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NOW ON  iPAD Get the engaging interactive Green Lane Diary on your iPad!  Watch exciting videos  Email to share your ideas instantly with Green Cross Australia  Be first to enter competitions



Our world today Getting started Week 1: Get the low down Week 2: Energy everywhere Week 3: Our place Week 4: Live a green life Week 5: Wonderful water Week 6: The 6Rs Week 7: On alert Week 8: Citizens - it’s up to us Week 9: Biodiversity Week 10: Destination clean and green Meet the characters 5,(6






In April 2013, lian of Austra the number solar power homes withpassed the systems one million mark.



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Don’t let environmental problems get you down. Knowledge is power! Learn about what is going on and start doing something to help. All of the little steps combine to make a big difference. Use your diary to keep track of your ideas and check out the website and iPad magazine for even more inspiration. Then share what you are doing and let us know what you have been up to. You might be crowned a 2013 Green Lane Hero or have your story featured online. Remember, kids can make a difference. You don’t need to wait until you are taller. Get started today!!! Mara Bún CEO, Green Cross Australia



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THANK YOU... Supporters: Green Cross Japan, UNESCO, Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment, CSIRO, ZeroSeven, Pureology. Green Cross Australia: Mara, Caitlin, Jenny, Miranda, Lisa, Courtney. Illustrator: Michelle Draycott/The Illustrators Agency.com Design: Michelle D’Souza,www.simplyrelevantdesign.com Copyright© Green Cross Australia 2013 DISCLAIMER: Every effort has been made to acknowledge the source of all contributions to this diary and Green Cross Australia apologises for any inadvertent omissions. Green Cross Australia does not accept any liability for any loss or damage arising from any errors omissions or inaccuracies in the information in this Diary or the associated website www.greenlanediary.org

you liv out the way e more sustainably. THINK - ab liv an make to c u o y s e ic in o ch get involved d n a s p te s ll d sma eighbourhoo n r ACT - take u o y l, o o your sch projects in mmunity. and your co rs. as with othe e id r u o y y SHARE the better b r o f t n e m n ur enviro CHANGE - o roblems and solutions. ut p learning abo ______

________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Name: _ _________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ Signature: _ _______ Date: ____ AL STATS IT V ’S IA L A AUSTR : 22 million and growing. Population world’s largest island, Size: As the tches for 7,617,93 Australia stretres. the square kilome 0% of our population live in oast. 7 c : e g th City livin es, mainly found along 10 largest citi

Our world  today The planet is like a giant web and everything connects. It means the way we live impacts on our environment and other people. There are lots of problems to learn about. At first you might feel helpless, but we can each do something to help and this diary is full of ideas. Let’s start by investigating the issues.




How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. -Anne Frank


WISE WORDS â&#x20AC;&#x153;The future depends on what we do in the present.â&#x20AC;? - Mahatma Gandhi


GETTING Â STARTED Keeping a diary is a terrific way to keep track of your achievements and express your feelings and ideas. Use the Green Lane Diary to talk about how you are living a greener life, to track your own research project or to keep your class project going. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy!


WHAT TO DO 1. LEARN whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on â&#x20AC;&#x201C; read each page of your Green Lane Diary. 2 WRITE in your diary each day of term. 3. START a project yourself, with friends or your class. 4. SHARE what you are doing on the Green Lane Diary website. 5. ENTER the competition and WIN to be a 2013 Green Lane Hero. TIPS TO HELP YOU! r Make time to write in your diary every day. r 0DNH\RXUGLDU\FRORXUIXO add stickers and drawings. r 6KDUHZKDW\RXDUHGRLQJ with your friends and family. r /RRNIRUWKHZHHNO\ challenge questions.

HANDS ON! Check out our

website for more ideas or to share what you are doing. www.greenlanediary.org

ZAID, NSW Zaid has plenty of passion for the planet. He formed his own environment group, conducted experiments and wrote letters to local papers about issues. All of this wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough so he started his own blog to share his ideas with other kids. Zaid believes we should all try to use locally produced products and he walks the talk in his life, living his ideals and spreading the word. Why not follow his lead?



Enter the competition and be a Green Lane Hero. r2UJDQLVHDIXQSURMHFWZLWK your friends. r6KDUH\RXUSURMHFWVZLWK other kids â&#x20AC;&#x201C; online, in print and in video! r&KHFNZLWK\RXUSDUHQWVRU teachers before sending your diary to Green Cross Australia. r 6KDUH\RXUFUD]\DQG creative ideas with us. r+DYHIXQVDYLQJWKHSODQHW



Get the  low  down We have a wonderful planet. Let’s protect it!



Planet Earth is an amazing place with the capacity to sustain the lives of millions of species. Some of these species are still a mystery to us – they’re waiting to be discovered by keen scientists like yourself! There is one thing that is definitely NOT a mystery to us anymore – everything on Earth is interconnected. It’s like we’re all joined together by invisible threads, just like a spider’s web. There is a special Indigenous Australian word to describe this connection - Kanyini. It means

taking responsibility and caring for all things. With more and more of us sharing this precious place we need to find ways of preserving it. Don’t forget that YOU can

THERE’S A STINGRAY IN MY VEGE PATCH! For people living in coastal areas rising sea levels can threaten their families, homes and crops. As seawater makes its way over the beach and across the land, the soil on the small Pacific Islands of Carteret, Tuvalu and Kiribati becomes more salty, making it harder to grow crops. One by one, the families of these tiny islands may need to move somewhere else. What do you think we can do to help?

make a difference – start asking questions and inspire your friends and family to make small steps in the right direction. Simple ideas are often the best!


Keywords to search: Kanyini Bureau of Meteorology CSIRO Sea levels Habitat Tulele Peisa Ecology Pacific Islands




Data collected over the years has shown a gradual increase in temperatures and even though the change is less than 1o Celsius since 1950, the impact on our planet’s ecosystems is far from tiny. Rising temperatures and changing patterns of rainfall will not only impact on people, but also on plants and animals. Some habitats may be affected, such as the icy homes of polar bears and penguins.

Did you know that the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has been collecting data on the changing patterns of our climate since 1906? All that data helps to create daily weather forecasts and can be used by scientists to make projections about our future climate.

Organisations like Tulele Peisa are working hard to relocate families and their homes under threat from rising sea levels. r)LQGRXWZKLFKFRXQWULHV are affected by sea level rise. r:ULWHDOHWWHUWR\RXUORFDO newspaper asking them to publish an article about how sea level rise can affect families and their homes.

LET’S COOPERATE The United Nations has declared 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation. It is our most precious resource and ACTION IDEA ! with more demands on the Do you have a temperature global supply, we need to think gauge at school? Why not start keeping a record at about how to work together school? Explore the Bureau to be clever about our of Meteorology website. It’s fascinating stuff! usage. Think about: r :K\LVWKHUHPRUH demand for water? r :KDWFDQ,GRWRKHOS"

FAST FACT The longest living things on earth are trees, growing for hundreds of years!




Why are we faced with so many environmental issues? What can we do about these problems? Visit the Green Lane Diary website and share what you’re doing for our planet.


ALBUERA STREET PRIMARY SCHOOL, TAS Students at this school have been incredibly busy! Not only have they campaigned for solar panels on their school roof but they are also keen on having a green tuckshop. They grow their own vegetables in the school garden for use in the canteen. Delicious! These students also run and participate in a Sustainable Science Fair where lots of amazing ideas are showcased.

