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Living Lightly articles

Living Lightly is a collection of local stories about sustainable living.
The column commenced in 2012 and until 2023 was published in the Border Mail newspaper each week.

The content is community sourced – groups, organisations and individuals have written and contributed each of these informative and entertaining articles – all overseen by a local volunteer coordinator.
We are currently considering a monthly schedule for articles, stay tuned as we explore this option.

Here you can browse and search previous articles or subscribe to receive an email each time an article is published.

The Living Lightly coordinator is always keen to receive articles! Use the link below to find out how you can submit an article for the column.

With a big thank you to all the Living Lightly authors for contributing to this wonderful collection of articles.

 


Articles

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Living Lightly, our last column?

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

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How do insects survive on gum leaves?

By Jonathon Howard Many insects survive on a diet of gum leaves. This is a food source low in nutrients. It also contains eucalyptol, an organic compound that is toxic in high doses as well as flavonoids (plant-based antioxidants), volatile oils, and tannins. So what enables insects to not just

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Swamp Wallaby

By Ian Davidson and Chris Tzaros – Wangaratta Landcare & Sustainability In this week’s Living Lightly we are featuring a marsupial, the Swamp Wallaby.  They are solitary, nocturnal animals that occasionally gather at a common food source with other unrelated animals without showing signs of territorial defense. Like the larger

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Don’t overlook structure in your garden

By Jonathon Howard The bird communities you find urban settings are significantly different to those in natural areas, small birds such as fairy wrens and spinebills are much less common, while larger aggressive birds such as the noisy miners and magpies dominate. Yet it is these smaller species that we

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Eastern Rosella

By Ian Davidson and Chris Tzaros – Wangaratta Landcare & Sustainability One of our most commonly seen and widespread parrots is the Eastern Rosella, and it is arguably one of Australia’s most beautiful birds. The plumage of the Eastern Rosella is especially vivid — red, yellow, blue, green and black.

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Planting tips and tricks

By Jonathon Howard It is great time to be getting things into the ground. Especially local natives because they create a garden that not only survives but thrives. But planting is not as simple as digging a hole. The process begins with the plants you select at a nursery Here are some tips and

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Laughing Kookaburra

By Ian Davidson and Chris Tzaros – Wangaratta Landcare & Sustainability The raucous cackle of the Laughing Kookaburra is an essential feature of our region’s dawn chorus and is instantly recognisable by most people, both by its plumage and voice. It is generally off-white below, faintly barred with dark brown,

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Love letter to a river red gum

Her arching branches are ready to embrace you. At her feet, a network of roots holds steadfast and strong. She is delicate yet dogged. She gives food and offers shelter. Her towering canopy speaks to the centuries of history she has shared. And her leaves whisper to the future of

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Environmental Problem Shifting

By Alan Hewett A recent article by comedian Rowan Atkinson, (a.k.a. ‘Mr Bean’), has caused some controversy. Although he has owned an electric vehicle (EV) for nine years he claims have been ‘duped’ as to the environmental benefits. Although he made several errors in the article he has re-ignited the

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Yellow box

By Ian Davidson and Chris Tzaros – Wangaratta Landcare & Sustainability Yellow Box is a native tree that grows locally and is highly valued for both its attractive form and abundant nectar supply when flowering. The Yellow Box is a long-lived, medium-sized and occasionally tall eucalyptus tree that is endemic

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The population problem

By Alan Hewett In 1968 Paul and Anne Erlich published a book called ‘The Population Bomb.’ It predicted that over- population would place huge stresses on the environment and cause mass starvation. They based their beliefs on the theory that population growth would overtake agricultural production. Although their claims and

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Olive Legless Lizard

By Ian Davidson and Chris Tzaros – Wangaratta Landcare & Sustainability There are several species of legless lizards found throughout this region, perhaps the most commonly encountered being the Olive Legless Lizard. The general olive-brown colouration and slender-bodied appearance of this species bears some resemblance to a small brown snake,

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