Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sustainable activities

In 100 words or less please describe a sustainable, or unsustainable, activity where you live or in a place you have visited.

23 comments:

  1. As an example: South African villagers installing underground tanks (about 30,000 litres) to capture rainwater in the Eastern Cape. This area often has little or no rain over winter. The extra water allows people to grow crops all year round, and so supplement their family’s diet with fresh vegetables. Chronic undernourishment is a problem in many of these more remote communities.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Katherine (Katie) Round 4643038July 23, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    A place with a sustainable practice which I have become familiar with over the last two years is an area in Melbourne called Sandhurst. Sandhurst is a recent residential and golf course development which uses recycled water from homes for non-potable uses such as watering gardens. This has been in response to the growing need to conserve limited freshwater supplies in Australia for the future, which can become a huge issue especially in times of drought. This approach has also been adopted in other recent residential developments in Melbourne such as Aurora.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rachael Cook 4606392July 23, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    On a similar theme to water management in Australia, New South Wales currently requires nearly all new development to meet water and energy consumption targetsset out as a result of the state’s Housing Code amendments. In order to reduce water and energy consumption, developers are encouraged to incorporate design features such as rainwater tanks, solar water heaters, gas space heaters and adeqaute insulation. The priority placed on water and energy resources in this provision highlights how these are both issues for sustainability in New South Wales and also for Australia as a whole. Water management provisions are important due to the extent of draught seasons expeirenced in New South Wales and an increasing population.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anita Victoria PalacioJuly 24, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    An unsustainable practice I have seen not only in New Zealand but often in Pacific Nations is the non-recycle or re-use of inorganic products. The inorganic collections that appear on the side of the road are unsightly for a short period of time but then disappear only to end up at the dump (NZ). In pacific nations I have visited, inorganic collection does not occur and rubbish is left to rust and negatively effect the environment around it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anita Kulasic said...

    Recently I visited the Gold Coast and as we all know Australia in general are having a water shortage. I found it interesting how they are saving on water usage which is through having water tanks on top of the roofs of accommodation buildings (we had it on top of ours at Chevron Palms). They also have a duel water system so they use rainwater for toilet use for example rather than using freshwater. I think that this is a good sustainable practice because we all know that we will all in time suffer from water shortages in the future so we should avoid this problem by preserving our fresh water and using the rainwater we get for everything but drinking.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Larissa Clarke 4634705July 27, 2010 at 10:01 AM

    I have travelled to and from the UK over the course of my life and have seen many systems and practices both sustainable and very unsustainable along the way.
    The practices that I have noticed that I am most impressed by are the everyday systems that work so well without needing to be branded as ‘sustainable’ or pushed in any way. Such as the public transport systems in big cities such as Paris, London, and the cycling infrastructure in the Netherlands. The increasing amount of ‘wind farms’ on the moors in Yorkshire (UK)
    And the quirkier The way that the lights in backpacker hostels, even in the dorm rooms, are press button on a timer and you have to keep repressing it if you are in the room for awhile and the signs on the toilets in the Greek islands asking you to place your toilet paper in the bin beside the toilet rather than in the toilet.... perhaps maybe not quite so hygienic....

    ReplyDelete
  7. Brogan Perkins 4892341July 27, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    I too like Anita [Kulasic] have recently and mainly only travelled to the gold coast australia. A sustainable practice I enjoyed was the public transportation particularly the bus system that allowed me as a tourist to travel to and from all the tourist spots (themeparks, malls, cbd) without the use of a private vehicle and without having to reschedule or be late for any intended activities as is the case with relying on the bus in Auckland. A more pleasing practice was in the new Robina mall they have 'parking assist' where each car park has a light above it which glows green if a park is empty and red if its full this helps you find a car park very quickly reducing carpark blockages, accidents, and frustration.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Fang Yun 4598820July 27, 2010 at 9:22 PM

    Last time i went back to my home town Canton in China was a year ago, preparation for the 16th Asian Game in Nov of 2010 has already began back then. As part of the preparation, the government has proposed to transform and "upgrade" the city through refurbishing the exterior of the existing buildings in most of the busy centres, hoping to give visitors the best impression about the city. The job was expected to be finished by September this year along with the finishing of some parts of the metro system expansion. Within such short time frame, u can imagine the amount of work that has been going on in the last year for completing the job on time. People have been complained about the dust and smell that are resulted from the constructions, causing the streets very unpleasant to stay. Personally i think this is an very unsustainable practice in terms of planning. The rushing for progress means little time for consideration about the impacts and implication of such major work done on both the environment and the people who live within.I understand what the game means to the city but the resources required for refurbishing the building exterior can be used more wisely in things that are more meaningful for the city than just to impress tourists by superficial enhancement.