7 BILLION AND COUNTING... Have you ever calculated your ‘Ecological Footprint’? In simple terms, it’s a way to calculate how many resources you need to live your current lifestyle. After adding up things you use, such as the food you eat, fuel to get to school, and energy to power your home, the end result could be anything from 2 to 7 planets worth of resources! The problem is WE ONLY HAVE ONE PLANET and we need to make sure to use its resources in a sustainable way. There are already more than 7 billion people (that’s 7,000,000,000!!!) living on our planet, and scientists project this number to grow to 9 billion by 2050! Planet Earth is truly amazing, but its resources can only be stretched so far. Some people in the world live really well – and their Ecological Footprint is very small. Think about the changes you could make to help ‘even out’ the balance of resources used across the planet.

OUR LEADERS TAKING ACTION The United Nations hosts regular meetings to discuss how best to look after our planet, our society and our economy for the benefit of all citizens. The next Climate Change Conference will be held in Warsaw, Poland this year. The leaders will discuss and then draft agreements for all the countries in the world to follow.


2011 was a year that many of us would rather forget. Many parts of the world were hit by floods, earthquakes, cyclones, bushfires, tsunamis and volcanoes. Even a year after the disasters, many people are still unable to return to their homes. The good news is there are many people working together to rebuild communities and make them stronger for the future.


What would you say if you were speaking to all the leaders of the world?

Keywords to search: Ecological Footprint Population density NGO International Year of Water Cooperation Green tuckshop

ACTION IDEA ! Hold a class meeting. Head to the library and work out what projects you could run. Make a video to inspire other classes to run their own meetings.

We can live well and green by being smart when it comes to waste, water and energy!



Start your  project


start work and try to get more T Brainstorm project ideas with people involved. your friends. T Record what you do – take T Decide on a project. photos and videos and write T Make a project plan – list what about your project in your you need to do. Green Lane Diary. T Book a meeting with your principal to share your ideas and T Share your success stories with your friends, teachers ask how he or she can help. and family. T Turn your plan into actions – We look forward to hearing about your projects!

CONNECT WITH LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS! You will be amazed how many people are working behind the scenes in your local community. Catchment groups, Lions Clubs, Apex, Landcare, Zonta, St Vincent de Paul, Police Youth Citizens Clubs, Rotary, Scouts and Girl Guides are jam-packed with enthusiastic and skilful people. They may have great advice to help get your project started! Ask your teacher to help you get in contact with these people. Green Cross Australia can help you too!

PROJECT IDEAS Here are some project ideas to get you thinking: r%HDGHWHFWLYHDQGWDNHSKRWRV of plants and animals living around you. Make a brochure informing your community about them and how they can take care of them. r6WDUWXSD:RUP&DI´DQG collect compost and food scraps from the school canteen and children’s lunches. r&UHDWHDUDSRUVRQJ teaching kids how to say ‘No’ to plastic.

MOSSMAN STATE SCHOOL, QLD It is all systems go at Mossman. Compost systems, worm farms, a veggie garden and water watch activities are all being run by students. Mossman students asked Greening Australia to teach them about the importance of trees and as a result, they planted 50 trees. These students didn’t stop there. They also started a butterfly garden to create a habitat for insects and a bush tucker garden to help the community learn about indigenous use of local plants. Very clever! Why not invite an expert to your school to give you ideas? MY 2013 PROJECT


WEEK 1 Week ending: __/__ __/__/2013









: : : : :




RESULTS : : : : :

Tally up the Water activities you do to help. Food

alia.org) (info@greencrossaustr will share them and : Email Green Cross INSPIRE OTHERS . We love pictures and videos. We about your project make you a star.





Nature Action


If Mum and Dad refer a very friend to e y rooftop the 0! can get $10



Energy everywhere Time to think about future energy. FEELING ENERGETIC?


Imagine how different our lives would be without energy. Did you know that the energy from your power point comes from different sources? Energy can be ‘renewable’ or ‘non-renewable’. Non-renewable sources are materials buried in the ground such as coal, gas and oil (also called ‘fossil fuels’). Fossil fuels are formed from plants and animals that lived millions of years ago. Most of the energy we use today is generated through the burning of fossil fuels. It’s pretty

reliable and cheap, but releases greenhouse gases and pollution into our air. Another downside is that once all fossil fuels from the ground are used up, they are gone. It takes millions of years for the fuel to form. Renewable energy can be made from the sun (solar), rivers and oceans (hydro), wind, plants (biomass) and our planet’s hot centre (geothermal) sources – which will never run out. This renewable, green energy releases fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It already

provides around 16% of global energy supply. Exploring more renewable energy ideas will help move to a cleaner energy future.

of natural causes like volcano eruptions, changing ocean currents and variations in Earth’s orbit around the sun. But over the last century temperatures have increased by 0.8 degrees Celsius – this is really fast compared to historical changes. Scientists who study this around the world have found that this

can only be explained by extra greenhouse gases produced by humans. As population grows and people consume more, we need more energy, so we burn more fossil fuels and release more greenhouse gases. The greenhouse gas blanket is getting thicker and just like a great big doona is trapping too much heat.

THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT There are some gases in our atmosphere that capture heat from the sun, we call them ‘greenhouse gases’. The five main greenhouse gases are steam, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone. They act like a blanket around the planet and keep the world at comfy temperatures. Throughout history, temperatures on Earth have always changed. They have risen and fallen because


Some people believe that climate change isn’t caused by human activity, others do. Consider both points of view and then make your own mind up. Make a list of the arguments for both perspectives. Use www.greenlanediary.org to help.


Fridges, appliances and your house hot water heater use almost half of the energy consumed at home.

KEYWORD SEARCH Sources of energy Coal Seam Gas Precautionary Principle Climate Smart Future Sparks Carbon Neutral Climate Justice




FIVE SOURCES OF RENEWABLE ENERGY 1. Solar power: The sun shines on “photovoltaic” or “PV” panels which produce an electric current. Batteries are used to store energy for use at night. In another method curved mirrors are used to concentrate sunlight to heat up water and produce steam that can power a generator. 2. Wind power: Wind pushes the blades of wind turbines and makes them spin. The rotation of the blades generates electricity. 3. Hydro-electric power: Water movement from rivers and ocean waves pushes giant

turbines. The rotation of the turbines creates electrical energy. 4. Geothermal power: Underground heat from the centre of our planet can be used directly to heat buildings or can be used to create steam to push turbines and create electricity. 5. Biomass power: Plants and rubbish are burnt to heat up water and create steam that can push turbines. In another method, plants are converted into biofuels such as methane or ethanol.

DON’T FORGET THE NINE BILLION... Some countries around the world use HEAPS of energy per person, while others survive on little or no electricity at all. When we go camping or when there’s a blackout, we manage to survive. But for many people in the world, living without power is a part of everyday life.


LE CHALDo a count – how many appliances do you have at home that use energy? Are they completely turned off or do they use standby power (some power a little light even when they appear to be off)? How can you keep them off when they aren’t in use?

14 ACTION IDEA ! Nominate Energy Monitors at school. What kinds of things could they do to reduce your school’s energy use? Talk on assembly, run competitions, make reminder

‘switch off’ stickers?

PEAK ENERGY 4-8PM When everyone is at home at the same time we use a lot of energy. Think about everyone cooking dinner, watching TV and doing homework all at once. It can be hard for our power stations to keep up with the demand. Sometimes energy companies have to build even more power stations to meet peak demand, which costs heaps and increases our greenhouse emissions. How can we reduce our energy use during peak energy hours?


