Feb 14, 2016 - ENERGY    No Comments

Roofing Integrated Photovoltaic Thermal (RIPV-T) roof tiles

Tractile Solar claim they are the world’s first Roofing Integrated Photovoltaic Thermal (RIPV-T) roof tile.

Solar roofing tile

Solar roofing tile

The roof-integrated photovoltaic tile creates both; electricity, as well as solar boosted hot water from the single unit.

The Tractile Eclipse Solar tile interlocks with Tractile Eclipse tiles for a solar roofing combination.

Standard Tractile Eclipse Tiles

Standard Tractile Eclipse Tiles

Tractile say the main benefits include:

  • Increased PV output efficiency compared to conventional PV systems
  • Aesthetic building integrated solution
  • Use of cost effective and lightweight materials
  • Designed for low manufacture and installation cost
  • Decreased installation time and maintenance costs

..and recommend the system for:

  • Heat pump
  • Instantaneous gas or electricity
  • Gas or electrical heated storage tank



Dimensions in mm: W x H x D
 – Physical  1105 x 690 x 71
 – Exposed  1050 x 560
Exposed tile surface (square meter)  0.588
Weight (kg), with single hook and no liquid in tile 19.56
 Profile Solar PV glass
Capacity in watt peak  76
Capacity in litres 1.0



So if you’re looking to produce some of your own electricity in your next home build or update your existing building, then check out Tractile for more information.



May 19, 2014 - COMMUNITY, EDUCATION, EVENTS, HELP, HOME    No Comments

Tiny House Building Project at Aldinga, South Australia

Tiny House Caravan

The caravan that will be deconstructed and form the base of the tiny house.

I have been asked to ‘put the word out’ about a community project involving building a tiny house at Aldinga Arts Eco Village.

The project will be being undertaken from May 20th- around June 8th or so.

They are looking for volunteers to help with this project and particularly anyone who has good building knowledge, such as a current or retired builder or a student/apprentice builder.

Other helpers would also be appreciated.

You don’t have to be involved in the whole project… just for whatever time you can offer.

I would imagine older kids, such as teens, may be able to take part (you would have to check with d’Arcy if they have an age limit, as it is a building project with potential dangers) but I would think that it wouldn’t be suitable for young children.

They are also after various materials for donation to the project:

• Plywood sheets for outside cladding and maybe weatherboard for the toilet
• Rust removal and rust prep paint for the trailer as well as wire brushes and clean up the trailer
• Frosted glass door or glass door for the front door
• A couple more sheets of gyprock for interior cladding
• Structural wood for framing
• Solar converter and batteries and someone who might like to give a solar DIY lesson

If anyone is interested in taking part or helping out in any way here is the link to the project http://happysimply.wordpress.com/and you can email d’Arcy at darcy@globalpovertyproject.com

May 12, 2014 - COMMUNITY, MONEY    No Comments

Adopt an Acre in Australia

Southern coast of Gondwana Link project. Credit: Ron Geatz

Southern coast of Gondwana Link project. Credit: Ron Geatz

From ancient rainforests along the coast to the Mediterranean forests further inland to the edge of the legendary Australian Outback, this large, biologically diverse corner of Australia needs your help. Gondwana Link is home to 10,000 distinct plant and animal species, including kangaroos, emus, dingoes, wallabies and tiny honey possums.

The exceptional plant diversity nurtured by the eucalypt woodlands and open bushland, intermixed with low shrublands and grasslands, is one of the primary reasons for the region’s conservation significance.

A multitude of pressures increasingly threaten Gondwana Link’s rich plant and animal life—2,500 plant species are on the verge of extinction. That’s where your support can help to make a difference.


Jun 6, 2013 - COMMUNITY, FOOD    No Comments

Green Grows The Street!

In the Sydney suburb of Dulwich Hill lies Wilga Avenue, a street where neighbours have joined together to plant fruits and veggies in their front gardens and verges that line the street.

Not only does this provide fresh produce for the residents, but brings a greater sense of community connectedness to the street. People are spending much more time in the street, working on and enjoying the gardens, along with the increased opportunities for interaction with neighbours.

Wilga Avenue residents entered and won the ‘Sustainability Drive’ state wide competition, run by an energy company, for which they created the video below about their street. They won solar panels for every house in the street!

If you would like to read more about this project, there’s an article with more info and some photos here http://milkwood.net/2012/05/31/a-whole-street-of-verge-gardens/

May 28, 2013 - COMMUNITY, MONEY    No Comments

Our Neighbourhood Community Grants

Community grants




The Australia Post Community Grants Program encourages organisations to apply for funding for projects that will help to build healthier, more vibrant and more inclusive communities across Australia.

Key dates

Monday, 13 May 2013 Applications open
Friday, 28 June 2013 Applications close 
July/August 2013 Applications assessed
September 2013 Applicants notified
September 2013 Grant funding issued

Funding opportunities

Funding of one-off cash grant payments between $1,000 and $25,000 is available for community projects or initiatives, based on how strongly they meet the theme of ‘inclusion’ and support disadvantaged audience groups within Australia.

Who can apply?

Australian registered charities or community organisations that meet the program eligibility criteria can apply for an Our Neighbourhood Community Grant.

