What are you doing for your local environment? - The Westies

What are you doing for your local environment?

Lake Parramatta - Parramatta Rowboats Hire - Photo Katrina James

I don’t know about you, but I don’t consider myself a greenie. I could do more to help the planet (as my enviro-loving friends are often telling me!) but I do like to do the simple little things, because I do believe we have to look after the earth (the only earth) that we live on.

My attitude towards the environment is not unique, with data out of the City of Parramatta showing that 99% of people have claimed they did something to conserve the environment and while the majority of the efforts we see are related to waste reduction, there are other activities that go beyond that.  there are so many simple ways that you can have a positive impact on the future of our earth as well as the general appearance of our cities and waterways. But residents generally feel like they don’t have enough time, or don’t know where to start with making a change in the community or learning about new ways to make an environmental impact.


We are here to help with the getting started!


Litter is a real problem in Parramatta, with 9 in 10 people surveyed concerned about the health of waterways (namely Parramatta River) and litter. But each of us have the ability to make change in this area, individually and as a group. Whether it is in the streets around the CBD or in our amazing parklands, we need to be respectful of and concerned for the future of our environment. Take your litter with you when you leave, and if you can pick up a piece or two that you see along the way, all the better.


We are blessed with a city that is easy to navigate on foot or on a bike (and the folks from Addventageous would love to teach you how to ride safely around the city!) and this can make a huge difference to congestion and pollution in our city. Start with a bike tour around Parramatta and really take in the environment we are living in. That will undoubtedly give you a bit of motivation to begin the preservation process at home. But then take it a step further – cycle to work on a Tuesday, then a Wednesday, then every day of the week. Little steps!

Ermington Bay Nature Trail photo 2


The City of Parramatta Council runs some amazing programs related to sustainability and environmental impact, which can be a really easy way for you to make a small contribution to the future of the city. The Love Food Hate Waste program run by the council is a personal favourite of mine – learn how to take the weird flotsam and jetsam in your fridge, or what we would generally call food scraps and turn them into the most amazing dishes. Fried carrot tops and stir fried broccoli stalk? Yes please!


Why not take it a step further and grow some of your own food through learnings from a GO OF (Grow Our Own Food) Workshop? It doesn’t matter how small the space is that you are working with, a little food you grow yourself is something else that isn’t packaged and trucked across the country, only to go limp and soggy (I’m looking at you, Coriander) in the bottom of your fridge. Plus you will save some money, get some really big feel-good vibes and make your balcony/backyard/patio/windowsill look amazing.


A wise man once said that you don’t have a lack of time, just different priorities. I think that as people, we need to focus on the future of the earth, and the best place to begin that is in our own backyard. Whether it is making sure that our suburb is tidier than we found it, cycling and walking to work or growing a bit of food on your balcony, each of us have the ability to make a small, local change that will have broader effects. A simple change that any of us can make, if we think it’s important enough.


I for one think it is.


If you want to have your say on the environmental programs run by the council, join the Our City Your Say program. It allows you to actively comment on, give praise and criticism for a range of council based services, and gives you an opportunity to make a real difference in your community. Sign up here and have your say today.

This post is sponsored by the City of Parramatta and the ‘Our City Your Say’ program. All thoughts, opinions and stories are our own. For more information on sponsored content, please email emma@thewesties.com.au 

Words: Emma Wright

Photos: Courtesy of the City of Parramatta and Katrina James