Countries with the most renewable power: United States, China, Germany, Spain, India, Canada and Brazil.

BUILDING DESIGN Our buildings use huge amounts of energy, mainly for heating and cooling. This can be reduced if they are designed carefully by facing the right direction, using insulation, planting trees and avoiding ACTION IDEA ! Research how an windows on the west side. electric car works. Appliances should be Can you make a model and share it with your energy efficient. Well friends and family? designed buildings need less energy!


A RECYCLED ECO OWL The year 6 students at St Mary’s, Beaudesert, called their environmental group, the Eco Owl committee. Each week they chose a topic to work on and presented it on assembly to teach others how to take action. The Eco Owls posted a weekly newsletter tip and awarded prizes to students spotted doing the right thing. This group recycled an old pizza shop costume and transformed it into their Eco Owl mascot. Very handsome!

FAST FACT Australians use about four times more energy per person than the world average. We are the lucky country, but is this sustainable?

THE ENERGY SWITCH We can reduce the carbon dioxide we release into our air by using cleaner forms of energy, using less energyhungry technology or capturing the carbon before it escapes into the atmosphere. Carbon can be captured through simple actions such as planting a tree, or more complex ones such as pumping carbon gases underground (also called ‘geosequestration’). Large manufacturing plants, airplanes, big buildings, homes and cars could all be powered by clean, renewable energy.

Fossil fuels 81%

Wind/solar/biomass/geothermal power generation 0.7% Biofuels 0.6% Biomass/solar/geothermal hot water/heating 1.5%

Renewables 16.2%

Nuclear 2.8%

Hydropower 3.4% Traditional biomass 10%


6 ,( 5 2 7 6 < * 5 ( 1 $0$=,1*( Evidence shows that burning coal and oil is contributing to global warming. We need new clean energy ideas to meet our demand for electricity without damaging our environment. Green Cross Australia held a competition to hear Aussie kids’ ideas. You can watch them and be inspired at: www.futuresparks.org.au BRIGHT IDEAS FOR BRIGHT SPARKS


Top things you can do to save energy and support renewable energy sources T Turn things off at the power point once you have finished using them – especially during peak times (4-8pm). T When it’s cold, put on a jumper and avoid using electric heaters. T Travel smarter to school and use public transport, walk or catch a ride with your mates. T Could your family put up some solar panels at home? Where would you put them? T Recycle your old electrical goods (look up eWaste on the internet).

MACINLEY’S SOLAR PYRAMID Congratulations Macinley from Mt Keira Public School in NSW for winning the 2012 CSIRO and BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Primary Student Award!!! Macinley’s invention, the “REFLECTACON 3000” improves the amount of energy produced by solar panels by capturing more light using a reflective funnel. Check it out here: www.futuresparks.org.au/

FANTASTIC FACT In April 2013, the number of Australian homes with solar power systems passed the one million mark.

ACTION IDEA ! Hold an e-waste day at school.

Charge a gold coin donation to collect the items. Dispose of them properly and use the money for a green project!

,'($672*(7<286 ALGAE POWER Queensland research corporation Stanwell caught carbon dioxide from a coal-fired power station and pumped it into water to grow algae. The algae grew very quickly doubling almost every day! This mountain of algae can be used to feed cattle or make biofuel.


The bouncing of a ball contains energy. The heat generated by our computers is wasted energy. How to capture and make the most of this energy is tickling the brains of many researchers around the world. Some of the world’s most incredible inventions were created by kids! Philo Farnsworth was 14 when he first came up with the idea of a working television in 1920. His invention went on to change the world.

THAT’s EMpowerING! Even kicking a football can generate energy - and now there is a football that can collect it. Once stored the energy can power a light bulb or charge a mobile phone. This incredible invention was created by a clever group of university students. They were motivated to help young people in developing countries and inspired everyone to think outside the square! Find out more: www.unchartedplay.com

PEEING POWER Next time you need a toilet break think about the energy you might be flushing away. Researchers in England have developed a fuel cell that uses pee to generate electricity. Imagine how much energy could be produced from your school’s loos!








Our  place Australia is the oldest land mass in the world. Over the years, our country has seen many different types of plants, animals and people.


Uluru and the Olgas Kakadu

Australia has an amazing mix of landforms: rainforests, deserts, mountains, coral reefs, beaches and bushland - making it possible for more than 600,000 animal species and 18,500 plant species to survive. Our Big Backyard is also home to more than 22 million people from over 200 different countries. Of the people, Indigenous Australians have been here the longest. For more than 40,000 years, Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders have practiced Kanyini by caring for our land and passing on their wisdom to each generation.


Landmarks are part of nature. Attractions are often man-made. Make a list of each.

SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELLING BOTTLE The year 6/7 girls at Strathpine State School in Queensland were concerned about the negative impact of plastic bottles. They discovered that for every six bottles used, only one makes it into the recycling bin. They each took turns with one plastic bottle to come up with a creative way to re-use it. A watering can, a lava lamp, a bracelet, a herb pot, and an esky ice brick were just some of the inventive ideas. They took photos each day of the different uses and gave a presentation to the school to raise awareness. It is safe to say that plastic bottles get a lot more use in Strathpine now. Students from this school have also started the Water Watchers group, presenting weekly skits to promote water conservation. In their own time they visit junior classes and give talks on how to save water to the younger years. How inspiring!


UNESCO World Heritage List Indigenous Elders Dream Time Eco-Tourism Resources Boom Salinity Murray Darling Basin Invasive Species Land clearing





Tourism is an important industry in Australia. Each year we welcome millions of visitors to see our precious places, such as Kakadu, Fraser Island and the Blue Mountains. All of these and more are on the World Heritage List. This means they are important ecosystems and worth conserving for everyone to enjoy forever.

LOCATE IT! r /HDUQabout world heritage sites using the online map www.whc.unesco.org/en/list r )LQGWKHFORVHVWQDWLRQDO park to your house using Google Earth. Plan a trip with your family. r /RFDWHRXUUHVRXUFHV0DUN the gas, oil and coal deposits for each state on a map.

ACTION IDEA ! Find out about your local traditional owners. Read some dreamtime stories and have a go at writing your own.

DEEPER UNDERGROUND As well as being lucky enough to have some of the most incredible places, people, plants and animals on the planet, Australia is also rich with natural resources such as coal, uranium and iron ore. As we know, there are always two sides to the story and there are some positive benefits to mining our natural resources, but we also need to consider the impact on our environment and the health of our people.


Live a  green  life

Every day we make choices about how we live. These little choices have an impact on our environment and others around us. Find out how you can walk more gently on our earth. HOW CAN YOU CHANGE FROM BEING A BIG FOOT TO A LITTLE FOOT? SIMPLE STEPS @ SCHOOL


Travel smart: catch public transport, walk, ride your bike or carpool with your neighbours. Waste not: collect lunch scraps for a worm farm or compost bin. Re-use, recycle: use only what you need, reuse materials for craft work and recycle. Join up: start an environmental group and make an action plan for bigger projects. Eat healthy: take fresh fruit and homemade goodies for lunch in reusable containers instead of snacks in separate packaging. Water watch: turn off the tap when you’re not using it. Blog it: make a blog and share your Simple Steps with others to show it easy it can be to make a difference!

SIMPLE STEPS @ HOME Grow your own: start your own vege patch, herb garden or chicken coop – you’ll have fresh vegetables, herbs and organic, free-range eggs in no time! No plastic bags: take your own bags and say NO to plastic bags.

