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Articles from websites run by friends of Costa who share the same passion for sustainability, food and community.

The Benefits of Owning an Electric Car (For You and The Environment)

As an avid reader of Green Journey, it’s likely that you’ll be more than aware of the importance of doing your bit to try and help our environment.

And although I’m sure many of us try to do our bit wherever possible – such as by separating the cardboard from the plastics in our rubbish, or by making sure we turn our televisions off at the wall rather than leave them on stand-by – it’s probably fair to say that on the whole, we can always put a little more effort into it.

In fact, if you’re really serious about wanting to help our planet, then you’ll know that there are some even bigger steps you can take to try and make an even bigger difference - like swapping your current home electricity for solar panels, or even, swapping your petrol fuelled car for an electric one.

But, as well as these steps helping to contribute positively to our environment, taking some of these steps can also help to positively benefit your lifestyle too. Not sure? Well, here’s how taking the latter example - of swapping your beloved fuel-powered motor for an electric one - will not only do the world of good for the world, but will also do the world of good for your finances.

Environmentally Friendly

Electric cars are exceptionally sympathetic to the environment – in fact, it’s this factor that led to their creation in the first place. Electric cars were designed for environmentally conscious individuals.

Because an electric car is propelled by an electric motor, it doesn’t produce any harmful tailpipe pollutants, and therefore doesn’t emit any emissions into the Earth’s air and atmosphere. This helps to the keep the air cleaner for Australia’s flora and fauna, as well as helps to maintain its architecture. As well as harming wildlife, car exhaust emissions are also one of the main contributing factors to the erosion of buildings in our built up towns and cities.

Electric powered vehicles are also a lot quieter and smoother to run, resulting in a significant reduction in noise pollution, too.

Financially Friendly

As well as being exceptionally environmentally friendly, becoming the owner of an electric car can also be beneficial for your bank balance.

To start with, the most obvious financial benefit of owning an electric car is that it means you will no longer have to fork out on petrol to run it. Rather than filling up at a petrol station, electric vehicles simply need to be plugged into an electric power point to operate – and, as most users tend to do this in the evenings, the demand for electricity at this time is often lower, therefore costing you much less to do so.

Another key benefit of becoming an owner of an electric car is that they have very low operating and maintenance costs, due to the newer and higher quality parts used to build them. Electric cars have very few moving parts compared to conventional cars, and as they don’t need things like engine oil to help them keep running, they are much less likely to break or need replacing.

Many insurance providers also recognise the fact that electric vehicles aren’t performance vehicles due to their inability to go high top speeds. As a result, the risk profile for the driver is dramatically reduced, and it’s because of this that helps car insurance quotes to work out much cheaper. Some companies may even offer rewards to motorists who have bought an electric car in a bid to become more environmentally friendly! So, if you’re looking to save money with budget car insurance, then investing in an electric car may certainly be the way to go!

Check out:

Green Vehicle Guide

Electric Vehicle Info

Fuelling Future Passenger Vehicle Use in Australia (p96 - Electric vehicles)

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Consumer Choice … Coming to a home near you!

It’s a balmy Wednesday evening in Brisbane, but there’s hustle, bustle and shouts of greeting ringing out from underneath a classic Queenslander house. Sales are about to kick off at one of the bulk buyer's groups that are emerging across the nation.

The volunteers do a final check of the prices, pull the last of the dry goods out of storage and set up the scales. When shopping is open, around 60 people descend upon the tables bursting with organic local produce that was harvested within the previous few days.

In an era of ‘conscious shopping’, people are starting to become aware that where they buy their food is as important as what kind of food they buy. Australia’s major supermarket chains control almost 80% of grocery trade. This duopoly is wielding their purchasing power in often unethical and crude ways that take away both farmer and consumer choice.

Consumer power through how we spend our grocery dollar is a popular concept. We now need to take it a step further ... a step out of the major supermarket chains and into local community halls, houses and schools where bulk buying groups are making real choice about their food.

Each of these largely volunteer-run groups is unique to the members who run it, however at the heart of each group is the ability to provide good quality, local produce at cheap prices. It’s convenient, has a range of produce available and gives you a chance to catch up on the local goss!

Check out the following video from a workshop called 'Foodies Unite' held in Brisbane in March 2013. Rolf Kuelsen shares the vision and benefits of local buying groups.

How can you get involved?

Visit https://www.facebook.com/seq.cooperative.network and join the group to learn more and stay up to date with local events.

Visit http://www.australianfoodsovereigntyalliance.org/peoples-food-plan/get-involved/ for resources and information.

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MMmm, Maple Goodness!

Oh the sugaring… yum! AND stay tuned for some exciting new maple products this year – infused syrups! First batch of Maple Fire is finished! A habanero infused, dark syrup. It’s sweet, hot and exciting! Read More »

Time to get your sustainable hands dirty!

So you’ve been to a couple of talks about practising sustainability, read a bit online, debated about it with friends but haven’t quite got to the point of getting dirt under you nails? On April… Read More »

A People’s Food Plan for Australia

In response to concerns about the limited objectives proposed by the National Food Plan (a federal government initiative), and after broad public consultation, the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance has developed the People's Food Plan for Australia. The People’s Food Plan presents a common-sense and achievable vision for fair food that places the soil and land, farmers, food workers and eaters at the centre of a restorative food system. Read More »

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