Tasmanian merino wool delivered by hand to Victoria in zero-carbon bid

When driving down the freeway, you would be shocked for those who regarded out the window to discover a bicycle owner, carrying a go well with, towing a small trailer behind him.

Maybe he is a well-dressed traveller hopping between Tasmanian heritage cities, or possibly he is coaching for an occasion.

Or possibly, he is simply started a journey that can cowl greater than a thousand kilometres throughout land and water to make an uncommon delivery: superfine merino wool.

That’s what Tasmanian bicycle owner and sailor, who goes by the moniker Two Dogs, is doing. He is intent on delivering 30 kilograms of wool from a farm in the state’s Northern Midlands to a go well with maker in Geelong, Victoria, through Hobart and throughout the Bass Strait in his personal wood boat.

It’s all in the title of sustainability and is an train in decreasing the carbon emissions of this wool to as shut to zero as possible.

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The wool is produced by fourth-generation farmer Simon Cameron and is making the unorthodox journey for males’s trend model MJ Bale.

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“A particular factor about the wool is it got here from our low-methane trial, the place we have been feeding the sheep a complement that diminished their methane emissions,” Mr Cameron stated.

Two Dogs, who has by no means owned a automotive and lives on his boat, stated his transport strategies have been totally zero-carbon.

But it’s arduous to know the place to draw the road.

“I’ve eaten meals that is been transported by vans, ” he stated.

“But the necessary factor to be is as least hypocritical as possible and do not let the inaccuracies alongside the best way cease you from aiming for one thing actually good.”

Man in a suit puts a hessian bag of wool into a wooden boat
Sailor Two Dogs will spend about 5 days at sea to ship the wool from Hobart to Geelong.(ABC News: Jordan Young)

Cleaning up a $3.4 billion trade

Australia is a wool behemoth, producing about 1 / 4 of the world’s provide.

In numbers, meaning a $3.4 billion trade in 2018–19 producing about 350 million kilograms, in accordance to statistics from the Department of Agriculture.

But Mr Cameron stated the fibre has lengthy had “a poor rap” as relying on the metric used, it could seem worse for the atmosphere than artificial textiles.

An older man with glasses stands in front of a shop wall, with a clothes rack to his right
Wool producer Simon Cameron says making wool extra environmentally pleasant is vital to the trade’s longevity.(ABC Rural: Erin Cooper)

“As an trade we have spent numerous time on animal welfare points and I used to be taking a look at what the subsequent frontier was going to be and I believed it could be sustainability,” he stated.

Much of the footprint is on-farm, together with land clearing for grazing and methane emissions.

Mr Cameron says whereas he’s at all times taking a look at what he can enhance, it is value wanting on the sustainability of the broader provide chain as effectively.

“This train is an excessive instance that makes us assume about the little steps that lead to the larger steps to enhance issues all through the entire provide chain”.

Wool dealer from Wool Solutions, Rob Calvert, stated transportation was “probably the most vital” contributor to wool manufacturing emissions.

Bale of merino wool in a hessian bag in front of the yellow wooden boat it's about to be loaded onto at the Hobart dock.
The wool comes from sheep which have been fed kelp as a part of a trial to decrease their methane emissions.(ABC News: Jordan Young)

“The necessary factor to notice, although, is that transportation is a really small fraction of time in the life cycle of a woollen garment,” he stated.

Mr Calvert inspired transport and logistics corporations to have a look at their footprint, saying “everybody has an element to play”.

Carbon not the entire image

Carbon emissions are only one measure of environmental sustainability, usually used as a result of it is simpler to quantify than different components.

Young woman with brown hair smiles standing in front of rows of seedlings
Colette Glazik is researching how to cut back the environmental impacts of wool manufacturing which are tougher to measure.(ABC Rural: Erin Cooper)

Tasmanian sheep farmer Colette Glazik acquired a scholarship from agricultural organisation Nuffield to look into methods to consider the opposite environmental impacts of wool manufacturing.

“While greenhouse fuel emissions are essential and want to be checked out not simply by this trade however all industries, we additionally want to take biodiversity into consideration.”

Working along with her mother and father, Ms Glazik helps develop quite a lot of native shrubs and grasses to plant around the household’s 1,000 hectare property in the state’s Northern Midlands.

She stated although they do not sequester a lot carbon, they’re nice for offering habitat for bugs, mammals and birds.

Ms Glazik echoed Mr Calvert’s level about the life cycle of wool past the manufacturing course of.

“It’s mechanically recyclable, which suggests it may be recycled without chemical substances, and the identical wool could be recycled 5 instances,” she stated.

“Once it is finished being recycled as a garment, it could then be used in different merchandise like sound insulation.”

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