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Archive | Interviews

Fighting food waste with Jamie Edwards

Pickling with Jamie Edwards

Pickling with Jamie Edwards

Food waste is a big issue. Consider the energy that goes into producing and transporting food from as far away as Europe and China, and the money spent on something that is then literally thrown away. Weigh it up against the environmental impact and the fact that many people go hungry, and it’s undeniable that we can do things better.

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Keep your community and the environment healthy with Streetbank

People sharing household items through Streetbank

Streetbank is a global initiative that works on the idea that sharing is better for both the health of our environment and our neighbourhoods. Rather than every house on the street owning a lawnmower which gathers dust when not in use, the team behind Streetbank are encouraging people to turn towards community sharing so that we can lower waste, save money, and make stronger connections with the people we live near.

We spoke to Kim Shore from Streetbank Australia to find out more.

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An ethical short circuit? Behind the Barcode opens up the electronics industry


Baptist World Aid has today released the Electronics Industry Trends Report and Ethical Electronics Guide as part of the Behind the Barcode series. This is the second Behind the Barcode report, following the release of the Australian Fashion Report and Ethical Fashion Guide in 2013.

The new guide empowers consumers to buy electronics ethically by grading 45 brands from 39 of the world’s biggest tech companies. The gradings assess the systems companies have in place to protect workers in the supply chain from exploitation, forced labour and child labour.

We talk to Gershon Nimbalker, Advocacy Manager at Baptist World Aid about the report and guide.

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Find a sustainable business with Jenny from Green D


Green D is an online directory giving consumers access to sustainable businesses. Otter spoke with Jenny from Green D about how and why to find sustainable businesses, how to change our buying habits and what we can look out for to avoid the greenwash.

1. GreenD is about letting consumers know about sustainable businesses. Why is it important for people to pick sustainable businesses?

Every single thing a consumer purchases supports the business they are buying from and so, naturally, the environment is affected for better or worse by each purchase. Continue Reading →

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Eat less, care more and feel good with Meat Free Week’s Melissa Dixon and Lainie Bracher

Melissa Dixon and Lainie Bracher, co-founders of Meat Free Week

Photo: Melissa Dixon (left) and Lainie Bracher, co-founders of Meat Free Week

This year Meat-Free Week is supported by Voiceless, Bowel Cancer Australia and the Australian Conservation Foundation. Otter spoke with Melissa Dixon, co-founder of Meat Free Week, about the impacts of meat consumption on our health, the environment and animals, and her tips on reducing the amount of meat in our diets. Continue Reading →

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What’s under your shirt? Otter Speaks with Fair Wear Australia

sweatshop workers

Tell us about Fair wear

FairWear is a grassroots campaign made up of individuals and organisations working to stop the exploitation of outworkers and sweatshop workers in the textile, clothing and footwear industries. Importantly, outworkers and sweatshop workers themselves have been involved in the campaign, challenging companies and politicians (in their own gentle way) to take action in response to the daily realities they face of below award wages, long hours of work, work injury, unrealistic deadlines and stressful working conditions. Continue Reading →

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Food Connect brings local produce to your street

JL in Motion (2)

We speak with Julian Lee from social business Food Connect about the why and how to buy locally grown food, his favourite food and places, and the impact of  Food Connect in Sydney.

What first got you interested in food issues?

I was fascinated from an early age about growing food. I then learnt about Permaculture and that got me even more excited about how good design can make what seems impossible from an industrial perspective, possible – and even beautiful!

Why is it important for consumers to source food from farmers? Continue Reading →

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The fairness of chocolate

Deborah Andrich talks to Craig Chester about Fairtrade’s role in sustainable development in PNG, what a chocolate supplier needs to do to gain the Fairtrade certification, and which brands are certified in Australia.

The farmers at Oro Verde Cooperative in Peru with cocoa harvest - Credit Fairtrade International

Farmers at Oro Verde Cooperative in Peru/ Fairtrade International

Forgive me, for I have sinned.

I am guilty of having eaten chocolate that wasn’t Fairtrade. To pay penance, I have delved into the depths of the meaning of Fairtrade with Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand, Operations Manager, Craig Chester.

What are the principles behind Fairtrade?

It’s about allowing the world’s poorest farmers to run successful businesses. If we strip it back and simplify it, that is what our function is. Global trade as it stands now tends to work against the worlds’ poorest who are not skilled in running a business, are poorly educated and have little access to resources, legal systems and support that is readily available in the developed world. It’s about addressing those needs at the farm gate. These farmers are the most exposed to industries that utilise cheap labour, materials and commodities. Continue Reading →

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