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An eco holiday does not have to stop at carbon offsetting your flight, and reusing the bath towels in your hotel. If you want to tread as lightly on the planet as you can next holiday break, The Green Travel Guide Australia 2011/2012 published by EcoTourism Australia will provide you with a great range of ideas – and they have generously provided State of Green with 5 copies to giveaway!
The Green Travel Guide is an easy read. Divided into chapters dedicated to each State, you can simply flick through to the State you wish to visit, then peruse the wide selection of eco certified businesses operating across that State. Eco tours, attractions and accommodation are all covered, and includes suggestions ranging from relaxing beach resorts to bird watching lodges, marine discovery cruises, aboriginal culture parks, and even organic restaurants to visit in the region.
Each of the businesses listed in the Guide includes an eco certification logo which are graded into three categories – Nature Tourism, EcoTourism and Advanced Ecotourism. Generally, the logo identifies those tourist operators that have committed to minimizing their impact on the environment, use resources wisely, help local communities and/or contribute to the conservation of the environment- all incredibly commendable!.
++ GIVEAWAY DETAILS ++
** If you want to purchase a copy now, we have also just commenced stocking The Green Travel Guide 2011/2012 online at State of Green – Happy Holidays!
My 7 year old daughter asked me yesterday what the word ‘ethical” meant. Admittedly it came out as ‘effical” with her two front teeth missing but I was still impressed she was asking a question I had no idea about at the same age. I used the egg purchasing decision as an example she might relate to – free range chickens versus battery hens. I think I got the message across but also checked my latest copy of “The guide to ethical supermarket shopping” compiled by Nick Ray and Clint Healy (produced by the Ethical Consumer Group) so I am better resourced with examples next time the topic arises!
Now in its 4th edition this practical, pocket sized guide provides information on the environmental and social record of companies behind the brand names of common supermarket products. For example, when I looked up Rev Milk, I learnt it was owned by Italian company Parmalat who was involved in one of the worlds biggest corporate scandals in 2004. Also, my beloved Vegemite is owned by USA Kraft Foods, a company that has been involved in product recalls over genetical engineering in food and poor human rights records. Food for thought.
You will be also glad to know the iphone app “Shop Ethical” (2nd edition) has just been launched this week at the Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne! So next time you’re out at a supermarket buying bread, milk and cereal, be sure to make it an informed buy. Author Nick Ray was kind enough to answer a few questions AND offer State of Green readers 3 guides as giveaways.
1. What was the incentive to create the guide to ethical shopping? The guide came out of a lack of information on the wider impacts of our everyday purchases. We saw a T-shirt that said ‘Your Dollar is you Vote – who did you vote for today?” and realised we didn’t know. So began a personal pilgrimage to find out where my money was going – which companies, activities and systems behind the scenes was my money supporting. This has involved many years wandering the supermarket aisles reading labels and joining dots in the ‘who owns who’ mission of discovery.
2. How does the 2011 edition differ from the first edition? This is in fact our 4th edition, the first being in 2008. We’re pretty happy we’ve sold over 75,000 guides since that time, showing a growing awareness in people that they want their purchases to reflect their values and are seeing the difference that their buying choices can make. This 2011 edition has an expanded ‘Supermarkets in Australia’ section, a new section on global agribusiness (the hidden companies behind our food), and a new centrespread chart that summarises the major issues.
3. Does the iphone app offer the same content as the book? How much/when is planned release? The ShopEthical! iPhone app does have the same content as the book but also includes extra categories such as stationery and alcohol. It also allows you to go to the next level and find out the reasons for the ratings given. You can get this information from the website but it’s much easier when you’re in the aisle looking at the product. We have an update due out in time for Melbourne’s Sustainable Living Festival. It will sell for $3.99.
4. Are you planning supermarket tours for 2011? We are running two ‘Shopping with a Conscience‘ workshops in Melbourne in February as part of the Sustainable Living Festival local events program. The first is our regular introductory workshop which includes a supermarket tour, and the second is a train-the-trainer session for people interested in facilitating a workshop in their own area or with your own groups. You can find out more at www.ethical.org.au/swac.
5. Anything else planned for 2011 you’d like our readers to know? We run regular Meal and Movie nights, and are presently setting up a movie library to allow others to run similar sessions themselves, and an annual Household Action Challenge where we go hard on an area for a week, such as eating locally or going zero waste. Also we’re planning a clothing edition of the guide for later in the year. People can find out more on our website and sign up for our monthly ‘ethical update‘ e-bulletin.
Thanks again Nick and all for all of your hard work and research!
To be in the running to win one of three guidebooks, tell us why you would love to win this Guide – Just enter your comment in the “LEAVE A REPLY” box below (keep scrolling down and if you are a subscriber please click on title to access!). Entries to be submitted by 7pm Wednesday on 23 Feb 2011, and winners notified on Facebook and by email.
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Having grown up on a farm where her family grew their own vegetables, Marcelle Nankervis developed a natural passion for horticulture. She went on to obtain a formal degree in horticulture and then worked for numerous gardening television programs and magazines including Burkes Backyard, Better Homes & Gardens and Your Garden. Her most recent venture has been writing her second book, Smart Gardening.
Clare Kennedy reviewed Smart Gardening for State of Green:
This is a basic reference tool for anyone establishing their first garden, coupled with tips on saving money and the environment.
But don’t expect a glossy coffee table book; this is an unashamed guide for those who want to get their hands dirty. The first part covers the basics of gardening and how to get started. It includes advice about soil preparation, what to plant when, companion planting, mulching, pest control, and tips on maximising shade, keeping the house cool, how to use grey water and using water effectively.
The second part of the book is an annual garden guide. It is designed so you can cross-reference the month and climate zone for information on what to sow, plant and harvest. At the back of the book is a glossary of pests and diseases with useful tips on how to deal with them – many of the remedies are sourced direct from your pantry!
There are no photographs in this book which may be a limitation for gardeners who want to identify a particular plant, shrub, tree or vegetable; instead, small graphic illustrations, tables and tips are used to break up the text.
The preface gives the reader a sense of the author’s passion for gardening and saving the environment. However, the reference to illness and depression being on the rise, and “children being diagnosed with ADHD more often” feels like a distraction from this book’s real focus.
Whilst not the most visually appealing book due to its lack of photographs, it is packed with practical, constructive tips for the environmentally-conscious gardener.
Smart Gardening is available from October 5, 2010 at all good bookstores and online at Exisle Publishing. You can also visit Marcelle’s blog for more gardening tips and tricks!.