BY ELISA MILLER
18 Jan, 2010 08:50 AM
PRESERVING the environment and improving sustainability
is not a job for one – but a responsibility for all.
It’s this notion that drove the creation two years ago of the Emerald for Sustainability Group, which aims to empower residents to improve how they live, and the environment in which they live.
“Governments at all levels are working on environmental management and climate change issues,” said group convener Lee Fuller.
“But from what we’ve seen, we all need to be involved and hasten the steps – empower people to be able to make their own changes.”
The empowerment of residents is at the forefront of the groups initiatives such as the Live local Shop Local campaign, and its most recent Em2Gem project.
“With Live Local Shop Local the premise is simple: why drive down the hill to shop, if for a few extra dollars you can get the same things in town.
“Connecting with the community is invaluable: even something as simple as sharing veggies from the home garden or recipes is a form of personal connectedness.”
Ms Fuller, who has no agriculture or permaculture background but a clear passion for preserving the earth and reducing human impact, admits that what the group does is nothing new.
“Our work is part of a journey – not just a start and a finish.
“Trying to raise public awareness and getting everyone’s attention on certain issues is the first, and probably hardest part.
The Em2Gem initiative, which covers Emerald, Avonsleigh, Cockatoo and Gembrook, has been derived from the success of Transition Towns – a publication written by UK author Rob Hopkins.
Ms Fuller said the publication was presented to Gembrook MP Tammy Lobato in late 2009 and this week given to federal La Trobe MP Jason Wood.
“Our focus is for residents, businesses and community groups in the Emerald district to reduce their water and energy consumption, minimise waste and increase the biodiversity; with an aim to live a low-carbon or carbon-neutral lifestyle,” Ms Fuller said.
The Emerald For Sustainability Group meets on the second Monday each month to share information, ideas and work on various initiatives. New members are always welcome.
For information on the work of the group or any of its projects, visit www.emfsus.org.au