Sustainable choices bring us harmony
THERE might not have been as many nominations this year, but the standard of entry into the Clarence Valley Council Living Sustainably Awards was second to none.
With people hard at work around the Clarence Valley making it a more sustainable place to live, judges said they had the hard but pleasurable job of touring the properties, businesses and organisations nominated.
Environmental officer Suzanne Lynch said it was all about acknowledging the people who gone that little bit further.
"Believe it or not in this small group of people here today, we've got some amazing people," Ms Lynch said.
Judge Nancy Eggins, a member of the Clarence Valley Council Climate Change Advisory committee, said the awards were important as they recognised the hard work being put towards living sustainably in the Clarence Valley.
"It's important to recognise the effort and commitment put in by individuals and groups," Ms Eggins said.
"The second, and really important function (of the awards) is educational, showing others in the community that everyone can engage in some way and aim to live in harmony with the earth."
For more on winners and runners-up and videos from the Living Sustainably Awards, visit The Daily Examiner website.
Community Group: Mend and Make Do Crew
The Mend and Make Do Crew strives to achieve social inclusion through recycling based arts and crafts as well as supporting other not-for-profit organisations using member's creative skills.
Ursla Tunks: We throw out so much stuff that is perfectly good and if you've ever had to survive with nothing, feed your kids, pay your rates... you have no money for food and you have no power to change, it, to be able to do what we do and make the best of the resources in the community it gives us our power back.
We play to the skills of the group, without these guys I don't think I'd even be upright... let alone achieving what we are achieving.
Business: J. Notaras and Sons
The installation of 1 111 solar panels producing 31.08kW of power will not only reduce electricity costs but will reduce CO2 emissions and the carbon footprint of the Notaras sawmill. As well, by products and residues including sawdust, shavings and woodchips, can be recycled for use as compost, pet bedding and fuel.
Donna Layton: We do everything that we can sustainability wise, we don't have any waste onsite any more, we used to burn... everything that comes in the mill is used and recycled.
The solar, we didn't have for years, it wasn't affordable to do, but in recent years, now, because so many people have solar now, the price is reduced and it became possible to do.
Individual: Bob Kershaw
Bob lives sustainably in all aspects of his life. He grows and provides organic food for the Yamba Farmer's Market. He assists local businesses by collecting food scraps, cooking oil and coffee and converts this into compost and fuel. His property runs on energy from the sun and rain from the clouds.
Bob Kershaw: Thanks to Mike (Smith) for the (Yamba) Farmers Markets, the opportunity to sell the food that I grow... it's a great thing to be part of, it's growing all the time.
A few years ago, I got an idea to create a job for myself by eliminating all of my bills that I could, so the job wasn't to create money, it was to stop spending money. This has gone full circle and turned into the opporunity that are now availableat the Farmers Markets
Educational Institute: Dundurrabin Public School
Dundurrabin Public school implements a wide variety of sustainability practices across the curriculum and, as a result, many of theses practices are embedded in the school culture, including energy and water conservation, waste management, growing, harvesting and sharing produce from the gardens and learning the Gumbaynggirr language.
Our Backyard: Stan and Magda Mussared
When Stan and Magda bought their 1.65 hectares of land at Waterview Heights, there were only 3 trees. Four decades later their backyard is a forest habitat for endangered species and a refuge for wildlife. Housing koalas, gliders, possums, kangaroos, lizards, native ducks and birds, Stan and Magda's backyard has featured in a film produced by the Wilderness Society and is officially recognised as "Land For Wildlife".
Stan Mussared: Might I tell a story that illustrates the rewards that we received for all the planting that we have done. On one occasion we were having breakfast, we were sitting in the kitchen and Magda got up to go to the sink, she looked out the window and a mother koala with a joey on her back was walking past. That was one of the great rewards, but the other rewards are there too. Magda goes walking every morning to see if she can find a koala, who are regular visitors.
To sit out among the trees and watch the birds flying through the trees without a single mistake is wonderful, it's inspiring and it's so good for our own health.
- Valley Watch Inc.
- Yamba Farmer's Market
- Maclean High School
- Irene Anderson