Media and News

Coffee Cup Menace

Despite its innocent papery appearance, your disposable coffee cup is doing more damage than you might think. The ABC’s War on Waste clearly identified take-away coffee cups as a major sustainability issue. Contrary to common belief, they are not recycled. The plastic lining ensures that they almost never make it to a recycling plant (regardless of what bin you put them in). They don’t biodegrade either, so Australia’s astronomical demand for its daily coffee fix means these cups reach landfill in plague-like proportions. It is estimated that disposable coffee cups are the second largest litter waste product, outdone only by plastic bottles.

One solution stands out as fairly straighforward: BYO cups. The movement is growing in Australia with environmentalists everywhere encouraging co-workers and friends; and some coffee shops offering discounts for customers who bring their own cup. But for those who struggle to remember that cup when they leave the house, there are other options.

Another solution is in-house office coffee. Investing in a good quality office coffee machine can make a huge difference to sustainable office practice. Machines like the Nespresso pod system deliver a quality caffeine fix with a low environmental imprint (Who knew George Clooney was such an environmentalist?). The aluminium coffee pods that Nespresso uses are entirely recyclable, and they make it as easy as possible for you to send them in. When the used coffee pods are returned, 100% of the aluminium is recycled and the used coffee grounds go into compost.

However you decide to tackle it, the hidden menace in your disposable coffee cup doesn’t have to be the end of the story.

A World-First Biofuel Flight

Earlier this year, Qantas pulled off the world’s first dedicated biofuel flight from the USA to Australia. Flight QF96 departed Los Angles on the 28th of Janurary, and landed in Melbourne 15 hours later, saving 18,000kg in carbon emissions.

Qantas’ biofuel of choice is processed from Brassa Carinata (a kind of mustard seed) developed by Agrisoma Biosciences.  The partnership between Qantas and Agrisoma will see both companies work alongside Australian farmers with the aim of growing Australia’s first commercial aviation biofuel seed crop by 2020.

For more information on the historic flight and Qantas’ future plans, check out the article here.

Combining Sustainability and Luxury – Sunrise at 1770

Sunrise at 1770 combines high-end luxury housing with a strong emphasis on sustainability and the conservation of the surrounding nature reserve. The multi-award-winning housing development spans six beaches and 625 hectares along Australia’s stunning eastern coastline, but is more than just a luxury gated community.

While the community offers permanent and holiday residents a slew of state-of-the-art facilities (pools, tennis courts, volleyball courts, and dining pavilions are just a few) it strives to be more than just an idyllic holiday destination.  Sunset at 1770 embraces best environmental practice and excellence in design technology in order to ensure that sustainability remains a foundational goal throughout its design and operation.  It’s exactly the sentiment that the AGDF seeks to foster and support in Australian Development.

For more information and some gorgeous pictures, check out the Sunrise at 1770 website.

The bank that pauses your mortgage whilst you switch to solar

‘The bank that pauses your mortgage whilst you switch to solar…’ Bank Australia. 

We have recently spotted an especially exciting promotion. Bank Australia is encouraging their customers towards sustainability by pausing their home loan repayments while they make the switch to solar power.  An excellent initiative and an exciting sign that big companies are sensing, responding to, and increasingly encouraging a greener & cleaner future.

New AGDF Board Members

In addition to the recent appointment of John Tuxworth as President, the AGDF board is excited to welcome to the board Karen Greaves and Loreta Brazukas. Karen Greaves (Principal Engineer – Advanced Design, Aecom) will be filling the position of Treasurer, while Loreta Brazukas (Senior ESD Consultant, Floth Sustainable Building Consultants) will be handling the CPD Portfolio.

Both women bring to bear considerable development expertise, as well as a passion for sustainability. (PS – Check out our article on Floth’s new office here)

The 2018 AGDF Board stands as follows:

  • President: John Tuxworth (Managing Director, BE Collective)
  • VP: Cameron Hoffman (Principal – Planning Australia Asia Pacific, RPS)
  • Secretary: Natasha Prasek (Associate, PDT Architects)
  • Treasurer: Karen Greaves (Principal Engineer – Advanced Design, Aecom)
  • Events Portfolio & Past Pres: Mark Thomson (Architect -Director, Eco Effective Solutions)
  • CPD Portfolio: Loreta Brazukas (Senior ESD Consultant, Floth Sustainable Building Consultants)
  • Memberships Portfolio: Chris Mahoney (Director, VERDé Design Group)
  • Web/IT Portfolio: Rashan Senanayake (Design Director, Inspired Design)

Are you interested in assisting or joining a committee?
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