Sustainability Awards 2011
Pittwater's Sustainability Awards are held every two years and aim to recognise and reward individuals and businesses who are committed to making Pittwater sustainable.
Winners of the 2011 Pittwater Sustainability Awards were announced by Mayor Harvey Rose at a special presentation held on Sunday 9 October.
Sustainability in Design
Focussing on recognising architects, owner-builders and designers who have developed buildings with sustainable features - view criteria
Single Residential Dwellings – New - Winner
- RW Stidwill Constructions & Eastwood Design (John House Architect)
The judges were impressed with this outstanding pavilion-style house on Scotland Island built mainly from recycled hardwoods. The design concept was to create a casual and relaxed waterfront home in harmony with the island. The house design gave careful consideration to the management of waste water and rainwater harvesting, with the home completely self-sufficient in these areas. The use of glass louvers to control airflow and capture precious natural light is another example of the homes sustainability credentials, along with extensive use of sandstone retained from the previous dwelling. In essence, this house is a showcase for quality sustainable design, offering stunning aesthetics as well as a liveable ambience.
Sustainability in Business
For businesses who have become more sustainable through innovations involving staff, resources or new business practices - view criteria
Small Business - Winner
- Dragonfly Environmental
Dragonfly Environmental is a group of environmentally based companies including a nursery, a planting service, bush regeneration and wetland management. The company’s core business is to improve the environment through bush regeneration and planting projects. The company also conducts ecological monitoring and reporting as well as organising eco-tours. The company has taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint by starting a greenhouse gas inventory which records the company’s fuel consumption. In 2010 the company planted over 800,000 native trees and shrubs. When treating aquatic weeds they ensure that the use of chemicals is kept to a minimum. Building supplies and materials used by the company are sourced from local suppliers to reduce their Co2 footprint.
Small Business - Highly Commended
- Church Point Ferry
The feel good factor of catching a ferry around Scotland Island and the western foreshore of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park now extends beyond the scenery. Ferry owners Penny Gleen and Simon Wastell wanted to run a more sustainable service and have introduced a multi-trip Green Ticket. By paying an additional dollar for a 12-trip pass, passengers help offset 100% of that dollar on fuel emissions. Passengers not only help the ferry service become an environmentally friendlier business, the small contribution reduces their own footprint on the planet. Owner Penny Gleen said that the company had already introduced many recycling and waste reduction strategies, but believed it wasn’t enough. “Offsetting the fuel usage of our three ferries, the Amelia K, the Curlew and the Elvina will have the strongest impact on our business’ footprint, “ she said. In the first six months of running the ‘green tickets’, the company has donated 40 ‘Trees for Carbon’ and have purchased 40 carbon credits.
Sustainability in Landscaping
Recognising homeowners who have committed to more sustainable landscaping and gardening - view criteria
- Selena Griffith
Eighteen months ago Selena Griffith’s steep south east facing block in Elanora was covered in noxious weeds and non indigenous species including lantana, privet and camphor laurel. Her desire was to create a small productive garden with a minimal footprint. Priorities in the design included energy generation, water storage, local food production and material reuse. There was also a desire to open the garden to help others learn to live more sustainably. After taking three weeks to clear the large block by hand, the garden now boasts a variety of fruit tree clusters, vegetable patches and herbs providing food for Selena and her extended family and friends. The garden has a drip line irrigation system which runs from a 5000L rain water tank which also services the home’s toilets and washing machine. Organic waste from the house and garden is composted or fed to the free-range chooks, guinea pigs and quail. These animals provide valuable manure for feeding the garden as well as eggs for food. The garden continues to welcome a variety of visitors including echidnas, bandicoots, possums and many bird and frog species. The garden has also attracted many enthusiastic human visitors from of the local permaculture group.
- Will & Chrissie Jephcott
Winner’s of this category in the inaugural Sustainability Awards of 2009 the Jephcotts were highly commended this year for their ongoing work at their ocean cliff garden at Newport. Over the last few years the Jephcott’s have increased the quantity and diversity of Australian plants in their native garden. Decreasing the lawn area and creating more fauna friendly areas they have further reduced the need for water and created more food for native animals. They have seen an increase in the Eastern Waterdragon population including smaller birdlife such as the New Holland Honeyeater and Fairy Wrens. A microbat box has also been added as a safe haven for roosting microbats. With many visitors to their stunning native garden the Jephcotts have also enticed others to take a more sustainable approach with their own gardens.
Sustainability in Schools
To recognise and reward schools in Pittwater who have implemented a sustainability initiative to help create a better environment - view criteria
- Bilgola Plateau Public School
The school’s mission was to establish themselves as an environmentally sustainable school, creating an environmentally conscious school community. The school worked closely with council to create an environmental audit. Data was gathered on the school’s waste management practices as well as power and water usage. This led to increased motivation by students and teachers to switch off power when not needed along with refurbishments to the school toilets to decrease water usage. Waste was reduced by encouraging fruit breaks to reduce food packaging, with native plants introduced to the K-2 playground to increase diversity and attract wildlife. A ‘no dig’ vegetable garden and a chicken coop were established, with produce donated to the school canteen and sold to support ongoing maintenance of the garden. Compost bins and worm farms have also been introduced. Work is currently underway to create an outdoor learning area with native plants, mulch tracks, frog ponds and log seating. A ‘Grow, Grab, Gobble’ program will further the school’s sustainability rating with plans for every class to have their own vegetable patch.
- Newport Public School
The school recently installed water tanks on its school grounds after successfully applying for an environmental grant. The school has appointed an environmental team which has introduced a number of initiatives including a ‘no wrap’ lunch program and an eco- information sharing activity called ‘e-tweet’. Each class presents an e-tweet to the weekly assembly offering simple and practical environmental tips. Green monitors have been appointed to ensure that computers and air conditioners are shut down at the end of each day. The school is also working with Council on a waste audit as well as education programs for students via the Council’s Coastal Environment Centre.
Updated: 07 Nov 2011