Events, Webinars, Facts, Advocate, add voice

‘Bee’ plastic free and have a cup of tea

Where would we ‘bee’ without our pollinators?

You may think that 21st May 2022 is all about the Australian Federal Election – but after you have voted, take some time in nature to watch the bees, have a cup of tea and appreciate the world around you.

Yesterday 20 May was World Bee Day. Bees maintain our biodiversity and around 75 per cent of our food crops rely on bees and other pollinators. Let’s thank and protect bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, which are increasingly under threat from human activities. ‘Bee’ engaged with this quiz.

Today (21 May) is International Tea Day. Tea is the most consumed drink (after water) in the world and many countries rely on it for their income. Tea production and processing contribute to the reduction of extreme poverty (Sustainable Development Goal 1), the fight against hunger (SDG 2), the empowerment of women (SDG 5) and the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems (SDG 15). Who would have thought that drinking tea empowered women?

Tomorrow (22 May) is International Day for Biological Diversity. Be inspired by these women who are taking action to protect biodiversity through their leadership, art, and sheer determination. They all took a first step on their journey to protect biodiversity – what will yours be? Here are 22 actions to choose from.

Reducing plastic is a simple way we can help protect biodiversity. In March 2022 the UN mandated to develop a plastic pollution treaty by 2024 which is wonderful news. For practical tips on reducing plastic, get involved with Plastic Free July!


Australia’s climate change history in pictures

This article appeared on the ABC news website today. It provides an engaging dialogue in words and pictures of Australia’s relationship with the climate. It clearly outlines why we need to take climate action now and how doing so opens up opportunities to create the industries that could turn Australia into an energy superpower. Bring on the transition – the future looks good.

More good news is that the WA Government is fast-tracking its planned phase-out of single-use plastics. Plastic straws, cups, plates and cutlery will be outlawed in WA from the end of the year. With Plastic Free July just around the corner, let’s stop using single-use plastics now!

Facts, Article

Gender, Climate, and Parliament

Did you know that the four most climate-resilient countries in the world are led by women? They are Norway, New Zealand, Finland and Denmark and congratulations go to their Prime Ministers Erna Solberg, Jacinda Adern, Sanna Marin and Mette Frederiksen on their nation’s achievements. Interestingly, the proportion of women in all of their parliaments is above 40%.

In contrast, the four least climate-resilient countries are led by men and have much lower numbers of women in their parliaments: Eritrea (22% women in parliament), Central African Republic (9%), Somalia (24%) and Chad (15%).

To give humanity the best chance of surviving the climate crisis, we need more women around decision-making tables in community groups, workplaces, and all levels of government.

How does Australia fare?

There are 16.7 million people on our nation’s electoral roll, and 51% of them are women. Australia’s Federal Parliament consists of 227 members, 86 of whom are women (38%). Women make up 51% of the Senate and 31% of the House of Representatives. Currently, there are 6 women in the 22-member decision-making Cabinet (27%).

Recent events in Parliament House will not help to make politics an attractive career choice for women. However, to get fairer representation, we must support more women to take on leadership roles at all levels of society and government.

Here are a few of the ways that you can help women take on leadership roles.

  • Acknowledge young girls for their leadership potential (replacing the language of bossiness with leadership).
  • Encourage young women to be informed and share their views openly and confidently.
  • Mentor women in your workplace, so they are prepared for leadership positions.
  • Champion women in their careers.
  • Learn how, through following a leader, you can create a movement.

Starting Conversations

Do you find it hard to start a conversation about climate change? Here are a couple of facts that may help break the ice. Did you know that:

  • Renewables represented 21% of Australia’s total electricity generation in 2019.
  • China has more than 400,000 electric buses, about 99% of the world’s total.
  • In the last 30 years, the UK has grown its economy by 75% while cutting emissions by 43%.
  • In Australia, in the last 30 years, energy emissions have increased by 48%.
  • The European Union has decided to cut its emissions by at least 55 per cent by the end of this decade.
  • Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for between 300 and 1,000 years.
  • Climate Analytics points out that: When emissions from Australia’s current coal, oil and gas exports (3.6% of global total) are added to domestic emissions (1.4% of global total), Australia’s contribution to the global climate pollution footprint is already about 5%. That’s equivalent to Russia’s total greenhouse gas emissions, the world’s fifth-biggest carbon dioxide emitter.

However, Australia is also at the forefront of producing renewable energy at a massive scale:

  • The Sun Cable solar farm in the Northern Territories will cover 150 square kilometres and require 22 million solar panels and a power line to supply electricity all the way to Singapore.
  • The Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area (465km north of Perth) is planned to produce and export renewable hydrogen and will have up to 1,250MW of solar and 270MW of wind generation. (For comparison, WA’s largest coal power station generates about 854MW.)
  • And the BIG ONE – The Asia Renewable Energy Hub in WA (wind and solar) will be built across 6,500 square kilometres in the Pilbara region and produce 15,000MW and up to 26,000MW in the long term.