    ReplyDelete
  9. A sustainable practice in a place I’ve visted is the public transport in Hong Kong. These are just vague memories as I was there almost 6 years ago. Apparantly if it wern’t for the public transport in HK, and everyone used private vehicles to get to their destinations, noone would get anywhere because there’s so many people in HK compared to their land area. They had trains that travelled underground and I remember the ground would shake everytime a train travelled under me. Like Brogan, I too travelled everywhere using public transport. I guess it helped heaps that buses and trains were accessable pretty much everywere.

    [Diana Luong - 4904277]

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yu Ying Viena Jiang (4593106)July 27, 2010 at 9:58 PM

    For me, to become as a sustainable city, a perfect transport system is needed. Two weeks before I went to Europe for my winter holiday. The most impressing thing for me is the underground systems in Europe. The linkage between the underground and the buses or trains system which are clear showed on the maps. A visitor like me is able to find the way easily. This is able to encourage people to use the public transport rather than drive cars. Paris also encourage people cycling, therefore, many public bikes are located in the streets. This is other way to reduce cars on the road. Many places such as hostel, restaurants, and public toilets have installed inductors in order to save energy.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Kimberley Edmonds 4992625

    I recently visited Cambodia. Tonle Sap is a major lake there and is an important resource in terms of providing food for villagers, encouraging tourism and for its intrinsic biosphere values. However serious overfishing despite ‘regulations’ against this activity, has caused there to be a serious decline in the lakes fish population. A floating village resides on it and relies on the lakes health in order to feed themselves and maintain tourism benefits. Without increased effort to regulate fishing there, the current unsustainable practises will continue and be incredibly detrimental to Cambodia, whilst forcing the floating villagers to move elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Growing your own fruit and vegetables is a sustainable activity that occurs within my neighbourhood, in Auckland. My household along with many of our neighbours grow a lot of our fruit and vegetables, which we eat ourselves, trade and give away. Growing your own produce is a sustainable activity, as it takes the pressure off and reduces demand for fruit and vegetables from supermarkets and vegetable stores. This reduces our carbon footprint from food transport costs. In addition to this growing your own produce is often healthier, cheaper and promotes self –sufficiency. Ooooby (out of our own back yard- http://ooooby.ning.com/) is a network group that is focused around locally grown and produced food. It is worth a look if you are interested in growing or purchasing local produce.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Every year I visit the state of Arizona in the U.S. Most of the state is very dry desert with their main water source coming from the Colorado River, which has often run dry even before reaching Mexico. Despite this, there are continually new development projects taking place, most notably in the form of outdoor malls. The most unsustainable design feature of these are the water misters which line the awnings of store entrances, so customers are cooled down even before entering into the air conditioned building. I have even seen some stores placing misters around the entire length of the building and even running them during the winter.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nardia Yozin 4677369July 28, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    I find that Melbourne’s public transport system is sustainable. The public transport is not only cheap, but very efficient in getting you not only to places within the CBD but also to outer areas. Melbourne City has extensive tram, bus and train networks that all links up to each other and their passes are interchangeable. I never personally used busses in the CBD but found that trains and trams could get me to exactly where I wanted to go.
    The people that I know and visit there all live in Melbourne and its central suburbs. They feel that they do not need personal vehicles because they find the public transport so effective.

    Longer distance travel is also available via public transport. My friends and I travelled Melbourne CBD and out to Portarlington (Auckland to Hamilton 126km, Melbourne CBD to Portarlington 102km) and were able to get there (on-time) by only using public (train and bus) transport.
    The train that we travelled on to Geelong (70km from Melbourne CBD) is also often used by city commuters and Uni students.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Having lived in Melbourne, I tend to agree with Nadia with regards to her view on the public transport system. Although Melbourne has an integrated ticketing system - which means one ticket will get you on a bus, train and tram in order for you to complete your journey, there are some downfalls to the actually amenity values that the infrastructure brings with it. In particular the extensive train tracks within the CBD that looks like 'spaghetti junction' x20 in Auckland, and the menacing tram overhead lines and tracks throughout the central area. Thankfully and more to the point of my contribution to a sustainable place I have visited, is that Federation Square has somewhat provided some remedial amenity and value to some of the train track infrastructure by building over them.
    Federation Square covers an entire city block and is a combination of public space and architecture while providing a mix of shopping, dinning, events and galleries. A huge commitment towards sustainability has focused on water conservation. Finally innovative development with the installation of water tanks are used for both retention and reuse. The rain garden filters stormwater runoff, and the collecting of stormwater is used for both flushing of toilets and cleaning purposes. Further sustainable practices include the recycling of water back into the cooling towers. If only all future developments could be this sustainable.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Like many others, I too have experienced the PT systems in Australian cities. In particular, I found integrated ticketing in Sydney to be really effective. Sydney has numerous form of PT (train, tram, bus, monorail, ferry) that, in conjunction with integrated ticketing, enable those without cars easy access to much of the city. This view may be slightly distorted as a disproportionate amount of time was spent in and around Sydney's CBD. Nevertheless, the multitude of PT options appeared to facilitate travel without private vehicles much more efficiently than PT in Auckland.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Minkyung Ko (Mindy)- 4801104 said...

