BILBIES NOT BUNNIES AND BOYCOTT PALM OIL!
In the turf war between rabbits and bilbies that plays out in burrows dug into Australia’s arid grasslands, rabbits, those aggressive and fertile European immigrants, have largely won out. However, the chocolate bilby has staked its claim on the springtime candy shelf — an honor that could help the threatened species make a real comeback.
Never heard of a bilby? Well, it’s a cute, rabbit-sized marsupial with large ears and a long, pointed nose; once upon a time, it hopped around much of Australia. But the arrival of European settlers some 200 years ago brought hard times for the bilbies. Cities and farms destroyed habitat. Foxes and feral cats preyed on them. And rabbits eventually pushed the bilbies out of their burrows. “[The rabbits] were eating everything in their way,” says David Paton, an ecologist at the University of Adelaide. Today the bilby numbers only in the thousands, but Easter traditions – and chocolate in particular — have helped keep the bilby’s image going strong.
Pink Lady Chocolates and Haigh’s Chocolates have teamed up with the Save The Bilby Fund to provide the Australians with their own Easter Bilby. Proceeds from the sale of these bilbies goes towards research, breeding programs and the conservation of the endangered creatures. “At Easter time it seems ludicrous to me that less than one percent of the chocolate market is bilbies and all the rest are rabbits. Millions and millions of dollars have been spent in the last hundred or so years by all forms of governments, state, local and federal in trying to rid Australia of rabbits, and yet here we are celebrating Easter with rabbits! It’s ludicrous!” – Frank Manthey.Easter Sunday 2016 is the 27th March this year. Look for Pink Lady Bilby Chocolates with the GREEN TAG that show the donation amount to Save the Bilby Fund. You can hunt for chocolate bilbies at Ritchies/IGA, Target, Australia Post, Big W, Myers, David Jones, plus many specialty shops.
Mount Waverley Primary school is proud to sponsor several bilbies with Save The Bilby Fund and Arid recovery. For more information on bilbies go to http://www.savethebilbyfund.org.au or http://www.aridrecovery.org.au/arid-recovery-news/bilbies-not-bunnies-this-easter
WHY IS PALM OIL SO BAD?
Did you know that approximately 50% of products on supermarket shelves contain palm oil? What’s more, Easter-related products are a haven for sneaky palm oil.
So how do you avoid it?
These are a few brands we know of that are palm oil free or have certain products that are:
– Haigh’s Chocolate blocks
– Pana Chocolate
– Lindt & Sprungli – Lindt Excellence and Lindt Creation chocolate blocks (Note that filled products such as Lindor do contain palm oil)
– Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate blocks – Dairy Milk, Old Gold, Dream
– Aldi Stores: Choceur, Just Organics, Moser-Roth
What about Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO)?
100% Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) is produced in a way that helps protect the last remaining habitat for wildlife and preserves the livelihoods of producers. By buying from companies using either CSPO or sustainable alternatives to palm oil, you can enjoy some wildlife-friendly, guilt-free chocolates.
The key is to know how to identify palm oil in a product (read the post below for more on this) and if it does contain palm oil, but has no reference to being certified 100% segregated, or 100% identity preserved, then think about choosing another product.
Why is palm oil such a big issue?
When tropical forests are cleared to make way for oil palm plantations, carbon is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2 ), the gas that is the leading cause of climate change; tropical deforestation accounts for about10 percent of total global warming emissions (UCS 2013).
Indonesia was the world’s seventh-largest emitter of global warming pollution in 2009, and deforestation accounted for about 30 percent of these emissions (WRI 2013). Indeed, for that same year Indonesia ranked second (behind Brazil) in the amount of global warming pollution it produced because of deforestation (WRI 2013).
It’s estimated that 98% of Indonesian forest will be gone in 9 years due to palm oil plantations.
Palm Oil is a major problem, and it is up to us as consumers to make a difference. It is up to us to boycott the brands that contain palm oil, or who are not trying to source responsible palm oil, and protest against those who create this destruction of habitat.
On Friday 3rd March the school helped out with Clean Up Australia Day. The whole school gathered a total amount of 15kg kg of rubbish. That is an increase of last year’s 11.35kg total. Next year let’s try to reduce our rubbish in the school yard; simply by picking up rubbish when found on the ground and making sure that EVERY DAY is a rubbish free lunch day.
Thank you to everyone who contributed on the day.
Each year schools have their trees audited by an arborist and this year, as in previous years, Eucalyptus Tree Services conducted our audit. Unfortunately they have identified that our three significant oak trees in the main courtyard are in serious danger, not only through a lack of water to their root system but also the years of damage of compacting the roots underneath asphalt.
We have been provided with four options:
- Do nothing and wait to see if the trees survive
- Drill holes in the asphalt for water to seep through. However, this does not resolve the issue of compacted roots and the holes would need to be serviced regularly to keep clear
- Remove the asphalt surrounding the trees back to the rubber playground surface and out to the northern cut line where the tree’s drip line is, mulch and construct sleep walls around the mulch
- The most expensive but most appealing suggestion to date is remove the asphalt as in point 3 and construct decking and timber seating surrounding the trees thus beautifying the area and creating a great deal of seating under the trees
Last Wednesday at the first Parents and Friends meeting the P & F members in attendance were 100% supportive of option 4 and with great enthusiasm commenced brainstorming ideas to raise money for the project and ideas to promote the project.
I am currently in the process of obtaining ideas and costings from Canopy Facilities Management Systems which I will take to the next P & F meeting on Wednesday 1 March at 7.30pm in the staffroom. This meeting is also the AGM to elect office bearers and all parents are welcome.
When a decision has been made on the design of the decking and seating along with the cost, it will be displayed in the newsletter, on our website and hard copies around our school to enable the community to see what we are raising money for.
I look forward to the communities support with this most important project.
On Friday, 10th February Miss Leary kindly invited the year 6 students in the Environment Club, to the Sustainable Living Festival to have an opportunity to learn about the environment. We went to the cinemas to see two indigenous environmentalist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and Amelia Talford. Something really important we learnt was every one can make a change to the world if you care. Xiuhtezcatl (Shoe-tez-cat) told all of us about climate changes, climate changes is a change to the global warming and is affecting people and nature such as rising temputures which has been a big impact to animals, melting ice, floods and hurricanes. After that we went to an environment festival that had fundraisers to help animals, plants, and some really nice food. We all bought plants such as lettuce, kale and much more hopefully they have planted there plants. We had an amazing experience learning about so many ways to help the environment thanks again miss leary for such a good experience for all of us. I don’t know what we would do without such a good environment teacher.
Jazmine and Julie
Environment Captains 2017
Learn more about Xiuhtezcatl Martinez on our Videos page. Click the link above.