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Gazette Article

Artarmon Sustainability Street branches out

Good news for Artarmon and the planet! As well as the community-based “Sustainability Street” group, Artarmon Public School and local businesses (see article on p 9) are now engaging in plans and projects to improve their sustainability.

Artarmon School's Parents and Citizens Association has established a very dynamic sustainability committee, which is working with school staff, students, parents and Council to encourage sustainable practices in the school and broader community. Council-facilitated workshops with staff and parents generated a long list of potential actions to tackle sustainability on many fronts, including water and energy efficiency, waste minimisation and sustainable transport. The parent and teacher committee has assigned areas of responsibility and is setting priorities. To set the framework and basis for further action, the school is developing a School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) and initiating audits of its water and energy use.

An immediate action to engage school community and highlight sustainability is “No-Bin Tuesday”, starting in the Infants campus in Term 3. On Tuesdays, students are encouraged to bring healthy snacks and lunches in re-usable containers and will need to take home any packaging waste for recycling or disposal. Only a compost bin for organic waste will be available at the school.

Of course, more importantly than the empty packaging, the children are taking home a message to parents to think about their choices and the resource and waste implications when they purchase and provide food for their children. This action and the whole school initiative have huge value for sustainability in the community given that children teaching their parents is a proven path to more environmentally friendly behaviour.

Meanwhile, the Artarmon Sustainability Street group can report positive progress on its own projects.

The development of a Sustainable Living Collection in Artarmon Library, funded by the NSW Government Environmental Trust, has now entered its second year. Based on the group's report of the successful establishment and promotion of the collection, the Trust has now released a second funding instalment. This means more great new books on sustainability will appear in the collection soon. There will also be an increased focus on magazines, to make the library a source of ongoing and up-to-date information on all aspects of sustainability. You can check out the collection titles at . Choose “Chatswood Library”, then search “sustainable living”.

Library visitors and passers-by continue to enjoy the community no-dig garden and mural panels installed on the wall behind the garden, linking the garden to the library collection and learning about sustainability. These were created by Permaculture North member, Wendy Bishop, and local children as part of a Council-led holiday art activity. The garden is thriving, tilled by a few enthusiastic volunteers. More helpers are needed for the never-ending but rewarding tasks of watering, maintaining and planting the garden.

If you would like to help with the garden or join the Artarmon Sustainability Street group please email You can choose to be actively involved in our projects or just join our email list to tap into local sustainability news and events. Another great way to keep up with local sustainability news is by subscribing to Council's new sustainability newsletter. For more information, go to

by Alethea Morison

Courtesy of Gazette August 2008


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