Monday, October 19, 2009
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Tertiary Education Strategy. This is a fantastic opportunity for New Zealand to deliver on the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014).
Following are our comments in relation to the goals of the UN Decade.
Key points on the Vision
We need our current and future workforce to act sustainably. Therefore they need the skills to do this. e.g. 'raise the skills and knowledge of the current and future workforce to meet labour demand, economic, societal and environmental needs.' The Tertiary Education sector must be directed to provide the learning to think and act for a sustainable future.
It is great to see a mention of sustainability in the vision. It is important that this is worded to show the interconnectedness of our economic, social and environmental systems. "...respond to the interconnected needs of our economic, social and environmental systems."
Sustainability research is interdisciplinary research. The Performance-Based Research Fund with it's discipline based panel structure must be reviewed so as to provide for essential interdisciplinary research such as sustainability.
It must be a priority to develop people who have the ability to take a systems thinking approach to all that they do and understand the interconnectedness of our socio-economic systems. Students and our future workforce must understand that we live in a closed system with finite resources and we must therefore operate in a way that our species will be sustained by these resources for many generations to come. It must also be a priority to develop people who can consider others on a world wide scale. It must also be a priority to develop people who can participant and act in the democratic process in the New Zealand system and many other systems globally.
To sum this up it must be a priority for the government to see tertiary education providers develop people who can think and act for a sustainable future.
2.2 How priorities will be achieved
This priority can be achieved by encouraging/expecting providers to integrate teaching and learning for a sustainable future by providing: learning in systems, critical and creative thinking; an understanding of the interconnectedness of our living systems; understanding of ethics across time and space; the motivation and ability to act for a sustainable future.
It is great to see that 'encourage collaboration and shared resources' as part of improving sector performance. Through Open Educational Resource we can expand this further to contribute to the provision of education world wide, enhancing New Zealand's reputation for high quality education. The use of quality Open Educational Resource (OER) will encourage those who have the ability to pay for facilitated and/or face to face education in New Zealand and to be acknowledged through certification for what they have achieved to do so. As well as providing education for those who do not have the same privilege and enhance international links.
3.1 Expectations of Providers
The government must expect tertiary education providers to educate for sustainability. We can no longer afford to ignore the interconnectedness of our living systems. Tomorrows leaders must be able to move our country forward with a systems thinking, collaborative, action approach to addressing the decline of the health and abundance of the natural resources in which we rely.
All tertiary education providers must provide education for sustainability for all their students. All education must have real world application and our future 'real world' must be a sustainable one.
The government must not only monitor the 'contribution that tertiary education makes to New Zealand's economy and society,' but must monitor the contribution that tertiary education makes to New Zealand's integrated economic, society and environment systems.
1. Add the integration of Education for Sustainability as an expectation of tertiary education providers.
2. The ability to act for a sustainable future must be an explicit core capability, such as numeracy and literacy. Eco-literacy is an essential skill for all for New Zealand's future.
3. Interdisciplinary study and research must be supported in order to gain strong, worthwhile sustainability research.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
The good old days
Home cooked meals (from scratch) almost every night.
Growing a lot of the households food in the back yard.
Walking or biking to school or work every day, rain or shine.
Putting more clothes on when it's cold.
Showering once a day or less!
Home baked goodies in the cardboard.
One car families.
Three or four changes of clothes, not a walk in wardrobe full.
Taking the bus was fun.
Everything that could be re-used was.
Take away coffees etc, didn't really exist – we all just sat down for one.
We didn't need a clothes drier, microwave, 2 or more TV's, 2 or more computers, 2 or more stereos, a slow cooker, an electric can opener, heated towel rails etc, etc.
How can we still live comfortably, yet decrease of impact on the environment?
I had a discussion with my husband as we were driving to work/pre-school with our 2 year old last week. Before we had our son we had a car each, vans infact – both with beds in them – the single, vagrants dream. We now have one old stationwagon and it's great. My husband commented that we do fine with only one car. In fact he couldn't imagine having another car that he drove to work and left there all day. What a cost and what a waste he said, though reminding me that he didn't used to think like that – my influence. Because he's so used to taking the bus and occassionally riding his bike he just doesn't see it as an inconvience or hard work.
This is what has happened. As people have increasingly been able to afford ever cheaper appliances and cars and marketing has done a fantastic job at telling us we can't live without these things we have come to believe that this is true.
My husbands experience in getting to and from work has become habit and therefore easy. We do have the benefit of being close to a bus route both at home and at work. So all we need to do is change the way we do things and stick them out until they become habit and easy!
Watching Dunedin go through the transition to using cloth bags in the supermarket is an interesting one. I made this transition 4 or so years ago and constantly forgot to put my empty bags back in the car, then forgot to take them into the supermarket and so on. It was frustrating, but after a few months perserverance it became habit and easy. I'm watching frustrated people work at remembering the change of routine now.
