‘Great Aussie Chook Shed Competition’ and ‘Women’s Handbag Lights Up’ are two of the more light hearted topics that have been covered in Eco Voice, a free online monthly newspaper dedicated to environmental issues throughout Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. The website aims to integrate sustainable education into every part of society. A broad range of issues is covered with regular sections on habitat, water, power, health and natural living, organics, recycling and cleaning up, business and banking. Many beautiful photographs are featured - from the magical pygmy possum to the Tarkine Wilderness of West Coast Tasmania. There are pages dedicated to children and an invitation for students to become eco reporters submitting articles for the education section and winning prizes for their school.
Eco Voice invites contributions from one and all in the community, government and business. Individuals, environmental activist groups, scientists, academics, private businesses and government all contribute. The result is a collection of easily understood articles including some that are written by experts and very well researched. Eco Voice has been endorsed by UNESCO as ‘a valuable source of sustainable education across all levels of the Australian community, educators, industry and government’ (Professor Kenneth Wiltshire, Chairman, Australian National Commisson for UNESCO, Member, UNESCO Executive Board).
As of March 2006, the paper had produced 29 editions, the first 21 issues being print based. It now has a solid base for its search facility – in early April 2006, ‘water’ produced 610 results and ‘solar’ 244. Many articles and advertisements have links to relevant websites. In addition, the website provides a directory of eco friendly products and services and an events diary. The site is colourful and clearly laid out. Still wondering about the women’s handbag? It was solar powered with a light up lining, so that women could find keys and other vital but elusive items in their handbags quickly in the dark.