Issue 68
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Welcome to Sustainable Wollongong Issue 68


Welcome to Autumn! Although this signifies a move towards the cooler months, we are still experiencing hot, humid days with plenty of sunshine and rain.

There are several events occurring this month, including Earth Hour, World Water Day, Sculpture in the Garden, and Global Recycling Day.

This month's newsletter includes articles on: 

  • Grow Local - Garden Escapees
  • Earth Hour - Are You Switching Off?
  • World Water Day
  • Win a Reusable Swim Nappy!
  • Global Recycling Day 18th March
  • Sculpture in the Garden
  • Michelangelo Sculpture in the Garden Tour
  • Sustainable Fashion - Repairing your Clothes
  • Did You Know? Food waste in your home
  • Threatened Species Profile - Squirrel Glider

Feel free to forward this newsletter on to interested friends and family.

If you would like to make any comments or suggestions please contact us at

What's On Sustainable Wollongong - activities from backyard chook keeping workshops to cooking classes, bushwalks and education activities

Click here for Calendar of Events

Grow Local

Garden Escapees

Did you know that there are several popular garden plants that can escape your garden and cause degradation and loss of native plant and animal habitat? Garden escapees are considered as a key threatening process for biodiversity in NSW. Read how to Stop the Spread on the Department of Primary Industries website.

There are some food plants that have the potential to become established in local bushland – such as blackberries and grafted passionfruit. You can be a sustainable and responsible gardener by:
  • Harvesting all fruit to prevent spreading by animals
  • Choose garden plant species wisely
  • Dispose of your garden waste the right way – do not dump it.
Plants with an asterisk in our Grow Local Edible Garden guide have the potential to become garden escapees.

Harvest Now
FRUIT: Apple, Banana, Carambola, Cherry of Rio Grande, Chestnut, Feijoa, Fig, Lemon, Lime, Longan, Macadamia, Mango, Olive, Panama Berry, Paw Paw, Pear, Pecan, Persimmon, Pomegranate, Sapodilla, Wampee, White Sapote, Acerola Cherry, Brazilian Cherry, Finger Lime, Guava, Jaboticaba, Raspberry, Strawberry, Watermelon, Dragon Fruit, Kiwifruit, Passionfruit, Grape.
VEGETABLES: Shallots, Carrot, Radish, Rocket, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Squash, Zucchini, Green Bean, Capsicum, Chilli, Eggplant, Tomato, Asparagus, Corn, Lettuce, Sweet Potato, Warrigal Greens.
HERBS: Basil, Coriander, Chives, Ginger, Mint, Lemongrass, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme.

Plant Now
VEGETABLES: Garlic, Leek, Onion, Shallots, Beetroot, Silverbeet, Spinach, Carrot, Celery, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese Greens, Kale, Kohlrabi, Radish, Rocket, Broad Bean, Potato, Tomato, Lettuce.
HERBS: Basil, Coriander, Dill, Parsley, Chives, Mint, Lemongrass.
Fertilise Now
FRUIT: Avocado, Babaco, Banana, Carambola, Cherimoya, Cherry of Rio Grande, Custard Apple, Longan, Macadamia, Mango, Small-leaf Tamarind, White Sapote, Blueberry, Jaboticaba, Raspberry, Dragon Fruit.
Prune Now
FRUIT: Pear.

Earth Hour - Are You Switching Off?

Earth Hour this year is on Saturday 27th March – are you ready to switch off?

Every year, millions of people across the globe turn off their lights and appliances for Earth Hour, to show their support for the future of the planet. Earth Hour is now one of the biggest global environmental movements, with more than 180 countries participating.

Individuals, communities, schools, and businesses can join in the action in many ways, visit the Get Involved Earth Hour page for more information on how you can participate. Schools Earth Hour is on Friday 26th March.

Visit the Earth Hour website for more information. #Maketheswitch #SwitchOff 

World Water Day

Did you know, today 1 in 3 people live without safe drinking water?

World Water Day was established in 1993 and is celebrated on the 22nd March. This day celebrates water and all the services it provides us, and also brings awareness to the 2.2 billion people across the world who do not have access to safe water.