Buy local: go to the local farm or markets to buy your fruit, vegetables, meat and bread. Good neighbours: share the harvest from your vege patch, car-pool to school, or just enjoy each other’s company with a backyard BBQ!


LE CHALRaise money to help Green Cross Australia build tanks and toilets in schools of developing countries.


Some things you have in your home have travelled a long way to get to you. Things that travel great distances have used more energy being transported. The grapes you eat for lunch might have put lots of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere because they had to come all the way from the US. It’s much better for the planet to buy products that come from close to home. How to do this? r(DWIRRGWKDWLVLQVHDVRQ r6KRSDWWKHORFDOPDUNHWVDQG buy from farmers who grow things nearby. r&KHFNWKHODEHOVDQGEX\ Australian products. www.acfonline.org.au

We live in the lucky country and have plenty of resources and opportunities available to us. Others around the world aren’t so fortunate. There are over 72 million kids who don’t go to school and even more people without clean water and electricity. Green Cross Australia is helping to supply water tanks and toilets to schools and communities around the world. Hold a movie lunch and charge a gold coin to help out. Learn more at: www.greencrossaustralia.org

HANDS ON! Make your own list of foods with Friendly Food Miles. Publish the list in your school newsletter or on your school’s website.


Dig a hole and bury an apple, a tea bag, plastic bottle and anything else you’d like. Keep a ‘decompose diary’ to find out how fast everything decomposes. Some things will take years to breakdown! Imagine what our rubbish tips are like.

FANTASTIC FACT The average family car emits four tonnes of greenhouse gases every year. 1,200 trees need to planted to offset those emissions.



Grow your own food. Try planting some herbs and veggies in a pot and start your own garden. It’s fun and you can have your own lettuce in your sandwiches at school!



This green class believes in taking personal action. Each day, they spent time writing up their diary reflecting on the positive changes they had each started. To encourage others in the school they started a raffle and awarded tickets to those students spotted picking up rubbish. They placed posters around their school about pollution and other issues. The Green Team have helped to promote nude food days, helped with a revegetation project and created an information guide for parents on how to ‘reuse’ things. Can you write an information guide for grown-ups?

LAW OF THE LABEL It’s now even easier to keep our Earth in balance. New labelling on food items, beauty and cleaning products helps us to choose what’s best for the environment and our health, and offers a fair go for people all around the world. What labels have you noticed on the supermarket shelves?



There are lots of programs to help your school reduce its ecological footprint. Check these out: r6WHSKDQLH$OH[DQGHU.LWFKHQ Garden Foundation. r$XVWUDOLDQ6XVWDLQDEOH Schools Initiative. r-XQLRU/DQGFDUH r*UHHQDQG Healthy Schools. r6RODU6FKRROV r&DUERQ6LQN Schools.


In some countries around the world, farmers are paid a very small amount of money to produce goods but there is a HUGE profit margin when the goods are sold around the world. The FAIR TRADE logo ensures that the people who made the product receive a decent wage and fair working conditions. www.fairtrade.com.au


Keyword search: RSPCA Food miles Solar Schools Ecological Footprint Green and Healthy Schools Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation


and learning more about the world around them. Being outdoors Everyone these days seems to keeps us strong and healthy and have a Nintendo, an iPod or an teaches us how our bodies work Xbox but electronic games are – especially when we’re climbing only a recent invention. Before trees! When we play in nature, that - believe it or not - kids had we learn about plants and animals fun without electronic gadgets! and learn what it feels like to be How did they survive? They spent time outside, building cubbies, connected with our planet. So go exploring, playing games and sports on, get outside and play!

Give your pet food and water regularly

POPULAR PETS Pets are fantastic – they’re fun to play with and they cheer us up when we’re sad. When we care for our pets, we’re learning how to take care of the world around us. How to care for your pet: 1. Give your pet food and water regularly. 2. Clean up after your pet. 3. Spend time with your pet – take it for a walk! 4. Prepare a pet emergency evacuation plan.

THE REAL COST Eat less animal proteins to reduce carbon and methane emissions. Start a Peanut Butter and Jelly campaign! www.pbjcampaign.org

FISHY GOODNESS Make sure that the fish or seafood you’re buying is caught or farmed in a sustainable way. The Marine Stewardship Council (www.msc.org) runs a certification program, which assesses whether a fishery is well managed and sustainable. Look out for the MSC ecolabel! Even kids are coming up with fantastic green seafood guides! Check out Naysan’s site: www.bluepromise.org



Wonderful water



The fresh water we use each day from local reservoirs or rainwater tanks is actually as old as the hills – maybe even older! Water makes its way around the planet in a process known as the water cycle. When it’s hot, liquid water in the oceans turns into gas that rises into the atmosphere through the process of evaporation. High in the sky the gas cools down and turns into little droplets, forming clouds. When the little droplets get denser, they form bigger droplets of liquid water. When the droplets get too heavy they fall back down to Earth as rain. When it’s really cold, the water will turn solid and form snow or hail.


About 70% of our bodies are made up of water.

COME RAIN, COME SHINE When it rains, it pours – so true for Australia, the second driest continent on Earth after Antarctica. After a decade of drought, we were devastated by floods in 2011 and 2012! There’s not much that we can do to change the cycle of floods and droughts but we can take ACTION IDEA ! better care of Ban plastic bottles in your our catchments family and make sure everyone and teach uses their own reusable water bottles. Make posters for families how to school explaining why this is prepare better. important and help to stop plastic filling up our rubbish dumps.

A catchment is like a giant bucket, waiting to catch rain and the water that flows down the mountains, through the valleys, along creeks and into our rivers and oceans. The Murray Darling Basin is Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest catchment. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s actually one of the largest river systems in the world, covering

almost 1 million square kilometres across five Australian states and territories. It connects 23 different rivers and provides the water to produce more than one third of Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s food supply. The Murray Darling Basin is home to a rich variety of biodiversity including birds, fish, insects, plants and marsupials.

KEYWORD SEARCH: Water Cycle Evaporation Condensation Greywater Water footprint Murray Darling Basin Salinity experiment Coral Bleaching El Nino Reef Guardians Great Pacific Garbage Patch



Photo courtesy: Murray Darling Basin Authority


THREATS TO THE MURRAY DARLING BASIN r :KHQZHDUHLQGURXJKWWKHUHLVOHVV water for people, animals and plants. r 3HRSOHDQGQDWXUHDWWKHERWWRPRIWKH river suffer most because much of the water is used for agriculture, industries and towns further up the river. r :KHQZHKDYHORWVRIUDLQFRPPXQLWLHV near the river can suffer from floods, and farmers can lose their crops. r )DUPLQJPDNHVWKHQDWXUDOZDWHUWDEOH rise and bring with it lots of salt previously stored deep in the ground.

WHAT CAN WE DO? We can raise awareness about the problem of salinity, especially in the Murray Darling Basin so that more people understand the seriousness of the issue.We can plant native plants, which are usually a bit more tolerant to droughts and help you save water!


LE CHALWhat’s your water footprint? Make a list of all the different ways you use water each day and go online to calculate your water footprint: www.waterfootprint.org



780 million people do not have clean water and even more do not have clean toilets to use. Most of the planet’s population lives in the driest areas. Water is incredibly precious and some countries share rivers which supply water to their citizens. Find out more at www.unwater.org/ watercooperation2013



Georgia was inspired by the diary and she has been a shining example to others leading the way on how to live a little more gently on Earth. She convinced her parents to install a water tank after presenting them with the facts. Then she got busy making bookmarks to raise money for kids in Uganda, giving her old clothes to charity and fixing her sister’s broken toys to reuse them. What example do you set for others?