We may have a huge climate problem, but we also have some fantastic climate solutions! Check out how climate relates to gender equality at ZontaSaysNOW.

Events, Facts

All we want for Christmas…is a sustainable world

The Jacarandas are blooming and this is a reminder that Christmas is nearly upon us in Australia. Zontians have been sharing their ideas about sustainable shopping for this festive season. 

Eloise suggests to think about:

  • Packaging – select items with minimal or no plastic wrapping.
  • The longevity of the product – avoid single-use products and also ask yourself, “Is this something low value and likely to be discarded or left unused within a year?”
  • Provenance/source of the product – is it manufactured locally?  If it is not something made by club members themselves, e.g. the Zonta Club of Central Goldfield’s delicious shortbread, is there an opportunity to support some of the many social enterprises that support women or migrants such as SisterWorks

Carole believes that the best presents are those that help women and girls.  She gives donations in the recipient’s name to the Zonta Foundation for Women’s Endowment Fund to help future generations and purchases tickets to Zonta Club events.  She is also trying to wrap family presents this year using re-usable fabrics such as heirloom linen, tea towels, pillowcases, and ribbons.

Sandra and Sharon noted that One Million Women has just created a LoveEarth Marketplace where you can discover brands, organisations and community groups that are providing solutions to help us all live climate action in every aspect of our lives. 

Val’s family and friends have been telling her about Zeroco that reuses ocean waste products to make recycled plastic containers for re-fillable home cleaning and personal care products.  They also found Aeriel where you can track your carbon emissions, and that also offers ways to offset your carbon footprint.  

It is amazing what you can find when you start looking. Some councils also promote apps such as ClimateClever to help you control your climate footprint.

Let us know what tips and products have caught your eye so we can find out more about them. 

Check out our 5Rs of Waste Management leaflet and be part of the solution for a sustainable future.

Best wishes for the holiday season!
Don’t forget to reuse your Christmas decorations to reduce your carbon footprint.  When they eventually need replacing, choose environmentally friendly options.

Reduce Emissions, Facts

Passing Gas: Why renewables are the future

Have you seen this latest report from the Climate Council? It reveals the extent to which gas is driving climate change – and it is likely to be worse than official figures suggest.

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading climate change communications organisation. It is made up of some of the country’s leading climate scientists, health, renewable energy and policy experts.

Download the report here

Videos, Facts

What’s the state of Australia’s climate?

This 2-minute video captures the key findings of the State of the Climate 2020 report

Many thanks to Jane Sultana for raising awareness of the sixth bienniel State of our Climate report developed by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology. From this link you can see a short 2-minute video of key findings and also download the full report.

Here are the key observations:

  • The warming trend outlined in the previous State of the Climate reports is continuing.
  • Australia’s climate has warmed on average by 1.44 (± 0.24) degrees since 1910, leading to an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events.
  • Oceans around Australia are acidifying, and have warmed by around one degree since 1910, contributing to longer and more frequent marine heatwaves.
  • The rate of sea-level rise varies around Australia’s coastlines, but overall, sea levels are rising in line with global trends.
  • There has been an increase in extreme fire weather, and the length of the fire season, across large parts of the country since the 1950s, especially in southern Australia.
  • Rainfall has increased across parts of northern Australia since the 1970s.
  • Fewer tropical cyclones for the future, but a greater proportion projected to be of high intensity, with large variations from year to year.
  • Global carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) concentrations in the atmosphere reached 410 parts per million (ppm) in 2019 and the CO 2 -equivalent of all greenhouse gas reached 508 ppm. The rate of CO 2 accumulation in the atmosphere has increased with every passing decade since atmospheric measurements began.
  • Emissions from fossil fuels are the main contributor to the observed growth in atmospheric CO2. Around 85 per cent of global CO 2  emissions in the decade from 2009 to 2018 were from fossil fuel sources.

Advocate, Events, Facts

Natalie Isaacs online and in-person

What makes a climate action warrior? Join the Zonta Club of Melbourne on Yarra online on Wednesday 18 November from 6.30-7.30pm (AEST) to find out!

The club’s inaugural ZEDx event (a special Zonta event similar to a TED talk) will feature Natalie Isaacs and all are welcome to register – no matter where you live.

Natalie Isaacs has been described as a climate action warrior and, as the founder of One Million Women, she is gathering quite an army. One Million Women is a global movement of women and girls – from every corner of the planet – building a lifestyle revolution to fight the climate crisis through behaviour change. Men are welcome to join and make up around 20% of the movement.

Natalie reckons that by 2028, women will be responsible for two-thirds of consumer spending – and every dollar we don’t spend or spend on the right thing, shapes the world.

Tickets are $20 each from Humanitix.

Please use this flyer to share the event through your networks.

Proceeds from the event will support the Zonta Club of Melbourne on Yarra’s inaugural Women Taking Climate Action Award ($1,000) and other Zonta projects to empower women and girls.