Wednesday, September 26, 2018

New labelling system aims to take the confusion out of recycling

In an attempt to make the process easier, a new, nationally consistent label has been developed.
It was launched today and has already started appearing on some packaging.
"The label on the packaging will actually indicate which part of the product is recyclable and then which part of the product needs to go in the bin," Adrian Cullen, Woolworth's Sustainability Manager, explained on AM.
He said the company had already begun phasing the label in on Woolworths branded products.
"For example, on some of our ready meals range, there's a tray, it's covered on top with a sheet of plastic, and it might come with a cardboard collar," he said.
"So it will probably tell the customer that the tray is recyclable, the plastic sheet on top would need to be torn off and that would go into the general waste, and the collar made of cardboard would then also be recycled."
Nestle, Officeworks, Coca-Cola and Woolworths are some of the more than 50 businesses adopting the new Australasian Recycling Label.
The label will also start appearing on some takeaway coffee cups, with companies including Biopak on board.
The labelling system, developed by Planet Ark, PREP Design and the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) was launched by Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price.
While efforts to encourage consumers to recycle are widely welcomed, waste management experts have said more needs to be done to ensure manufacturers use recyclable materials.
There will be industry-led targets to support the Federal Government's commitment to make 100 per cent of all packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
"We need to address the use of recycled content; packaging being recycled or composted; and what materials are unnecessary or problematic," APCO chief executive Brooke Donnelley said.
Woolworths' Adrian Cullen believes the labelling program will challenge Woolworths and other product developers to think about the types of packaging materials they use.
The retailer is implementing a "Redcycle" program, which allows customers to bring in materials that are not recycled in council curb-side programs.
"But we know there's a long journey to go, that this is just the start for us, and we're working on improving in this area," Mr Cullen said.

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The 10 Coolest Things to Do in Australia

When visiting Australia you’ll immediately realise how huge the country actually is, and it’s easy to get totally overwhelmed by the vast number of amazingly awesome opportunities that come your way. Whether you want to go on an epic road trip, explore a major city, learn to surf, go camping and hiking in the outback, jump out of a plane from a ridiculous height, or just lounge about on a beach, Australia has it all to offer… but how on earth do you decide what to do? To help you on your mission, here’s a list of the top 10 absolute coolest things you could ever do in Australia.

Must Do Things on a Gap Year Backpacking in Australia

1. Visit Fraser Island

Considered to be the largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island is becoming increasingly popular among backpackers. There are plenty of different ways to explore this magnificent place, but by far the most popular is to go on what’s called a tag-along tour. This involves joining a group of about 20 other travellers and, in groups of six or seven, you drive yourselves around the sandy island in a mega-awesome 4X4, following along behind your guide. You will get to drive along the vast stretch of beach, visiting some fantastic places, such as the astounding wreck of the S.S. Maheno and the beautiful Lake McKenzie.
Visit Fraser Island

2. Spend time in Sydney
Sydney is one of those cities that you could explore forever and you still won’t have seen it all. Ever changing and growing, this city has almost too much to offer. Whether you want to relax on the nearby beaches (Bondi, Coogee, or Manly to name a few), go hiking in the Blue Mountains, get under the sea at the magnificent Sydney Aquarium, or act like a total tourist and get your snaps of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Sydney has it all. It’s like being in London and Cornwall at the same time!
Spend time in Sydney

3. Road trip the Great Ocean Road

As an Australian National Heritage, this 243 kilometre stretch of road is an absolute must do if you’re on the south east coast of Australia. Grab your buddies, sort out some snacks and road tunes, jump in whatever vehicle you can get your hands on and hit the Great Ocean Road. Starting not far from Melbourne, the road works its way along the coast, taking you through some great little towns, past incredible viewpoints and all the way to Port Campbell National Park, where you can take in the astounding sight that is the Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks that have been formed by their own natural erosion. It’s something you do not want to miss.
Road trip the Great Ocean Road

4. Get sandy on the beaches

With a coastline that stretches for nearly 37,000 km, it’s unsurprising that the beaches in Australia can’t really be rivalled. All 11,011 of them. Whether you want a city beach, like the ever-popular Bondi beach in Sydney, the surfing mecca that is Byron Bay, or a more secluded space, like Whitehaven Bay  in the Whitsundays, there’s definitely something for everyone here. The majority of Australia’s beaches are open to the public and there are plenty of activities available, such as jet-skiing or even skydiving if that takes your fancy!
Get sandy on the beaches

