Sustainable House Day

September 25, 2010

Sustainable House Day is a whole of community event and goes to the heart of key social aspects in our society, a critical component if we are to become a truly sustainable nation and global community.

Thank You

A big thank you to all the untiring volunteers who made the opening of Canberra’s Sustainable House possible on Sustainable House Day 12 September 2010. At this stage for privacy reasons I will not mention names, but you know who you are and you the visitor may have met and perhaps even know some of these fine people. If volunteers would like their names added here, please let me know and I will do so.

Thanks also to SHMECO, Australian Institute of Architects and the event sponsors. The organisation is a huge task and relies enormously on volunteers, paid staff and financial contributions of the sponsors. Let’s hope the Commonwealth Government reinstates financial sponsorship and support for Sustainable House Day 2011.

I also want to thank various parts of the Media for their contribution to promoting Sustainable House Day in 2010. I particularly make mention is no priority order of The Canberra Chronicle, The Canberra Times, WIN TV, and ABC Radio (666 Canberra).

Finally, I want to thank you, the public, who gave of your Sunday time to visit Canberra’s Sustainable House as you journey towards a sustainable future. Remember the summit of this mountain is well above above the 8 star altitudinal level. Remember to turn your frustrations into fascinations as you grapple with awkward times retrofitting, renovating or building new.

On The Day

Sustainable House Day 2010 dawned frosty, bright and sunny – we knew it would. All the solar aspects of Canberra’s Sustainable House were shining. The solar hot water system was heating at full tilt, our power station with it’s untiring work ethic was busily converting light to electricity. The north facing windows allowed in sunshine, gently warming our home. We opened some windows mid morning as the power of sunlight combined with the warmth emanating from our enthusiastic visitors brought Canberra’s leading sustainable house to a balmy 25 degrees celcius. The kitchen garden was of course showing off and leaves hard at work, magically converting light into gourmet ingredients. The link between Kitchen and Garden is a critical one as we move to the low carbon society.

300 visitors in all. My sincerest apologies to the countless others who were turned away. Guided tours are available everyday at Canberra’s Sustainable House. Sustainability education and learning is a key focus of our tours. It is as though Sustainable House Day is everyday here. Every hour is Earth Hour and every day is World Environment Day at Canberra’s Sustainable House.


I am always inspired to have young people on tours here at Canberra’s Sustainable House. Yes I have to rack the gravel paths after they visit, replant the flower beds and even wait for the next round of raspberries to fruit. But these are the people who inherit the future we leave them and it is a privilege to observe them learning about sustainability. Eating raspberries picked fresh from the vine is sustainability in action. I was fortunate to discover a piece of artwork left behind on our verandah on Sustainable House Day. The woodland trees festooned with mistletoe maybe seen in this artwork? And the sun is shining brightly – brilliant. I know not who the artist is, but I would be happy to both credit the work and return it to the rightful owner. Do let me know if you know more than I do.

Electric Vehicle Festival

September 2, 2010

The second annual National Electric Vehicle Festival is on again this year in Canberra.

Saturday 18 September 2010

An inspiring event organised by the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA) and the ACT Electric Vehicle Council.

Visit their website for details and location.

Or for further details contact:

Julia McDonald


M:        0407 060 981

A Bloom’in Spring

September 2, 2010

It is ‘game on’ in the kitchen garden at Canberra’s Sustainable House. Winter is now behind us, the sweet scent of blossum is in the air and the saps moving again. This is the time of year that gardeners relish, planning and planting as the days grow continually longer and warmer.

Tremendous winter rains see the kitchen garden bursting with new life. Late plantings of heirloom carrots are being harvested. Perfect timing. The carrots overwintered and sweetened by the frosts of winter have all but been eaten.

The soil in the kitchen garden is rich and healthy. Old varieties of lettuce self seeded, germinating prolifically to form mosaics amongst the garlic, shallots and parsnips.

Sure, we’ll get some cold snaps in the next month or so, but it’s time to get moving. Sow some seed for tomatoes, capsicum and eggplants. Don’t forget the basil, pumpkins and melons. Stay tuned for the potato planting at Canberra’s Sustainable House – coming soon…….