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Winter 2014 - Whoops!

Apologies for the links not working in last week's Sustainability E-Newsletter. We have done our best to fix the glitch and hope that you will enjoy this newsletter more easily.

Small house design competition opens

Get your pencils, CAD software or crayons out and be ready to design the most sustainable small house you can imagine. Byron Shire Council and Lismore City Council are celebrating Sustainable House Day 2014 with a design competition and are calling on their residents to show their best creativity. The design competition will be open for approximately 3 months closing on 15 August 2014 and is for small secondary dwellings or granny flats. 

Sustainable House day is a national event for owners of sustainable homes to open their doors and gardens to the community for viewing and inspiration. If you would like to register your home as an open sustainable house click here  and follow the links.

Entry forms and guidelines on the small house design competition  click here or contact the Green Building Centre on 0427 701 653. Entry forms can also be picked up in hard copy from Council administration offices or the Green Building Centre at 1 Brigantine Street Byron Bay. (Photo: Byron Energy Efficient Design & Drafting)

Stake out your own patch at Shara Community Gardens

The volunteers at the community gardens are currently preparing private plots for individuals to rent. The plots are ready to rent with premium soil to save you the time and energy of preparing the ground for abundant crops. Different sizes are available to meet everyone’s gardening desires.

The busy folk at Shara Community Gardens are also working on making the gardens more family friendly by creating a new playground for children so keep an eye out as gardens come to life with little people.

If you are interested to get involved or to rent a plot, contact Louis on 0401 662 511

Sustainability courses at Byron Community College

Our local Community College continues to offer up a wide variety of sustainability oriented courses led by experienced teachers in the cooler months. From backyard chooks, green cleaning, learning the art of building a successful sub-tropical vege garden to retrofitting your house for greater sustainability, join others in your local community to learn some new and valuable skills. Acclaimed sculptor Suvira McDonald and a group of hand-picked creative individuals will also be transforming the courtyard of the College over the course of 12 weeks, with their Sustainable Sculpture project starting soon. Click here for more information.

Winter seed saving and sharing

The Byron Hinterland Seed Savers and Nude Your Food are hosting a Winter Seed Saving & Sharing event.

Come along to Starseed Gardens on 7 June at 11am to make the most of the winter sunshine. The event will include a tour of the gardens and a community picnic, so be sure to bring a yummy plate of finger food to share. Starseed gardens is kid friendly and all weather purpose should it rain.

Now is the time for gardeners and seed savers to bring along produce, plants, cuttings, tubors, seedlings and especially surplus seeds to share and inspire each other and to start a sustainable garden of their own or expand the plants that they already have. 

Starseed gardens is at 60 Yagers Lane Byron Bay and you can contact Rasa from Byron Hinterland Seed Savers 6684 9498 for more information.

Intermediate bio-char course

There will be an intermediate course on bio-char on Saturday May 24 at the Mullumbimby Community Gardens and Sunday May 25 at Bamboo Busy Jiggi. For those who know a little bit about bio-char, the course will explore the two sides of the science on enhancing bio-char. Key topics covered will include:

  • Enhanced bio-char techniques
  • Low temperature pre-inoculation
  • High temperature post inoculation
  • Observe and help carry our farm scale bio-charring

The two day course will be from 10:00am to 4:00pm daily and will be delivered by Don Coyne and Wayne Wadzworth.

Course cost is $100 with bookings essential. Contact Don on 0459 175 729 or for more information.

Learn about green building & living over lunch

Local sustainability experts are sharing their knowledge in a series of free lunchtime talks on Wednesdays at the Green Building Centre in Byron Bay. Featuring the advantages of natural ventilation in design, healthy paints for indoors, natural insulation, solar passive design, water and nutrient management and more. The Creating Healthy Interiors  - VOC's explained and alternatives identified - with Dale Spence will be the next lunch time talk on Wednesday 28 May (RSVP by 26 May). Conventional paints and finishes contain VOC's which are compounds that off-gas long after they application. Dale will explain what to look for to create a clean, healthy air environment in your home.

Check out the green building centre’s events page for regular updates here or contact the centre on 0427 701 653 or email