HANDS ON! Make a rain

gauge out of a recycled plastic bottle by marking the millilitres on the bottle. How much rainwater can you collect? CATCH EVERY DROP We need to be careful not to waste a single drop! Help your parents choose and install a rainwater tank, turn off the tap when you’re not using it and half-flush the loo when possible. Learn about the amount of water used to produce the food you eat.


Become a Reef Guardian Ask your teacher to sign up your class as Reef Guardians so that you can find out more about protecting the Great Barrier Reef. www.reefed.edu.au/home/ guardians

THE GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH Way out in the Pacific Ocean there is a HUGE pile of floating garbage known as the ‘Pacific Trash Vortex’ or the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’. The total size is unclear as it accumulates in 5 different gyres or ocean currents that are constantly moving. Some people think it’s the same size as France! This stretch of ocean is covered with millions of bits of plastic mixed with chemical sludge and all sorts of rubbish that has fallen off a boat or found its way down our catchments and into the oceans. Unlike other materials, plastic takes more than 1000 years to break down. It disintegrates into plastic confetti that fish can swallow and if we eat the fish we swallow it too!

WHAT CAN BE DONE? Do your bit to save our oceans! r3XWUXEELVKLQWKHELQ r6D\QRWRSODVWLFZKHUH you can. r&ROOHFWUXEELVKIURP the beach and put it in CORAL BLEACHING The Great Barrier Reef the bin.


There is more fresh water stored underground in aquifers than in lakes and rivers on the Earth’s surface.

stretches along the east coast of Australia for almost 2000km and is home to many colourful and amazing sea creatures such as corals. Corals are highly sensitive organisms and need perfect conditions to survive. Corals LOVE pure, salty water, the right temperature and lots of marine friends. Scientists have discovered that higher temperatures and carbon dioxide emissions are bleaching coral, leaving it white and lifeless. Turtles, fish, seabirds, starfish and anemones who depend on healthy coral for their survival are also being threatened by the problem of coral bleaching.


Write an

E M O S AWE ry diar y ent ! O R I S C h t i w


Launch into the world of science with Scientriffic and The Helix magazines. Subscribe today for heaps of news, stories, activities and competitions! www.csiro.au/helix

The Double Helix Helix@CSIRO h blog stories and acas lots of help fill you r d tivities to iary entries. Check www.csiroh out: elixb for our Environlog.com ment Activities.


The 6Rs   Recycle, reduce, reuse, refuse, respect and replenish With over 23 million Australians, we make a lot of rubbish. If we all lived by the 6Rs it would make a big difference.


29 HOW MUCH OF WHAT YOU BUY ENDS UP IN THE BIN BEFORE AN HOUR IS UP? Could these items be repaired to make them last a little longer? Maybe some things could be reused or recycled and made into something else? What about

the packaging – love it or leave it? Rethinking the way we use resources can help to reduce landfill, cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, ease the pressure

on our natural environment and save us money! Be on the look out for special tricks, such as advertising, that hook you in to ‘needing’ more stuff.

WHAT DO WE REALLY NEED? Of course we love stuff and some of it is necessary for our survival. But we’re making a lot of stuff we don’t really need. Making stuff uses up natural and processed materials, energy, money and creates pollution. Then it needs to be transported to the shops and often we only use it for a little while before throwing it away. It’s a good time to ask: how much stuff do we really need? How can we make stuff we love but doesn’t damage our Earth?




Kathleen faced her fears completing her Green Lane Diary last year. She started a worm farm despite not liking the squirmy creatures. After learning all about the problems by reading the diary and watching documentaries, Kathleen wanted to teach others what they could do to help. She approached her neighbours and friends to give them suggestions for living a greener life. Transforming rubbish into something amazing is another of her passions. Who knew that a Pringles can makes a beautiful kaleidoscope? What can you upcycle?


One of the easiest ways to reduce landfill is to build a compost and worm farm. Food scraps and other plant-based materials such as paper and cardboard can be used to feed the worms. They will break it down to organic material that can be used as natural fertiliser in the garden.

LASTING A LIFETIME? When shopping with mum or dad to buy something new, look for good quality stuff that’s built to last. Buy products with a warranty to make repairing or replacing them easy and cheap. Sometimes it’s cheaper for companies to give us a brand new item because the cost of repair is too expensive. Sometimes companies also sell products that are not built to last but only work until the next model is released – they call this whacky idea “planned obsolescence”. Always think before you buy and look after your things to make them last for the long haul.

ACTION IDEA ! We use around 300 plastic bags a year. They can end up in waterways and kill marine life. Start a campaign to reduce this number. Make funky fabric bags and sell them at school.

Most paper and plastic packaging can be recycled in the recycling bin. But landfill sites are piled high with items that could have been recycled. Zero Waste South Australia is one of the world’s leaders in recycling. Other states and territories around Australia are starting to follow in their footsteps. South Australians receive a 10 cents refund when they recycle things at collection depots. Around Australia we have systems for recycling chemicals, oil, batteries and even old X-Rays!

KEYWORD SEARCH: The Story of Stuff Methane Clean up the World Planned Obsolescence CERES Environment Park Zero Waste South Australia




More than 20 years ago, Australian yachtsman Ian Kiernan organised the first of many ‘Clean Up Australia’ days. 40,000 volunteers joined him in Sydney Harbour. Since then, the numbers have grown into the millions and spread across the entire globe. ‘Clean Up the World’ is not only about picking up rubbish. It’s about repairing the damage our rubbish has caused and protecting our natural environment for future generations. Check out: www.cleanuptheworld.org. FAST FACT

The average use of a plastic bag is about 12 minutes but it takes between 20 and 1000 years to decompose.





Many things that we need Ever heard of come from our natural Aquaponics? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where environment. Paper is made fish and plants are grown from trees and glass is together, well in two made from sand. We need to respect everything we different but connected use and replenish what we containers. The water take. Planting more trees with fish poo in it is used in forestry, creating marine reserves to prevent overas fertilizer for the fishing and using only what plants, reducing the need we need are ways of doing this. for chemical nutrients. Which of the 6Rs is the easiest The plantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; soil acts like to do? Which one do you need to work at improving? a filter and keeps the fishesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; water fresh WHERE DO WE LIVE? and clean.

THINK OUTSIDE THE SQUARE Thinking outside the square about different ways to use the land and our resources is fun! The Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES) built a community centre on an old rubbish tip in Victoria. Together with local volunteers, the people at CERES converted the local tip to an â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;eco-oasisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for the local community.


The average family throws out 13,000 pieces of paper annually. How much of that is junk mail?

To do the following experiment, use an apple to represent our planet: r :LWKKHOSIURPDSDUHQWRUWHDFKHUFXW your apple into quarters. r (DWSLHFHVsWKHVHSLHFHVUHSUHVHQWWKHRFHDQV 75% of our planetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surface area. r &XWWKHILQDOSLHFHLQKDOIDQGHDWRQHKDOI,W represents the deserts we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t live in. r <RXKDYHRQHHLJKWKRIWKHDSSOHOHIWsFXW it into four pieces and eat three of them. These pieces represent the mountains and poles of the Earth where itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too cold, ACTION IDEA ! too rocky or too steep to grow food. Is your school recycling system r 3HHORIIWKHVNLQRIWKHODVWSLHFHNHHS working? Make a plan to revamp it and eat the rest. This TINY piece of it so everyone knows how to skin represents the area of land with recycle waste. Label bins, create posters, talk on assembly. Do soil that is healthy enough to grow whatever it takes! food for our entire population. We need to be careful and clever with our resources!




