions Byron EV Expo

After three years on hold, we're so happy to be back again, preparing for our next EV Expo. Our principal sponsor is EV Direct, who will be exhibiting their BYD Atto at the Bangalow Showgrounds on Sunday, 11 September, from 10am - 4pnm. (BYO = 'Build Your Dreams'!)
We will have a range of the currently available electric vehicles on display around the Bangalow Showgrounds oval, a selection of the latest e-equipment, plus information stands in the Moller Pavilion, as well as EV-related and environmental films screening in the Scout Hall.

If your business or community group would like to have an info stand in the Moller Pavilion, please let’s know ASAP at zeb@zerobyron.org

This is a call-out to anyone who has an electric vehicle to bring it along on the Sunday, so we can show the world just how many EVs are already happily living in the Northern Rivers of NSW. Keen to show off your fabulous EV? Then please email zeb@zerobyron.org to register.

 
Use your smarts!
Rebuild - Flood Resilient
The amazing Sasha Mainsbridge, pictured here with James Davidson from JDA Architects, at the 16 June 'Rebuild Flood Resilient' event held at Mullumbimby Leagues Club.
Homes that have been flooded should be rebuilt more resistant to suffering similar loss in future flooding events. This is called improving their flood resilience. It's not just the damage caused and mountains of waste piled up on peoples front lawns that we want to avoid happening again, but the long periods of time many home owners are in temporary accommodation while the clean up and restoration process takes place.

Zero Emissions Byron and Mullum Cares organised a 'Tradie Convention' - of sorts - on 16 June at Mullumbimby Leagues Club. About 60 local tradies attended, together with a handful of insurance assessors, members of the Johns Lyng Group and special guest, James Davidson from JDA Co, to talk about flood resilient materials and techniques.  Jean Renouf from Resilient Byron MC'd the event, and dinner was provided thanks to funding from the Northern Rivers Flood Relief Fund, with beer provided by Stone & Wood.

A video of the event was made. It gives practical and tested building technique and materials advice from James Davidson, whose architectural firm JDA Co. leads Australia in designing for flood, fire and storm resilience. The youtube video is nearly 2 hours long - well worth the effort as "an investment in the future liveability of your home after the next flood", says ZEB Community Engagement star, Sasha Mainsbridge.  Make the time to watch the video below.
Downloadable and printable Flood Resilient Guidlines and other detailed rebuild information can be found in our blog here.


Replacing ENOVA?
The Big Switch

 

On 21 June 2022, Enova Energy was placed into voluntary administration. This caused sadness and panic around the East Coast of Australia. First, that market conditions created the situation where Enova was squeezed out of the market. And second, we all wondered where on earth we could safely switch to.

Automatically, existing Enova customers were to be transferred to either Origin or Energy Australia, but a former Enova worker said; “Don’t let the big Fossil Fuel companies win your account!” Instead, to source a reliable replacement company, many of us immediately checked out  Greenpeace Green Electricity GuideCanstar Blue, or Finder

Then via its website, Enova made the following announcement:  "Continue to support an ethical energy retailer by transferring your power to Energy Locals. We encourage our Enova Energy customers to transfer to Energy Locals. We have worked hard to ensure your power is in safe hands and that our legacy remains strong. Energy Locals will be working over the coming months to assess the feasibility of reviving the Enova Community Energy brand. Transfer your energy in minutes - https://energylocals.com.au/residential-enova/

Remember whoever you switch to - by subscribing to accredited GreenPower (if you can afford a little extra cost), you can ensure your supply is supporting additional renewable energy development. ZEB heartily supports that!
 

Soil Carbon Workshop

Zero Emissions Byron partnered with The Farm and researchers from Southern Cross University to run a soil carbon professional development forum at The Farm  on 23 June. The target was to unite people who are in a position to increase soil carbon with common understanding. 

The event provided participants with practical, applied approaches to increasing CO2 sequestration across four land uses; grazing, macadamias, market gardening and native reforestation. It also “aimed to increase our understanding of the drivers and opportunities for CO2 sequestration across these four diverse land uses” co-organiser, Wren McLean said. The event provided a demonstration of soil carbon sampling, from design of a monitoring program through to collection, analysis and interpretation of soil carbon samples (industry standard and manual soil testing).

Click here to hear Dr Kevin Glencross from Southern Cross University, describing how soil carbon is analysed.

