Julia here from the ACT pilot project. We are currently in our third week of the workshop program, and I am discovering that the course can be educational AND a whole lot of fun!
We have already had two sessions, that have been full of information and interactive. In the first sessions we looked at individual consumption patterns through the use of an ecological footprint calculator, which showed us how our lifestyles contribute to global resource consumption (for a good one check out www.earthday.net/Footprint/index.asp). We also looked at the life cycle analysis of everyday objects, to see how their whole manufacturing, use and disposal can contribute to creating waste and depleting the earth’s resources.
In the second session we looked at the media, including the different messages is sends, how powerful it can be in trying to send out a particular message, and how it can also be harnessed to convey alternative messages, like culture jamming (see www.adbusters.org for more on this). We also talked about the different barriers we might encounter in trying to get others in our different groups to start living sustainably.
Last Saturday we braved the Canberra heat and went on a site visit to see some local sustainable projects from around the region. First we visited the ANU food co-op on Acton, a co-operative group (meaning they are run by volunteers and do not operate to make a profit) to provide cheap organic fresh food and dry food to the Canberra community – see http://anu.foodco-op.com/ for more. Next we moved onto the eco-home of local Canberra personality Derek Wrigley, who has retrofitted his standard 1980’s home to generate its own heat and electricity, and save water (all with easy to source products and a bit of DIY know-how (for more information and to see details of the book he wrote that charts his journey log onto www.derekwrigleydesign.id.au).
This Wednesday we are having our final workshop, where we will be planning the sustainable projects we are going to be starting in 2007. I have already seen some fantastic and innovative ideas come out of the previous sessions, so I am looking forward to seeing what will emerge from such a diverse and enthusiastic group of young people!!!
Cheers, Julia Collin (Julia@cet.org.au or (02) 6257 6321).