Saturday, March 01, 2008

Celebrate Sustainability Day...

...was a huge success!

After weeks of planning I'm pleased to report that we pulled off a rather fantastic event! And we reached literally hundreds of students, telling them about the work of ANUgreen and the various environmental groups on campus, how they can get involved and how they can make a difference.

The inspiration for the event came from a desire to do something fun and ensure that environmental messages aren't all doom and gloom. The slogan for the day: DELIGHT, NOT FRIGHT!

The day started at 8am with a Ride to Uni pancake breakfast and went strong until 3pm with music, food, displays and activities. The weather forecast was for rain and we were all a bit nervous as there was no feasible back up plan. The event was too big to consider moving indoors and we would never have been able to draw the same crowd. As it was, the day was beautifully cool and overcast (though I still emerged with a sunburn!). There was an awesome band (Andi and George) with a great vibe and people just couldn't sit still!

An overview of the scene in Union Court, the center of the campus...

Beth and Su from ANUgreen showing off the variety of things that can be recycled on campus...

Painting the Sustainability Tree Mural...

The bicycle blender at work! It was finished the morning of the event....whew!

What a great experience! We gave away heaps of prizes based on how many stamps people had on their programs. They were given stamps by visiting the various displays and this ensured that all of the stalls got lots of visitors. It worked brilliantly! And people were so enthusiastic and interested; students we'd never seen before kept coming up to us asking if we needed any volunteers! How great is that?

The rain held out until about 6pm. We'd planned to have dinner and a film outdoors starting at 7pm but we had to scratch that plan. I spent Tuesday making two giant pots of soup (pumpkin and minestrone) with ALL of the ingredients coming from the student-run campus organic garden. In fact, the compost the veggies were grown in was made in part from food waste from the residence halls. We served the food in bowls made from sugarcane (with cornstarch spoons) all of which could then be composted again to grow more veggies. A beautiful example of a closed loop system! A little surprisingly, about forty people came out in the rain to huddle around a BBQ, under an umbrella, to eat soup while laughing and socialising. It was a great sight. Then we moved into a nice warm theatre to watch a film, which was followed by a nice discussion. Exhausted and pleased, I peddled myself home and slept until 11am the next day.

We might just have to do it again next year! Here's to getting my life back in the meantime!


  1. Now we know why you were so busy. It sounded like a terrific event. Wish we could be there. Much better than the Zoo day. Jan