Lightning Talks: Sustainability solutions explored

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At the beginning of this month we held Lightning Talks on Adapt or Die: the truth about Climate Change and Waste Wars as part of Sustainability Week.

So what are Lightning Talks?

Lightning Talks are similar to TED Talks, in that speakers (our academics) are given a limited time (10 minutes) to give voice to a topical issue. The difference? Instead of watching online, you’re invited to join in the conversation and share your opinions too.

If you attended, we’re sure you loved the events! If not, you totally missed out! Never fear though, we’ll catch you up on what went down.

Adapt or Die: the truth about climate change

  • Prof Cordia Chu AM spoke about the need to future-proof ourselves against Climate Change by acting now to find solutions. Society must adapt and work in partnership, and complex scientific research needs to be adapted in order to find useful and useable solutions that are, most importantly, used. 
  • Dr Wade Hadwen spoke about water scarcity, highlighting the need to address this issue now – as the problem is only going to get worse.
  • Prof Catherine Pickering talked about how we can use native plants to offset the impact of climate change. You can download the groNATIVE app to help select the best native plants for your needs, and search plants by biodiversity, your garden style of plant characteristics.
  • Dr Leah Barclay introduced us to EcoAcoustics – the sounds of waterways, which enable us to gauge environmental changes over time by sound. She has been using underwater microphones to map the sounds of fish and aquatic insects. From this, people can put microphones under water and identify the sounds, therefore animals, in the water.

Waste Wars

  • Assoc Prof Frederic Leusch opened the discussion with statistics of how single-use plastics are contributing to waste, and some graphic images of how they harm and kill animals in the ocean. Plastic bags, straws and countless other rubbish items are among what we dump into the ocean and local waterways. He provided us with practical actions to take to help with our problem with plastic waste – say no to straws, avoid buying bottled water, bring your own coffee cup, plus much more!
  • Assoc Prof Matthew Burke spoke about how transport infrastructure affects sustainability. Currently in Brisbane, we’re investing our money on projects to widen roads to add capacity for more cars. Instead, we should be focusing on developing our public transport infrastructure. We also need to push programs to encourage walking, cycling and active transport.
  • Dr Eleni Kalantidou spoke about our love of material things – buying stuff, shopping. Western society spends and purchases too readily. We need to change the way we perceive things by being more responsible about our purchase decisions – we have a responsibility every time we buy something we know we’re going to discard quickly.
  • Dr Kathy Knox and her team worked with the community of Redlands to tackle the food waste issue. After surveying the community about the kind of food they had in their household, they invited professional chefs to create recipes which would incorporate food items that are often left over and discarded, showing the Redlands community practical ways to reduce food waste. They held live cooking demonstrations of these recipes in the Stockland shopping centre and distributed recipe cards to the community.
  • Clare Poppi spoke about how modern jewellery is often inexpensive costume items serving little purpose, and therefore can be a waste. Clare creates one of a kind pieces which incorporate nature into the design, are sustainable and easily degradable. She brought along samples of her work for us.

Want to hear more? You can watch both lightning talks online on our Facebook page:

Attend our interactive ghosting workshop this Sustainability Week

Here, at Griffith Library, we love events. Any events. All events.

So, of course, we’re celebrating Sustainability Week!

Besides hosting Lightning Talks on Adapt or Die and Waste Wars, our QCA library will also be hosting a fun and interactive workshop.

Ghosting – a workshop with artist Pamela See

Participants will work with Pamela to create hand-cut strawboard templates using motifs representing a selection of redundant technologies.

The cut-outs you make will be put on display in the library during Sustainability Week.

Sounds interesting, right? But you may be thinking ‘so, uh, what exactly is ghosting?’ (we were!).

Ghosting is a tradition associated with Chinese ancestral worship. People would create, and then burn, paper ethnologies during Ghost Month as a form of transmortem communication.

Come along to the workshop to learn more about Ghosting and make your own cut-outs!

  • Time: 12 – 1.30 pm (drop in at any time during this period)
  • Date: Wednesday 5 September
  • Location: The Pod, QCA Library

Attend our free Lightning Talks on Waste Wars

The War on Waste on ABC continues to captivate viewers. Why? Because it’s happening in our own backyard.

If you haven’t seen the TV series yet, don’t fret—Griffith’s doing one better. We’re having Lightning Talks on the topic.

Lightning Talks are similar to TED Talks, in that speakers are given a limited time (10 minutes) to give voice on a topical issue. The difference? Instead of watching online, you’re invited to join in the conversation and share your opinions too.

Our library is excited to host the next series of Lightning Talks during Sustainability Week.

Did you know that in Australia, air pollution causes about 3,000 premature deaths a year, a figure that’s three times the national toll road (Dean & Green, 2017)? This seems overwhelming, but fortunately for us we have some world class researchers that are tackling these sorts of key sustainability issues here at Griffith.

