Talk:Victorian Green Paper submission by Lighter Footprints

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Suggested actions

I would like to see the Vic government shifting from its current mindset from looing for ecomomic silver bullets to considering the phsychology of change and setting an example on micro measures as well as big picture items.

Because if the government truly believes climate change is a serious problem then it needs to show this by being willing to change the way it does things.

There are so many things that it can do & publise that it is doing:

1)Follow the lead of the NSW government and ban the sale of bottled water. Of course, to have a useful effect they will also need to provide jugs of drinking water & clean glasses, jsut as cafes and bars do, to allow people to feel comfortable drinking tap water.

2) Use recycled office paper & toilet paper.

3) Use fairtrade/locally grown coffee.

4) Ensure that any government canteens have a tasty and appealing vegetarian selection. Also ensure that there is a choice of healthy, high fibre breads and salads.

5) Go a step ahead of the NSW Governemnt and only sell soft drink that is mixed on site (a la Maccas) - it is much more efficient to only transport the syrup rather than the pre-mixed drink.

6) Set the air conditioning and heating to a range outside that in which it is comfortable to wear a suit. If the Government doesn't do this it sends the message that wearing a suit is more important than conserving energy. People don't jsut apply that to the work envrionment: they take that message home with them and adjust the heating/cooling in their home to allow them to continue to wear their workwear rather than adjusting their clothing.

7) Use environmentally freindly inks.

8) Turn off all but essential lighting at night. This should include tourist lighting - if the government considers some icons are important enough to be lit they should be lit with 100% green energy.

9)Keep the workplace informed: put New Scientist, Sceintific American, Nature & the CSRIO mags in their office lunchrooms along with the newpapers and the Financial Review.

10) Use environmentally safe cleaners in their workplace.

11) Ensure all toilets are water efficient.

This is not a complete list!

What do you think?

-- Plantsnwater 21:36, 2 August 2009 (CDT)


Public Transport -Trains, Stations and Parking

3.3 Public Transport Question from green paper: What information and assistance is needed to encourage mode shift?

To build up patronage on public transport you need to find out who does not use it, and why not. One reason why people do not use public transport is because it runs too infrequently. Another is because, in some situations, people do not feel safe. A third is because of unpleasant behaviour, dirty surroundings and smells. To run more frequently you need to encourage people who currently do not use public transport to use it which will in turn create the demand for additional services which will make it more attractive to all. More people also encourages a feeling a safety.

Parking and Parking Pass Systems

Parents of Pre-schoolers & The Aging

These 2 categories of person will not use public transport unless they live within a short walk of it, or have parking space available nearby. Without parking space public transport becomes inaccessible for those types of person. This is because young children and aging persons tire quickly (when I refer to the aging I do not mean all persons above retirement age, I mean only those persons whose strength is beginning to diminish: such as those in their late seventies and eighties, or persons with an illness). These persons do not have the energy to include walking 20+ minutes to and from (40+ minutes in all) a parking space to the train as well as undertake the excursion. This is particularly undesirable situation for aging persons whose mental health is best maintained by being able to maintain activities.

If you wanted to make transport available to those persons parking spaces would need to be made available to them, and a car pass system similar to that for the disabled eg ‘Preschooler Pass’, ‘Doctor Registered Pass’ (for the aging).

The Doctor Registered Pass would also be appropriate for persons who have a chronic illness, or are recovering from a chronic illness or injury. Some passes could be effective from date of issue, some only for a limited time.

Time Constraint Passes

Another category of person who may choose not to use public transport are those who have additional responsibilities after work which must be attended to promptly. Such responsibilities include picking children up from child care (which often closes at 6pm), getting children to sport, and getting to part-time/casual work. Again, a pass system may allow these persons to access additional parking spots. However, there should be no reduction in the parking that is currently available. Many people who use public transport are parents and the longer their trip the less time they have with their families.

Wristbands to Identify Those who Need a Seat

There are people, not necessarily identifiable at a glance, who should have priority for seats on public transport. The aging, as identified above, who need to preserve their limited energy, and who may also have balance problems. Persons who have a chronic illness, or those who are recovering from an illness or injury. Pregnant women, especially those who are also managing a stroller and mothers with prams. Such people could wear a band, like the Oxfam band, around their wrist. As a person who uses public transport I know you can be snapped at both for not offering a seat, and for offering a seat, at least this way you would know who wants one. These could be colour coded to signify permanent need and temporary need.

Bad Smells, Bad Behaviour, Dangerous Situations

Bad Behaviour and Dangerous Situations

I have been on trains where people have 1. injected drugs, 2.fought with each other, 3. been drunk and vomited, 4. slashed the seats and 5. sworn at the top of their voices and threatened other passengers. None of these things encourage you to take public transport.

