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Human Tower Building (Castells)

humans tower

Building a tower of humans is an old Catalan tradition. The “castellers” form these human pyramids, which are called castells (Catalan word for castles). They can be up to 10 persons tall, which the lightest and youngest members of the team (colla) at the top. this is both a cultural…
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Musings about Our Trip Down Under

Australia

As we left Australia I found myself looking down on the Sydney harbor and recalling all of the interesting things we learned and the wonderful people we met. I learned that my image of the country did not match reality.  Australia was more impressive than I imagined.  I especially enjoyed…
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How a Community Garden Preserves Local History

St Johns community garden sign

Lenah Links brings together community members from Lenah Valley, New Town and the surrounding communities to share their ideas on sustainability, transportation, local food production, and community dialog. The community members say the most important part of Lenah Links is that people are getting to know their neighbors. Lenah Links is a subgroup of Lenah…
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Chicken Barons

cohousing chicken barons

At the Hobart cohousing development there were designated “chicken barons.” What this means is that a single family was in charge of taking care of the chickens – everything from feeding them to gathering the eggs. Residents are encouraged to bring vegetable matter to feed to the chickens, and the…
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Co-Housing and Community Gardens

Map of Australia

Cohousing and ecovillages are one of the ways Australia is addressing the housing crisis. Issues such as affordability, ecological impact of new (and existing) housing developments and creating communities that embrace the human need for connecting with whom we live with and nearby are important elements of sustainability. Cohousing and ecovillages embrace the small…
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Trash Screens

Melbourne river trash

Lest we think Australia is free from trash and debris, take a look at this photo of a screen on the river in Melbourne which is designed to catch trash. Like many large cities, they have trash on the streets too, especially cigarette butts. I am not certain that smoking…
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Tasmanian Honey Farm

Tasmanian honey farm

While in Tasmania, we visited a honey-making family from Huan Valley, outside of Hobart. Their farm is near Huonville and they have a little store called The Honey Pot. The Honey Pot is owned and run by local Huon Valley beekeepers and it has a wonderful range of delicious Tasmanian…
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University of Melbourne

University of Melbourne: Pet watering

While visiting with four colleagues (Kate Archdeacon, Che Biggs, Jessica Bird, and Kes McCormick) from the University of Melbourne we were able to learn about their efforts to achieve sustainability at the University. Their goal is to develop guiding principals, which will frame the Environmental Policy and outline environmental sustainability strategies for the University –…
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Zero-Waste Restaurant

food on dinner plate

Silo by Joost , 123 Hardware Street, Melbourne 3000, is the permanent project of Joost Bakker, eco-entrepreneur, who is a champion for sustainable design and local sourcing of food and foraging movement. This restaurant does not just talk about “zero waste” they are ‘zero waste”. We were lead to Silo, by Kate Archdeacon…
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Biophilic Design

Biophilic Design suggests that suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. We heard much at the Healthy Building Conference about the need to rethink our living spaces – beyond community gardens, bike paths, and public transport – though each idea is important it…
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Brisbane Farmers Market

Farmers Market Farmer and his Mum

We had an amazing time at the Farmers Market in Brisbane last week and I just have to share a pic and some videos that I took while visiting. This friendly farmer took a moment out of the day to pose for a pic with his mum. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_yhsSW1OtI?rel=0] The Brisbane…
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Bicycles in Brisbane

“CityCycle is an initiative of the Brisbane City Council to introduce a new form of environmentally friendly personal transport similar in style to European bike hire systems like Vélib’ in Paris and Sevici in Seville. Within 3 km of the city centre 2000 bicycles will be available to pick up and drop…
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St. Kilda’s Community Garden

Melbourne St Kilda garden

St. Kilda’s “Veg Out” Community Garden is built on the site of the old St. Kilda Bowling Club in the Port Phillip Council area. The facilities are also home to artist studios, rented on a month to month basis, with garden plots are rented for a $100 annually. The site…
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Northey Street Permaculture Garden

Northey Street City Farm is a non-profit community organisation situated on the banks of Brisbane’s Breakfast Creek in Windsor. More than 1500 exotic and native fruit trees, bushtucker plants, shrubs and ground covers have been planted on the four hectare farm site since its inception in April 1994. The farm…
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Ecovillage at Currumbin – Part 2

ecovillage toy storage

The community that resides in the Ecovillage at Currumbin has already developed some traditions of their own- One such tradition applies to new life in the community: When a baby is born the community pulls together in support and brings dinner for the new family every night. This beautiful practice exemplifies…
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Ecovillage at Currumbin – Part 1

ecovillage kangaroo and joey

Last Friday, we wandered around the Ecovillage at Currumbin, which is located in a rural area on the Gold Coast, Queensland, just south of Brisbane. This community is made up of around 150 homes on 110 hectares of reclaimed farmland, laid out around a village center that includes community facilities,…
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