Central theme

All grant applicants must support our central theme of ‘inclusion’ and fit within at least one of the below areas of focus:

  • Providing all Australians with access to essential products and services – as well as the knowledge to use these services to connect in both the physical and digital world
  • Maintaining a diverse, inclusive workplace that values the contribution made by people from varying backgrounds and neighbourhoods across our nation
  • Investing in programs and activities that foster community spirit, connect communities and contribute to building a more inclusive Australia
  • Providing support to Australian communities in times of preparedness for future or recovery from previous major crisis

Communities targeted

Local communities

  • Regional and remote communities
  • Socially disadvantaged
  • Indigenous Australians
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse groups
  • People living with a disability
  • Small businesses (up to 20 employees)


Our Neighbourhood Community Grants form part of Australia Post’s ongoing commitment to supporting the communities in which we operate.

Find out more about Our Neighbourhood


May 28, 2013 - COMMUNITY, EDUCATION, EVENTS    No Comments

Share Make Mend

If you live in or near Melbourne, Australia, this community sharing and learning day might be of interest to you.

Organised by Transition Darebin and the Sharehood this event will be held on Saturday June 1st 2013, from from 1.30 – 4pm at Northcote Uniting Church, 251 High St, Northcote.

People are invited to bring along produce, books, clothes, household items etc to swap… or just come along to give something a new ‘life’ in your home!

There will also be various workshops on making and mending things, aimed at helping people become more creative and sustainable.

For more information go to http://transitiondarebin.org/2013/05/20/share-make-mend/

May 27, 2013 - COMMUNITY, EDUCATION, FOOD    No Comments

Ten Week Permaculture Course, Zaytuna Farm, NSW Australia

For anyone serious about learning all the ins and outs of permaculture, this 10 week course would be ideal!

Run 3 times a year, with participation from Geoff Lawton himself, this fully catered course (vegetarian menu available) covers many aspects of permaculture, with both classroom lessons and ample hands-on practical experience.

An area for camping is available, with some raised tent platforms, composting toilet and a rocket stove heated shower.

Although the price is fairly steep, the experience you will get is invaluable!

Participants come from all over the world to do this course.  The video below introduces us to some of the people who have done it and a bit of a look at what you might expect.

Some of the topics covered include:

  • Detailed design and consultancy
  • Surveying
  • The Permaculture Earthworks Course
  • The Permaculture Project Establishment Course
  • Farm forestry
  • Nursery systems
  • Animal systems
  • Fencing systems
  • Main crops
  • Food forests
  • Fuel wood production
  • Kitchen gardens
  • The Urban Permaculture Design Course
  • The Learn how to Teach Permaculture Creatively Course
  • Garden agriculture
  • Energy systems
  • Waste systems
  • Aquaculture
  • Community group establishment
  • Composting systems
  • The Sustainable Soils Management Course

May 26, 2013 - COMMUNITY, FOOD    No Comments

Joe’s Connected Garden

In the Adelaide area of Elizabeth Grove, South Australia, are 4 connected backyards in which an abundance of fruits and veggies are grown and shared by the residents of the properties.

Boasting over 300 varieties of fruits and all sorts of vegetables, the gardens are managed on organic and permaculture principles.

The garden is also part of the Open Garden’s Scheme, as well as being available for people to tour at other times.  There is a variety of plants available for sale cheaply in their nursery, the proceeds of which go to help with the ongoing costs of the garden.

Currently (May 2013- expected for a few months) the garden has an excess of spinach, which is available free to anyone who lives nearby.  You can contact them on their Facebook page below.

They also are grateful for any donations of good condition pots, of varying sizes, to use in their nursery.

In the future, they also hope to run various workshops for the community, so keep a lookout for more info on that.

If you would like to see what’s currently happening in the garden, check out their Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/JoesConnectedGarden

May 25, 2013 - COMMUNITY, FOOD    No Comments

Todmorden: A Town That’s Growing… Veggies!

Todmorden, West Yorkshire, is leading the way in becoming more self sufficient by using pockets of land all over town to grow fruit and veggies, which are then freely available to anyone who wants to harvest and use them.  There idea is to be inclusive, with a motto of ‘If you eat, you’re in!”  The original plan was to use a unifying ‘language’ that cuts across age, income and culture- and the answer was food!

There’s 70 plots for the picking- broccoli at the train station; rosemary, thyme, mint and fennel near the health centre; apples, raspberries, apricots  along the canal towpath; peas and beans outside the college; blackcurrants, redcurrants and strawberries by the doctor’s surgery and cherries in the supermarket car park, to name a few.

Now called the Incredible Edible movement, this principle has spread internationally, with many groups doing the same thing locally.

If you would like to learn more about it, visit http://www.incredible-edible-todmorden.co.uk/hom

Or watch the videos below:

Interview with one of the founders, Pam Warhurst.

Pam on TED.  Some very interesting ideas and well worth watching!

May 21, 2013 - EDUCATION    No Comments

Free Online Permaculture Design Course

Well, it’s finally here… Regenerative Leadership Institute’s FREE online Permaculture Design Course, consisting of 72+ hours of content including loads of video lessons, quizzes and information to help you gain a comprehensive understanding of Permaculture Design.

As some of you may know, Regenerative Leadership Institute has recently been attempting to raise the money to fund this course, through crowd funding, and thankfully they made their total- plus another $16,000 above their goal amount!  I think this goes to show how important many people perceive getting this kind of information out there, as widely as possible.

So, why wait?  Go to http://www.permaculturedesigntraining.com/ and get started!

We’d love to hear from anyone once they ahve done the course… or even those part way through… about what you think of it and your recommendations to others to try it… so please let us know!