Posted by: ainslieb | April 14, 2009

A Starting Point

I am 38, a wife and mother to two gorgeous young girls and I work full time. I live in Perth and my husband is starting a research degree in Sustainable Design. My passions are numerous and mostly based around my children and our community and the need to get people to understand how much has to change to become the sustainable world we need to leave for our kids.

My husband, Colin ( and I have made the following list:

  • We need to participate in our community more;
  • We need to understand more about our individual and household impact on the environment;
  • We need to educate ourselves more effectively on steps we can take to be green;
  • We need to be healthier and lose weight, and in doing so we need to stop buying take-away anything;
  • Most importantly we need to honour our commitment to have children and raise them in the best way possible for them to live happy, fulfilled lives that are not totally focused on consumerism and money, but on good family values, traditional ways of living within an urban landscape, and taking care of neighbours both local and far away.

Like many people we have been struck by the recession and we no longer own our own home, so have joined the mass of renters. We moved to an outer suburb about 6 months ago thinking the size and newness of the house would make up for the distance travelled to keep our children in the best daycare in town. Neither the newness or the size made up for what we were doing both to the environment and our children’s sanity, and when I got a new job, 1 hour and 20 minutes by car from home, we really started to blow the travel budget!

Therefore we are moving to the ‘perfect’ rental – we can paint it (it needs it!) and it is in the suburb I grew up in so the kids can go to the same wonderful primary school I did. It is bizarre to have worked all over the world and to come home and somehow, land back where I started. The best part of the property is that it is really large, so I will be able to set up at least 6 veggie patches and have room for 4 laying hens. The idea behind this is that we can become at least partly sustainable in terms of our own food and can practice and live out a way that we feel should and will become the norm soon. We will practice a vegetarian diet for ourselves and give the kids chicken and fish a few times a week. We will be cooking new and different things to our normal diet as we include more seasonal produce that we have grown and hopefully have an abundance of. I am diabetic and Colin is borderline, so our health will certainly benefit from the changes we are attempting.

We move in three weeks, so the next few weeks are about planning, packing and pruning current pots so they survive the journey to our new destination. One of my biggest challenges will be to pump up the tyres on my old but barely used mountain bike and prepare to ride to work at least 3 days per week. The exercise will be a god-send to my body, but a complete change of pace for me so quite a challenge.

I used to love watching “The Good Life” – the BBC sitcom about a couple doing exactly what we are doing, so I guess that I have a romanticised view of what we are embarking on. Our children’s daycare, Como Children has also started implementing a sustainability program that Colin and I are participating in. The children will all be involved in some way, whether by painting on recycled, homemade paper, recycling from home or watching the worms process food in the new worm farm that is being built. We are hoping that children will take home and take to school their learning and be some of the first to actually appreciate the value of protecting the environment and feeding themselves.

So – down to the point of my blog. I hope to document in both pictures and writing what we are achieving, who we are linked with and how the whole process plays out. I will show you what we have grown and what we have cooked, how we have planted, and how we have pruned. I will introduce you to the type of reading and learning’s we are making both at a political and an environmental level -even though they are both inter- twinned). I hope to include learning’s and links for followers with young kids who need resources or ideas. I hope to learn and pass on simple things that everyone can do at home as we progress further. Mostly I hope to create both an online and a physical community of like-minded people who care about the health of their family and their environment and can start to make some changes that will be positive for everyone.

I look forward to any reader commenting, adding value or reminding me if I am not achieving what you expect out of a blog you take the time to read. I would love to know if you are doing things that I can try, or pass on. Mostly I just look forward to your contact as we progress towards a better managed environment in the future.

Ainslie B



  1. Well done Darling! I hope you don’t mind me adding the odd comment…
    Here’s to good commentary and positive feedback!

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