Doing our best in winter

During the warmer months of the year, while we’re at the beach or out bush walking, we get to see all of nature’s gifts up close and personal. However, we tend to take to the warmth of our homes in the winter time and often forget how much beauty we are surrounded by (especially here in Sydney). On the other side of that coin, when we are out in summer on the beach or in the bush, it’s really easy to see the sand and water cluttering up with plastic that’s floated in from who-knows-where and bush trails littered with rubbish.

While we are bundled up under blankets (because we don’t use our heaters, or have them at all…) it’s very, very easy to slip into what I call an “environmental coma.” We start eating comfort foods from plastic packages, we use our warm air-conditioning more often, electric blankets become a talking point and we forget to sort our recycling because well, one bin is faster than two. At one cold point this winter I even had someone mention electric socks. The point is that because Sydney is so warm most of the year, we are all unprepared for winter.

So this issue I thought it would be useful to send through a couple of my top tips for getting over your winter enviro coma:

First and foremost, buy a blanket. A big warm blanket. And socks that don’t require batteries for heating, but keep your feet warm all night. This will keep your heaters off, and your electricity bill down. While we’re trying to keep fossil fuels from killing off the planet, let’s do the little things this winter to use them as little as possible.

While your home, pick up a hobby. Knitting, weaving, building… By doing these things ourselves we take a lot of the guess work out of products that we usually buy. Who made it? How environmentally friendly is it? It also means you can stop buying things, and wasting things as well.  It will keep you sharp, and out of that coma!

Get outside! Take your jacket, pack a rain coat, and get out there. Don’t let out of sight be out of mind over the winter. Go for a walk on the beach, pick up some rubbish while you’re there. Remember that rubbish is a year round problem.

Support a worthy cause. Volunteer with a group who spends a day a week cleaning up some part of this beautiful city or its surrounds. There are many groups around Sydney doing good work and they always need help. Check out for heaps of opportunities.

Words: Adam Taylor, Co-op Coordinator at Alfalfa House, Newtown.

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