All posts by ArbPlan

About ArbPlan

I'm an Adelaide based Sustainability Officer and Arborist with a background in Urban and Regional Planning (majoring in Environmental Planning). I aspire to make a difference in regard to environmental issues we face as a society on a daily basis. I believe this is why I enjoy working in Local Governement. I'm passionate about being a good role model and mother to my children and taking pride in my work. I do this by demonstrating good sound ethics and empowering people to make their own educated choices when it comes to sustainable practices. I show strong leadership skills by effectively working with people to solve issues. I thrive in an environment where I have the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life. It provides me with inspiration and excitement for my work. In 2012 I have completed a Diploma in Horticulture and a Diploma in Arboriculture and this year I have completed a Diploma of Sustainability. These skill sets compliment my planning and environmental enforcement skills. I have recently started my own consultancy business called ArbPlan specialising in Town Planning, Horticulture, Arboriculture and Sustainability advice. Specialties:Environmental planning, risk-based land use planning, arboriculture, environment protection and enforcement, horticulture

Spring has Sprung!!!

Finally the winter has come and gone.  I have noticed on my way to and from work that the native flora is flowering.  Living in a relatively arid part of the country it is absolutely amazing how colourful the landscape can be.  I’ve also noticed many emus out and about.  In fact on average at the moment I would see double, sometimes triple the number of emus to kangaroos.  Although I am petrified if emus get up too close to me, I can’t help but admire their beauty (at a distance).

As promised, I am putting up a few photos that I have taken since living in Morgan.  The first is a visual marker that you see coming in from Renmark on the Goyder Highway.  For those who have missed his guest appearances, Diesel says g’day as well.

Diesel says g'day as well
Welcome to Morgan and Diesel says g’day as well

One thing I have really enjoyed while living in Morgan is for some reason we seem to get the most stunning rainbows.  Here is a photo of one I took from our back door…

Another Stunning Rainbow
Another Stunning Rainbow

I’ve actually enjoyed partaking in a little photography since living here.  I’ve always enjoyed photography but up this way you are never short of subjects.  I have even taken part in the ABC Open “Snapped” Project.  My first photo has been published and is titled “Two Circles in the Sky“.  I plan on contributing to more projects in the future.

So back to the first day of spring!  Our first day of spring up here in the Riverland has seen the temperature drop and rain.  No one up here though dare complains about getting rain.

I always think of spring being synonymous with spring cleaning.  I have allowed my house to get a little cluttered since moving.  I know we are living in a smaller house but it has made me think whether we really need all this extra stuff.  Some of the stuff hasn’t seen the light of day since we moved and that has been well over six months now.  So in saying that I have decided to take the 30 Day De-Clutter Challenge and what a better day to start than the first day of spring.  Now I have to be strong!!!

I got a bit of a head start yesterday with the fridge.  Bin collection day today and a funky science experiment breeding meant a clean out was not optional.  However I think the freezers will need a little TLC.  Wonder what will be discovered???

Sorry I’ve fell off radar…

So sorry to my readers that it has been essentially six months since my last post.  Life has been a little crazy and I think in hindsight that perhaps I should have made time to write.  Writing for me has always been a good form of therapy and it’s free.

So a quick update on everything.  Firstly I was successful in rallying the troops and getting Riverland Fresh to deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to Morgan.  With that they also deliver to Cadell and Taylorville.  The best bit is they have recently announced they will soon be delivering meat, seafood and dairy.

I have become involved with the community through the Morgan Primary School Governing Council and the Morgan Community Development and Tourism Committee.  Two reasons I have put my hand up for these committees, firstly it gives me a chance to get to know some of the locals and secondly I believe my skills can be of benefit to the community.

With my skills I have also set up a page on Facebook called Sustainable Morgan.  This page has been established to promote activities, business and groups in the township of Morgan, while creating a sense of community and belonging.  It has been set up for just over a month now.  One of the local teachers has joined on as an admin of the page, which helps with a little time management on my part.

This town we have come to call home has so much potential and I would really love to have a role in getting the town and its community to realise that potential.  Hopefully my enthusiasm is contagious.

Signing off for now but I will be back shortly with some great articles, links and general updates xx

Forget the “Sea Change” we’re undertaking a “River Change”

So a lot has happened since my last entry.  My husband and I decided to move to the River Murray or otherwise affectionately referred to as the River.  The little township we have moved to has a population of less than 500 people and the children’s school has around 50 students.

We are still getting use to things.  Organisation is something we are trying to master as we have found that unless it is planned it can create issues.  An example of this is shopping.  Yesterday I had to do some shopping for school/work lunches and tea.  The closest big supermarket is a half hour drive.  Our local little “general store” is great for an emergency but it is better to do your shopping at a bigger town.  Plus I’m travelling an hour each way to work and by the time I get home the store is closed.   So if it is not on the shopping list the chances are you won’t get it.

