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  • Writer's pictureGabrielle Stannus

Renewing ourselves ...

We have been in a process of reinvigoration recently. Find out how we are seeking to sustain our business and our planet too.

Developing ourselves professionally

Firstly, Ludovic has been quietly working behind the scenes to have his building design skills recognised here in Australia. He successfully completed the Diploma of Building Design and is now a Registered Building Designer in Tasmania. Well done Ludovic! To continue his professional development, Ludovic recently joined the Building Designers Association of Australia (BDAA). I am already a member of the Australian Institute of Horticulture (and its Tasmanian Regional Convenor) and Horticultural Media Association Australia, and I sit on the Executive Management committee of the Interior Plantscape Association.

Joining like-minded organisations

Secondly, we have been looking at where we spend our earnings. We want our money to support good work. So we have joined Renew. Renew is a national, not-for-profit organisation that inspires, enables and advocates for people to live sustainably in their homes and communities. This organisation has been providing expert, independent advice on sustainable solutions for the home to households, government and industry since 1980. They used to be called the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) back in the day. However, the technologies that Renew spruik should be considered mainstream, i.e. not 'alternative', if we want to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and avoid dangerous climate change.

Renew publish two excellent publications that you really should read if you are seeking an environmentally sustainable home and lifestyle. According to Renew, Sanctuary is Australia's only dedicated sustainable house design magazine, profiling the best in environmentally aware architectural and design solutions. Sanctuary's tagline is 'Modern green homes'. Renew's Renew magazine is a great read if you are interested in making your home and lifestyle more environmentally sustainable, i.e. doing it yourself. Its byline is 'Technology for a sustainable future' environmentally sustainable home and lifestyle.

Switching our banking

Thirdly, we have been reassessing where we save our money. We currently bank with one of the Big Four, a hangover from my childhood when the state supported banking, i.e. it was not all privatised. I have investigated options to switch our savings and find that Bank Australia is the financial institution most closely aligned with our values, i.e. seeking to live more sustainably. Bank Australia supports projects that have meaningful positive social, environmental, economic and culture impacts; staying carbon neutral and contributing to a healthier planet. The only downside is that they are yet to have a branch in Tasmania, and most likely won't in the near future. However, they do have excellent call centre staff based here in Australia. I like to speak with people! We will be making the change in the coming weeks.

Our superannuation is with Australian Ethical. Australian Ethical seek out and support investments that provide positive, sustainable change for society and the environment. They do not invest in industries such as tobacco, uranium, coal mining, coal seam gas (CSG), exploitation of people or old growth forest logging. They claim to be the first publicly listed company in Australia to earn B Corp certified status and donate 10% of their profits as part of their annual Community Grants program.

Want to do your own research so you can invest your money differently? Check out Responsible Returns for a start. Responsible Returns is an initiative of the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia. This initiative can help you to find responsible or ethical banking, superannuation and investment products matching your values and interests. Simply select the top themes you would like to support (positive screening), e.g. renewable energy and energy efficiency, and those issues you want to avoid (negative screening), e.g. fossil fuels. It will then ask you what kind of product you are looking for, e.g. superannuation, investment, banking. Hit 'Search' and you will be provided with a list of results for financial institutions fully or partially meeting your criteria. Highly recommended!

Refreshing our website

Finally, we have been working to refresh our website. So you will notice a few changes coming up! We hope that these updates will make our website easier to navigate so that you can quickly find what you need.

Anyway, I better get back to that work. So I will sign off for now.

A bientôt!

NB. We received no endorsement from any of the organisations listed in this article. We just wanted to share our story to encourage you to explore options to become part of the change required to sustain human (and other) life on this planet.



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