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Part 2 electric commuter ebike for community and ebikeshare

Welcome and thankyou for reading this post about electric commuter / leisure bicycles. Its a flow on from our previous post about electric Mountain Bikes. Yes we are able to help you with ebikes, be it for private, commercial, community or other interest and yes we have commercial and fleet options. And also we write with a view to progress a local project for community benefit, based around these solar charged electric bikes.

We've taken the ebike on adventures between towns and even on trails!

In this article we will focus in on ebikes for commuting, particularly on a new ebike we beleive is best in that class. And has many brilliant commercial advantages. For many years we have ridden every ebike we could get our hands on, both on and off road. And for many decades weve ridden and been passionate non electric bicyclists. We know bikes.

When it comes to commuting and community ebikeshare theres been some sad stories of failed public programs with bikes being trashed, abused and generally unsuccesful. And although private individual ebikes are selling strongly there are many potential owners/users who could not see enough value... yet.

The balance between quality, rideability and cost had not been reached till now, when we acquired this latest sample ebike pictured below. Which finally ticks all the boxes!

 Beautiful integrated battery design and functionality

 Best balance of weight distribution and lightweight !

 Best cost to quality ratio of any bike weve yet seen.

 

These bikes enable eco friendly everyday commuting and transport as well as weekend adventure! In fact we've explored some great places because of the extra range and accessibility this bike brought to our cycling. This article will be expanded upon in subsequent articles addressing ebikes.

Below we give you the option to note your interest in community electric bikeshare and bulk buy ebike savings simply tick the boxes below cheers.

 

Thankyou to share this article and comment if you can.

 

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Part 1 Electric Bike eMTB 2020 Rocky Mountain Last large group rides before lockdown

In this writeup we look at an interesting electric middrive Mountain Bike with an unusual motor, different from the typical Bosch, Brose, Yamaha and other fare. In a following article in a few weeks we will look at affordable commuter on road ebikes for fleets. And after that who knows..

 

Everyman review: As a longtime electric transport advocate, diehard 1st gen Mountain biker in the 80's and 90's. And approaching it from a relevant angle to most people this review matches perfectly to the main stuff everyone wants to know, not going off track with obscure detail that otherwise might make you yawn

Skimming through our blog or our video channel you can see super Mountain Bike and Electric eMTB adventures from the last few decades. Its clear cycling and ebikes are a passion for me, and Ive personally had the privilege of experiencing some great rides lately on the very latest gear. Even as far afield as Europe Italy and the states which wont happen again any time soon. Anyway as luck would have it I recently got to go on a group testride on the latest new Rocky Mountain powerplay altitude eMTB electric bikes back here in QLD. It was right before the big lockdown. Lucky.

These particular bikes have piqued my curiosity since they were first released because unlike all other high end eMTB brands they built their own proprietary motor system around their own requirements, specifically to suit their high end Mountain Bikes. This shows a different approach and that theres more to the growing ebike sector than first meets the eye. I wont bother with all the 'on paper' specifications suffice to say these Power Play ebikes with Dynamo motors stack up nicely. I am always more concerned with the reality out on the trails. So lets dive in to how the Rocky Mountain eMTB go out on the trails!

After a quick walk around and induction by S (she knows her bikes) from Electric Bikes Brisbane (thankyou crew) and checking the settings it was clear these are serious off roading Mountain Bikes. The spec was solid from the suspension and other components right through to the drivetrain. Plus it was particularly interesting to note that these powerplay ebikes are all fitted with remote dropper posts too.

Plenty of travel plus the 27.5 wheel size L that I rode had quality meaty tires and felt spot on from the get go. Throwing a leg over the bike it had a nice low center of gravity which became even more apparent once up to pace. Loads of traction and a good seated position for my 6+ frame. I did feel like the suspension could use better setting up for personal preferences but thats only to be expected, and there was no display or lcd screen which I actually like, although some might miss it. Just a clean robust cockpit, and less to break. The integrated battery arrangement looked great and should stand the test of time without the visual interruption of an obvious big battery. But the bike part of things felt good. So on to how did the dynamo electric motor feel?

