Hop into Health – Planet Sustainability

Today on Hop into Health, I interviewed Bethany (Bess) McQueen about global warming, planet protection and things that every day people can do to minimise their footprint.

Check out all these veggies – recycled from a dumpster bin…

Interview and blog is not word for word, but the essence of interview.

Podcast here.

Q: What things have you done to date and why are you so passionate about the planet and sustainability?

A: I have been involved with many environmental issues, including a walk for 320km to raise awareness on renewable energy, involvement with Australian Youth Climate Change (which has over 100,000 members) , radio and various other activities.

Q; What’s a project you are currently involved with?

A: One big project is protecting the Great Barrier Reef from coal seam gas mining. If approved this action will destroy the Fitzroy Delta area and many species (plant and animals) in that region. More on it here…

Q: Do you think small change does make a difference to our politicians?

A: Yes, I ring the minister for the environment weekly and each call represents 1000 people so they take it seriously and will listen to people.  A good campaign we did a while back was with Wayne Swan and we sent clues over 12 days, via twitter, on sustainability. It was called the 12 days of Renewable . The finishing piece made a solar thermal plant. It was a good way to get a message across.

A Solar Thermal Plant

Q: What worries you about global warming?

A: There is lack of awareness and recently a woman stated more people died from last summers heat wave then died in the Victorian Bush Fires. One gets more attention and the heat wave casualties are not even mentioned.

In Nepal glaciers are breaking away which is leading to glacial outburst flooding, where the dams below them swell and flood. That and tidal levels are rising. More on Nepal and Glaciers melting here…

Q: What can you tell us about plastic?

A: there are some concerning stats about plastic. Over a 2 year period, it is averaged that every human on the planet (approx 2 billion) create their own body weight in plastic. And even bio degradable plastic does not dissolve as commonly thought.

Plastic Island is the largest man made item in the world and sits in the Pacific ocean and is estimated to take over the size of the Antartica. There are 5 x 5 km masses of plastic slip streams/island identified around the world called gyras.


Q: What can people do in their every day lives that make a difference to the footprint they are leaving on the planet?

1. Coffee Cups

People should buy stainless steel cups and take them to their coffee house instead of using the provided plastic or polystyrene ones.

2. Plastic containers

Once again, take lunch from home, or take your own containers to the local take away or supermarket. They can work out the weight of the container and charge you weighted items that way.

3. Lights and appliances

Turn off lights and appliances when at home. Try to keep cool/warm using non-electrical means (eg opening windows, blankets, etc)

4. Bags and plastic minimisation

Take your own cloth bags to shops, recycle bags (great movie to watch is “Bag It”)

5. Grow your own

To decrease the amount of energy it takes to produce your own food needs, try to grow your own. This can start of small in containers and spread to be your yard (like mine, Sam)

6. Recycle

Where possible use recycle bins for waste, start a compost bin out the back

Q: What are ways people can become involved on a larger scale?

There are many organisations to join including:

Humpback in Highrises

Green Peace

Greens Party

Sea Shepherd

Australian Youth Climate Coalition

Some dates and events coming up…

Power Shift: 13th, 14th, 15th July in Melb (approx 2000 delegates already)!

Dr Bob Brown (ex leader of the Green Party) Sat 29th June at Mullumbimby Hall

On radio with Bess today.  Let us know in the comments section ways that you minimise your foot print…