Some facts to consider: Your new (or old) home, Canberra, has been named Australia’s greenest city, and spending time outdoors is said to improve your mood. Join the dots and get amongst the sustainable side of Canberra before winter hits.
For the urban adventurers
Keep your greenhouse emissions low and take your bike, bought cheaply from the Recyclery shop on campus, for a spin around Lake Burley Griffin. There are plenty of trails to take you on a spiralling journey around the Walter Burley Griffin’s artificial genesis. Swimming not recommended. For a much less health hazardous aquatic experience, head to the closest thing to a beach in Canberra: Casuarina Sands. It is a mere 25-minute drive from the city and promises relief from the summer heat.
The two pinnacles of Canberra may not remind you of the Swiss Alps but offer manageable hikes for both the enthusiastic or the less-outdoors-inclined. Black Mountain, on the back step of the residential colleges, is an easy trip. You can pay money to go to the top of our greatest icon, the Telstra Tower, or you can subsist on a view of Canberra from the lookout. At the other end of the so-called urban hub called ‘Civic’, take the short-but-steep route up Mt. Ainslie and gaze down Anzac Parade at our various democratic institutions. What a time to be alive. Head to the Botanic Gardens and be transported from the Tasmanian Rainforest to the environs of the Kakadu National Park in a convenient and efficient 5-minute walk. Lizards and kangaroos are abundant.
For the foodies
Farmers markets at EPIC and in Kingston give you the chance to buy your food locally every weekend. Reduce those food miles and make your carbon footprint enviable. Fruit and vegetables in season during summer include eggplant, tomatoes, watermelon, raspberries and strawberries. Local sourdough bread, cheeses, dips and olives await. If you cannot wait until the weekend for deliciousness, head to the Food Co-op on weekdays for cheap lunches and sublime vegan cupcakes.
For the festival goers
Purchase a ticket to The Earth Festival from 25 – 26 March at EPIC. Eco-friendly businesses will be there, a food court dedicated to vegan food will tempt you, and guest speakers and workshops will have insights into the benefits sustainable living. The Canberra Environment Centre has workshops on baking sourdough bread on March 4 , composting on 28 February and are hosting a celebration of locally produced food at the Canberra Harvest Festival on 25 March.
Keeping track of campus life
For all of the budding environmentalists out there, the green thumbs, or the closeted sustainable and ethically minded folk, 2017 has much on offer at ANU. On 16 February the ANU Environment Collective are making a collaborative recycled artwork from cups used at ANU events. They will continue to hold environment-focused events throughout the year that you can get involved in and help organise. If you’re feeling enthusiastic about taking action on climate change, Australian Youth Climate Coalition Canberra and Fossil Free ANU run successful student-led campaigns to lobby for conscientious environmental policy.
Ever wanted to grow your own herbs, tend to a plot of carrots? ANU has a campus Organic Community Garden tended to by volunteers. It’s located near the National Museum, and working bees happen every Wednesday and Saturday. Join ANU Vege-table to share the joy of plant-based living. If you’re concerned about the decline of bee populations, the ANU Apiculture Society could be the group for you. Look out for speaker events organised by the Sustainability Learning Community throughout the year.