Student request to an environmental warrior

Geelong Sustainability frequently receives requests for information from students who are working on a school project. We are fortunate that our wonderful Secretary, Viv responds carefully and appropriately depending on the child's age. We thought you would enjoy reading her recent reply to a Grade 4 student at Geelong College who asked us:

  • When did this group start?
  • Why did you make this group?
  • Were you connected to the environment when you were young?
  • Have you made any changers throughout the years?
  • Can you help the environment more?
  • Will you go on with the project?
  • Do you like helping the environment?

Dear Hermoine,

Thank you for choosing Geelong Sustainability as your Environmental Warrior for your school project.  This is the first time we have been an Environmental Warrior and we are very pleased to help you with your questions.
When did the group start?
Geelong Sustainability began in 2007 and the first big event we conducted was a public march in November 2008 which was a Walk Against Warming.  300 people marched along the Geelong waterfront to raise awareness about climate change and global warming. You can see a newspaper picture of the march here
The next thing Geelong Sustainability did was to help people put solar panels on their roof, by organising a Solar Bulk Buy project in August 2009.  You can see a newspaper clipping at the bottom of this page.
Why did we start our group?
A number of people started Geelong Sustainability because they believed it was very important for everybody in Geelong to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and look after our natural environment.  Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is extremely important because the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is causing the climate of our Earth to warm up.  Many undesirable things will happen as the Earth warms - the ice in Antarctica will melt and sea levels along our coastline will rise causing some areas to be flooded at high tide.  
Animals may have to migrate to new areas or even become extinct because their natural habitat is affected by temperature rise, for example the vegetation they eat won’t flower at the right time of year for them to feed their babies. So it is very important that we all try to do our bit in helping to reduce our human impact on the Earth.  Here is a saying that you might like - “There is no Planet B”.  What do you think it means?

Were you connected to the Environment when you were young?
No I wasn’t Hermoine.  My connection to Sustainability is because I am interested in housing and energy efficiency.  But many of the people in Geelong Sustainability are very connected to the natural environment and care very much about Australia’s native plants and animals, as well as the health of our bays, rivers and coastlines.  Many ride their bikes to school or work and even to do the grocery shopping.  Many go bushwalking and camping. Lots of people grow their own fruit and vegetables and raise chickens in their backyard.



Have you made many changes throughout the years?
Yes, I think everyone I know in Geelong Sustainability has made many, many changes over the years.  I have built an energy efficient house.  Mik runs a radio program about sustainability called The Sustainable Hour. Vicki organises lots of events where families can join in and learn about Living Greener and Living Smarter.  She was at the Geelong Show last year -  and organises Sustainable House Day
Tim designs energy efficient houses that cost very little to run.  Dave rides his bicycle everywhere!  Dan grows vegetables on his nature strip. And see here where we all went to Pako Festa with Costa.
Can you help the Environment more?
We are trying very hard, Hermoine.  Recently we showed a fabulous movie about the environment underneath Port Phillip Bay called Melbourne Down Under.  Have you seen it?  Maybe you could try YouTube -
We also helped South Geelong Primary School put solar panels on their roof - on the bottom of this page.  What else do you think we could do?

Will you go on with the project?

Yes, we will definitely continue, but we need more helpers.
Do you like helping the Environment?
Helping the Environment is very hard work, Hermoine, because we have to try to change the way people live. 
These are the easy things we can all do to help reduce carbon emissions and care for our environment the Earth:
  • generate clean renewable energy in our home by putting solar panels on the roof,
  • stop buying so many things we don’t really need,
  • refuse plastic bags, straws, plastic cutlery and disposable cups,
  • always take a re-usable shopping bag to the shops,
  • sort the recycling properly and don’t put plastic bags in the yellow bin, 
  • cycle, walk or catch the bus or train instead of always driving the car,
  • grow your own food so it is fresh and doesn’t need to be transported in planes and trucks,
  • save water and catch rainwater,
  • do not leave litter anywhere, especially at the beach or near the river.

Perhaps you could survey your family to see what they do to help the environment.
Here is a link to our website - if you go to ‘What We Do’ Events and Projects you will see how Geelong Sustainability is trying hard to be a good Climate Warrior. 
BTW - I’m the lady with the white hair and the green glasses in the photo on the website.
From Vivienne

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