In a word unobtrusive. There was a very intuitive and progressive power ramp almost to the point I felt like it was not coming on enough! Compared to the bosch and even the Brose motors it was very smooth with little lag and almost none of the unnerving spin-on that Ive had with some other eMTB bikes. However I did almost wish for more punch. Going uphill was easy as you would expect but for example popping wheelies uphill was not as much (compared to others Ive ridden). Apparently the proprietary dynamo motors can be tuned to feel just how you like if you have the diagnostic software and access to the program functioning but at this ride that was not an option. We just got to ride it out of the box which realistically is what most people want to know about anyway.

Riding downhill you naturally are not using the motor much apart from perhaps for momentum and stability through its weight. And in fact at these times the less you feel that weight the better. And in this instance the Rocky Mountain Altitude powerplay was brilliant. Extremely unobtrusive so you felt really free to flow through the turns and whoops. It was not a super lively mountain bike but a lot more lively than say the Brose equipped Fantic XF1 eMTB. Ie in comparison those eMTB electric bikes from Fantic are one of the most motoX feeling bikes out there, right down to the moto style larger front wheel rimsize. Also the Fantic XFI eMTB has a far more aggressive motor intervention out of the box. Those Fantic XF1 eMTB ebikes are pictured in the last few pics below and feature in earlier xplor4 blogs/vlogs on this site and our youtube too for further comparison.

 

Verdict: I think the Rocky Mountain Altitude powerplay ebikes are a very well built quality excellent handling mountain bike for those wanting more cycle and less electric intrusion. I rate them.

Pros:

Standout of the crowd. These Rocky Mountain eMTB altitude powerplay ebikes are almost exactly the same geometry as their non motorised siblings in the Rocky Mountain range. Which is exactly the reason the company designed and built their own in house motors - to retain the geometry and complete control of driveline placement, orientation and in fact normal bottom bracket componentry too!. Truly natural MTB feel.

Cons:

An esoteric driveunit, quite expensive, perhaps bit soft out of the box, and even just really 'out of the box' for some.

 

If youve got an eMTB or any electric bike youd like to share or comment on? please let Mat know as we love electric bikes!

 

eMTB hydration pack SHOP now.

Hydration Pack + 2L Water Bladder Bag Backpack Cycling Bicycle Hiking Camping

 

 

The Trail location:

Naturally as trail afficionados we will have to comment here on the trails. The Samford valley (Fernyhills) trail network was worth the trip although I'd not rush back there, its quite close to the city but feels a world away. Kind of slippery shaley surface with the hard orange base so prevalent in the area. Combi track in the middle of the network, so named after the rusted wreck of a combi van pictured is the highlight trail for sure. Sweet singletrack that left us hungry for more xplor4 riding so.. After the ride there and a scenic drive home past several lakes that looked good for paddling! (also pictured above) We were still fired up to ride some more and got a lap of the local in too although not e powered-(last riding picture). Its always interesting to get straight back on our trusty old non electric MTB bikes straight away and as always find it quite adequate for fun. So if your wondering, no I have not taken the electric plunge on my MTB yet, only commuting ebikes so far (check part2 next week) And if theres a trail from our alltrails library youd like more info on, well what are you waiting for get in touch!

MC

About the author: Mat Colefax is an outdoors enthusiast since forever. Particularly boards and bikes. Long residing on the sunny coast QLD, Mat is happily out there on the trails and waterways every chance he gets.

Any questions write to mat@xplor4.com 

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Getting Solar PV Power 2020.2

You could $ave straight away, on your power bills for your home and/or business. Zero deposit, Zero effort, we take care of it all for you!

The proof is in the pudding, or in the case of solar your bills for power.

This article is a followup to my 1st Getting Solar PV writeup. In anticipation of our 1st power bill since solar went on our roof, I logged on to my provider account and saw the above indication, which boded well with an expected zero $ to pay! This is a great result for my new business clim8safe.

 

As a backgound, in my clim8safe business I help you $ave.

       

$ave your time and money while at the same time saving carbon, clim8safe connects you to the best solar systems and advances at the best prices. Creating climate safe solutions and systems for business, governing agencies and homes. We broker you the best deals and warranties on the very best gear.

Key Products
Solar power systems, hot water, heating/cooling, integrated backup/battery and electric vehicles. Electric Zero Emissions transport and tools - cars, bikes, buses, boats, boards and all aspects of renewably powered machinery. Mowers, fleet, farm equipment also monitoring and management systems for water resources. Energy efficiency reports. Carbon reduction change mechanisms and more. We even help you choose your new power plan provider!

