Sydneysiders cut back on water & energy after City's green workshops
The Rain Garden
The City's green workshops are inspiring inner city residents at home, with at least half starting worm farms, growing their own food and slashing energy and water use.
A survey of residents who took part in the City's green workshops showed half the residents who attended the Green Apartment Living workshop reduced energy and water use in their buildings.
Two thirds of residents who attended Green Village workshops in the past year started growing food at home and introducing worm farms, and half reduced their energy and water use and a third installed solar panels.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said residents recognise climate change is our greatest challenge - but changing the way we do things can take a bit of encouragement.
"People often feel overwhelmed when thinking about climate change and how they can make a difference. We are showing that everyone can have an impact without making huge sacrifices to the way they live," the Lord Mayor said.
"People want practical and useful steps to green their homes - this new survey shows our workshops are doing that and helping residents understand what they need to do to take action. That's important because every action counts."
Elizabeth Bay apartment owners Robyn Lui and Bill Tweedie convinced their Owners Corporation to agree to a water efficiency assessment and an energy audit.
"I got the executive committee to agree to have Sydney Water pay for a water fix program in all the units and almost every unit had either a leaking tap or toilet or both, so this has been a positive experience," said Mr Tweedie.
"The Owners Corporation also undertook an energy efficiency audit. The resulting action plan is now being implemented, with estimated savings per apartment showing an amazing $1,735 per year".
Alexandria resident Shauna Parkes has started a worm farm, with food scraps, and turned her balcony into a vegetable garden with lettuce, spinach and herbs.
"After the worm farming and balcony food workshops we now have a successful vegetable garden that just keeps getting better!" said Ms Parkes.
There were 25 Green Village workshops across the City of Sydney local government area in 2010-11, attracting over 700 participants.
The Green Village Program seeks to motivate and enable residents to make sustainable lifestyle choices and work together to reduce the City's environmental footprint. It is part of the City's Sustainable Sydney 2030 plan.
The next Green Village workshops will be "Upcycle: grunge to gorgeous homewares" in Glebe on September 17, "Get started: worm farming & composting" at Rosebery on September 25 and "Seed to plate: grow food in small spaces" on September 28 in Ultimo.
For more information or to sign up to Green Village News for monthly updates on workshops visit www.greenvillages.com.au