My first memory of having a belief in sustainable living was when l told dad off for throwing out a wrapper from the car window. He said “It’s only one piece of rubbish”, to which l replied “But dad, if everyone throws out one piece of rubbish it will be terrible”. And that belief l have carried through in life: we all as individuals can make a difference. Every little bit helps.
For many years l supported and even wore the koala suit for The Wilderness Society. I marched, protested and voiced my beliefs to anyone who might listen. In 1998 l bought some land that is under the Trust For Nature programme, land that is protected forever from farming, mining, development and the management of weeds and introduced animals. Here l built a straw bale studio, where l lived and worked as an artist, later building a rammed earth house, all of which is powered by solar. The dark water is treated and pumped back into the garden. We catch all our drinking water and have an orchard and veggie garden.
Today we live part-time in Melbourne and the country property, but even in Melbourne we have solar panels on the house, collect all light plastic, bottles, recyclables, green and organic waste to be deposited in the correct places. We also have a water catchment tank under the house for the toilets and garden. Living green is simply living. It should not be an issue. In fact it reminds you that you are a human and part of the earth.
It was so important to me that Mitch Dowd become carbon neutral, and with some effort and changes, we will do that in 2023. Once you decide to go down that road, it is surprising how possible it is, and rewarding. l believe that feeling and goodwill permeates out to those who hear our story, as well as our staff, many of whom were already very green, but others who have come along on the trip with us.
So each small step we all make will get us to where we want to go. We don’t want to end up having to run, and get there too late.
It’s a lovely day.