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Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living

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by Kaye (subscribe)
I <3 Sydney
Published July 29th 2013
Channel your inner Planeteer
I grew up loving the cartoon series Captain Planet and spent many hours of my childhood imagining I was one of the Planeteers. Now as an adult, the most I seem to be doing to 'save the planet' is making sure I recycle and, where possible, using environmentally-friendly cleaning products. But in a world where global warming, an ever growing world population and finite natural resources are very much a reality, I can't help but think I should be doing more.

The Macarthur Centre For Sustainable Living (MCSL) is located in Mount Annan; a suburb about 50 minutes drive south-west of Sydney (via the M5). It is a community-friendly place where visitors can see sustainability in action and have opportunities to learn simple ways to live more sustainably in a fun, practical and relaxed setting.

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living: Check out the innovative design

The design of the centre itself is really interesting and showcases building design for the future. Complete with solar roof panels, the centre is entirely self-sufficient. "It generates its own power, recycles and reuses all rain and waste water, and manages all organic waste on site" (MCSL, 2013). The bricks are made from recycled saw dust (what the..?) and even the car park is specially designed to effectively collect stormwater.

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
What a great way to use an old wheel barrow

Workshops and Courses
A big drawcard at the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living are the FREE weekend workshops on offer. Topics include:

'No Dig Gardening & Mulching' & 'Wipe Out Weeds Naturally' Workshops

Gardening and mulching can be easier than we think.

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
A 'No Dig' vege garden

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
The vegetable gardens here are pretty impressive


'Worm Farming and Composting' Workshops

Learn how to create your own worm farm or compost. Worm farms and compost heaps are great places to dispose of your food scraps rather than sending them to the tip. And the end product can be used as fertiliser towards your garden.

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
A custom-built worm farm. If you don't have one, some old foam boxes can easily be used as an alternative

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
Live compost worms are sold here at $5 per container

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
Some of the compost worms

'Garden to Table' Cooking Workshops

The Macarthur Centre For Sustainable Living also offer 'Garden to Table' cooking workshops. Topics include preserving, summer salads and stir-frys. For $50 per person, you can even learn how to make soft cheeses.

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
Snow peas

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
Lettuce patch

'Keeping Chickens In Your Backyard' Workshops

Imagine having fresh eggs for breakfast every morning. The Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living sell chickens on their premises.

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
Some the chooks at the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
This rooster wasn't too impressed with me being so close to his hens. But how could I take it seriously with its fluffy white feathers?

Bookings for workshops are essential. Bookings or enquiries can be made by contacting Helen Byfield-Fleming on 4647 9828 or by email at info@mcsl.org.au. Information on upcoming Workshops and Courses can be found on the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living website.

School Holiday Workshops

The Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living offer free school holiday workshops for school-aged children aged (5-18 years old). Parents are encouraged to also join in. Topics include 'Kid's vegetable gardening', 'Worm farming for kids' and 'Composting for kids'

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
The Children's Garden

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
I usually get a bit creeped out by scarecrows but these ones give-off a friendly vibe

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
Show your kids where broccoli really comes from (not the supermarket)

Once again, bookings are essential. Bookings or enquiries can be made by contacting Helen Byfield-Fleming on 4647 9828 or by email at info@mcsl.org.au. Information on upcoming Workshops and Courses can be found on the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living website.

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
What a fun way to use old tyres

Volunteering

The Macarthur Centre For Sustainable Living is always looking for volunteers to help with developing and maintaining the demonstration gardens. If you don't have much of green thumb, you could sign up to be a volunteer guide or a marketing volunteer.

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
Volunteer to help to maintain these gardens

The Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living is located next to the beautiful Mount Annan Botanic Gardens. To make the most of your day, I suggest you pack a picnic lunch or BBQ and also visit the Botanic Gardens.


So if you're wondering what to do this weekend...why not visit the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living? Channel your inner Planeteer by learning to live more sustainably and helping to reduce your carbon footprint. Maybe you'll be inspired to grow your own veggei patch, own a chicken or two, cook-up a dish using fresh ingredients from your garden, or even start your own worm farm? As they say…every little bit counts.

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Why? Free workshops – fun & learning
When: Opening hours: Mon – Fri (9:30am-3:30pm) & Weekends (Check website for workshop/special event dates and times)
Phone: (02) 4647 9828
Where: 1 Mount Annan Drive, Mount Annan NSW 2567
Cost: Free entry to Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living. Workshops & Courses (Free - $50 pp).
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