Southern SCSA Group update

The recent pruning workshop with John from Heirloom Harvest was a hit, with everyone learning about working with various fruit trees of different ages and the importance of quality tools. Thanks to John for teaching us, to Jess and McLaren Vale Winemakers for hosting us, and to everyone who came along.

If you are interested in activities down south (City of Onkaparinga) send us an email and we will be in touch.

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Plastic Free July 

By Jane Paterson

In May 2017 I was roped into attending a Living Smart course with two of my best friends that I’d know for over 30 years. Little did I know it would change my thinking and life forever. It was during the course that I learnt about Plastic Free July (PFJ) which also coincided with the War on Waste on ABC TV.

I was so horrified at learning of the amount of plastic pollution globally – a million plastic bottles are purchased every minute, 500 billion to a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year, billions of straws and a billion coffee cups a year in Australia alone – that I knew I had to do something about it. I joined up to the Plastic Free July challenge in 2017 to say No to the Top 4 single use plastics; plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups and plastic straws.

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Marvellous Microbes

Sustainable Communities has hosted two talks recently on the microbes found in our soil: the first, at the One Planet Market in May, focused on the diversity of fungi; and the second, a Grow Grow Grow workshop in Unley covered what makes soil so productive, and needing to be treated with care. They fit into a growing awareness of the importance of microbes and their role in biological interactions.

The sheer diversity and abundance of microbes on this planet is astounding. A gram of soil contains thousands of species of microbes. I’ve known that bacteria can exist in many harsh ecosystems around this planet, but I was surprised to find out that fungi too have been found in extreme places such as deep ocean beds, in thermal springs and high in mountain ranges.

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Bill McKibben visits Adelaide

by Pat Wundersitz and Anne Wharton

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Pat:
Friday 4 May 2018. Well, the force was certainly with us at Elder Hall in the dynamic duo of Lisa Lumsden of RePower Port Augusta and Peter Owens of The Wilderness Society. They preceded Bill McKibben of 350.org, who spoke of many matters affecting the world’s environment, including his absolute shock at seeing a part of the Barrier Reef, which he had previously visited when it was flourishing, now resembling a barren tennis court.

Following the 3 talks we were all asked to write a letter to the Prime Minister and leave it with the volunteers on the night. My letter in part reads:

… as a result we have committed to write and exhort you to embrace the way we do business in Australia. In Honolulu this week, the CO2 levels registered 412 ppm, which is a huge rise since the beginning of this century.

We need to keep encouraging renewable sources of energy, which will employ a number of our citizens in ongoing work. We need to keep divesting our savings into financial institutions which do not support the fossil fuel industry. We need to halt the expansion of fracking, e.g. new proposals in the NT and SE of South Australia.

We need to stop coal mining in the Galilee Basin which will carry disruption to the water of the Great Artesian Basin. This bothers me greatly, to think that coal producers may have this ancient water for free, but are likely to disrupt water sources for farmers, graziers and people of inland areas.

I worry for the people who follow us. I feel that the destruction of so much of our heritage will leave little joy and wonder in the natural environment that we have experienced.”

Anne:
I was impressed with the slides of actions taken by 350.org groups around the world – actions have been taken in most countries and these were colourful and truly inspiring. Bill closed his talk with a reminder for 3 things to work on:

  1. 100% renewables
  2. No new fossil fuel projects
  3. No money for dirty energy…. He talked of the importance of removing the social license for projects that do such huge damage to our environment