World Water Day also supports the work towards the Sustainable Development Goal 6: Water and Sanitation for all by 2030. This year’s theme is #Water2me, which asks us all to think about what water means to you, your home, family, livelihood, culture, wellbeing and your local environment. Water faces a number of threats, such as a growing population, increasing demands from agriculture and industry, and the impacts of climate change.

For more information, visit World Water Day and United Nations World Water Day. Read our article below on the Wollongong Beach Baby Competition and enter to win 1 of 20 reusable swim nappies and help keep our local waterways clean.

WIN a re-usable swim nappy!

Single-use nappies are a major contributor to our landfill, but they don’t have to be. Enjoy the great outdoors knowing you are helping our environment (and saving money!) by using a reusable swim nappy. Swim nappies are also size-adjustable, so you’ll be able to use them from babies’ first swim until they are toilet trained.

If going ‘full cloth’ nappies is too much for you, reusable swim nappies are an easy first step. You might even find you are then ready to try swapping just a couple of disposable nappies to cloth ones each day. Even that will make a big difference to your disposable nappy impact.
Enter the Wollongong Beach Baby Competition for your chance to win 1 of 20 re-usable swim nappies we are giving away this month. 

How to enter
Post a photo of your baby or toddler enjoying their favourite local swimming spot and tag on Instagram with #wollongongbeachbaby and #plasticfreewollongong or email your photo to

Entries close 11.59pm Friday 12 March 2021.

There are 20 reusable swim nappies to be given away. Terms and Conditions apply.

Global Recycling Day 18th March

Have you been out to Wollongong Waste and Resource Recovery Park at Kembla Grange recently? There have been great changes made to the park in recent years. It’s home to The Community Recycling Centre (CRC), Revolve Centre and our Waste Depot. It’s Global Recycling Day on the 18th March. There are many ways in which each of us can get involved and do our bit to protect our natural resources and reduce waste.

If you have any “problem” waste at home and you’re wondering how to best dispose of it, chances are you’ll be able to recycle it for free at the CRC. Aside from the regular household recyclables such as paper, cardboard, rigid plastic bottles and containers, steel cans, and glass bottles and jars, the CRC also accepts the less common items that you may have around your home. These include:
  • Paint
  • Computers, tv’s, printers, scanners, mobile phones and smoke detectors
  • Gas bottles and fire extinguishers
  • Fluoro globes and tubes
  • Household and car batteries
  • Motor and other oils
  • Scrap metal, which may include whitegoods mostly made of metal, such as microwaves, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers
  • Fridges and freezers
The Revolve Centre is an Aladdin’s cave of second hand items and well worth a visit. Not only can you find a bargain, but you can drop off unwanted items that are in good condition.* The Revolve Centre handles homewares, sporting goods, furniture, toys, tools and materials such as timber, doors, windows and sinks to name a few.

So grab a bargain at the Revolve Centre, or drop off your recyclables for free at the CRC. You’ll be saving our planets resources and helping to reduce pollution by doing your bit and recycling.

See our Waste Depot page for more information.

*items accepted at the discretion of Revolve staff

Sculpture in the Garden

Wollongong Botanic Garden  |  Open daily to Sunday 14 Mar  |  Free Exhibition  

As part of Wollongong Botanic Garden’s 50th birthday celebrations, explore the trails and 18 diverse sculptures on display daily at this free exhibition. While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by the Dryland Collection to see 'Ghost Trees'.

Opening hours:
  • 7am - 6pm weekdays
  • 7am - 6.45pm weekends & public holidays
Other free activities:
  • 3,4, and 7 March: Ghost Trees drop-in sessions to help create a collaborative community sculpture.
  • Friday 12 March: Poetry and Weaving Workshop*
  • Saturday 13 March: Artist Talk with Greer Taylor*
  • Sunday 14 March: Michaelangelo’s Sculpture Tour*
  • Sunday 14 March: Soundscapes on the Grass with Alex Young*
* bookings essential

Visit for full details, including the catalogue and map and associated activities.

