It's official: Low Carbon Living goes nationwide

More than 80 businesses gathered at Scenic World in Katoomba on 22 March to launch the Low Carbon Living national program, to welcome the NSW Southern Highlands as the program’s newest recruit, and to celebrate high achievers among Low Carbon Living, Blue Mountains members.

Key points

  • 26% reduction in carbon use in waste sector by the Blue Mountains' Escarpment Group.
  • Ecotourism Australia agrees to partner in the national rollout of Low Carbon Living.
  • NSW Southern Highlands signed-up for the Low Carbon Living national program.
  • Zero carbon emissions  ‘platinum rating’ becomes the new LCL high standard.

The Low Carbon Living national program launch also celebrated Ecotourism Australia’s partnership with the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute to roll-out the Low Carbon Living program nationwide.

Federal member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, presented the Escarpment Group’s Huong Nguyen with a Low Carbon Living award for achieving a 26% reduction in carbon usage in their waste management sector, saving around 200 tons per annum of carbon going into the environment.

The NSW member for the Blue Mountains, Trish Doyle, presented Kindlehill School principal Lynn Daniels with a Low Carbon Living award for significant achievement embedding a low carbon ethos in the fabric of the school.

A mini-expo enabled Low Carbon Living members such as Dryridge Estate wines, Bendigo Bank, Now & Zen Landscapes, Sun-Kissed Solar, Slow Food Blue Mountains, sustainability specialists Pangolin Associates, LeadTech’s Natural Energy Systems to showcase their wares.

Blue Eco Homes, Eco Design Architects, E-smart Solar, Sustainability Workshop were also part of the expo.

Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute executive director Dr John Merson warmly welcomed the proud contingent of NSW Southern Highlanders, who have recently signed on to the Low Carbon Living national program and secured Southern Highlands resident Dr John Hewson as patron.

“It’s a great pleasure to welcome a delegation from the Southern Highlands,” Dr Merson said.

“The enthusiasm of these people, especially Randall Walker, Noel Ferguson, and Miles Lochhead, has encouraged the Southern Highlands to become  the second region to take up Low Carbon Living program, in what we hope will be an ever- growing network of similar regions across the country.

“When we last got together 18 months ago to launch the Low Carbon Living, Blue Mountains program at Lillianfels, we had 27 members who were part of our pilot program. Now our membership is well over 80 and growing.

“This is due in large part to the concern many of you share about the very real threat that climate change poses for quality of life our children will face, and the impact it will also have on the extraordinary environment we have the privilege to live in.

“However our growing membership is also in large part due to the determination of Annabel Murray, the Low Carbon Living manager for the Blue Mountains.

“We hope that by next year we will be able to provide a yearly carbon reduction figure for the Blue Mountains region.

“But to ensure that you don’t all get too complacent, we’re introducing a new level to our rating scheme.  Instead of gold being the top rating, which many have already achieved, you will now have platinum to aspire to.

“But it won’t be easy to get, as it will mean you’ll have to achieved zero carbon emissions.”

Dr Merson introduced and later thanked guest speakers Anthea Hammon from Scenic World, CRC for Low Carbon Living Program Leader Associate Professor Alistair Sproul, Ecotourism Australia’s Dr Claire Ellis, and Low Carbon Living, Southern Highlands founding member, Miles Lochhead.

Dr Merson also thanked sponsors Scenic World, Bendigo Bank and Powershop.

 BMWHI's John Merson, MP Susan Templeman, and Escarpment Group director Huong Nguyen.

BMWHI's John Merson, MP Susan Templeman, and Escarpment Group director Huong Nguyen.

High Achievements Awards

Huong Nguyen - Director of the Escarpment Group  

The Escarpment Group has taken significant steps to reduce waste by installing a macerator for organic waste, which is used as direct injection compost. This provides substantial economic benefits and reduces landfill, labour and transport costs. It also provides significant environmental benefits, by reducing the group’s carbon footprint by over 200t CO2-e/year.

Lynn Daniels – Principle of  Kindlehill School

Kindlehill School has embedded a low carbon ethos in the fabric of the school, through the use of low carbon materials, renewable energy generation, rainwater harvesting, food production and waste minimisation. The school imbues its students with holistic sustainable practices, and a philosophy essential for the future ecological wellbeing of the planet.

 BMWHI's John Merson, MP Trish Doyle, and Kindlehill School principal Lynn Daniels.

BMWHI's John Merson, MP Trish Doyle, and Kindlehill School principal Lynn Daniels.

All photos by Tim Harris.