By Michelle Wilkinson, Green Waste Diversion Officer, City of Wodonga
With our fast paced lives it’s easy to see how various messages about our health, environment and sustainability get lost in the media bombardment. Campaigns get reduced to catchy slogans like ‘think global, act local’, which is a fabulous concept, but how can we actually do it? It’s especially hard when the pace of life makes it harder to practice ‘lighter living’. My own busy family and work life leave me with less time in the garden than I’d like and I can count on my hand the number of times I have ridden to work this year. But rather than feel guilty for what I haven’t done, I’m trying to celebrate what I have achieved.
Our region has an amazing array of community groups and organisations supporting locals in a diverse range of activities such as growing food, learning about flora and fauna and improving the energy and water efficiency of homes. This also means we have a wealth of local sustainability ‘experts’ on pretty much any topic you’re interested in. In my case I’ve been able to tap into a local network of people who grow food at home. They’ve given me some fantastic ideas to help me grow decent amounts of fruit and vegetables for my family, despite the limited time in my garden. This is one way I can ‘act local’.
A great place to find out what’s on offer locally is the Ecoportal website. It’s a one-stop online guide to sustainability groups and activities in our region.
While it’s rare for these groups to get together at any one time, many will do so this weekend at the Sustainable Living Market, 8.00am-12.00pm Saturday 7 November, next to the Farmers Market on the Lincoln Causeway. In addition to a range of community and business stalls there will be workshops on seed saving, home composting, seedlings and cloth nappies. Local, seasonal produce will be featured during cooking and preserving demonstrations and various recycled craft activities will be on offer for children and adults. You can even bring your house plans and book a free 15 minute ‘speed date’ with a sustainable designer.
Please come along and make some connections. You’re bound to be impressed with all the family-friendly activities on hand to help you ‘act local’.