    I’ve visited Singapore about 10 years ago. It’s been a long time, but I remember the one sustainable activity distinctly. It is the ban on chewing gum. Left chewing gum on the street and public place is difficult to clean up because it doesn’t decompose. To remove the gums, it was costing the government large amounts of money, as well as causing damage to the cleaning equipment itself and on the street. I think chewing gum ban can be a sustainable activity because Singapore made a neat and tidy place with this law, although it is not a big thing which is compared with other people said. Chewing gum is illegal in Singapore since 1992. This law also bans the product, import and sale of chewing gum. It’s been revised in 2004. FTA between United Stated and Singapore, changed law slightly to allow the sale of gum considered to have health benefits. These chewing gums can only be sold in pharmacies whit permission of the dentists.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Jonathan HartnettJuly 28, 2010 at 11:42 PM

    On visiting Israel, I remember the provision of public transport in terms of a direct rail link from the Airport in Tel Aviv to the centre of the city. There was integrated ticketing allowing ease of transfer onto the metro system. The Tel Aviv local authoritiy is spending money to better integrate both heavy rail and the underconstruction light rail.

    My understanding, is that Israel Railways funded by the Government is embarking on a expansion plan including: creation of new lines to destinations such as Eliat and the Dead Sea. There is also futue electrification and development of High Speed Rail.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Jake Lawreence said

    When visiting Henderson i took the opportunity to take a look at the Waitakere Council 'eco building' i was impressed by some of the design aspects related to increased sustainability such as the contruction of hollows within concrete beams to allow natural air flow to regulate the buildings climate in place of air conditioning. furthermore the green roff is an attempt by the council to help control water runoff, provide natural insulation, increase amentity values and help identify the building as 'green'.

    i am sure there are many overseas countries that employ green roofs as common practice in new buildings and it would be interesting to see if it is practical to employ these sustainability techniques more widely in NZ?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Keaton

    4928818

    Im going to go ahead and toss out my unsustasinable experience of the week. Lastnight I decided to catch the latest leonardo de carprio film inception. Simple enough concept but my car is currently out of wof and rego so i decided to bus it. Movie 8pm bussed in Newmarket to St Lukes all is well, yea anyway the punchline the movie finished at about 10.30 and there were no buses operating at this time. The only one i could find from three stops would have ran me further west and only came every hour. Such a struggle to someone used to catching the link everyday... But wait the link is useless too; i live in parnell right simple task to get home from uni on the link? However the route takes longer for me to get home on the bus than walking.

    In my opinion this is a terribly unsustainble situation in which we live, even something as simple as tendering another company to come more regularly down bus routes would do wonders for this countries carbon footprint. I mean everyone knows our public transport is bad but my lack of a car has put a chip on my shoulder. Also caught the train to avondale yesteday itwas quite expensive and the train was filled with deros.

    changes need to be made

    ReplyDelete
  22. One unsustainable practice that we are all probably guilty of is the inappropriate use and dependence on private automobiles. This dependence is largely due to the physical structure of the city, and the lack of sufficient public transport. To make matters worse, our funding agreements within NZ consciously invest in the problem by promoting roading over the infrastructure which supports walking, cycling and public transport. The argument to this may be that expanded roadway capacity reduces congestion and increases automobile speeds, thereby resulting in faster-moving automobiles that burn fuel more efficiently and cleanly, and therefore cleaning up the air. However, in reality this encourages car usage and may result in greater congestion, air pollution and carbon emissions. This is a very different mentality to other countries – as mentioned by the exemplar public transport projects in Australia, Hong Kong and throughout Europe - and shows how politicians and planners in New Zealand bow to the pressure of the public whom are caught up in its addiction to the automobile.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have been in New Zealand for three years, and there is one thing confused me for a long time, since the first night I came. I found lights in stores never turned off during the night, which I think is very unsustainable. I tried to ask friends the reason why the lights keep on, and no one actually knows. The only reason I guess is to ensure the safety near stores. Honestly, it might be helpful, but I still cannot understand, because this policy or habit really wastes energy, thus wastes resources. If it is true to ensure the safety, there could be other means to substitute.

    ReplyDelete