Sustainability matters – get some tips!
Issued: 10 May 2021

Coming up on 13 June is the Sustainability and Science Showcase. Our experts who will be on stage have shared some interesting insights ahead of this event.

On Sunday 13 June, we are delivering the Sustainability and Science Showcase at the Queensland Museum to share the latest science facts, practical tips and ideas for you to consider at home to help protect our planet.

On the day, you will be able to meet some of Queensland's leading organisations, researchers and businesses who are at the forefront of research and sustainability education. Experience our interactive displays and take a pledge to address our global challenges.

Our experts who will be on stage have shared some interesting insights ahead of this event.

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Peta Ashworth

Chair in Sustainable Energy Futures at The University of Queensland, Professor Peta Ashworth said a national survey that was run in March 2021 shows: 75.6% of respondents believe that climate change is already happening and 9.3% say it will start happening in the next 30 years. This is up from 69% in 2017.

Her sustainability tip as we head into winter, is to use curtains and blinds to keep the warmth in your house and reduce heat loss through windows. Also, informal zoning within your house can minimise the area needed to heat and also saves on energy costs.

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Mark Barthel

Chief Operating Officer, Stop Food Waste Australia and Special Advisor, Fight Food Waste CRC, Mark Barthel said the average Australian household spends around $3,000 a year on food that then gets wasted.

His tip is to learn how to store food correctly - visit the Love Food Hate Waste campaign’s A-Z of food storage website.

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Dr Paul Bertsch

Science Director, Land & Water at CSIRO, Dr Paul Bertsch agreed.

He said food waste in Australia costs the economy around $20 billion each year. And globally, food waste is responsible for about 11 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions!

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Yasmin Grigaliunas

CEO and Co-founder of World’s Biggest Garage Sale, Yasmin Grigaliunas said each Australian home has approximately $5,800 worth of unwanted items, or as we like to call them 'dormant goods' across their household.

Before something leaves your home headed for landfill, think: 'where could this go? how could this have a second life or a new home?' and explore all options before putting goods in the standard bin.

Young eco-entrepreneur and founder of The Turtle Tribe, Ned Heaton has shared a frightening fact: every plastic toothbrush you've ever used is still in the world somewhere, including the very first one you used as a 2 year old. Plastic toothbrushes take several hundred years to break up into toxic micro and nano plastics in the ocean.

His tip is to switch to compostable bamboo toothbrushes, helping to serve as a twice-daily reminder to reduce our plastic use (and waste) throughout the day.

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Claire Bickle

Horticulture and sustainability expert, Claire Bickle has told us that the average Brisbane backyard has more species of native plants, animals and insects than any other capital city in Australia.

She suggests we keep all green waste on site via composting, chipping and mulching to make the most of garden!

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Dr Tobias Smith

Founder of Bee Aware Brisbane and researcher at The University of Queensland, Dr Tobias Smith said the best way to support native bees is to grow and protect flowering native plants and trees in our landscapes as bees eat pollen and nectar.

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Dr David Rissik

Climate change adaption and environmental expert from BMT Environment Australia, Dr David Rissik agrees, saying we can give a home to animals by planting native trees which also takes up carbon, helping to improve our air quality. He said the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere is the highest it has been in human history.

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Assoc. Prof. Celine Frere

Associate Professor Celine Frere at the University of Sunshine Coast said at the event she will highlight the wonderful ways animals across the world are adapting to life in the city.

She reminded us to remember that we share our cities with wildlife and they too need to be considered in all aspect of urban sustainability.

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Professor Susan Harris Rimmer

Professor Susan Harris Rimmer from the Griffith Climate Action Beacon said it’s important to get educated. Try reading The New Climate War by Michael E Mann, and be positive.

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Professor Hugh Possingham

Queensland Chief Scientist, Prof Hugh Possingham encourages all of us to take action, do whatever you can at home, at school, in the workplace and in your local community as extinction rates of both plants and animals are over 100 times the ‘normal’ rate.

He’d love you to come to the Sustainability and Science Showcase on 13 June to learn more about sustainability. You can join a citizen science group or local environment organisation while you are at the showcase. Read his earlier blog for more tips on actions we can all do in our everyday lives.