Hi I’m Jeremy Melder, I live in Australia on the North Coast of NSW with my partner Andia. I am the proud parent of two adult children that live in Melbourne.
I was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. My family moved to Melbourne, Australia in the early 1970s because there was a civil war and Australia offered a better way of life. I’ll never forget my trip to Australia, aged 8, because it was the first time that I had been on a jumbo jet and also the first time that I ate broccoli. I remember asking my mother “what is this little tree?
My first impression of Melbourne was that it was very clean and orderly compared to Sri Lanka, a developing third world country plagued by civil war. There were TVs in most houses; which was a novelty and a great distraction for me because I found it quite confronting being in a foreign land with darker skin and a Sri Lankan accent, an accent that I seemed to lose quite quickly to conform to the Australian way of life.
The photo of me was taken in the jungle of Borneo, Indonesia 1988, going down the Mahakam river on route to visit an orang utan orphanage. I was relaxing on the boat, enjoying the views of local flora and fauna when suddenly a deluge of logs was coming towards our boat.
I learned the easiest way to transport logged trees from the jungle was to float them down the river. These trees must have been magnificent before they were cut down. Some of the logs were 50 metres or more in length.
The jungles were being decimated by large timber companies who preyed on local landowners who were poverty stricken and lived a hand to mouth existence. I was aware that this was not a long-term solution, but a survival strategy with devastating environmental and social impacts.
This was the moment I realised how unsustainable these global practices are and how I was contributing to this problem as a consumer. Since my early 20’s I have had a yearning to co-create a more caring and sustainable planet.
In 2017 my partner and I created Lets Waste Less, a sustainable not-for profit that educated people about reducing single use plastic in the local community.
In the same year I joined Tomra Collections Australia and supported the introduction of bottle and can recycling centres throughout NSW and QLD.
My work in the waste sector highlighted the fact there needs to be more education about the amount of waste we are discarding that is going to landfill or into the ocean.
One alarming statistic is that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
All of these experiences have inspired me to start the Beaming Green podcast. There is a need for us to act with a sense of urgency and work together so that we can “be the change we want to see in the world”.
I must confess I am no expert and I’ll be on this journey with you. I am excited to be starting this podcast and hope together we can make a meaningful sustainable change.