Winter Edition

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Council's Sustainable Living Program is taking a precautionary approach to the coronavirus (COVID 19) spread and we have cancelled all non-essential face-to-face external programs. The health and safety of our community members is our number one priority.
While our face-to-face events have ceased during the pandemic, we are stepping up our online support and our newsletters will continue so you can still access reliable, free sustainable advice and news.
Also remember, we have a number of resources on Our Environment webpage and regularly post to our Sustainable Living Maribyrnong Facebook page.

Sustainable Living Events

No Waste Cook Club:
Reduce plastics and food waste in your kitchen

When: Thursday 30 July, 7:00 – 8:30pm
Where: This is a free online session especially for Plastic Free July. Book your ticket at Eventbrite.

Learn tips and tricks to build new sustainable habits with an informative session on how to reduce plastics and food waste in your kitchen. In this session No Waste facilitator and nutritionist, Alanna Brown will guide you through handy tips and tricks on how to keep your groceries fresh without plastic, and what to do with excess food so you reduce your food waste altogether. She'll also provide alternative cost efficient options and a recipe or two in this fun online session.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

My Smart Garden Events

Fruit trees for Melbourne backyards

When: Saturday 8 August, 10– 11:30am
Where: This is a free online session for Melbourne gardens. Book your ticket at Eventbrite.

Join Scott Hitchins for a fascinating look at which fruit trees are perfect for Melbourne backyards.

This workshop will consider all the options for growing a bumper fruit crop on a regular suburban block. We will look at selecting the best fruit trees that keep in mind space limitations, watering requirements, soil types, yield, companion planting and espalier options. You will be amazed at the quantity and variety of fruit you can grow in a small space when you start to think in four dimensions; and still have room for herbs, veggies and a couple of chairs to sit in and enjoy the jungle.

Permaculture primer

When: Thursday, 27 August, 2 – 3:30pm
Where: This is a free online session for Melbourne gardeners. Book your ticket at Eventbrite.

Join Karen Sutherland from Edible Eden Design as she guides us through some of the basics of permaculture.

Permaculture is a holistic approach to gardening where the elements of nature: wind, sun and water are integrated into the garden design to not only produce the best yield but also greatly reduce the work and energy required to maintain the garden.
Karen will guide us through some of the basic principals of permaculture and how you can implement these easily into your home garden to create a living environment that is harmonious and sustainable.

Sustainable Living News

Biodiversity Workshop Series

Council is proud to present a series of online Biodiversity Workshops, which have been created in collaboration with Wild Action. The six-part series highlights our gorgeous Maribyrnong River as a wonderful environmental resource in our municipality, and some of the easy steps everyone can take to take pride in and protect it.

The first clip is about Responsible Rubbish and ties in perfectly with Plastic Free July. We encourage our community to make a commitment to stop using single use plastics, especially the big four which can be easily substituted for environmentally friendly options. Please think twice before you accept a plastic bottle, bag, straw or cup and have your own reusable one ready.

The second clip is about the Importance of Trees for both people and the many species which call them home. It looks at the range of creatures we have living in trees across our municipality. This clip will launch on National Tree Day on 2 August. Council usually conducts an annual tree planting event on this day, but due to the COVID-19 restrictions we are unable to. Instead, we ask that you do something positive for the environment and consider planting a tree in your own backyard to celebrate National Tree Day.

Climate Emergency Plan draft

You are invited to provide feedback on Council’s Draft Climate Emergency Plan, which has been written by the Climate Emergency Group. 

In 2019, Council acknowledged that we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government. The acknowledgement recognises that, as a Council and as a community, we must take action to restore a safe climate at emergency speed.
In January 2020 the Climate Emergency Community Advisory Group was formed, and the Group worked with Council to develop the Climate Emergency Plan. This Draft Climate Emergency Plan is the first strategic document for Council regarding the Climate Emergency. It is the first part of Council’s three-step response; Climate Emergency Plan; Action Plan and Implementation.

You can read the Draft Climate Emergency Plan and have your say by visiting Your City Your Voice  from 24 July – 5 August 2020.

Solar installations

Kingsville Tennis Club, McIvor Baseball pavilion and Shorten Reserve pavilion have recently received solar PV installations. A combined total of 40kW was installed across these three pavilions, bringing the total installation on sporting pavilions to 106kW which generate a grand total of 154MWh every year for at least the next 25 years. These installation not only save local clubs Monday but help reduce their carbon footprint.  

