I have been looking back over the event filled months of this competition. What has change in my life in the context of sustainability? What has strengthened? What was always there?
What has changed: The biggest and best change – I know my neighbours and feel comfortable approaching them for just about anything. I use my car rarely. I now travel by bus to work and bike to and from the bus stop. My car, now sitting idle, is used by 3 – 4 people within the community. I have yet to formalize how we cover the costs. I have joined a veggie co-op and though I cannot join the roster, I exchange services with a small group of people: ie they do my rostered pack, and I bake bread for them. I mulch the garden regularly several times a year with sea weed, pea hay and cocoa husks. The pear, apple, blackberry, gooseberry, lemon, cherry, and feijoas trees planted in the last 2 – 3 years are now fruiting. I harvested several kilos from the pears and apple this Autumn. I buy second hand books over the internet most of the time and have found that even relatively recently written published books are available at a fraction the price. I am about to purchase sewing patterns in the same way.
What is the same: I am committed to a low energy life style. I use as little electricity as possible for lighting, heating. When cooking I usually combine jobs so the oven is never heated for one item. I put out little garbage, most is recycled. Over the last 12 months I put out 4 rubbish bags, and this was mostly because of visitors. I purchase second hand clothes, or buy or sew my own and always source for fabric that is long lasting. I use the horse manure from the paddocks round the corner to fertilise my garden. This was collected by hand and wheel barrowed the short distance home. I ensure that the firewood purchased for heating is sustainably harvested. I continue to be grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Sustainable Streets Competition. Heart felt thanks to Flo McNeill for her unfaltering enthusiasm.