Don't forget to share your creative snaps on your socials using #sculptureinthegarden and #WollongongBotanicGarden or #WBG50.

Image credit: ‘Glyph-Dendro’ by Terrence Wright. Photography by Tad Souden

Michelangelo Sculpture in the Botanic Garden Tour Sunday 14th March

Michelangelo is taking visitors on an entertaining and thoroughly engaging tour of this year’s Sculptures in the Garden this March. Not the famous Renaissance artist of course but a performance artist with an immaculate 16th century costume, bright tights, and a colourful feathery hat. This infotainment experience seeks to unearth the various environmental messages contained in each of the works.

Some of the works challenge our environmental behaviours; My World Revolves Around Me explores the vanity of humankind attempting to control the natural world. My Greatest Lament and Lament for the Missing despair at our nation’s tarnished relationship with the environment. Channel G challenges us to get out more and stop watching the grass grow on our screens. Any insect, no matter how tiny, may be a Drone spying on our every move, particularly the homeless in her Shelter exposed to the elements and the dangers of surveillance. We are free to join the protest in Small Demonstration but will need to get off our mobiles and stand up front with the true believers.

Other sculptures celebrate the natural world; Cascades evokes the timeless polishing of rocks in waterfalls and the reflection of the beauty in Rainforests, as does the mirrored Seed. The whale-like Splash celebrates our changing attitudes to the giants of the sea and there is equal joy in Celebrating Flowers. We can explore miniature change and adaptation in Evolve and marvel at the vastness of the cosmos in Signpost to the Universe. The traditional art of tree carving is revived in Glyph-Dendron with a particular celebration of diamond and rhomboid shapes that appear in nature. Bums on Seats provides a unique selfie opportunity in a live green setting. Dry Dock sits comfortably on an impressive tree stump, while the sheep in Flockers are truly at home on the expansive Garden lawn. The last word must go to the winner Fatih Semiz with Curious Dream of an Architect, a work inspired by nature and the Italian mathematician Fibonacci. It truly celebrates the marvellous order that is apparent in the natural world.

Michelangelo will be back with this theatrical tour on the final day of Sculptures in the Garden on Sunday 14th March, see Botanic Garden website or eventbrite for booking details.

Or simply check out these amazing sculptures for yourself during opening hours at Wollongong Botanic Garden until 14th March.

Public Consultation - NSW Water Quality Objectives

How do you value and use NSW’s coastal waterways? For your chance to win and have your say.

The Environment, Energy and Science Directorate of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment are seeking your help to find out how you use local waterways across NSW. As part of delivering the Marine Estate Management Strategy (2018–2028), the NSW Government has commenced an engagement campaign to review a component of the NSW Water Quality Objectives.

This component is the community environmental values and uses of waterways. The engagement campaign is focused on all waterways along the NSW coast, including freshwater rivers, creeks and estuaries. We want to know how you and your local community use and value the coastal waterways of NSW including where you live, visit and holiday. Access the survey here. By completing all questions in the survey, you could win 1 of 10 NSW National Parks and Wildlife annual Multi-Parks Passes.
The information gathered through this process will help Local Council’s develop strategic planning documents including Community Strategic Plans, Local Strategic Planning Statements, Local Environmental Plans as well as Coastal Management Programs. All information gathered will be shared with communities to improving the health of your local waterways. 
If you would like further information or to get involved, please contact Rachael Woods at or 4224 4121.

Sustainable Fashion

Repairing your clothes

Do you have a favourite jacket that has seen better days? Button missing from a shirt? A pair of pants that are too long? Back pocket that has come unstitched? Instead of chucking it out, why not repair it? Repairing clothes doesn’t have to be difficult or boring, a bit of DIY can spice up an old item of clothing and make it feel brand new with patches, different colour buttons or stitching, or altering the length of the item. 

Repairing clothes will prolong their life, allowing you to wear your favourite pieces for years to come. It saves them from ending up in landfill, and also reduces the demand for new resources to make new items of clothing. This also goes for any op shop or vintage finds that may be a little big or small or needing some minor repair work such as fixing a pocket or sewing on a button.