Council has also installed a further 100kW at the Operations Centre on Sunshine Road. This brings the total capacity connected on Council-owned buildings to 580kW, which includes childcare centres, the Drill Hall, community centres, libraries, Phoenix Youth Centre, Raleigh Road Activity Centre, RecWest Braybrook and the Footscray Community Arts Centre. Council plans to continue with this program to support the recently acknowledged climate emergency, the Zero Carbon program and the Victorian government’s target of zero emissions by 2050.

Yarraville Place

Yarraville Place, a 98 townhouse development located on Banool Avenue, Yarraville has plans to install approximately 2.5kW of solar PV per unit, making a total of close to 250kW for the whole site, which we believe is one of the largest of its kind in Victoria, if not Australia.   

This is a fantastic achievement and the developers, ID Land, are to be congratulated for embracing the City of Maribyrnong’s acknowledgement of the climate emergency. Council’s best practice for their Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP) is for all new developments to install solar wherever possible. Yarraville Place is a great example of the developer taking up this challenge and implementing Council’s best practice. This will not only financially benefit the homeowners using the embedded network with future savings of up to $500 per annum on utility bills, but will also assist Council in reducing community greenhouse gas emissions.

Community garden grants

Maribyrnong’s Community Gardens are getting ready to re-engage our community with a COVID-19 recovery grant of $1,500, which they received from Council in response to the impact the virus had on the Maribyrnong community. This recovery grant was awarded to the Braybrook Commons Community Garden, Maribyrnong Edible Garden and Yarraville Community Garden to support members with salvaging and rebuilding their prosperous gardens, so they can continue to benefit the community with opportunities to learn new skills, build social relationships and offer/receive food relief.    

For more details or information about our Community Gardens and how to get involved, please visit Community Gardens.

Solar savers

Residents in the City of Maribyrnong have access to safe, quality and affordable solar and battery installations through the Solar Savers program. The Solar Savers program offers an affordable way for local residents to reduce their energy bills and future proof against increasing energy costs, while reducing their climate impact at the same time, with free energy assessments and options for low-interest loans for some residents.  

With more people currently at home, the benefits of installing solar right now are increasing. With a solar system, the energy you create is used by your home before any excess is fed back into the electricity grid. Being at home during the day means that you can use the solar you produce when the solar panels are most productive. By using your own solar electricity, you save more money than you would be paid if you fed it back into the grid. This can substantially cut your energy bills.  
To find out more head to affordable solar power installations.

Other Sustainable Living News

Shout out to our businesses COVID-19

In these unprecedented times it more important than ever for community members to be shopping local and supporting local business. Many have diversified their offerings, gone online and offering take away and delivery. Check out the Shout Out list and be sure to shop locally during this challenging time

Community Grants

Does your community group or organisation have a great idea or project you’d like to bring to life? Does it need support to adapt and respond to current and emerging challenges due to COVID-19? If so, then consider applying for Council’s 2020 Community Grants Program which is now open.

This year’s program includes three grants categories: small, medium and large. Applicants are encouraged to devise projects that respond to local needs and issues that build an inclusive community. This year’s funding is not limited to creating a project, but can also include support for organisations to continue to adapt, build resilience and engage through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications will close 9am, Monday 3 August 2020. For more information and guidelines, visit Council’s Community Grants page.

Introduction to gardening course

Join the Yarraville Community Centre for a practical introduction to urban gardening. Learn how to start a garden from scratch suitable for any space, including apartment living. Suitable for beginners wanting to turn their brown thumbs green.
This class will be a paid course of seven weeks starting Thursday 30 July, 6.30 pm – 8.00 pm
You will learn:
  • principles of horticulture and permaculture
  • how to grow from seeds, seedlings and cuttings
  • different soil composition
  • composting methods
  • types of irrigation
  • pest control
Head to Yarraville Community Centre to book your place.

Council Programs For You

Free environmental
programs for schools

Calling all local teachers, students and schools!
Book a free waste and environmental visit for your school with 8 different activities to choose from.
From student-led waste audits and food waste programs to exploring the world of plastic.

Book a free session.

My Smart Garden

The My Smart Garden program is a sustainable gardening program managed by three local councils in inner west Melbourne – Moonee Valley, Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong. We strive to build the resilience of local people living with a changing climate and scarcer resources.
Since 2011, our program has grown a network of over 1500 urban gardeners who are now gardening ‘smarter’: that is, harvesting and using water efficiently, growing food, using organic pesticides, recycling wastes and using vegetation to shelter their homes.
Our program aims to deliver training, provides best-practice gardening resources and build community connections around sustainable urban gardening.
For more information, visit: My Smart Garden and follow @mysmartgraden on Instagram.

Want to keep in touch with sustainability in Maribyrnong?
Like the Sustainable Living Maribyrnong Facebook page.

If you would like to submit an item for our Sustainable Living eNewsletter, please send your article or event to
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