We are beginning a new series of semi-regular posts with the #FriendsofASBN hashtag to recognise some special people, organisations and businesses who have given the Adelaide Sustainable Building Network massive amounts of support over the years, many of them sustainability champions here in South Australia.
We want everyone else to know how amazing they are.
There is no doubt you have seen someone standing behind a video camera at our Spotlight Events or reaching in with their boom mic to pick up audience questions at our Living Building Conversations. That is the dynamic group behind our online media content, Environmental & Science (ES) Media.
Headed by some of the loveliest people in town, Miriam and Andrew Yip, ES Media has been one of our very early supporters and enablers. We first approached ES Media to record our Living Spaces Masterclass back in 2012 and have been collaborators ever since. All of our online videos and podcasts are a direct result of their skills, expertise and willingness to experiment with us.
We’ve asked ES Media answer a few quick questions so you could get to know them better.
When did ES Media start?
We began as business in 2010. Miriam had just completed a Masters in Natural History Filmmaking and Andrew had just gotten retrenched from the Origin Solar Cell (Sliver technology) research facility in Regency Park.
We decided to have a go at running a small business based on Miriams media skills and prior employment in the Natural Resources Management field. Andrew decided to stay home raise children and start a vegetable garden (and support his wife in her new career path, he sold his beloved EH ute to buy an edit suite).
What prompted you to embed ‘sustainability’ into your business?
We hate waste. When starting a small business you are pretty much living on the poverty line. There is no room for misjudgment. Every decision impacted us financially, therefore every decision had to take into account what will happen in 6 months, a year or even five years down the track. You ask yourself questions like: Do I need this new bit of technology? Do i need to print out this report?
Once we got over the ‘needs’ we start looking at the ‘wants’. We want to provide a service that is equitable (values our effort and the clients needs), we want to be able to incorporate our own interests into the work, we want to spend time with family. Our wants have never been financially driven, because we have the veggie patch outside the office window there is the security of knowing that, ‘tonight we eat, and eat well.’
What is your ideal sustainable built environment?
We like materials that last a long time and can be recycled over and over again, like corrugated iron. What was once a roof, could become a shed, what was once a fence could become a chook pen. We did our ceilings in corrugated iron, so that one day they can be unscrewed with minimal damage and wastage and be recycled.
Screws over glue – Screws can be recycled over and over again, especially tech screws, zipped in, zipped out, the head stays true. When we glue things down, we destroy the possibility of recycling.
We value oil over paint & polyurethane, there is enough plastic in the environment without having to coat every surface with it.
Some of the ideas that guides our current renovation here in Gawler.
We are preparing the house and site for a long term outlook (anticipating the ‘collapse’ as outlined by Permaculture and Transition movements). Spend time nurturing the soils, we plant fruit trees every winter, we will try and get the house and gardens on 100% rainwater. We got solar panels, but most probably will not go home battery.
Home battery systems are just another piece of technology to separate poor households from rich households, where as everyone benefits from community energy storage utilising the current grid. We are counting on the big power companies to shift thinking from coal to local storage.
We try to be the 8 star family living in the 3 star house.