Ecobytes edition 5 | 19 March 2014

Fancy yourself a twitcher? No, not a twittererererer, a twitcher? If so, here’s one for you. Friends of Federation Walk is hosting a bird walk through the coastal reserve heading up to The Spit. Led by Barry Davies from Gondwana Guides. The event takes place Friday 28 March from 7.00am with feather fanatics meeting at the carpark opposite Sea World roundabout. For more information about Gondwana Guides visit gondwanaguides.com.au. You can also follow Friends of Federation Walk on Facebook.

OK, it may just be a symbolic gesture, but next week you can participate in Earth Hour and at the same time send a signal about your support for protecting the Great Barrier Reef. Gecko – Gold Coast & Hinterland Environment Council is hosting a Earth Hour gathering which includes a screening of a world exclusive documentary Lights Out for the Reef and they’re calling on Gold Coasters to do the same in their own homes. Earth Hour is an annual event, this year taking place on Saturday 29 March. The shindig at Gecko House (139 Duringan Street, Currumbin) kicks off at 5.30pm.  Visit getup.org.au/earthhour for more information.

While Queensland Conservation Council lobbies the state for a ban on plastic bags, San Francisco ploughs ahead with a goal of cutting its landfill waste to zero by 2020 with a city wide plastic bag ban in place for a couple of years. But this week we also heard news that the city will now ban plastic water bottles. The US bottled water industry is reportedly worth $60 billion, but it’s a relatively new industry with people seemingly becoming addicted to the habit of single-use water bottles in the 1990s. Read more about QCC’s plastic bag campaign at qldconservation.org.au.

The Mary River Turtle is special for a bunch of reasons – not least of which being that it breathes through its butt. It was brought to the brink of extinction by a practice, legal at the time, which saw collectors selling baby turtles to the pet industry. You might have even had one – they were sold as penny turtles. But a group located half way between Gympie and Maryborough are working to protect every single nest of the turtle they can find. And you can help. Every donation of $30 allows Tiaro Landcare Group to rescue one turtle. Read more about the turtle and donate at rainforestconnections.org.

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