5. Learn to surf

This is probably something that’s on the top of a lot of traveller’s bucket lists, and where better to learn the art of riding waves on a board than in the sunny climes and warm seas of Oz!? There are plenty of different places and ways to learn, so whether you want to hire your own board, run into the sea and see what happens, or go to an accredited surf school with proper instructors who can teach you the ways of the waves, it’s entirely up to you. Whatever happens though, you’ll have heaps of fun and might even catch a wave or two.
Learn to surf

6. Sail the Whitsundays

Along the backpacker trail you’ll meet plenty of people who rave about their time sailing the Whitsundays. There’s a reason for this. Never again will you see such beauty just a short way from the shore. There are plenty of different options for a Whitsundays tour, but all involve some sort of boat (small and quiet, or large and noisy, this part is up to you), a captain, delicious food, nights under the stars, at least one sea sick person, snorkelling, a visit to Whitehaven Beach (an uninhabited soft white sandy heaven), and some very attractive stinger suits. However you do it though, the Whitsundays is a trip you won’t ever forget.
Sail the Whitsundays

7. Scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef

So you might have snorkelled already and are now thinking, “what’s the big deal about scuba diving, I’m not going to see anything different?”. But oh boy would you be wrong. Scuba diving is like nothing else imaginable, especially if you get to dive at the Great Barrier Reef. This reef is one of the most magical and alive places you will ever see, above or below the sea – it’s teeming with colourful coral and sparkling fish, all eager to show off their home to you, it’s scuba gear wearing visitor. And who knows… you might even see a turtle or two!
Scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef

8. Go canoeing in Noosa

Noosa is known for its flashy apartments, fancy shops and well-kept beaches. It’s also a bit of a hotspot for some big-time celebrities. But if you’re on the hunt for something a little less touristy and a bit more off the beaten track, then head out into the bush for a few days of camping and canoeing at Gagaju Bush Camp. Located about 15km out of Noosa, and right on the Noosa River, this is a magical little place with a real community feel. You can canoe up and down the river during the day, and enjoy evenings filled with laughter and stories around the campfire.
Go canoeing in Noosa

9. Don’t forget about Melbourne

You are either a Melbourne person or a Sydney person. That’s what everyone says. But in all honesty, both these cities are impressive each in their own ways. Melbourne is a very quirky place, full of interesting cafés, shops and artwork, and the ACMI Museum makes a fantastic afternoon outing for all ages. This is also the city to visit if you’re a Neighbours fan – tours leave from the city on an almost daily basis and you’ll soon find yourself out in the suburbs, standing on Ramsay Street outside the Kennedy’s house! So while Sydney may be the bustling tourist attraction, don’t forget that Melbourne’s there too, ready and waiting to entertain you.
Don't forget about Melbourne

10. Be a surf bum in Byron Bay

Located at the most easterly point of Australia, Byron Bay is a fantastic spot for surfers. On any day, when you look out to sea, you will see hundreds of little dots bobbing about on their boards, just waiting for the next wave. Byron is a great little town, small enough to walk around, but big enough to still have plenty to offer. One of the best things to do in Byron (aside from surfing, of course), is take a walk up to Cape Byron and the Byron Bay Lighthouse, where you get a spectacular view of the bay and, on a good day, you might even see some dolphins or whales out at sea. Byron bay is a surf and explore by day, and party by night sort of place, full to the brim of backpackers and locals, all looking to just chill out and enjoy the scenery.
Be a surf bum in Byron Bay
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Why Australian coffee is the best in the world – and where to drink it

Coffee in Australia, as you may have heard, is a thing. Just ask us. “The great new coffee bores of the world,” was how the late British restaurant critic AA Gill once characterised Australians. It’s fair to say, though, that wherever you find Australians, coffee can’t be far from hand.

There's no documentation of indigenous Australians consuming coffee before colonisation, and the British convicts who were first transported to the Australian colonies in 1788 had tea shipped along with them, not coffee. Espresso culture in Australia grew from cafés owned by Greek and Italian migrants, from small beginnings in the post-war immigration boom of the 1950s and 60s to the nationwide obsession that’s part of the cultural fabric of the country today.

In the last decade, says Fleur Studd, founder of Melbourne’s Market Lane, coffee has been lifted to another level entirely, thanks to access to higher-quality green coffee and a proliferation of micro roasters who have redefined what coffee is and can be.

Australians demand coffee that is distinctive and memorable, she says. “When you walk into many cafes now, the barista will be able to tell you where your coffee was grown, who produced it, and what variety it is. You will often be offered coffee brewed as filter as well as espresso. The menu will showcase coffees that are in season and specialty grade, and the labels on retail bags of beans will tell you when it was harvested and roasted.”

