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06 January 2012

Mind expanding New Year resolutions

We all need the injection of energy that the start of a fresh year brings.  It's hard to avoid the reminder to stop the wheel of life, re-group, tweak priorities and chart a course for exciting new destinations.  There's something about opening a fresh diary, that same feeling of writing for the first time in a crisp new exercise book back in school days. How about pencilling in those blank pages some appointments to expand your mind?

On your schedule this year, consider undertaking further learning about a topic that interests you.  The environmental sphere has so many issues and opposing points of view to learn about, and the technology is moving fast.  New ways of doing things, new organisations, new resources and clever consumer choices are coming to fruition relentlessly.

You don't necessarily have to enroll in University or even leave the house!  The internet opens an incredible field of resources from all over the world.  An internet-based course may not be the choice for everyone if don't wish to spend more time in front of a computer screen.  However, the internet will also give you leads to classes where you do meet face to face with a group of like-minded explorers. Your local book store will have plenty of environment books on topics by authors such as Australia's Tim Flannery.  Why not combine your leave with a hands-on educational tour or working holiday where your time, labour and money supports environmental projects.

Here's a start with some of our favourite resources. We invite you to post links to any other eco-educational resources.

Sustainable Furnishings Council. This US organisation offers excellent resources and runs a GREENleaders sustainability training course. They are offering a free one-hour webinar on Monday, 16 January 2012. The webinar will provide a grounding in the environmental issues related to home furnishings, including the factual basis for climate change, problems with indoor air quality, toxic waste, and water conservation.  This webinar is intended to give participants useful information you can begin using in your business immediately. To reserve your seat at the webinar, follow this link.

Centre for Environment Education Australia in collaboration with CEE India offers exciting tours to India with a purpose. These tours offer much more than the standard tourist experience as they provide a unique opportunity to get involved with projects and people working to conserve the nature. The 10 day wildlife tour to Northern or Western India includes guided tours to National Parks, interacting with locals, experiencing the rich culture of India and hands-on-experience on an environmental project.

University of the Third Age (U3A) is a non-for-profit international movement for older people who want to continue to enjoy learning in later life.  Online and in-person courses are low cost, require no prior qualifications, and are run in most capital citites of Australia.

Conservation Volunteers. Australia's Conservation Volunteers welcomes people with a love of the outdoors and an interest in the environment to take part as a volunteer in one of its many conservation projects, like the Tasmanian Devil.  Volunteers require no prior skills or experience. Projects are managed in conjunction with project partners that may include regional councils, national parks, museums, landcare groups, conservation departments and other national conservation agencies. They also run a range of Education Programs.

Have you participated in a course, workshop or study on an environmental theme?  We would love to hear your ideas...

For inspiration on some other New Year resolutions, check this video story from Planet Green on their Top 5 green resolutions (#5 Swap clothes, #4 Save Paper, #3 Go Vegie, #2 Ditch Plastic, #1 Act now).  Or visit the Planet Green page here with more resources and links.

Author & Editor

Tracey Bailey is the founder of Biome Eco Stores and mother of two. After working in corporate communications and starting a family, she made a choice to be part of the solution to our planet's future and started Biome Eco Stores. Tracey is passionate about educating the community about living eco-friendly and sustainable lives through her extended product, chemical, health and environmental knowledge.


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