Tenants as well
Yes clim8safe can help tenants and renters to benefit from solar too. We work with body corporates, resorts, managers, skeptics and any other situation to make it simple as possible so everyone wins with solar for tenants, solar for renters, and solar for all scenarios.

 

And lo and behold our next bill came in as a credit!!

We went from paying nearly $700 to getting a credit of 70!

So taking into account the finance repayments we chose, our actual outgoings are roughly half what we would have been paying without solar. Essentially we will be over one thousand dollars in front in our first year, and probably more again each subsequent year. Then in a few years when our finance is all repaid we will have free power* so saving several thousand dollars minimum each year, AND have energy security of our own system supplying our own power the whole time.

That highlights how having my professional brokerage clim8safe on your side can ensure your solution withstands the test of time. Two decades or more when it comes to solar. We get you the best guarantees on the best gear that will outperform and outlast. We point out the best financing. Best of all it costs you nothing, my services and expertise are paid for by the suppliers. $aving your precious time, effort and money. Simple.

 

Crucial is selecting the best reputable equipment with the best backing.

There is so much garbage being pushed into the market, cheap chinese rip offs, rubbish components and dodgy installs are rife in the solar industry. As your independent broker clim8safe keeps you safe from all that. Only the best gear generates results as good as ours. Plus I decipher the guarantees so you are protected longterm. Also I sort the best finance options for you to consider, a complete solution made simple. The results of our own carefully selected solution prove it. 

 

We have saved over 2.0 tonnes of carbon since switching on our solar.

 

I am looking forward to helping you $ave too. On your power, transport, time and  bills. And save carbon. We even help you choose the best power provider plan for you. Its a FREE service for you and anyone in your network of family, friends and contacts. What are you waiting for!

get in touch today! mc @ clim8safe.com or call 0419 674 584.

 

 

About the author: Mat Colefax loves to create win win solutions to benefit others and the environment. Hes always volunteered at community organisations, for example Zero Emissions groups. His business clim8safe can help you $ave straight away. He rides boards and bikes too, hence his other businesses, M8 for sport imports and xplor4.com, this website.

 

 

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Solar Power Broker Sunshine Coast QLD works for you

My name is Mat Colefax, Im your local solar broker working for you here in QLD. Based on the Sunshine Coast, servicing statewide to sort out your business, home, and tenancy best solutions - solar, batteries, electric bikes&vehicles, energy efficiency, etc. Im on your side. Mat Colefax solar broker business 'clim8safe' works for you to secure the very best deals on the best equipment.

 

 

Theres an overload of options and advertising when it comes to solar power. I cut through the crap and make it easy for you. What better way to prove that than our own solar system installed at the start of this year. Zero $ deposit upfront, it started saving us $ straight away so we were in front from day 1.

Eliminate your bills like us:

 SAVE THOUSANDS EVERY YEAR WITHOUT SPENDING A CENT

Even after our finance repayment we still save a thousand dollar$ or more every year and when the finance is paid out in a few years those savings will triple or more. Save big and take control of your own power supply without spending a cent. Be safe in the knowledge I protect you from SPAMMERS and SCAMMERS. Best of all I make it so easy you barely have to lift a finger. You can reach Mat via our contacts or chat button at right or call 0419 674 584.

 

 

 

 

 

About Mat: Active on the board of Zero Emissions Noosa and in the community, Mat helps businesses, homeowners and renters $ave through his clim8safe consultancy. 

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Getting Solar PV power 2020

This is an evolving story, stay tuned here and to followup posts. Are you considering getting solar or one of the millions who already have? Please share in the comments below after reading our experience about getting Solar PV power in 2020. And please take a look at clim8safe.

Our story

One of the first things to come out of our family clim8 action planning was to get a solar system to generate electricity at home. The primary goal is to save carbon but as it turns out we stand to save significantly financially too!. Australians are going solar in a big way. We actually did it on our last place a decade ago but ended up doing our dough as we sold long before recouping costs. That led us to sign up for greenpower instead in an effort to join the movement and incentivise the shift to renewables. Greenpower was meant to grow demand for Utility Large Scale renewables. But greenpower unfortunately did not work out as you can see below and here: Click on the picture for old report NOW CRASHED <200K!

