Wear Comfy Shoes
At this time of year we focus on the fact we are a community radio station. One aspect of this fact is that we need your financial support with tax-deductible donations. Your support is making an impact in the lives of those around you.
Another aspect of community radio is that we love to hear from you! Wear Comfy Shoes is a regular piece you’ll be seeing from Adelaide local Michael Wyatt.
Michael is a writer living in the southern suburbs with his wife and four children. He’s currently studying his Masters in Creative Writing at Tabor Adelaide and has a passion for science fiction, fantasy and history.
World Environment Fair
Our family dreams of moving to the countryside, creating a life that is self-sufficient and good for the environment. With this is mind, we went along to the World Environment Fair to be inspired, and to enjoy the promised entertainment for the children.
As soon as we enter, we are awestruck by the amazing indoor nature-play area. After agreeing on an emergency meeting point (the giant butterfly hovering over the entrance), the children are gone in a flash. One of them heads to the play area, another goes to a darkened tent full of snakes and spiders, called the Noctarium, and the other grabs a complimentary bag to follow the ‘Green Trail’.
As my wife and I wander around with the baby, we find some interesting ideas. We fill our free showbag (made from recycled paper) with brochures and pamphlets from The House of Bales (building houses from straw!) and the ASBN (Adelaide Sustainable Building Network). Further in, we collect how-to guides on planting a rain garden, attracting native wildlife, and conserving energy. Yet as we look at the grand scale of some of the projects, we realise that although our dream is still a little way off, there are small steps we can take right now.
Talking to one stall worker, he tells me of his plan to persuade people on his street to plant fruit trees, in the hope that they can all exchange fruit someday. It’s a simple thought, but a reminder that not every idea needs to have a grand scheme attached. We take yet another brochure, and make sure we collect a couple of free shower timers, to help with our water usage during the morning routine.
After gathering the children, we head further into the venue. Here, there are a variety of stalls, ranging from organic produce to clothes and charity items. Nearby, a reggae band is playing: ‘One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel alright,’ and children are dancing about in the front row. In another corner, a giant blow-up turtle sways beside another group of children dressed in brightly coloured parrot outfits. It’s all a little barmy at times, but the light-hearted atmosphere has made the event fun for our family.
In the end, we return to the impressive nature-play area, that is perhaps the star of the show. Children run and explore the mass of fallen trees and logs, sandpits, and wicker structures reminiscent of native American teepees. Here, creative play is encouraged. A wooden grinding bowl entices children to reduce soft rocks to a fine dust, which they collect, carefully balancing their treasure in wooden cups as they cross an uneven bridge, set over a dry bed of pebbles. Other children ignore the bridge, jumping straight in to revel in the rocks and sticks, delighted that no one seems to mind.
It seems a shame to tear the children away, as there is something very calming about the smell of fresh wood and eucalyptus. But it is reassuring that nature-play areas like this are popping up all across Adelaide, and families are rediscovering the joy of nature. We may not be getting our sustainable home in the near future, but we leave encouraged, excited about what we can do now.
13/06/2017 / Kit Densley