Come listen to them battle it out on the podium about the war with eWaste, plastic bags and pollution.

12 – 1 pm, Thursday 6 September 2018

The Library foyer (N53, level 1), Nathan campus


Register your interest on our Griffith University Library Facebook events page.

Sustainability Week events

Griffith University was the first Australian University to offer environmental science, waaay back in the ‘70s, and our commitment to the environment hasn’t wavered since.

3 – 7 September is Sustainability Week. So, of course, Griffith is celebrating!

You’ll find an exciting array of workshops, activities and stalls at the Sustainability Fair on the Gold Coast campus, and Enviro Events at Nathan, Logan, Mt Gravatt and South Bank campuses.

Learn how you can incorporate Sustainability into your everyday life. Whether you are an eco-warrior, or just like to make sure you use the recycling bin when possible, there will be plenty on offer to entice.

So grab a coffee in your keep-cup and walk on down to the event space to enjoy.

Tuesday 4 September Wednesday 5 September Thursday 6 September
Gold Coast Sustainability Fair
10 – 2
Outside library (G10)
Logan Enviro Event
12 – 2
Community Court
Mt Gravatt Enviro Event
11.30 – 2
Community Courtyard
Nathan Enviro Event
10 – 2
Arrivals Plaza, Johnson Path & Campus Heart
South Bank Enviro Event
12 – 2
Undercroft (near S03)

The library is also throwing Lightning Talks on Waste Wars and Adapt or Die. Stay tuned on the Library Blog for further info!

Find a list of all Sustainability Week activities on the Sustainability Week webpage.

And the winners of our TerraCycling competition are…

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Earlier this year, we partnered with TerraCycle to recycle oral care product packaging. Since then, staff and students have been diligently disposing of their oral care waste in our recycling bins (you’ll find them at all our campus libraries).

However, we decided to amp things up a little for Sustainability Week (last week), and ran a TerraCycling competition, getting students to paint with toothbrushes.

You probably saw the painting stalls set up in our library foyers, or may have even admired our students’ toothbrush art hanging on our walls.

However, now Sustainability Week is over, and all artwork has been completed and admired, it’s time to announce the winners!

A winning artwork has been selected from each campus, with each winner getting a $20 pre-paid VISA.

  • Gold Coast: Chaira Bosio
  • Logan: Estelle Alfred
  • Mount Gravatt: Ngarijan Rosser-Bonner
  • Nathan: Semini Hettigoda
  • South Bank: Clare Shortt

Check out our gallery to view the winning paintings!

It’s Sustainability Week!

Photo of a woman on a bicycle

Sustainability: ‘Living life to the fullest without compromising future generations’ ability to do so’ (

How many times as a young, brilliant (yeah we said it, you’re welcome) uni student have you heard that you ‘are the future’. Your grandma says it with pride and politicians may occasionally say it with terror, but they are both correct!

As people of the future, we have the ability now to ensure that future is a good one. This is where sustainability comes in.

Griffith is committed to sustainable practices. You may have noticed our worm farms, the bright yellow recycling bins (surprisingly easy to trip over…just me? Okay), and of course Nathan’s EcoCentre.

Monday 28 August until Friday 1 September is Griffith’s week-long ode to sustainability. Locals would call it Sustainability Week.

There are activities happening at every campus, including discounted refills if you bring your own reusable cup (so much cuter than a boring old styrofoam one), TerraCycling painting stations in all libraries, and e-waste collection points where you can get rid of any old Nokia phones that just. won’t. die. It’s a great way to dispose of a scarily durable piece of tech in an eco-friendly way.

Interested? Excited? Want to know more? Yeah you do. Check out all the activities and events coming to a campus near you.

Paint for TerraCycling and win a share of $100

As you walk into our campus libraries this week, you’ll see some colourful painting stations set up.

Starting this morning, Monday 28 August, until this Friday 1 September, our libraries are running a painting competition to raise awareness of TerraCycling and celebrate Sustainability Week

Though our painting stations do have a bit of a twist…

Simply mosey over to one of our painting stations (they’re located in the foyer of all our libraries), and one of our friendly staff will help you choose an A3 design to paint… with a toothbrush (yes, a toothbrush! Sounds fun, right?).

Not only do you get to take a respite from the busyness of Week 9 of trimester with a bit of mindful painting relaxation, but you could score yourself some cash, too!  A winning artwork will be selected from each campus, with each winner getting a $20 pre-paid VISA.

All painting supplies are environmentally friendly, and your finished artwork will be displayed around the TerraCycle painting stations.

Though, while you’re enjoying yourself painting, don’t forget to come back with your oral waste. You’ll find TerraCycling bins at all campus libraries, where you can drop off toothpaste tubes and caps, toothbrush and toothpaste tube outer packaging and floss containers.

If you’re keen to learn more about recycling and sustainability, check out our science databases.

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