You can learn how to repair your clothes by reading how-to books, taking short courses or following online tutorials.

Did You Know?

Did you know, the average NSW household throws out around $3800 worth of food every year?
Food waste is a massive contributor to landfill, with it making up more than a third of rubbish that ends up in landfill in NSW. It happens when we buy too much, cook too much, don’t store foods appropriately or forget about it in our fridge or pantry.

There is food waste that is unavoidable such as egg shells and veggie peels, but there are other times that food waste is avoidable. Food waste that is avoidable is bad for the environment, your wallet and the effort to grow, produce and distribute food. It wastes natural resources such as water and energy that have been used up during all parts of the production process. Food also produces methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, when it breaks down.

So, what can you do to reduce the food waste produced by your home? There are several easy tips and tricks you can follow to reduce your impact on the environment and save money:
  • Meal plan and write a shopping list so you only buy what you need and can use up ingredients
  • Select ingredients that can be used for more than one meal
  • Freeze leftovers (make sure you date them!)
  • Store food properly so it lasts longer
  • Throw food waste into your compost, worm farm or FOGO bin, or feed your food scraps to your chickens
  • Consider whether buying in bulk is saving you money or will it end up expiring before you use it all?
  • Store in airtight containers
  • Make sure you regularly check use-by and best-before dates on the products you buy.
Council has also produced a Second Time Round recipe book with recipes from Wollongong residents to provide you with some cooking inspiration to use up your leftovers!

Visit our Sustainable Food page and the NSW Government’s Love Food Hate Waste website for more information on how to reduce your food waste.

Threatened Species Profile

Common Name: Squirrel Glider
Scientific Name: Petaurus norfolcensis

The Squirrel Glider is listed as Vulnerable in NSW.

Squirrel Gliders are blue/brown-grey in colour on their top and are a soft white-yellow on their underside, with a black-tipped tail and a dark stripe running from their eyes to the middle of their back.

They reach up to 20cm in length and their bushy tail is about 27cm in length; they are often confused with the similar-looking Sugar Glider, but the Squirrel Glider is around twice the size. They also have membranes of skin between their front and hind legs that allow them to glide through the air over long distances. Their large eyes allow for great night vision.

This species has a broad distribution across eastern Australia, from northern Queensland all the way down the coast through to south-east South Australia. Squirrel Gliders prefer vegetation communities that are characterised by wet and dry sclerophyll forests and woodlands with mixed stands of species and acacia making up a large portion of the mid-storey. This includes mature Box, Box-Ironbark woodlands and River Red Gum forest west of Great Dividing Range. In coastal regions, they also inhabit Blackbutt and Bloodwood forests that are characterised by heath understorey. They use hollows in old trees for nesting and shelter.

Squirrel gliders are an arboreal species which are extremely skilful climbers and can glide up to 100 metres downhill and up to 50 metres on flat ground. They are omnivores that feed according to the seasons and at night, with their diet mainly consisting of insects, eucalypt sap and nectar, honeydew and pollen from the flowers. They live in sizeable family groups, usually comprising of one male and several females and offspring, and they reside in nests made from leaves in tree hollows. They can also be distinguished from sugar gliders by their vocalisations, as they tend to be less vocal.

Squirrel Gliders face a number of threats, such as:
  • The loss of their habitat due to clearing, fragmentation and degradation.
  • Reduction in available food and water sources due to vegetation loss and drought
  • Predation by exotic predators such as feral cats
  • Entanglement in barbed wire
  • Loss of hollow-bearing trees in which they shelter and nest in
  • Competition with exotic species for food sources and nesting areas
  • Collision with vehicles
  • Impacts of climate change such as reduction in habitat, loss of food and water resources, increase in fire severity and frequency.
It is essential for this species survival that old hollow-bearing trees are retained for nesting, vegetation such as acacias are retained for food, and the top one or two strands of barbed wire fencing are replaced with regular wire nearby squirrel glider habitat to reduce the chance of entanglement.
For more information, visit the NSW Government's profile and the Australian Museum's profile. All information provided in this article was sourced from the above NSW Government and Australian Museum websites.

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