If you want to encourage people to feel safe on trains you need to consider roving conductors like they have in the States. You also need two buttons: 1 the emergency button (as exists now) 2 a misconduct button. The misconduct button could be used to either alert the conductor to misconduct such as injecting drugs, fighting and threatening other passengers, or to alert the conductor that there is a mess to be cleaned up. The misconduct button should film and tape activity in the carriage as well as summon the roving conductor. The misconduct button could be misused and there should be a fines system to discourage this.

As well as feeling insecure on the trains passengers may feel threatened on platforms and walking from the station, there needs to be additional security to build up additional patronage.

Bad Smells

Many people dislike public transport because it can be dirty and you can be trapped beside smells that are unpleasant, give you a headache or trigger asthma. While bad smells may seem a trivial issue they can be one of the deciding factors in making the public transport experience pleasant or unpleasant, and they can make the difference between choosing private or public transport.

Trains and stations can contain bad smells where people have vomited, urinated or eaten smelly food on board. These should be cleaned as soon as possible. The cleaning fluid must be carefully chosen as some fluids are irritating to the nose. Trains can also smell because of accumulated dirt on seats and the floor and lack of ventilation.

Unfortunately, the next source of bad smells is from the people - this affects all forms of public transport. The bulk of passengers do not smell, but some do, and if you have a choice between your clean car and being trapped beside a foul odour people will choose the car. Public education could be the key here – the aim is to create a neutral environment. Bad smells come in these categories:

1) Stale tobacco. This reeks and can leave you with a headache.

2) Sweat and unwashed clothes.

3) Heavy handed application of perfume and deodorant/anti-perspirant. As with stale tobacco this can leave you with a headache and in some people can trigger asthma.

4) Flatulence and belching. Sometimes this can be deliberate bad behaviour, other times it is a ‘freak’ occurrence, and sometimes it can be addressed with charcoal tablets. Babies can also produce bad smells, but since they have no control over this, it is unfair to stigmatise them or their parents.

Agree? Disagee? Plantsnwater 22:39, 2 August 2009 (CDT)

Further Scope For Compost or Biochar to turn Green Waste from a Problem to an Asset

Green waste is thrown into the ‘black’ bins by supermarkets, green grocers, cafes, restaurants and food manufacturers. Tree pruners and fellers sometimes give their mulch to people and sometimes take it to the tip. These materials are compostable or suitable to be used for biochar. People on rural blocks also clear away material than is suitable for bio char or composting throughout the summer.

Supermarket, green grocers, cafes and restaurants produce waste that is mostly wet compost – things like vegetable peelings, excess leaves, and in the case of supermarkets aging whole fruit and vegetables.

The material from tree pruners is a mix of wet and dry material – the wet being the leaves, and the dry material being the branches and trunks, with the dry material predominating.

Hot composting (which is the most greenhouse friendly means of composting) requires a mix of wet and dry materials. The end product is mulch. Bulk hot composting is already practised by Greenplanet at Epping in Victoria, using green waste from Whitehorse, Whittlesea, and Nillumbik.

Chemical composting or fermenting (eg. Bokashi method) is also greenhouse friendly and uses mostly wet ingredients and a dry starter mix. Chemical composting can include substances that are not suitable for hot composting – such as meat and cooked food scraps and pizza boxes. The end products are a liquid fertiliser and ‘pickled’ waste that breaks down quickly in the soil. It can also be mixed with traditional compost. Chemical composting could be run in complement to hot composting if too much wet material was being collected, and to treat materials unsuitable for hot composting.

I am not aware of the ramifications for the efficiency of bio char where the base materials are wet rather than dry. I understand that further research is needed to assess how the base materials used to feed bio char affect the bio char product and its interaction with the soil. (Good to see the Vic Govt trial of bio char in Northern Vic)

It is not hard to learn what materials are suitable for these methods of composting (I knew them as a primary school student). So it is not unreasonable to expect waste to be sorted into compostable and non-compostable materials, although this may first be trialled by supermarkets etcetera.

Adoption of a composting or bio char schemes would turn where waste products that currently contribute to carbon dioxide and methane pollution into an environmental positive products. There is scope for a compost collection from shopping centres, restaurants and tree pruners who were willing to take part in such a scheme.

There may even be scope for collection from households using a divided bin as has recently begun to be trialled the City of Whitehorse in Canada. This would allow for household kitchen green waste and eco friendly nappies to be composted or used for bio char where the residents don’t have the space or inclination to do their own composting.

Agree? Disagree? Plantsnwater 01:49, 4 August 2009 (CDT)

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