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 the boardwalk

I have just had a wonderful holiday with my family at a place called Merimbula in New South Wales.

There are many reasons we love this destination, in particular the natural beauty; being located in a stunning position on a riverine estuary, with surf beaches, National Parks and natural lake all within a short distance.

On top of that, the town is smack bang in the middle, within easy walking distance of holiday accommodation. There are also great children’s parks located conveniently next to swimming and fishing spots, beaches and cafes – providing what every caffeine-loving parent desires; a fresh latte, while watching the kids at play, combined with water views!

Mmm, I think I can spy that coffee shoppark and cafewalking merimbula
I love a decent path with views!

But what is my point? What price can you put on a beautiful natural environment combined with an accessible and useable built environment?

So many places I visit have it all wrong. There is nowhere for people to walk, particularly those with strollers and walking sticks. Paths don’t connect to other paths, there is no natural shade (i.e. trees) or interesting views for pedestrians. There are no activities for kids combined with facilities for adults, unless it is a commercial indoor playground where you get charged a considerable fee just for the pleasure of walking in the door!

Why can’t we look after our natural environments better and why can’t we design man-made (or even woman-made) environments that suit people better, and not just the cars we drive and big business interests (I am  particularly thinking of big shopping malls with no character and no relationship to anything surrounding them).

Surely we can do better?

In the meantime I will bask in the small delights, and memories of bell birds calling, white sand underfoot, crabs scuttling and silvery fish glimmering in the sun-lit water.

footprint in the sand

Tread lightly.

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green homeFreedigitalphotos.net

Whatever your motivation for going green at home, there are many resources that can help to motivate and inspire you.

Tools that I would recommend for quickly calculating your current environmental footprint, or the resource use of your home include:

or for those in the U.S. try Low Impact Living 

These calculators give a quick overview of your current environmental impact and can provide ideas of where you could make some improvements and potentially save money on your utility bills at the same time!

Other resources for ideas on going green at home include:

  •  Virtual Green Home provides a 3-D model of a green home and its’ components
  • Make Your Home Green another 3-D home that also gives a calculation on the estimated greenhouse gas savings of individual features.

And of course there are always ideas from yours truly, see 5 easy being green tips for home.