NRM Education officer, City of Marion
My name is Sam Ryan and I am an NRM Education Officer working to help schools and their communities move toward a more sustainable future. My work with schools revolves around projects to increase biodiversity, reduce consumption, and improve the utilisation of resources whilst building a culture of sustainability amongst teachers, students, and families.
I have spent this year owner-building a passively designed, strawbale-insulated cottage in Aldinga, with 35,000 litres of rainwater and enough solar panels to provide for all our energy needs. This should reduce our need to heat and cool except for extreme weather, and we have a designated ‘cool refuge’, which is a room in the middle of the house we can retreat to during heatwaves.
The permaculture-designed garden will produce a significant portion of our fruit and vegetables, and provide habitat for frogs, birds, and butterflies. We are a one-car household, and 7 years ago I made a pledge to no longer fly, after realising how much carbon I was generating through aeroplane travel. I was living in the UK at the time, and so returned to Australia via many trains, a few buses, and one short-haul flight from Singapore to Darwin.