 

That is in stark contrast to the phenomenal rise of Solar PV power worldwide and in Australia:

I was familiar with this through my volunteering at the local Zero Emissions Community group for many years. Where it became crystal clear that Solar empowers us to be the change as opposed to waiting on the powers that be. The benefits and economics of Solar are irrefutable, and theres great ways to write off new solar PV installations, for both owners and renters.

YES if you rent long term or are a business tenant I can help you get savings from Solar too!

Put simply Solar is still a no brainer if you dont plan to sell and/or move. So once we decided it was more likely we'd not be selling it was go time to get Solar... again.

Currently there is a deluge of solar systems being sold in Australia. And even more misinformation. That means a lot to wade through if you dont know whats what. Such as the mistaken fear that the rebates are disappearing fast! The great thing is that by re-doing it myself now Im in an even better position to help others professionally through my clim8safe FREE solar brokering.

 

In a nutshell in 2020 most new solar should be able to pay itself off within 3-6 years (sometimes less) even when financed for ZERO dollars upfront.

 

Thats true for both business and home installs. Also true is that this is as good a time to get solar as any. And crucially to protect your investment and protect against wastage you want a 20+ year panel warranty and 10+ year inverter and installer warranty all from reputable longstanding companies. Avoid a sobstory in a few years due to disappearing suppliers and stuff going to landfill, Ask me how.

Yes theres a lot of other details in between but thats where clim8safe comes in. Making it simpler and easier for you by cutting to the chase. We quickly zero in on the best solution and why it is so. For further explanation please check back here later when we have actual personal data on our new system as proof! In the meantime heres what we are aiming at:

 

 

Enviro outcomes could be saving over 3.5 Tonnes of Coal fired pollution p/a, and all associated transport and logistics! 

Equivalent of planting over 200 trees. But please plant trees also anyway!

Comments very much appreciated, likewise liking both our xplor4 and clim8safe socials thankyou.

 

Mat Colefax in Noosa (our own 2020 solar system going on below)

 

 

About the author: Mat is super stoked to help businesses, homeowners AND tenants get the best solar system possible. Through volunteering for Zero Emissions, helping others and buying new solar himself he knows exactly how to help.

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New year New venture.

As the horrific reality of climate change charred Australia this summer. Its been foremost in my mind to do what we can now, and also to take steps towards longterm work that helps. In terms of what we can do now, apart from registering to help recovery efforts as we have, there is a bewildering amount of fire fundraising. Donating to bush regeneration and minimise wildlife extinctions as per this link being just one. Just click on the link to see the post. If you dont have fakebook try here.

Secondly I begin a climate action memo for our own family. So many resources out there such as this nice website  which we might model our memo on. Have you got one to share please comment or email!

Thirdly In terms of work that helps I begin building my clim8safe business idea. I aim to transform my career to leverage more of my time and energy on this. Brokering better solutions to save cost and carbon.

In other news weve been blessed by perfect outdoors weather here during our break, but cannot let that lull us into inaction. We were thrilled to camp out in the beautiful hinterland and also stay at Stradbrokes old eco resort, both of which I intend to writeup later. I was personally thrilled to leave the laptop behind for the duration.

Back onboard and back into it. Yes we will continue to xplor4, and consult to outdoors and adventuring enterprise. As always with climate in mind and now my new clim8safe goals too.

 

Mat Colefax.

About: Mat lives a low carbon life with his family of 5 on QLD's Sunshine Coast since 2 decades+. Often outdoors, he loves people power, pedal and paddle power, plus xploring of course. 

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Tis the Season..

Hello and Seasons Greetings from our little C'fax clan on the Sunshine Coast Australia. Its a season for celebrating and taking time with family and friends. Lots of sunny days and plenty of sweets and treats too. And it is also a season when many set their sights on the coming year/s ahead. For myself personally it will be big changes in my career and business direction. With my new re-focus being to help business, govt. and homeowners be clim8safe.

By bringing together carbon conscious cost saving solutions from solar and circular regen to transport and logistics we will save their money and in small steps save the environment at the same time!