On alert

Get ready! Extreme weather can be unpredictable and dangerous. The best thing we can do is learn about emergency situations and know what to do. OUR WILD WEATHER Cyclones, floods, bushfires, earthquakes, serious storms and tsunamis are part of nature. They are unpredictable and can be very dangerous. Climate change might be causing extreme weather to occur more often but we are still learning about this. The best thing we can do is learn about the disasters and know what to do if they occur.


RING OF FIRE Our planet’s crust is made up of different pieces called ‘Tectonic Plates’. Some plates stretch underneath whole continents and other plates join underneath the ocean. The Pacific Plate is located on the edge of the Ring of Fire – a horseshoe shaped arc that stretches from New Zealand up around Asia and the Pacific. Inside the arc is a hot bed of sleeping and active volcanoes. 90% of the world’s earthquakes are within the Ring of Fire. Find out more about them!

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? WEATHER AND CLIMATE Weather is all around us all of the time. It is the day to day conditions of a place. Rain, temperature, fog, snow, clouds, sunshine are all elements of the weather. Someone who studies weather and

makes weather forecasts is called a meteorologist. Climate is the average weather conditions measured over time. Australia has a hotter climate than Alaska. Climatologists are people who study climate patterns and climate change over time.

RECENT DISASTERS 2011: QLD/NSW/VIC flood (covered more land than Germany and France combined), Japan earthquake and tsunami, Cyclone Yasi, Christchurch earthquake 2009: Black Saturday bushfire in Victoria 2006: Cyclone Larry, QLD 2002-06: Drought in South Australia

BEACH CLEAN UP - KIRSTY, NSW Kirsty sent in her amazing diary jam packed with projects that she completed. It was incredibly inspiring to read her efforts over the term. She was certainly busy! Kirsty ran a beach clean up with her friends, she bought local produce and had a clean out of her clothes and books which she donated to charity. She didn’t stop there. She carpooled with her friends and thought about it before buying something new to see if she really needed it. How often do you purchase things that you don’t need? What could you do with that money instead?

LEARNING FOR THE FUTURE In 2011, an earthquake and resulting tsunami destroyed a nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan. The land around the power plant, as well as food and water supplies, were badly contaminated. Nuclear power companies around the world took the opportunity to learn from the disaster and have taken major steps to improve their safety procedures. However there’s a huge amount of work to be done to rebuild the community, and some people do not think nuclear energy is safe. What do you think?

KEYWORD SEARCH: Ring of Fire Build it Back Green Climate Watch Witness King Tides SES Red Cross Extreme Weather Events Fukushima Nuclear Power Extreme Weather Heroes



BUILD IT BACK GREEN Each time a city is damaged by a natural disaster, we learn more about the materials we need to rebuild the city so that it can withstand the pressures of extreme events and can use less energy, water and waste. After the bushfires in Victoria and Western Australia, the cyclones in Queensland and the floods around the nation, we are getting better at building back green so our buildings are more sustainable and can cope better with future disasters. Do some research and find out how we can build things sustainably! www.builditbackgreen.org



LE CHADoLdrills at school If you live in an area that is likely to be hit by an extreme weather event, talk to your teacher about what kinds of drills you could do to practise staying safe in case a disaster occurs.



Heat waves are very dangerous to Australians and cause the most loss of life for people and animals in comparison to other natural disasters each year.


ADULT ALERT! WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO HELP When disasters occur EVERYONE * Building flood levees pitches in - volunteers, firefighters, * Warning systems neighbours, leaders, builders, PREPARATION teachers. We plan for events so * Telling people and evacuation we know what to do if they happen. * Protecting property Plans are created to deal with and animals prevention (stopping disasters), * Arranging supplies preparation (getting ready), RESPONSE response (during the disaster) and * Arranging accommodation recovery (after the disaster). for people PREVENTION * Arranging relief funds Clearing leaf litter RECOVERY * from drains * Clean up * Laws for total fire * Rebuilding ban days * Support for people affected

T Talk with your family about what to do in case of an emergency. How would you respond if you knew a flood, cyclone or fire was nearby? T Find out where to take shelter in a storm. At home, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be the strongest part of your house and the room with fewest windows. The local hall or school might turn into an Evacuation Centre. T Take care of your pets. Plan how you will transport them to safety, make sure they are vaccinated and prepare pet evacuation kits. T Make up an Emergency Supplies Kit with food, a first aid kit, safety equipment and contact numbers. T Know who to call for help. For the State Emergency Service (SES) call 132-500, for police and emergency services call 000. T Pack up your special things to keep them safe. T Print this checklist and go through it with your family:



Sign up for ‘Witness King Tides’ and join mum, dad or friends to take some photos when big tides hit our coasts. www.witnesskingtides.org SOCIAL NETWORKING POWER Communication has proven to be ESSENTIAL in responding to disasters and extreme weather. Once the electricity is cut off, people can become very isolated and are unable to find out what’s happening and where to go for safety. AM radios and mobile phones are definitely essential items for your emergency kit. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter were valuable sources of information to help people respond and recover during the 2011 natural disasters.

ACTION IDEA ! Make a video to explain to other kids how to be prepared for extreme weather. Interview an expert to help tell the story.

HEATWAVE HELP When it is extremely hot we can overheat. Babies and older people are most at risk. During a heatwave remember to drink lots of water, stay cool indoors, wear lightweight clothing and try not to exercise. Don’t forget your pets, they will need shade and extra water. It is important to be prepared and know what the plan is for your family. Talk about it at dinner tonight!



Citizens -­  it’s  up  to  us We are all in it together! EYE ON THE PRIZE The United Nations (UN) helps look after the citizens of the world. In 2005 they started a ten-year program called the ‘Decade of Education for Sustainable Development’ and developed a list of ‘Millennium Development Goals’ to improve health, education, living conditions, food security, gender equity and environmental sustainability for everyone. In order to achieve these goals, we all need to get involved! That’s why the UN helps teach young people like you what we can do to have enough for all. Learn more here: www.un.org/millenniumgoals



Find out how a group of kids in the USA was inspired by Dr Seuss’ story about the Lorax and helped people make a difference for the environment. Check out their story and how they got in touch with the moviemakers: www. climaterealityproject. org/2012/01/27/avictory-for-thelorax.

GOVERNMENT, HOW DOES IT WORK? In Australia, everyone older than 18 years has his or her say on who represents us in Parliament because we are a democracy. Our Government is led by politicians who we elect to make decisions. The Prime Minister is the head honcho for Australia and leads the Federal Government. Then there are the State Governments, led by Premiers (or Chief Ministers for the Territories) and local councils, led by ACTION IDEA ! Mayors who look after our towns, cities and shires. Each level of Email the Prime Minister and let them know what Government focuses on particular you would like to improve. areas like defence, education and Make sure you give telecommunications. a solution to a problem. Who are your politicians?

TEACHING OTHERS - TEIGAN, QLD This amazing year 5 student is in charge of composting at her school. She is leading a revolution trying to encourage recycling and teaching others. Her eco playground is a hit and she is always on the lookout for injured wildlife, taking a sick pigeon to RSPCA for help. Do you keep your eyes peeled to help animals?