We are by no means perfect when it comes to living sustainability. Few people are, but we do a reasonable amount and are very conscious of the decisions we make and how they impact all. We don't own a clothes drier and never have, yet we have a two year old. We raised him 'nappy free' from 6 weeks old, but that's another story. He still has wet pants and dirty clothes and of course my husband and I need to do washing too. Dunedin is by far the sunniest of cities, yet we manage to get most of our washing dry on the line even through most of winter. When we can't we use my husbands designed ceiling clothes rack that sits against the roof near the fire or clothes racks and if something we want to wear is wet, well tough we have to find something else!
We have a eco wood burning fire that has a wet-back attached and we can cook (use a frying pan even) on the top of it. Our power bills in the winter can be as low as $55 and we rarely go over $100 any time of the year. I have applied the fake double glazing to our windows at $25/room and we now have no condensation on our bedroom window sills in the morning. We had to replace our cracked sliding door so we topped up the insurance pay out to get a double-glazed one and most recently we have taken up the Government insulation grant. Unfortunately we can't get under our floor but we able to get two layers of wool (our choice for environmental reasons at a bit more expense) in our ceiling. I'm happy to reveil that we only had to pay $650 of the $1600 it cost as we have community services cards that gave us 60% off with the governments subsiby.
We are not a wealthy family. We earn enough to live comfortably and we only have holidays because we careful about what we spend our money on. Sensible insulation and heating and only 1 car saves us heaps!!!!
I'm an experiential gardener and would hate to have to fully feed my family on what I grow – we'd be hungry!!! But it definitely compliments the huge amount that we spend on food. We eat a lot of organic food, cook meals from scratch as much as possible and buy in bulk avoiding heaps of packaging, though this is defintely what fills our rubbish bin over 3 weeks. Yes, weeks to fill one 65L rubbish bag in a 3 person household. Not bad, but it could be better. I simply refuse in most cases to buy something that can't be re-used as infinitely as possible or recycled or both.
It's not hard or expensive to do little things that will make a huge difference to the quality of our environment. I don't need a heated towel rail, don't even have a heater in our bathroom – it encourages a quick dry and change into warm clothes. I don't need a walk in wardrobe. My op-shop buys see me through and I don't feel bad about passing them on to buy more from the op-shop when I need a change.
As I said, I'm by no means perfect when it comes to living sustainably. The reason I wanted to share some of these things with you is to show you that it's not hard to do, it's cheaper, which means you have more money for things like holidays – or you can simply do less work! Give it a go. Take one thing that you know that has a huge impact on the environment and change it. Stick with it for a few months (convince some others -family or friends/flatmates) to join you and pretty quickly you'll find that it's habit – good habit!! Thanks. Anna :)
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Raising a Nappy Free Baby, Natural Infant Hygiene, Elimination Communication or Infant Potty Training
You can now find this article at http://wearingyourbaby.co.nz/elimination-communication/
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
One of the points of discussion was around including general/admin staff in the key note speech. Sam you may have a good idea what to include in your speech to ensure this. Mark Jackson maybe able to advise and as the Sustainable Management Group won't be meeting before this time input from others maybe helpful to Sam.
Following on from this the panel discussion must also include general/admin staff. Mark Jackson is probably best placed to do this. Barry (if he agrees) and I will speak together r.e. integrating sustainable practice into teaching. I have approached Maureen Howard (DCC Sustainable Living programme and Sustainable Dunedin City, Education person) to speak as an outside voice on the OP Sustainability objectives and how they fit into the sustainability in the Dunedin community or something like that. I'd also like to find a student who would talk about sustainability throughout the Polytechnic from their perspective.
Perhaps Sam could also sit on the panel to have input into the answers to any questions, though he would not speak on the panel as he would have just spoken for an hour?
Half day workshops:
- I have proposed to Barry that he and I run a half day workshop (2 1/2 hrs) for academic staff on integrating sustainable practice into teaching. I propose that this includes staff bringing their course outlines, ideas and any resources that already have for Barry and I to work with them individually as well as collectively to get them going on the right track.
- Another half day workshop could be run by Mark Jackson specifically for general/admin staff on operations, including supply chains, department events, admin resources, sourcing, induction etc.
I'd really appreciate feedback on these ideas, including what needs to be or could be covered by Sam in his key note and each panel presenter. If anyone can think of a student who would be suitable that would be helpful. Thanks. Anna :)
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I'm excited about finally making the time to post on Lawrence and Antje's Little Greenie at their Golden Bay Hideaway.
Monday, February 16, 2009
- Development of the Sustainable Practice 1 course for delivery to the Tourism and Travel Yr 2's in Term 2.
- Applying for academic approval of the Education for Sustainability staff development course.
- Development of a lecture and tutorial on sustainability issues for Ko Te Tai Ao - Natural World paper
- On going involvement in the Otago Polytechnic Sustainability Management Group.
When time allows I am attempting to
- develop something on Maori and sustainability
- work with Heather Day on integrating sustainability into the Graduation Certificate in Tertiary Teaching and Learning
- work with Barry Law in supporting departments in integrating sustainability into their curriculum and teaching. Possibly including a resource book for all staff to access resources for teaching sustainability.
- Supporting any lecturers who approach me for help on teaching sustainability.
Cheers, Anna :)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Phew, glad I'm back on track!