Update. April 2011

Digital detox ... Movie library ... Winter planting ... Focus on banks ... Stop polluting the planet ... Events


Digital detox

We dare you ... to take your finger off that mouse.
When was the last time you left your mobile phone at home? Do you have multiple email accounts that you can’t go a day without checking? Have you ever waited in paralyzing anxiety wondering if your Facebook comment has been read?
Slow down, unplug, and digitally detox. Change your life in some way and see what happens. Adbusters Digital detox week starts Monday. >> more


Movie library

You’ve heard of our Meal & Movie nights. Well now you can run your own. Our movie library is up and running, with 50 DVDs on various themes such as consumerism, corporations, climate change, factory farming, genetic engineering, peak oil, waste, and worker exploitation. Inviting your friends, share a meal, then watch a movie. A chance to get informed about some big issues, and then explore possible responses and action steps together. There's a bunch of resources for discussion at our website. See our movies at www.ethical.org.au/movie and details at Host your own Movie night.


Winter planting

Roll out the compost, we'll have a barrel of fun. Autumn is upon us, the weather is turning. But it’s not quite time to hibernate yet. First get some seed and seedlings in the ground. Don't wait. Now's the time. Beetroot, Broad beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Chives, Garlic, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Onion, Pak Choy, Peas, Shallots, Silverbeet, Snow Peas, Spinach, Swedes, to mention a few… Check out more at www.gardenate.com


Show me the money - Focus on Banks

During the week, Nick saw the movie 'Inside Job', about the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes. Those responsible have still not been made accountable and have obscene amounts of wealth in the face of such huge loss for many.

So who are the companies behind the big banks here in Australia? I found this amazing website www.spankyourbank.com.au. It turns out that the top 4 shareholders for all four banks are exactly the same companies. Here they are:

  1. HSBC Custody Nominees. A wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Bank, UK, the world's sixth-largest financial services group and eighth-largest company.
  2. JPMorgan Chase. US big bank who made a $12 billion profit for 2009 as a direct result of the US Treasury bailout (tax payer's money).
  3. National Nominees. A wholly owned subsidiary of National Australia Bank - NAB had a net profit of $4.2 billion for 2009.
  4. Citicorp Nominees. A wholly owned subsidiary of Citi Group Inc, based in New York City, the largest financial network in the world.

See the details here. So if you're concerned about the concentration of power by a relatively few large companies, where should you put your money? Here's two ideas...

Not everyone can do this, but you can voice your concerns at Spank your Bank!
Find out more about the problems with the present economic system and speculative investment which is at its heart at kickitover.org.

"We are being persuaded to spend money we don't have, on things we don't need, to create impressions that won't last, on people we don't care about."
—Tim Jackson’s Economic reality check..


Stop banks polluting the planet

ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB & Westpac are the biggest providers of finance to the coal industry in Australia while promoting their green credentials. At a time when we need to be cutting our carbon emissions, they're on the brink of funding another generation of polluting coal power stations. Let's secure a clean energy future. Take Action in Greenpeace's campaign - Email the CEO of ANZ - the worst offender.

Want to know more about what the banks are doing? Check out Banktrack.org and follow the links to our banks.



Upcoming events
(in Melbourne)

Shopping with a Conscience presentations and supermarket tours:
- Thursday 21st April, 6.00pm-8.30pm, Frankston
- Thursday 28th April 5.45pm-8.30pm, Footscary Baptist Church, Footscray
- Tuesday 17th May 7.30pm - 9.30 pm, Genazzano FCJ College, Kew
- Wednesday 18th May, 1pm - 2pm, Allwood Neighbourhood House, Hurstbridge
- Tuesday 24th May at 7.30pm, Unshackled Music Festival, Blackburn North
- Saturday 14 May, 1pm – 3.30pm, Kilmore
>> Find out more or register online here .

Meal & Movie nights:
- Thursday 12th May – screening 'Dirt - the Movie!'', Steve & Jo's place, Seddon, Melbourne's west. Dinner 6.30, Movie 8.00pm more, RSVP to Nick.
>> more about meal & movie nights.

Mother’s day is coming up. (It's on the 8th May). Remember to give her a treat. Why not brighten up her day with 'The Guide to Ethical Supermarket Shopping'. Not quite the bunch of roses, organic moisturiser, or fairtrade chocolate she was expecting, but why go with 'slightly soothing' when you can go with 'life-changing'.


Get the Guide! - pocket guide, iphone app, hemp bags - www.ethical.org.au/shop
See news and print guide updates at www.ethical.org.au/news and www.ethical.org.au/rss
Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/ethicalshopper & Facebook www.facebook.com/ethicalshopper
To view this newsletter online go to www.ethical.org.au/newsletters/apr2011.htm