Thursday, 24 September 2015

When good turns to evil. Charity bags polluting Melbourne's waterways. Rant No 2: The curse of bottled water.

How festive, charity bags festoon the trees, Glen Waverley.
Scotchman's Creek, in Melbourne's south-east, after a heavy shower

Almost weekly you get a plastic charity bag in your letterbox (for your old clothes, shoes, homewares ready for later collection). All well and good, but the majority of the empty bags end up drifting into the gutters, into the stormwater and hence into the urban waterways. Melbourne's creeks and streams flow into the waterways like the Yarra River or straight into Port Phillip Bay.
The plastic mess is supplemented by plastics bottles and polystyrene (caused by morons overpacking or incorrectly filling home recycling bins).
Why people buy bottled water in the first place, is a mystery to me. Melbourne's drinking water is excellent (and free). But you see people with supermarket trolleys filled with cases of bottled water (it's Australia, not China, for crying out loud).
Well, there's my rant for today.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Scourge of the Suburbs: Knock down and Rebuild

Goodbye houses with character and a decent front and back garden in the suburbs. Hello McMansions.

In Australia the average family size in 1966 was 3.5 people, now it's around 2.4. How come houses are getting bigger? Now people MUST have at least 4 bedrooms, home theatre/rumpus room, study, an outdoor room (because there's only a pocket handkerchief sized backyard) and a butler's pantry/second kitchen for Christ sake. More to heat, cool, clean and maintain. What will these McMansions look like in 50 years' time? 
Us working class baby-boomers lived in the family 3 bedroom house - all crowded around the black and white telly in the lounge ("the good room").
Established trees are chopped down. With no space for an established garden, our suburbs are becoming soulless, no longer homes for native wildlife and hotter in summer. 
New owners are either time-poor (too busy paying off the mortgage to devote time to gardening) or have no desire to keep up a garden.