This year I have pledged to grow and maintain a vegetable garden in line with permaculture principles. My one step involves undertaking a holistic approach to gardening from composting, planting and harvesting to appreciating the health and well-being benefits of gardening. 1) Do companion planting to encourage biodiversity, particularly beneficial insects, such as bees! 2) Use mulch and compost to reduce water inputs and reduce food waste. 3) Watch and learn from growing – ‘observe and interact’ with the garden. Share my freshly grown organic vegetables and herbs with family and friends, so we all enjoy the health benefits of more veggies and less pesticides! *See image for my progress so far ~
By starting an organisation with other uni students called Sisters in Science, I am going to show young girls that they are just as capable of doing science as boys. By running incursions in schools, hopefully young girls will realise their potential and follow careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) fields.
When I moved into a new apartment at the beginning of the year, I made a personal commitment to repurpose whatever I could find to decorate the space ~ in this way, I have been able to divert several large pieces from ending up in landfill and avoided purchasing any new items (pictured below are: a steel-reel-turned-room-decor and a wooden-palette-turned-patio-furniture I got from a family friend's house renovation site, as well as a crate-turned-plant-stand that I picked up from the side of the road and an empty paint-tin-turned-pot-plant I got from my parent's) I plan to continue in this direction and pledge to not purchase any new furniture items the next time I move homes.
My pledge is to remove single use plastics from my life and to encourage others to do the same. I'm going to shop at stores where I can buy fresh produce without packaging and go to bulk food stores for the rest of my food needs so I can use my own containers and bags. I am also going to ensure I take my drink bottle every where and only buy hot drinks if I have my keep cup with me.
With the help of a friend, I am approaching cafes/restaurants/bars and try to convince them to transition from using plastic straws to reusable and sustainable bamboo straws from Indonesia in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic use in hospitality.
Sewah Helen Mok
Transportation is one of the biggest issues to living in the outer suburbs – PTV is often not an viable option to where I need to get to. In Australia where there is low urban density, passenger cars are one of the biggest contributors to transportation emissions. I would like to reduce the amount of petrol I am consuming by actively making sure I carpool with friends whenever it is possible, which may mean coordinating plans, in addition to walking if the location is in close proximity.
Sewah Helen Mok
It’s so easy to just say yes to a little bit of convenience here and there, even if it means it’s creating damage to our environment. I’m a huge sucker for a good milk tea and anything to avoid cooking at home. From single-used plastic straws to takeaway food that is so unnecessarily over-packaged, the issue is on the inefficiency of resources and the whole waste issue. I want to be a more conscious consumer and make sure what I am purchasing accounts for my impact. Can I reduce the waste I’m producing by maybe avoiding having the choice in the first place? My pledge: (1.) I want to stop using single-use plastics (2.) Continue meal-preparing at the start of the week or eat at the restaurant to avoid take-away (3.) Collect and recycle soft-plastics (3.) Keep learning about how my lifestyle choices makes an impact
Many people may not aware that Australia burns a staggering amount of fossil fuel on grass cutting every year. Each lawn mower emits the same amount of greenhouse gases of 40 cars. We all love our lawns, but it is about time for us to consider clean energy lawn mowers. While solar panels are becoming more assessable and AI robotics technologies are maturing. I pledge to apply my engineering and business knowledge to develop a solar powered autonomous grass cutting robot, along with my student-run robotics team. Supporting sustainability through innovation.
I have been reluctant to take plastic bag when buying something, but I seldom take it when I have no option. That's why I always carry a plastic bag in my shoulder bag so that I don't have to take a new plastic bag when purchasing groceries. I will now replace it with a cloth bag and will never (probably never) take plastic bags again.
I'm pledging to stop buying and using single use plastic straws and to use metal straws instead. I am aware that single use plastics such as straws have an adverse affect on the environment and Australians use an estimated 10 million plastic straws every day. Using alternatives such as metal straws is easy, inexpensive and makes a real difference :)
Companies such as KeepCup have contributed to the growth and popularity of reusable coffee cups as an alternative to disposable ones. Although this trend is undeniably changing current attitudes toward reusable containers, there is still a clear majority of single use containers utilised in the take-away food industry. By combining my passion for food and my love for the environment, I have chosen to take a step and minimise my personal use of disposable containers in my everyday life. First, I will pack home cooked meals in reusable containers, ensuring that I prepare healthier meals that includes enough protein, fibre, and carbohydrates. Secondly, I will always have a spare container, cutlery and coffee cup in my backpack for when I need to purchase food on campus. If I need to buy food without these items, I will ensure that the plastic containers gets reused for future meal preps.
I pledge to segregate my household waste into biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. I will put the biodegradable waste into the soil to form compost and improve it's fertility.
Removing myself as a consumer from the fast fashion industry. I try to make the most out of my own clothes and repair them if they form a tear. If I need something new I will first try to buy second hand and then if I absolutely have to purchase something first hand I research 'slow fashion' corporations that implement more sustainable and ethical production practices.