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Spiders, wasps and other creatures – friend or foe?

| At home, garden, nature

By David Thurley, Albury If we are to believe the advertisements we see so frequently on TV, we are besieged by bacteria and insects that pose an immediate threat to our safety and that of our children.  We are told that every surface in the house is covered with bacteria (which is true) and that they …

WATCH Ten Year Anniversary

| climate change, community

By Lizette Salmon, Wodonga Albury Toward Climate Health (WATCH) Last month Wodonga Albury Toward Climate Health (WATCH) celebrated its 10th year. A decade with six prime ministers and five Border Mail editors. Changes aplenty, but we’re still here. As a non-partisan climate advocacy group, we began by meeting dozens of politicians from all levels of government, …

A Plastic Ocean – starts here in our towns

| At home, At work, community, money matters, nature, waste

By Nicki Munro, Beechworth Urban Landcare and Sustainability Did you know that just 8.7 plastic checkout bags contain enough embodied petroleum energy to drive a car 1 kilometre? Or that by 2050 plastic items could outnumber fish in the ocean? Australians are the second highest producers of waste per person (after the US), with each …

Plastic Free July: More Ideas

| At home, community, waste

By Ann Brain, Wangaratta Sustainability Network Thank you to Wendy Baker for her suggested ways of avoiding single-use plastics (Living Lightly 21/6/17). Plastic Free July is a great way to get ideas and get motivated to reduce plastic in our everyday lives. The challenge is to avoid all single-use plastics or the top four; supermarket bags, …

Repair Cafe’s 1,000th item

| At home, community, waste

By Lizette Salmon, Coordinator Repair Cafe Albury-Wodonga Speech pathology student Vanessa has been invited to an 18th birthday. The night before the party she opens her wardrobe, contemplating an outfit. A pretty floral dress catches her eye. But what’s this? It has a split seam. Vanessa doesn’t own a sewing machine. She’s been shown how …

Plastic Free July

| At home, At work, community, waste

By Wendy Baker, Benalla Sustainable Futures Group Plastic Free July is an international initiative developed by a Perth council to raise awareness of the amount of plastic in our lives. The challenge is to refuse single use plastic during July. Some of you may think it is too difficult to stop using plastic. It is. Plastic …

Living with Batteries

| At home, climate change, energy, money matters, waste

By David Macilwain, Wodonga Albury Towards Climate Health (WATCH) When people ‘who already had electricity’ began putting solar panels on their roofs, we off-gridders were a bit sceptical. These people weren’t used to skimping a bit to save power, or even at all, and weren’t about to give up on all those juice-guzzling devices we never had. …

Premier’s Sustainability Awards

| climate change, community, health, nature

By Cath Newell Why should you enter the Premier’s Sustainability Awards? Community garden project tells why. New research by Sustainability Victoria shows that over 90 per cent of Victorians want government, business and industry to be involved in environmental projects and to tackle climate change. One of the great ways that sustainable Victorians can demonstrate …

Living Lightly Off the Grid

| At home, climate change, energy

By David Macilwain, Wodonga Albury Towards Climate Health (WATCH) We still get those calls offering help with our electricity bill. “We get our power from the sun” I say – but then they offer a better feed-in tariff. “We’re not connected to the grid!” I say, and that’s usually it – though some answer “Oh really – …

Swap Shop

| At home, community, money matters, waste

By Carolyn Re, Albury If you yearn for a fun-filled shopping spree without spending cash or maxing out your credit card why not try setting up a free ‘swap shop’ at home? A group of my friends did this recently and it worked a treat. Like most people we had assorted items hanging around the house …