Whats in it for you: A simple solution to set yourself ahead of the game. clim8safe.com

Is solar working for you, recycling/regen too?, what about your modes of transport and operations? By brokering the best integrated innovations along with smart finance options clim8safe will benefit business, govt. and households. It will protect clients from rising energy, transport and operations costs, as well insurability issues and more. Improving real profitability now and exponentially for the future. It shall save $$ and add to your asset value/revalue, all the while working toward zero carbon so satisfying eco aspirations. Intended to eventually act also as a consolidating enterprise for products and resourcing, clim8safe is a big task I really look forward to. As a lifelong eco advocate this is the best way I can give back now. 

Effectively clim8safe is the perfect culmination of my lifetime focus on ecological endeavours. Since my formative years in the world heritage listed tropics I've always taken great care to uphold environmental values in everything I do. Thats enriched my experience every step of the way so now I look forward to share and contribute to the sector professionally.

 

That said xplor4 definitely will still offer outdoors and trails expertise and I aim to expand that side of xplor4. I see clim8safe consulting as a natural extension to offer on top of other endeavours, and in its own right. Thankyou to my many mentorlike associates out there who have helped me zero in on this fresh purpose and passion. I am grateful for everyone and everything thats led me to the next evolution of lifes journey. Wish me well, and ask away about anything, I'd love to hear from you.

And of course in the mean time we wish the very best to you and yours for Christmas and New Years! May you be very very merry, maybe find a little xplor4 fun and froth. Or even enjoy emulating a sloth! Share it with those you love, like in our little vid below. Thanks to share it round. Seasons greetings.

 

 

Mat Colefax

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Queenslands 1st electric Bus

As xplor4 carbon conscious consultancy expands to transport and energy. We are aiming to assist the uptake of Electric transport, from e-bikes and cars right through to trucks and buses! Buses contribution to community and shared transport load should not be overlooked. The backstory to this stems from early experiences over 3 decades ago as a kid on old ice school buses. Suffering that pollution so long ago played a part in directing my life course as an eco advocate. So when I heard my hometown had planned Queenslands 1st fully commercial electric bus, on my birthday by crazy co-incidence! I jumped at the chance to get onboard and see whats the fuss about this EVbus.

 

Enjoy the video below 

 

The full size passenger bus travels a few hundred km's and climbs a few km's elevation every day but generally uses not even half of the battery! This means it can get most of its recharge in the remaining daylight from a solar installation. And if the energy agreement is right it could get the rest from renewables such as the Barron Valley Hydro and Mount Emerald windfarm. Even though at present this bus costs more to buy it is sure to be much more cost effective than ice buses due to a quadruple bottom line of zero fuel, very low service costs, increase of brand and trade value, and customer experience. In fact you could argue its in front from day 1.

It must be said that Capta, the company operating the bus have a large established fleet of well maintained regular buses. They are as efficient and comfortable as any ice buses. They are doing the right thing already. After just a month of operating this EVbus there is every expectation an accelerated program to change over to Electric buses could catch on in the industry Australiawide. We are advocating and consulting to try and help that happen even faster. For Capta to take this 1st step and invest in zero emissions buses its a real credit to them, and also to just how good the EVbus goes in the real world. If you ever get a chance Tropic North QLD truly is a beautiful place to go zero and see it in action for yourself!

Our takeaway was that we loved riding on this bus compared to fossil fuel powered buses. And as a clim8safe consultancy we will definitely do our bit to see more EVbuses everywhere instead of ice (internal combustion engine). We have in our network suppliers at all sizes and scale to suit. Along with the renewable energy solutions for charging!

Our clim8safe consultancy can broker ebuses, ebikes and more to help you $ave!

We would love to help with any initiative near you, email@xplor4.com

Mat Colefax.

 

 

About the author: Advocating change for the better, Mat volunteers at Zero Emissions Noosa as well as other community groups since 2 decades. Living low carbon with a family of five Mat likes getting around by pedal, paddle and renewable electric power. He now offers carbon conscious consulting to business, govt, and homeowners under the name clim8safe. He is also Australia's 1st kitesurfer.

 

 

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Carbon Conscious Cool stuff 01

How rad is this Audi electric buggy! Supercar Blondie is luivin the dream as always. And Audi gets a big thumbs up from us for this one. Bring it on!

 

Harley Davidson's new slogan 'the future is electric' is embodied in their sweet new 'lightweight e-dirtbike' Surely the cool thing here is that its Harley Davidson of all companies going green!

