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Celebrating five years of Living Lightly

By Lizette Salmon, Wodonga Albury Towards Climate Health (WATCH)

Last September a five year anniversary slipped by virtually unnoticed – the anniversary of the Living Lightly series. Since 2010 we’ve had weekly articles about sustainable living authored entirely by members of the community,  a total of around 270 stories by 90 authors.

It began with an article about bubble wrap as an inexpensive form of double-glazing, followed by a story on how to reduce electricity bills. There have been articles on gardening, food, energy, nature, transport, climate change and waste, with tips for living lightly in your home and your workplace. These stories all came from you, our local readers.

Dirk explained how we could grow potatoes all year round, Lou waxed lyrical about baby chicks and Roger outlined the best ways to catch and cook rabbits. Did you know that bicarbonate soda and vinegar can be substituted for nearly all household chemical cleaners? Green cleaning, edible weeds, dung beetles and divestment – it’s all been discussed. Want to know the pros and cons of keeping ducks? Or hear a local opinion on solar panels? How to make your own solar cooker? Living Lightly has brought these stories to you, with all past stories available online at eco.redsally.com.

Many contributors have used the series to promote their local event or group. If you’re involved in something with an environmental bent, Living Lightly is a great way to spread the word.

We’ve had articles from youngsters, including eleven-year-old Zoe who shared her ideas for looking after the planet, and a novel piece by Lauriston, reflecting on environmentally friendly ways to dispose of human remains. His hot tip? Wrap the body in a shroud and bury upright … in consultation with the authorities, of course.

The credit for maintaining this wonderful series goes to Karen Bowley. Karen juggles a career in law with the demands of a family and farming life. She grows and preserves food, is an active member of Wooragee Landcare and WATCH (Wodonga Albury Toward Climate Health) and week in, week out, ensures there’s a Living Lightly article ready for publication. Thank you, Karen, from the bottom of our hearts.

But Karen needs your help. She’s always on the hunt for new stories, so if you have a sustainability tale to tell, please get in touch. Make sure it’s written in conversational style and 400 words long, then submit to kbowley53@gmail.com.

Long live Living Lightly.


[Editor’s note: Our thanks too, to Lizette for her multiple roles in this column’s success. Lizette pitched and began the column; she coordinated it for several years; she continues to contribute excellent articles on all sorts of topics; and she enthusiastically encourages others to share their stories in the column!]