KEYWORD SEARCH The Earth Charter Kids Teaching Kids The Little Committee Wildlife Warriors Youth Environment Council Year of Reading The Lorax The Burning Season Millennium Development Goals



WE ARE ALL EQUAL Girls and boys are treated the same in Australia but kids in other countries aren’t so lucky. There are millions of girls who don’t go to school because it is discouraged. Instead, they are trapped in a life of menial jobs, or worse. In some other countries women aren’t allowed to drive. Gender equity means that both males and females are treated equally. Ask your grandparents about this. They might remember in Australia when women had to give up their jobs when they started a family. It isn’t that long ago. A strong world is one where everyone has choices. Remember this and try to treat everyone as you want to be treated.

Passionate about helping the planet and people at the same time, Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Her organisation has planted over 51 million trees employing many people in Kenya and reducing deforestation. Research other eco-heroes and read their stories. What qualities do they all share? Maybe you will join them!



How to live the Earth Charter in your school: T Read and discuss the Earth Charter with your teacher T Make up your own words for the Earth Charter T Share your story online: www.earthcharter inaction.org

DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONSâ&#x20AC;Ś Kids can make a difference. There are a million stories of kids who asked WHY? and WHY NOT? Kids created some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most amazing inventions. Do some research and get inspired. HOW TO BE A COOL CITIZEN T KNOW WHAT GOES ON IN THE WORLD T LOOK OUT FOR OTHERS AND TRY TO DO SOMETHING





We all need to treat each other with respect. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed on 10 December 1948 and contains 30 articles that explain our rights. In summary, everyone on this planet has a right to: r )UHHGRPDQGHTXDOLW\ r :RUNDQGKDYHDIDPLO\ r /LYHDQGEHVDIH r -XVWLFHEHIRUHWKHODZ r 1DWLRQDOLW\UHSUHVHQWDWLRQ and education. r 7KLQNEHOLHYHDQGH[SUHVV themselves.


Over six million Australians give up their time to volunteer each year.


DEVELOPED AND DEVELOPING People talk about countries being â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;developedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;developingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, defined a developed country as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;one that allows all its citizens to enjoy a free and healthy life in a safe environmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Developing countries are working toward this, but face serious clean water, food, energy, health and pollution challenges on the way. Australia and New Zealand are among the developed countries.


Discover more at pureology.com.au & facebook.com/pureologyaustralia


What type of animal is the Tasmanian Devil?

Tassie Devils are not wel . Find out about the Devil Facial Tumour disease and list two ways you can help.


Biodiversity Variety is the spice of life!

ANIMALS NEED YOUNG PEOPLE TO FIND A SOLUTION THINK GLOBAL, ACT LOCAL Australia is a popular destination for tourists because of our amazing mix of animals, plants and landscapes. Some of them can’t be found anywhere else in the world - like woylies - and we need to protect them. Scientists have collected evidence that global environmental issues can upset the balance of our Australian ecosystems. What are these issues and how are they threatening our environment? Read on to learn more.


“When I hear of the destruction of a species, I feel just as if all the works of some great writer have perished.” - Theodore Roosevelt

WHAT’S COOKING A yummy dish includes all kinds of ingredients with just the right amounts of everything. Biodiversity is like that – it’s the balance of a variety of animals, plants, micro-organisms and humans and the way they work together to form an ecosystem. If things aren’t in balance, something needs to be done to restore that ecosystem to good health.


There are over 13 million different species on earth and we still haven’t discovered them all!.



E CHALLFind out about environmental issues in your area. Get in touch with a local environment group, such as Junior Landcare, to see what you can do to help: www.juniorlandcare.com.au



GOING, GOING, GONE? Poaching, diseases, land clearing and climate change are the main threats to the survival of our animal species. Governments around the world are taking action to protect threatened species and their habitats. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) splits up species into different groups depending on how risky their survival is: Extinct: All gone! Extinct in the wild: Some are in zoos – but none are left in the wild, so they are precious. Critically endangered: There’s a real chance they will soon be gone in the wild – focus hard here! Endangered: Could be a real chance on extinction soon – be aware! Vulnerable: Medium term risk of extinction - so we need to protect them! Near threatened: Could be at risk in future – so keep them in mind! Least concern: No worries mate – at least compared to other species.

Find out which species are threatened here: www.iucnredlist.org

Conduct a biodiversity study at your home or school. Make a list of all the different plants and animals you can find. Research their scientific names and take photos to help.

(International Union for Conservation of Nature)


The blue whale is the largest animal on earth. Learn more about whaling and ask your family if you can go whale watching. It is a magical experience.

SMALL ACTIONS, BIG CHANGE Use the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species to find out about threatened species. Here some action ideas – can you think of other ones? T Recycle mobile phones to stop coltan (columbite–tantalite) mining in gorilla habitats in the Democratic Republic of Congo. T Buy palm-oil free products to protect orangutans in South East Asia . T Use recycled paper or sustainable forestry products to stop land clearing in the rainforests of South America and South East Asia. T Buy sustainable seafood to stop overfishing. T Plant Australian trees and flowers in your garden.


OUTDOOR PROJECTS Sometimes we are so busy we don’t stop and look around – outside is amazing! Grab your hat and go. t Make a bird bath. t Plant a butterfly garden with plants that flower at different times of the year to have year round blooms. t Stop and listen. What can you hear outside? t Take your family for a bush walk and spot some birds. t Collect rocks and find out about the different types. t Start a compost heap.


Keyword search: Biodiversity Ecosystem Scats, tracks and signs Thylacine Threatened species IUCN RedList Endemic species Exotic species Wildlife Warriors WWF

BE A DETECTIVE The only way to find out what’s going on in your backyard is to get out there and have a close look. Plants and animals leave all sorts of clues, so keep your eyes peeled! T Watch out for scats – or animal poo! These little ‘presents’ are sure-fire signs of the presence of animals nearby. Take a photo or draw a sketch but you probably don’t want to touch or smell them! T Look for tracks. Even animals without feet leave footprints of some sort. For thousands of years, Australia’s Indigenous people used animal tracks to find food. T Search for signs. Holes in a leaf could be evidence that an insect lives nearby. Holes in the ground could be evidence of an animal’s home – a spider, snake or maybe even a wombat!


FAST FACT The Thylacine – or better known as Tasmanian Tiger – There are over was the largest carnivorous marsupial in our recent 230,000 marine history. After decades of hunting, diseases and habitat species living in the destruction the last Tassie Tiger ‘Benjamin’ died in 1936 in oceans. Hobart Zoo. The Thylacine is the only marsupial to become extinct on the island of Tasmania in comparison to the huge number of mammals who are now extinct from the Australian mainland. It might be too late for some of our extinct animals, but we can help save the threatened ones.

46 AMAZING ADAPTATION Some species are changing their habits to suit different environmental conditions. Possums and bush turkeys are eating different foods and finding shelter in buildings by living in towns and cities. Sometimes adaptation causes problems. The ibis birds are no longer shy and can be pests, stealing food in parks. If there is too much plentiful food, there can be too many animals which can throw the balance of nature out. Some plants have adapted to live in areas with less rainfall or different temperatures. Charles Darwin described this as ‘the survival of the fittest’.

WISE WORDS “Live simply so others may simply live” - Mahatma Gandhi


GREEN LANE     HERO! 47 Every year we celebrate your wonderful projects and awesome ideas with a HUGE AWARDS CEREMONY. WIN terrific prizes for your project ideas and have fun saving the planet! VISIT the Green Lane Diary website for more details and to sign up for our eNews where we announce competitions and awards!!!

