Brimbank City Council is hoping a surge in community interest in sustainability initiatives during the COVID-19 period keeps up momentum long after isolation ends.
It is said that we are a product of our environment. For many of us, life in recent months has meant that our environment has increasingly been home and our backyard.
During this time, Council’s Environment team has seen a marked increase in people seeking programs and information on composting, growing their own veggie patch and even the birds in their backyard.
‘Brimbank residents are getting more and more interested in gardening, composting, growing their own food and becoming more self-sufficient, and it is wonderful to see people moving towards more sustainable habits,’ Brimbank Mayor, Georgina Papafotiou said.
‘People are re-thinking their priorities and want to live more sustainably.’
The team has pivoted to providing online programs workshops in permaculture, gardening, composting, energy-saving – and even a meet-and-greet with Kororoit Creek wildlife – in place of the usual face-to-face workshops and events.
For kids, environment-themed storytimes and after-school activities with Brimbank Libraries are on offer. For teachers, there are online training workshops on sustainability within the curriculum, while composting tutorials are available to the community in a range of languages.
Attendance numbers for programs have increased, as have home compost bin orders. In a normal month, around 30 people in Brimbank would order a compost bin through Council’s Home Composting Program – that has tripled to about 90 people during the month of May.
‘Whether it’s due to a greater awareness of the importance of food security, being at home and seeing the volume of waste being produced – or simply having more time, it’s great to see so many Brimbank residents engaging with Council environment programs,’ Cr Papafotiou said.