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Green living for a better way of life in Sydney

Submitted by on April 13, 2014 – 9:11 pm
Urban Gardener Pedro Butler in his garden at his Erskineville apartment. Erskineville resident Pedro Butler learnt lots of gardening tips through the City’s Green Living Centre. 4th April 2014.Picture by DAMIAN

Urban Gardener Pedro Butler in his garden at his Erskineville apartment. Erskineville resident Pedro Butler learnt lots of gardening tips through the City’s Green Living Centre. 4th April 2014.Picture by DAMIAN

Lindsay Rowan’s bins overflowed every week until she started composting her household waste – now they’re half empty and she’s enjoying bumper harvests of fresh fruit and veggies.

Her waste problems were solved after she got free organic waste advice from Newtown’s Green Living Centre. She’s now turned over a new leaf and enjoys greener lifestyle with reduced grocery bills from growing herbs, eggplant, spinach, beans, lettuce, beetroot, passionfruit, mandarin and capsicum.

The Green Living Centre, a joint initiative of City of Sydney and Marrickville Council, is a sustainability hub with a bike library, free workshops and advice sessions on low carbon living.

Inner city residents looking to improve their environmental footprint like Ms Rowan will continue to be able to access the one-stop hub’s services, with the City of Sydney extending its partnership with the Centre for another three years.

Ms Rowan said she was so inspired after attending a series of free Green Living Centre workshop she completely overhauled her way of living and even ditched her office job to study permaculture.

“The workshop left me feeling really inspired to make changes for a greener future,” Ms Rowan said.

“I realised the importance of taking action to help the environment and the satisfaction of growing your own food. My partner and I now enjoy eating an amazing variety of healthy fresh fruit and vegetables every day.”

Pedro Butler of Erskineville is also experiencing a lifestyle shift thanks to advice from the Green Living Centre. He now makes his own natural homemade cleaning products, recycles his batteries at the centre, chooses his car over his bike and is more energy efficient at home.

Mr Butler attended a worm farming workshop to find out if he could create his own nutrient-rich fertiliser for his garden and said the results have transformed his backyard.

“My garden is a different place – my lemon and lime trees are producing an abundance of fruit and my herb garden is flourishing,” he said.

“I’ve totally stopped using pesticides and the fertiliser from my worm farm has brought my lime tree to life. Last year, I had no limes at all and this year I’ve had a fantastic crop.

“I’m also more energy efficient, we make sure lights are switched off at home and I cycle to work as often as I can. It’s better for my health, saves money and is a great environmental choice.”

In the past year the Green Living Centre has:

• Held 68 sustainability workshops in the last year;
• Offered advice and assistance about green living to more than 20,000 people in the shop over the past four years;
• Signed up 330 people to the bike library over three years;
• Initiated food waste trials with businesses and residents using large-scale worm farms; and
• Visited around 500 businesses to offer advice for green practices over four years.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the Green Living Centre was a valuable resource for the community to discover practical skills for a sustainable future.

“The Green Living Centre helps people learn how they can make small, simple changes to reduce their impact on our natural environment,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Taking action to reduce our emissions and protect our environment is a key priority for the City and we are very pleased to continue this important work with Marrickville Council.”

Mayor of Marrickville Jo Haylen said the centre provides fantastic opportunities for residents to make more sustainable choices in their homes and gardens, saving them time and money, while also helping the environment.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for our community to go green at home,” Mayor Haylen said.

The Green Living Centre is a joint initiative between the City of Sydney and Marrickville Councils as part of an ongoing commitment to support sustainable environments.

The Green Living Centre is located on 218 King St, Newtown and is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am –

For City of Sydney media inquiries or images, contact Senior Media Adviser Claire Thompson, phone 9265 9582 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Tyron Butson on
0427 044 768 or email

For Marrickville Council media inquiries, contact Elizabeth Heath, Acting Media and Publications Coordinator on 9335 2047 or Rachael Brown, Communication Assistant on 9335 2063.

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