Grab your diary and start thinking about what you can do to make the world a better place! r :ULWHDGLDU\HQWU\HYHU\GD\ of term: stick on stuff and make it look cool. r -RLQWRJHWKHUWRUXQ\RXURZQ green project: at school, at home or in your neighborhood. r 6KDUH\RXUSURMHFWVZLWK other kids: online, in print and in video!



Destination  Clean The future is just around the corner and we need to think outside the square to create solutions to the challenges we face.


and Green




LE CHALAsk The Elders Research the wisdom of The Elders to help solve the problems of climate change. www.theelders.org/find/ climate-change



We are living in the fastest growing region in the world. The Asia-Pacific population is expanding very quickly and countries like China and India are playing a big role. Neighbours get to know each other so they can help one another. Why not learn Chinese, Japanese, Hindi or Korean? Just imagine how many more people you will be able to talk to and the different job opportunities that might be open to you in the future.


“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

INCREDIBLE NGOS! Organisations like WWF, Greenpeace, Koala Foundation, Bush Heritage, RSPCA are groups of passionate people who are working to make a difference to our planet. Often called ‘notfor-profit’ or ‘non-governmental organisations’, these groups run awareness campaigns and lobby for changes to laws in order to protect and conserve our planet. Find out more about them and see which group you might be interested in joining.



It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how the world has changed since humans built our civilisation. There are some great tips and tricks to live more sustainably that have been around for aaaaaages! Compost bins, water tanks, backyard vege gardens and the 6Rs aren’t new ideas – can you think of some more?

Some issues simply didn’t exist a generation or two ago and we are finding new ways of thinking to address them. One cool way of thinking is ‘biomimicry’, where we look to nature for ecological ways of doing things in our everyday city living. For example, we now have coatings, fabrics and other materials that were inspired by the microscopic texture of butterfly wings.

ACTION IDEA ! Make a time capsule and include your ideas about the future. Keep it somewhere safe and open it in a few years time.


LOOK INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL What could we achieve if we didn’t say “it’s impossible”? Thinking about amazing ways to solve problems is exciting. Some of these things are being worked on now. What can you dream up? ‹Floating green city. ‹Skyscraper veggie farms. ‹Flying solar cars. ‹Portable green stadiums. ‹Clothes that make energy when you move. ‹Self growing houses. ‹Home recycling systems – transforming waste on the spot. ‹Printers that produce solar cells.

KEYWORD SEARCH: The Elders Biomimicry Ask Nature Solar Water Purifier DNA Future we want The Venus Project Sustainable Cities


What do you want to be when you grow up? The possibilities are endless, especially when you’re thinking about green jobs of the future. In 2013, people are employed as environmental engineers, energy auditors, transport designers, environmental scientists, meteorologists, hydrologists and environmental lawyers. By the time you’re looking for your future career, there will probably be even more green jobs! No matter what the job, you will need the skills of creative thinking, problem solving and teamwork. You’ll probably also need a positive attitude and the ability to think critically about possibilities and consequences! Here’s a secret: scientists – the people who are helping us to learn about our world – are the coolest futuremakers of all!

HANDS ON! Make your own birthday and Christmas pressies this year. Handmade things are special!


Meet the  characters How do you like my barbells?


SHELLY, THE WESTERN SWAMP TORTOISE I’m only tiny – about 15cm long – but I make up for it in age! I usually live for about 60 years. I lost many of my relatives when early settlers cleared our swamp homes in Western Australia for agriculture. There are about 100 of us left in the wild but we have to be really careful of feral species like foxes and cats. As well as the shell on my back and the scales on my head, I’ve got barbells under my chin, which help me pop my head above the water. I lay about 3-5 eggs in November but they don’t hatch until the following winter when the swamp fills with water. I’ve got a sixth sense… SHANE, THE GREY NURSE SHARK I’ve had a bit of bad press over the years – people hunted me because they thought I was a man-eater. But the truth is that I much prefer squid, fish and lobsters to humans! I am about 3.5 metres long and usually keep to shallow coastal waters around rocky reefs but I can swim as deep as 190 metres. Sometimes I come up to the surface to gulp some air - but not for breathing! I keep it in my stomach to help me float while I look for food.


WAZZA, THE NORTHERN HAIRY NOSED WOMBAT I’m actually bigger than you think – almost 1 metre long – and my wife carries around my kids in a backward facing pouch. These days it’s been pretty tough having to work against drought, floods, rabbits, cattle, sheep, land clearing, dingoes and introduced species of grass to stay alive and feed the family! Some days I just want to hang out in my burrow and hide from it all, but I’m hanging in there. Now that Epping Forest National Park in Western Queensland is being fenced off, I’ve got a much better chance of survival. Need Need anyany soilsoil turned over? turned over? I’m your girl! I’m your girl! WENDI, THE WOYLIE I’m a bit of a night owl. I sleep during the day and spend the night hours looking for food and decorating my nest with grass that I carry in my tail. I’m pretty good at keeping water in the soil because I bury leaf litter and recycle plant nutrients while I’m digging around for food. I live mostly in Southern Australian woodlands and don’t need to drink much because I get all the moisture I need from seeds, insects, fungi and bulbs. Feral cats and mysterious diseases have put me and my family onto the endangered list.

I look like a frog but move like a lizard… FABIO, THE SOUTHERN CORROBOREE FROG Even before the Days of the Dreaming, I was known to be fabulous! My squelching voice could be heard across the mountainous areas of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. My name comes from the yellow stripes that look like the ochre used by local Indigenous people during a corroboree. Now, I’m Australia’s most endangered frog with only about 30 friends left in the wild. If there isn’t enough rain during the autumn breeding season, our eggs won’t hatch and we have to wait another year. We also have to stay away from a nasty fungus that eats up the keratin in our skin, stopping us from breathing (frogs use their skin to breathe!). But all is not lost – I can be fabulous again!

ACTION IDEA ! Find out what other creatures might be endangered in your local area. Invite your park ranger to tell you more about what’s living in your backyard.

I enjoy a spot of gardening!

KYLIE, THE SOUTHERN CASSOWARY Once my children leave the nest, I prefer to live alone and use my three toes to dig for insects and seeds in the rainforests of Northern Queensland. I’m pretty popular amongst the plants and animals in the local area because I transfer seeds from one area to another. But because my numbers have dropped due to land clearing, feral animals and traffic, I’m finding it hard to spread seeds to replace all the trees that are cleared. It’s a relief to know that there are people planting my fruit trees and reducing the threat of feral animals. I’ve got diamonds in the soles of my paws! JT, THE TASSIE DEVIL 400-year-old fossils show that my great great grandparents used to live on the mainland of Australia. But today my family and I only live in Tasmania. For a while there, it looked a bit gloomy as people were chasing us. But in 1941 the government decided to protect us. We’re pretty good at finding our own food in the wild. We also keep farms and bushlands free of blowflies by eating animal carcasses. Many of my friends are sick at the moment, they suffer from a nasty disease, but zoos and environmental groups are helping us to breed new populations free of disease.


Profile for Green Cross Australia

Green Lane Diary 2013  

Green Lane Diary is a fun, environmental education program for Australian primary schools. It helps students understand the positive impacts...

Green Lane Diary 2013  

Green Lane Diary is a fun, environmental education program for Australian primary schools. It helps students understand the positive impacts...