Long time ZEB member, Dr Joe Harvey-Jones, with ZEB Chair Christobel Munson, in a dreadful selfie, taken after the event.

Keeping warm in winter

Your home doesn't have to be uncomfortably cold in winter. And you shouldn't need to use huge amounts of energy to keep it warm. ZEB buildings team member and local energy consultant, Sebastian Crangle, shares some key tips to keeping warm this winter, without the bill shock (and all the while minimising your overall energy consumption!)



Many of us live in cold houses. Even in parts of Australia known for their tropical climate, homes can be ridiculously cold in winter because they were not designed to withstand the cold. Think a “leaky” timber ‘Queenslander’ in Toowoomba or Murwillumbah, or a cheaply constructed project home in Coffs Harbour. And yet, there’s plenty you can do to improve a home’s “thermal performance” after it’s built, and a variety of ways to conserve the heat you generate.

When you’re suffering in a cold house the hard-core amongst us will tell you to “suck it up and put on another jumper”. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of smart ways to make your house more comfortable, and without necessarily using more electricity / gas in the process.

Here’s a few ideas:

·   Stop the leaks:  Draughts sap heat from a house like nothing else. Fill any gaps your house has, under doors, in floor boards, around poorly fitting windows. There are many draught-proofing products available for these scenarios available at your hardware store. Or, get in a professional. How can you find the draughts? Shut the house up on a windy day, and move around the perimeter of the house with a stick of incense or a candle and look for movement.

·   Section your house:  The more rooms you’re trying to heat, the harder it will be (and the more energy you will use).  Think about which rooms you most want to keep warm, and those you don’t need to, and cover the entrances between them. If there isn’t a door, hang a thick curtain. Even if there is a door, put a draught stopper at the bottom of it so heat doesn’t escape under it. If you can stick to heating just one main area your heaters won’t have to work nearly as hard, and are more likely to maintain a comfortable temperature.

·   Insulate:  Most houses don’t have enough insulation, in ceilings, walls and under floors. Start by having a look in your ceiling cavity (safely) to see how much insulation there is directly above your ceiling. You’d be surprised how many ceilings I see without any insulation, or with a tokenistic this layer (R2 to be technical, about 12 cm thick). Insulation is one of the most cost effective ways to improve the thermal performance of an old house.

·   Beware of the fan heater!  Sadly, the cheapest heaters generally use the most energy. A small fan or oil heater will often use 2000 Watts, meaning that an hour of use will use 2kW of energy. To put that in context, the average 2-3 person home in northern NSW uses 15 kWh per day in winter,  so using one fan heater for 2 hours (4kWh) would use more than 25% of that average.  If you can afford an efficient reverse cycle air conditioner (or have one you don’t use) it will be in the order of 4 times more efficient than a fan heater in converting electricity to heat.

·   Use a heated throw:  if it’s costing you too much to heat your home, living area, the most cost effective way of keeping warm is to just warm you. An inexpensive heated throw blanket is incredibly good way at keeping toasty warm, for a couple of cents an hour. (Note, however, that some people are sensitive to covering themselves with an electric circuit. If so, be sure to get one with a thermostat and timer.)

·   Get help! Believe it or not there are local people with expertise in making homes more energy efficient and temperature resilient, and they love it! 
If you would like a more thorough home energy consultation (including a personalised home visit and assessment) 

 

Seb has his own home energy advice service and is the only accredited Residential Scorecard Assessor in Northern NSW.
Check out his informative  
Home Energy Facebook Page here.

Library of Stuff 

cracks 10,000 loans!

The Library of Stuff not only survived the flood that inundated their storage rooms (with over 500mm of water flooding through) but they have relocated to a new space in the old storage shed next to the Mullumbimby Community Hall, formerly the Mullum Scout Hall. Already 45 flood-affected local households have taken up the Library’s Free Membership offer. This offer will continue to be available until at least the end of this year. 
As well, this award-winning community initiative just achieved a significant milestone: 10 000 completed loans! 


Read all about it right here.
Byron Shire Council is on the hunt
Byron Shire Council’s Sustainability Team is putting the call out for local sustainability stories, events or projects to feature in their quarterly e-newsletter.
Please reach out to them via this emai
Donations fuel ZEB's efforts. Click here to give generously
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