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Greenwrap - Spring Edition

The following provides full length articles of stories from our quarterly Greenwrap e-newsletter.

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Taking the stress out of installing solar with a council supported program

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 “I would definitely recommend to anyone considering solar to get in touch with Positive Charge” - Greg

Positive Charge, a free service for Banyule residents, is running a solar campaign designed to match residents with a tried and tested solar supplier and installer. Positive Charge runs a rigorous procurement process that ensures you are quoted for the best sized system to suit your needs and maximise savings.

Thanks to Council’s subscription to the social enterprise Positive Charge, you can access a free energy helpline. By calling the energy experts at Positive Charge on 9385 8555 you can get free advice on making your home more energy efficient through draught proofing, insulation, replacing appliances, installing solar and so much more.   

Greg Potter installed solar through the Positive Charge supplier last year.

“It’s ridiculous to me that you would pay someone to dig coal out of the ground to make electricity when you can get it for free and more safely from the sun. It’s a happy side effect that it is going to save me money. But that wasn’t the main motivation,” says Greg.

The best way to maximise savings is to use electricity when the sun is shining, so that you are getting it straight from the sun for free. Greg and his family have been making sure that they use their washing machine, dishwasher and dryer (when they really need to!) during the day, to make the most of the power that they are generating for free.

“I realise that in winter I won’t save as much because we use a lot of our electricity after dark and the days are so much shorter but come the summer holidays we see a significant saving. We are both teachers, so us and the kids are all home and using power during the day. We hope to be feeding access power into the grid,” Greg acknowledges.

The Positive Charge website is full of useful information and tips.


One on One with... Tom Crawshaw

Tom Crawshaw has been a member of the Banyule Bush Crew for the last twelve months. Whilst this keeps him very busy during the day, it also affords him the opportunity to capture some amazing pictures of our local wildlife that many of us would miss!

Here we find out more about Tom’s passion for photography…

When did you first get into photography?

I got into photography through my love of Formula One. I wanted to be able to take my own high quality photos at the Grand Prix. I purchased my digital SLR in November 2009 in preparation for the 2010 race and I have since made a calendar each year with the best shots. I have always enjoyed the outdoors and so became interested in wildlife photography simply by taking my camera with me on bushwalks!

What do you enjoy about photography? 

I love being able to capture details that others may not see; particularly in the context of wildlife, where my 500mm lens allows me to get closer than I otherwise could. There is certainly a creative and artistic element to capturing my subjects and I love playing around with various exposure settings to form different effects. It is particularly satisfying to capture an image of a rare species or one that I haven’t seen before.

What is the photo that you are most proud of?

This is a very difficult question to answer! I take the most pride in the photos that were really difficult to take. Whilst I love close up shots of Koalas, they’re not quite as challenging to photograph as say a fox darting through a wetland. I’ve attached a photo I took a few months ago at Southern Road Wetland in Heidelberg West. Sam and I were working at the wetland and could hear screams from the other side of the creek. When we realised there were three foxes fighting, I grabbed my camera and before long, one of the foxes was running at full beans in my direction and then took off around the opposite side of the wetland. I remained calm and snapped a couple of panning photos which perfectly captured the speed and intensity of the situation.

What is the best picture you have taken in Banyule?

This is also a very difficult question to answer! I think my favourite would be the photo of a Tawny Frogmouth in the rain. I love the detail of the beads of water resting on its feathers. The photo was actually taken in the Yando St Bushland depot!