It’s this culture of cafes, not just coffee, that’s at the heart of the question. Ben Bicknell, a coffee educator and strategic projects manager for the Five Senses group, says that while the scene is diverse, there’s also an Australian style of café as well as an Australian style of coffee.

“For starters, they’re predominantly focused on espresso-based coffees (rather than the default filter coffee throughout much of the rest of the world) and tend towards a lighter roast style than in many parts of the USA or Europe. We’ve got a local vernacular for our coffee: the flat white, short black, magic and long macchiato. Most of these drinks are really just slight adjustments on the amount of espresso to milk to foam quantities, but even those small differences can determine whether your daily brew hits the spot.”

Attention to design and detail are a common theme, adds Fleur Studd. “There will, of course, typically be a flat white on the menu, and maybe some smashed avocado on toast! As a nation, we do the breakfast/brunch-and-great-coffee combo really well, and it’s not unusual to spend an hour on the weekend lining up at your favourite café to get a seat. Historically, espresso-based beverages have dominated but, more recently, filter coffee has become a fixture on the menu (and a customer favourite) in most specialty coffee shops.”

And Australia, argues Dion Cohen, director of Sydney café and roaster Single O, is an innovator in the café world. “Especially in the espresso arena, where we’ve paved the way with sweet intense espresso paired with finely textured milk.” It’s a place, he says, where coffee is largely savoured without additives such as caramel and other flavourings, where a person can earn a living wage as a barista, and where the competition is fierce enough to keep being a driver of quality and a mother of invention.

“Why wouldn’t you demand better coffee?” asks Ben Bicknell. “Life’s short.”

Where to drink it

Narrowing it down to 10 places in Sydney or Melbourne alone would be tough; 10 for the whole country is next to impossible. Start with this lot, and know that for every great venue we list here, there’s at least three others that are just as good. (With apologies to the fine people at Edition Sample, St Ali, Dukes, Mecca, The Cross, Brother Baba Budan, Abbots & Kinney, Strauss, Ona, Proud Mary, Artificer and the many other purveyors of good coffee also deserving of mention.)

1. Market Lane, Melbourne
2. Patricia, Melbourne
3. The Kettle Black, Melbourne
4. Barrio Collective, Canberra
5. Gumption, Sydney
6. Neighbourhood by Seán McManus, Sydney
7. Single O, Sydney
8. Reuben Hills, Sydney
9. Exchange, Adelaide
10. John Mills Himself, Brisbane

Originally seen on:

A Newcomer’s Guide to Coffee in Australia

Australia has a unique coffee culture of it’s own that is influenced mostly from the large Italian immigrant population. One of the wonderful things the Italians brought with them is their love of coffee, and you can find some of the best in Sydney.

Recently there has been a boom of local cafes roasting their own coffee and distributing it in the city. The top and best in my opinion are Campos Coffee, Toby Estate and Single Origin. At almost any cafe serving any of these coffee brands you’ll be sure to get a really good cup of coffee.

Because of the strong Italian influence in Australia you will also see many Italian brands of coffee such as Vittoria, Lavazza and Segafredo Zanetti. I tend to favour the Australian coffee brands as they are fresher and local.

They still have the standards (cappuccinos, lattes, mochas and macchiatos) but have added “flat white” to the mix and changed the Americano to a “long black”, or “short black” if you would prefer a stronger cup of coffee.

Now for the double and single shot, that seems to vary from cafe to cafe. I have had someone tell me that a flat white is a double shot always and that a latte and cappuccino are single shots. But that doesn’t hold for all cafes. So if you want a double shot just go ahead and ask for it.

Coffee sizes are usually limited to regular and large, or mug for a large depending on the cafe. If you usually get a double tall skinny latte back in the States, then you’ll be ordering a large skinny latte double shot in Australia. The barista might take it upon themselves to correct your order to a doppio or may say that all their coffees are a double shot. That’s fine just be aware that it varies from cafe to cafe so if you’re particular about how you like your coffee be sure to make it clear.

One thing to note is that regular drip coffee is hard to find, you’ll have to switch to a short black or long black, and they do not have half and half, or cream for that matter at cafes, just milk. You will usually be able to find skim milk, soy and rice milk at most cafes. They do not have 2% milk, instead regular milk is usually “full cream” and will taste a bit heavy. 2% milk has only recently been introduced to Australia.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The rainforest hermit who stepped out of the wild

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How far would you go to save the animals you love?

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Awesome trip to Taronga Zoo Sydney, Australia

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Top 20 Tourist Attractions in Melbourne | Guide to Australia

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How Did Uluru Form? - Sciencey

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