By Monika Krahn
Upon arriving in Sydney two months ago I was struck by how green it is. On our first class trip into the heart of the city and with my mind set on seeing the Opera House for the first time, I was pleasantly distracted by the numerous grassy, green parks we walked by. Having grown up in rural Maine and not being much of a city girl I am continually refreshed by how green this city really is.
A few years back the City of Sydney implemented a long-term plan in hopes of making the city a more sustainable place (among other things). This plan, Sydney 2030, is well underway working to make positive changes. Earlier this month energy efficient LED street lights were installed making Sydney the first Australian city to improve their city lighting. Plans of installing these lights in other areas of the city, including parks, are in place for later this year.
Additionally, the City of Sydney runs “Green Villages”, a program that is all about local communities and businesses working to create a more sustainable city. They provide workshops that teach locals about growing their own food, composting, natural cleaning methods, and recycling. It is clear that Sydney is not only going green on a large-scale level, but is working to teach its citizens what it means to go green in everyday life. On May 5th the city is holding a nationwide event called “Garage Sale Trail” advocating reuse and redistribution among neighbors and communities. Its goal is to inform people that even the clothes and household objects they buy have an impact on the environment and that purchasing used items decreases this impact.
My time in Sydney has certainly opened my eyes to many things and its concern for the environment has certainly caused me to take a closer look at my own life.