UBCO NZ from our southern neighbors yet more 2 wheel good vibes, this pedal assisted UBco bike looks the goods. 20HP, 80kmh, 50kg!!! Their utility bikes are street legal and under 10K, not sure if this one can also be registered but keen to learn more. If you are keen too? please comment below cheers.

image credit Andre Vasilenko.

Stoked Sur Ron riders the world over are absolutely flooding the internet with their tales of two wheel fun. Froth aside it sure stacks up as by far the best bang for buck in the lightweight multipurpose moto market. Have you seen or ridden one? Let us know in the comments below.

 

About the author: Mat at xplor4 is a bit of a bike and buggy nut, can you tell! He's always out on the trails and although he doesnt augment it with his own electric machine... yet. He happily gets on anything electric at any chance:)

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Earthtech Youth Challenge

Here’s a post about something close to our hearts. All my life I’ve always strived to protect the planet and all its awesome ecosystems. Living a low carbon lifestyle as well as volunteering my time to organisations that stand up for these values, such as UNESCO Biosphere boards and Zero Emissions groups etc. I gravitated towards the growing movement of people and places that protect their environment by embracing the best cleantech and design. As Earths population approaches 8B with exponential associated advances, a global environmental catastrophe looms large. The need for EPIC enterprise that can protect and even save the earth is now greater than ever.

We (many close contacts and me) recognize that epic enterprise in 'Earthtech's' exciting new social enterprise. Its something we can contribute to close to home but with global potential. I would urge you to check it out and share it round everywhere that you can. Who knows you may just give the next 'green tech superstar' their start and save the world! Click the pic below.

#earthtech images thanks to RebeccaColefaxPhotography

 

Yes theres more and more of this kind of thing out there which is great. And the recent climate strikes show the swell of youth wanting to do something. The difference with Earthtech Youth Challenge is it is shifting the focus from refusing (-) to renewing (+). It is massively scalable from local to global. And as a new social enterprise Earthtech merges NFP and capitalist competition to elevate the very best ideas. For it to be truly epic thats what it will take. All the best mentoring plus the big investor $. And what it will take right now is crew like you to view, share and support it. Please go and see https://earthtech.io/

Also please consider a donation of your time or your funds. Otherwise... Do you know anyone who could be on a team? Do you know anyone who could contribute mentoring and guidance? Please pass it around and at the same time we invite you to join the Earthtech (newsletter) tribe yourself. Theres nothing to lose if you do, but everything to lose if you dont.

On that note regardless where your stance is currently at on climate change. There is no argument against supporting youth to develop their best ideas with our best support. So show some heart, send this around your network today.

 

 

Bit of backstory:

Cofounded by Ant Moorhouse and Brian Keayes in Noosa, Earthtech team are all superstars in their respective fields and reach all around the globe. You will see some more about that on the Earthtech site. For our part Beck's B.Sc with triple majors - enviromental, marine science and GIS plus her considerable swathe of talent and experience in management, mapping and creative content compliments her burning desire to leave future generations a healthy environment. Beck worked in government and Cartography corporations, and is a successful small business owner, she has great skillsets and passion to contribute. As the Youth Challenge General Manager Beck breathes life into the whole Youth Challenge process, plus provides her phenomenal still photography skills too!


Mat doesnt just hug trees, he’s also hammering the pavement (and keyboard) to help wherever possible. Because Earthtech 'is just what we need right now right here'. Mat's always believed in going green. And always implemented that ethos in every way possible. Having consistently advocated and volunteered for green enterprise while building businesses, Mat sees radical green tech and disruption as an instrumental part of our societies solution. Putting his business and advocacy experience to good use as lead consultant at xplor4 Mat finds a good fit for the future in Earthtech. Beck and Mat raising their own young family in Noosa reinforces why we feel our youth are a fundamental motivation and driver for our future environment. We owe it to ourselves, our children, and our planet! Because there is no PLANet B.


For full disclosure xplor4 directors Mat and Beck Colefax absolutely are involved and invested in Earthtech. We believe that it aligns well with all our customers and clientele too. Please reach out for any info or to show your support. Thankyou.

 

MC

#earthtech images thanks to RebeccaColefaxPhotography

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