In a world where Patagonia are donating over AUD$13 million to the environment, it’s easy to feel irrelevant. But it’s often passionate individuals and local communities, free from the corporate hoo-ha, who make the biggest difference to everyday lives. Australians and New Zealanders have been busy doing just this over the last few months.
On December 3 (the International Day for People with Disability), the Moama community in NSW introduced a new kayak launching facility, allowing those with limited mobility to get out on the water. The decking of the facility, located at the Edward River Bridge Picnic Area, is in fact made from materials recycled by the community, making this an empowering and sustainable venture.
In another environmentally-friendly move, a group of students from UNSW Sydney travelled 4,000km from Perth to Sydney in a solar electric car, designed solely by students. The group managed to set a Guinness World Record for the lowest energy consumption while driving across Australia in an electric car, with energy consumption at under 3.25Wh/100km – approximately 17 times less than your standard Australian car. That’s not the only way it was economical – it cost under $50 to run too!
Meanwhile, Bright Brewery in Victoria has donated $1,000 to resurfacing Bright’s iconic Hero MTB Trail at Mystic Park, which was suffering from notable erosion. The proceeds came from the funds the brewery raised during their inaugural ‘green’ gravel bike event, 5Zero, which focuses on minimising environmental impact (for example, by having no paper maps, using reusable cups, and carbon-offsetting through the QANTAS Future Planet Program).
In Tasmania, the Clarence City Council has launched a new kayak trail, helping guide paddlers along the best routes, with information about distance, required skill level, points of interest, launch points, and facilities. The routes and information were collated in consultation with local kayaking groups, and their input is sure to shape the adventures of many to come.
Across the Tasman, a Bicycle Recycle initiative saw 150 bikes changing hands in MTB hub Rotorua. Mountain Bike Rotorua repaired the handed-in bikes, passing on between 20 and 30 to nominated individuals, and giving the rest to Waikeria Prison. The initiative aimed to get people out and riding, with some of the nominated individuals not in a position to obtain a bike themselves.
These are just some of the examples of individuals on a local level, fighting proactively for the future of the outdoors and our outdoor adventures. Everyone with the will to can make a difference. Let’s keep it up!