By Kirsten Coates, Coordinator 2020-2023.
As I leave the role of coordinating Living Lightly, I have been reflecting on the three things I have learnt in that time.
Firstly, I am regularly reminded what an incredible and (literally) awesome world we live in. Through articles on birds in our local area, how to grow native plants specific to own gardens or the amazing habits and lifestyles of the animals that inhabit our towns and countryside, we have been informed about the biodiversity of the Albury/Wodonga area. I have learnt that this biodiversity needs the scientists, the naturalists, the keen observers and the passionate amateurs to inform the rest of us, not only of its value but also how and what we need to do to further protect it.
The second thing I have learnt is that we are a local community who thinks globally. We are concerned about climate change and how local government policies and actions in our local area impact the broader world. We have been challenged to think about how we consume energy, how we farm, how we travel and the many other choices we make to reduce our carbon emissions and to make positive contributions to a better world, right here in Northeast Victoria.
Thirdly, I am overwhelmingly left with a sense of the value of a community that is willing to share ideas, challenge myths or misconceptions, enlighten and inform. To have a voice is such a privilege. When there is an opportunity to write about uniquely local issues, for a local audience, we feel empowered. When we know that others are fighting for the environment, finding new facts or just sharing secrets of their gardens, we feel emboldened to learn more, to be the best we can be.
It has been an incredible privilege to coordinate Living Lightly and read, every week, the most amazing articles full of knowledge and wisdom. Many of the writers I have never met, but I have a deep respect for them all, nonetheless. On behalf of all the loyal readers of the column I thank them.
The lasting legacy of Living Lightly will be the idea that living lightly is a possibility within our reach. No matter where we live, we can learn, teach our children and grandchildren, and have hope in a better world when we are well informed, have meaningful conversations, respect each other’s views and above all value our brief and precious time in the world.
If you or someone you know would like to coordinate the Living Lightly column, please contact Kirsten Coates at firstname.lastname@example.org