What would it take for us to be a model region for living resiliently?

Clean air, water, food and soil; renewable power and affordable low transport miles.   We can’t do without the first three – air, water and food; and the other three contribute. There is a saying that it takes a whole village to raise a child.  In our current time, it takes a whole community to contribute to living sustainably.  Looking about this last few months there are so many things happening in this region, it is entirely possible that we could create a resilient and thriving region if we keep going and working on this together.  See the diary dates for all the events coming up.

At SHARE we are still growing our connection with local businesses as well as households to become more sustainable and save dollars through our Refit n’ save program and Business Sustainability Assessments.  This has proved to be such a successful program thanks to a small band of people who are researching the huge array of products, services and suppliers to help us retrofit our properties to live more sustainably.  We are very keen to continue this program and build on all the work we’ve done with workshop and more information sessions.   Check out the Refit’nsave website if you are not a member.  The feedback has been brilliant.  We are really excited about the upcoming speaker and supplier activities at the Sustainable Builders and Renovators Expo at Daylesford Town Hall on November 6.

A few stand outs in the community: A talk I did recently for the Visitor Information centre volunteers showed me just how much some of our accommodation providers are actually doing to make their properties more sustainable.  A big round of applause for them.  We lined up our first 10 Sustainable Business Assessments through Central Victorian Solar Cities program a few weeks back.  Hepburn Shire Council very generously sponsored the first of these.  Well done and thanks to them. 

Another stand out is how the footy clubs and schools are getting on board with recycling.  In fact Recycling week is coming up from the first weekend in November.  We have a whole raft of activities planned.   Rod Quantock has developed a brand new comedy show entitled, Pardon My Carbon which will be at the Daylesford Town Hall on November 10 where you can book a table with your friends and BYO nibbles and drinks.  It is hilarious and hard hitting. At the beginning of the week we are joining Hepburn Wind Celebration Festival on Saturday November 5 where we will have a stall.  Now the weather is warmer we are doing free Earthship Event demonstrating  zero carbon emission building techniques on November 12 & 13.   Once again we would like to acknowledge Hepburn Shire Council for their financial and organisational support to raise awareness here. 

Sadly we have lost our wonderful Sustainability Coordinator Jill Berry to warmer climes with her beloved.  Ah, she will be missed.  Still, some good things are being put into place with the Environmental Sustainability Strategy recommending the development of a strong culture of sustainability leadership, greater connection and collaboration with community and business on large and small scale sustainability projects, direct action to reduce carbon emissions at Council, buy renewable energy, reducing waste, increasing recycling and more comprehensive planning and action on natural resources management.

The SHARE AGM is coming up and we have been doing a series of strategic planning sessions over the last few weeks, simplifying procedures, clarifying functional roles, engaging more participating members.  Our theme for the coming year is about Living More, Using Less; meaning to live fulsome lives but without using so much stuff.  October happens to be a Buy Nothing New Month We can take a leaf from two of our Community Gardeners book who have managed to live without entering a large supermarket chain for four years I am told.  Good on you Patrick and Meg!

On Monday October 24 we are holding a Transition Towns discussion group at Unicorn House in Daylesford.  On October 28 we are heading to Bendigo to hear the inimitable Paul Hawken, arguably one of the most inspirational speakers on business and the environment in the world.   On Sunday October 30 we can celebrate Spring with friends, food and music at Rea Lands Park with Daylesford Community Gardeners.  The list goes on with no shortage of actions that contribute to living a more sustainable life in this Shire.  We look forward to seeing you an one or other of our events.  Best regards, Laurel Freeland

Posted in Sustainable Hepburn.

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