My new workplace is fantastic and one of the employees organises a fruit and veg order once a week.  Unfortunately they don’t deliver to the town I live in but they deliver it to my work.  The company, Riverland Fresh, is a family run business that sources the majority of their produce from local companies and suppliers.  This also keeps the cost down and the produce that I have ordered has been great to date.  Looking forward to placing my order tomorrow.

In regard to fresh produce we are also getting to know where the best roadside fruit stalls are located in the area.  One grower not far from us sells melons that don’t make the cut with fussy supermarkets.  We picked up a whole watermelon for $1!  Dried apricot signs are now starting to pop up now so I may have to try some of them.

I am hoping to get some produce of my own growing.  However we are renting at this point in time so we are not wanting to invest too much.  Especially into permanent structures eg raised beds.  I did plant a rosemary plant on the weekend as that is a herb I cannot live without and I am sure the next tenant will appreciate (hopefully).

I have joined our local library, along with the children.  It is a small library (I have already found plenty of reading material, which I will update you on at a later date) but the great thing is the library is part of the “one card” system in South Australia.  So what that means if another library has the book you require they will get it in for you (simply it is libraries borrowing off each other).

Well I will sign off now but as I am settling into this new life I will keep up to date with my adventures.

Could a ghost city be turned into a eco-city?

Found this to be an interesting story about a ghost city by the name of Varosha and would like to share with you…

Inside a crumbling ghost town in Cyprus

As a town planner I would be very excited to be involved with a project like this.  If anyone who does end up working on this project and reads my blog I would love to hear from you as there appears to be many obstacles to cross.  Would also be interested in whether it goes further than just being a theoretical exercise.

Blog of The Day…

The Dumpster Project

What does home look like in a world of 10 billion people?    How do we equip current and future generations with the tools they need for sustainable living practices? We believe promoting awareness and education in an engaging manner are critical to answering this question – and that’s why we got a used dumpster.  With the help of Professor Dumpster and the Dumpster Team, the dumpster will transform from a barely habitable garbage container to a sustainable house and interactive teaching lab. From design to implementation, the lab will challenge students to apply their science, technology, engineering and math skills to every part of the renovation process.  Professor Dumpster will need all the help he can get because he’s about to make the dumpster his new home address!” – The Dumpster Project

Putting your money where your mouth is style teaching.  Love the concept and will certainly enjoy reading the trials and tribulations of this project.

 

The Lemon Tree Project

Came across this exciting project. Would love to see more of this in our urban landscape. Not only does this have a positive effect on food security, it has positive implications socially. Great way to get people to talk with their neighbours and other community members.

I strongly encourage my readers to check this blog out and start utilising their front gardens.

The Story of Stuff

I’m about to share a video that I can’t believe I have never seen up until yesterday.  I’ll admit I have heard of it but I have never made the time to watch it.

This is a great resource for those who educate and are passionate about sustainability, consumerism and social issues related to the production and consumption of stuff.  Please take the time to watch. I’m glad I did!

Related Links…

The Story of Stuff Project

Waste not want not…

I came across this article yesterday Do Australians waste $8 billion worth of edible food each year?

The title of the artcle was enough to disturb me little lone the content of the article.  So how many of us are guilty of wasting food?  I’ll be honest I’ve done it myself.  So why do we do it?  Quite often people don’t check the pantry or fridge before they go shopping,  we have lost the art of using leftovers, we cook too much food, we buy a take-away instead of using what we have at home or we mistakenly throw out food before the use-by/best-before date.

A couple of months ago, along with other waste management/sustainability officers, I met Jon Dee.

Jon Dee

Jon Dee (black suit) is located in the centre and I’m  on the side (in red)

Jon Dee known in my profession for being one of the co-founders of Planet Ark and has now put his energies into Do Something!. This is an organisation that empowers people to make social and environmental changes.  Jon Dee spoke of a new campaign ‘FoodWise‘.

‘FoodWise’ is DoSomething’s national campaign to reduce the environmental impact of Australia’s food consumption. The main ethos behind it is for Australians to become more educated and informed about the food that they eat.

Did you know?…

  • Australians discard up to 20% of the food they purchase.
  • Up to 40% of the average household bin is food.
  • For the average Australian household $1036 of food is thrown away per year.

The website that has been created for this website is great and is very informative.  One of my favourite aspects of the site is the Recipe Finder.  This is where you enter the ingerdients that you have in your fridge or pantry and it will give recipes that will use some or all of the ingredients that you have entered.

Food Security and Food Waste is certainly  a hot topic of discussion within my professional circle at the moment.  I do believe the more we educate the more aware people will become.  For some it is just a matter of changing bad habits for others it might be learning about using leftovers.  However we need to keep this topic out there.   Dealing with food scraps left on a plate I believe is a total different conversation.  We need to stop the waste before that stage!