Designers have begun attacking planned obsolescence and are working to make people fall in love with things that last, like the "Optimist" toaster; a women-led NGO in Ahmedabad has taken up the initiative of installing heat-resilient roofs atop slum homes and even rickshaws;
Welcome to the Autumn edition of The Big Fix magazine. The magazine shares solutions stories from every sector.
Blackheath Launches Australia's First Solutions Media Service
Blackheath has become a prototype for how communities can work collaboratively to tackle challenges. It is also balancing the negative influence of much mainstream media on our society, by creating Australia's first solutions-focused media service.
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mt Tomah is celebrating its 30th birthday this year with the release of the first Dwarf Mountain Pines to be made available to the public. They’ll also be making available a limited release of seed-grown Wollemi Pines. Both plants have been propagated at Mt Tomah, a cool climate refuge for species threatened by climate change.
Mark Liebman - designing for a water-sensitive world
Twenty seven years ago, a young auditor at Ernst & Young in Sydney, one of the “Big 4” accounting firms, came across a newly published report, “Blueprint for a Green Economy.” Prepared for the UK Environment Department, the report claimed that environmental problems had their roots in “economic failures.” This struck such a chord with him that he did a complete about-turn, left his job, travelled
Blue Mountains Pilgrimage Trail from Emu Plains to Bell
The tiny village of Bell, on the junction of the Bells Line of Road, Chifley Road and the Darling Causeway, at the most north-western tip of the City of the Blue Mountains, has become a new destination for pilgrims. Carrying rocks all the way from Emu Plains to Bell, on the 7-day Epiphany Pilgrimage, or the Way of the Magi, the pilgrims are commemorating the Christian journey of the Three Wise Men
On a hot windy day in Blackheath (perfect fire weather we both agree), I meet Mina Howard for a cup of tea in the Govett Café. In 2009 Mina established something called HUFF and I am there to find out how it works.
HUFF, or Heads Up For Fire (and other emergencies), was born in the aftermath of the 2009 Victorian bushfires which killed 173 people. Like all great ideas, it’s very simple: “Knock on your neighbour’s door and ask if they’re OK!”
It’s not hard to see why Blue Mountains City Council’s Family Day Care service was named the NSW Family Day Care Service of the Year in 2016. When I walked into Kathryn Tang’s exquisite cottage in Blackheath, it was like entering childhood heaven.
The Power of commUNITY - The Blackheath Alliance
In an era that is being defined by adversarial politics and short term thinking, the Blackheath community is demonstrating another approach –and one that’s proving to be extraordinarily effective. By working collaboratively, with the long game in mind, they’re proving that their strategy is clearly worth emulating.
Blackheath Community Op-shop. BCOS it's a community
It’s a bustling Thursday morning at the Blackheath Community Op-shop (BCOS). Volunteers are happily accepting donations of furniture, clothes and boxes of books, and satisfied customers are loading up the same. Passing by the racks of clothes to a large sorting table in the rear, I find David O’Brien, a serene agent in a storm of activity.
At 87 and virtually blind, Yvonne McCready does not regard herself as socially isolated or in need of “someone to chat to.” Why would she? Monday to Friday she walks more than 1.3 km from her Blackheath cottage into “town” where she either stops for the community lunch or catches a train to Katoomba for a hot meal.
It’s hard not to be biased about what a great place Blackheath is, and to not boast that it’s possible to go for months without even leaving the place!
In a community that has almost everything, we even have the good fortune to have our own Credit Union.
Sports psychologists and coaches frequently tell players that, when you’re challenged, you have the choice to respond to your situation by believing that your glass is half full, or that it’s half empty. For the enthusiastic new management team at the Blackheath Golf & Community Club, the glass is most definitely half full.
Blackheath, in the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains, Australia, has become the world's first town in which all the shopfront businesses have agreed to phase out plastic straws.
Blackheath Community Farm Meet-Up and Permablitz
There has been a great community response to the concept of developing a Community Farm in Blackheath and a date has been locked in for the initial Community Meet-Up and a 'Permablitz' of the site. Keep January 28, 2017 clear in your diary if you'd like to be involved in this exciting new project.
The Big Fix Launches Youth Cafe
Recently The Big Fix launched its first Youth Cafe in Blackheath ... a space for 14-18 year olds to gather on a Wednesday night to socialise, get inspired, and collaborate on tackling both local and global issues that concern them.
There is a Restoration Revolution happening as degraded land is being used for agricultural expansion, revegetation projects are bringing nature back to degraded farm holdings, Hawaii takes on the unprecedented task of moving from "big Ag" to regenerative agriculture, and the repair cafe movement takes off around the world.
Imagine having three hands! On the one hand, the world's largest retailer recently announced Project Gigatron - a commitment to remove a gigaton of greenhouse gas emissions from it's global supply chain by 2030 ... arguably one of the most ambitious efforts to reduce climate pollution by any U.S. corporation;
Darebin city council has introduced a Solar Saver program to help pensioners and low-income families access solar panels; police in the city of Indianapolis are working with Foodbanks to deliver food to needy families while on patrol, at the same time as building better community relationships; and aquaponics is a form of conservation agriculture in Indonesia which is helping to create resilience in the face of global warming.
The world's first engineering project, preceding Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids, has had its traditional name restored, to acknowledge and recognise history of Aboriginal agricultural development and aquaculture;
Mathematicians tackling gerrymandering, open-source seed breeders, and adopting open-source, copyright-free textbooks
Let's keep fixing things! Mathematicians are joining forces to combat gerrymandering ... the partisan bias in the drawing of voting districts; open-source breeders are working to preserve a handful of important seed varieties for the farms of the future; and initiatives in Maryland and New York are attempting to curb rising education costs by adopting open-source, copyright-free textbooks.
Friendship benches are a brilliant strategy in Zimbabwe to value the elderly, and create a model to help underserved communities cope with mental health problems: countries around the world are looking at following their lead; the First Nations Homelessness Project has created an army of volunteers who run working bees to help prevent people being evicted from public housing and ending up on the streets;
Coworking has begun to replace colleges; solar power is now the cheapest form of energy in almost 60 countries; and after 40 years of manatee conservation efforts, numbers have increased from 1,000 in the wild to 6,600.