PICTURE: Biddabah Kiranta (Creek) catchment, eastern landscape of Munibung Hill from the headwaters area north of Fairfax Road, winding through Lakelands wetland and swamp area. Tributaries feed in from the west, before passing under Metcalf Street, to join North Creek that flows into the lake east of the Warners Bay shopping precinct. Source: Google Earth
Costa’s catchment camping concept
We are all but campers on the plains and places of the planet.
A LAPSE IN OUR CONSCIOUSNESS has led us to overlooking that we are all connected, if by nothing else, then by living in creek, river and lake catchments.
There are no exceptions to this reality. While much of the time we are oblivious to this, it doesn’t detract from the fact that how we live within each of these catchments, determines to a large degree our quality of life – if not (seemingly) in the immediate present, then in the long term climate cycles that we each experience on a daily basis.
Costa Georgiadis in Costa’s World (ABC Books, 2021), sets the scene for his wonderful escapade into gardening. Regardless of who we are and where we live, he reminds us that we are campers – albeit on a massive intensive and permanent basis – living in catchments. It has always been thus. The difference between now and eons ago, is that today we have altered the catchments to such an extent that we believe they don’t exist, and if they do, well what the heck.
Here’s an extract taken from pages 11 and 12 – How to be a happy camper.
If our community is going to be sustainable, then it needs to leave something for the generation to follow. It needs to ask questions of its footprint and of every aspect of its day-to-day way of living. Are the resources that we use to build with or to heat our houses capable of replenishing themselves, or are they finite? If they are finite, then how responsible are we with their use? And, most importantly, what is the Plan B for the generations that follow us, when the resources are gone?
and sustainability asks the simple question:
can our camping lifestyle be maintained, and at what cost?
The further you go into sustainability, the more you need to ask whether sustainability is enough. As the population grows and hunger for materials increases, the capacity to sustain life on a finite planet is tested. The real question when it comes to sustainability is then more about regeneration.
Can we camp on this planet in a way that allows us to regenerate not just the damage that’s been done already, but also the natural systems that continue to exist and nurture us? Can our actions repair and replenish materials and resources, so that the planet is truly sustainable and capable of being for generations to come?
This leads in to the next idea – that the finite planet is calling out for a circular economy; one where the right to use Earth’s raw materials and resources comes with a very strong responsibility to steward and nurture the materials from cradle to cradle, not cradle to grave.
Being sustainable means that we create things to help us live comfortably, but those things live a life and breathe again as a resource capable of being rebuilt or re-manufactured, repurposed, reused and then recycled into another item.
What items do we need in our camp – be that at home or work or school, or for business or recreation, wherever? How has their entire life span been imagined, designed, created and planned for? Our decisions and out dollar-spend determine the look of our campground, not just for those of us who are here now, but also for the generations to follow. Do we leave a landscape cleared and peppered with landfill, ticking with time-bomb pollutants? Of will we actively choose, with our buying power, a future landscape where the sustainable functions carried out by wild, natural ecosystems are protected and defended for their real, true and yet-to-be-discovered edible, medicinal and cultural significance and value?
Our time here is short but significant.
Our capacity to forge a pathway towards regeneration begins afresh every day with every decision that we make.
MMM … Issue 36, February – March 2023