Recap - what have we been up to?

Ways Enviro House works to support sustainable living in WA...

  • City of Bayswater Home Composting Project
  • Ascot Park Multiple Dwelling Waste Project
  • East Metro Sustainable Schools Network
  • Native Plants to Residents Project
  • 100% Renewable Energy by 2030 and 100% Zero Carbon by 2040 Plan Adopted by City of Bayswater
  • Transition Town Bayswater Projects
  • Wetlands Conservation Projects with Friends of Eric Singleton, Friends of Maylands Samphires and Baigup Wetlands Interest Group.
  • 40 events with over 1000 participants in 2018/2019
  • Support of local eco businesses with over 6,000 visits to our EcoShop.

Environment House projects focus on community engagement and education across all sustainability areas; conservation of our biodiversity; and climate change action.

Volunteers

The foundation of everything we do at Environment House is our amazing group of volunteers. We have about 40 volunteers working on different projects across the organisation at any one time. Our Myer Project allowed us the opportunity to employ a Consultant to interview interested volunteers about their experience volunteering with Environment House:

"My interviews with the volunteers at Environment House showed me that a wonderful culture is being experienced by the people who visit and donate their time. In my opinion, this culture is one of the most precious aspects of Environment House. It engages with people in a way that informs and empowers them. It does this is a safe way. People get to experience friendly connection and non-judgemental support. This is only possible through un-rushed considered conversations and positive experiences."

Significant Projects and Milestones

Capacity building projects, as part of our successful application to the Sidney Myer Fund & The Myer Foundation, have been successfully implemented. This funding was instrumental in allowing us to plan and assess the projects we manage. It also allowed us to purchase a trailer for outreach education; redesign our logo; consider a new strategic plan; and produce promotional material. This grant could not have come at a better time to support our expanding role in our community and the work of our volunteers. Nadine Wright Toussaint took on the new role of Project Co-ordinator and was responsible for undertaking a huge amount of this work including the design of the new Enviro House logo.

Renovations

The renovation of our Council owned building has resulted in far better spaces for our workshops and for the wider community to make use of. Disability access to the building has been a success and the new deck has proved to be a perfect space for hosting the 40+ workshops and community group events we held across the year.  The renovation greatly improved the amenity of the building for everyone who uses it.

We are grateful to the Federal Government Stronger Communities Grant; the State Government Local Jobs Local Projects Grant and the City of Bayswater for the extra funding we needed to finalise this project. It took a lot of co-ordination to bring this together but thanks to the partnership with local builder Wandoo Designs, we met all deadlines and we now have a community space that can be used for many years to come.

foesw-logo.pngFriends of Eric Singleton Wetlands

Environment House has facilitated the formation of a new wetland group, the Friends of Eric Singleton Wetlands, following saving the 'Carter's Wetland' from destruction in 2017. This new group is now Co-ordinated by Nadine Wright Toussaint who is also the creative soul responsible for this logo too.

Environment House continues to support wetland groups in Maylands and Bayswater, working with the City of Bayswater to achieve significant conservation outcomes. In the 2019 planting season the City of Bayswater with volunteers put 20,000 new native plants into wetland and bushland areas.

Workshop Calendar & Events

Our workshop calendar and events were highly valued again in 2019. All workshops were fully subscribed. Enviro House and Transition Town Bayswater volunteers organised 40 workshops/events catering to over 1100 participants on a wide range of topics for all age groups.

These events included an event for Clean Up Australia Day, a popular series of free movies and continued with "Share Your Spare" and our "Seed Library" on the first Saturday of each month.

Evaluation by participants of our workshops and events is consistently good and includes an insight into how valuable these workshops are for people to learn sustainability skills in a practical, social and fun setting. Participants report use of the skills they have learnt in their homes, workplaces, schools and community groups and often go on to share their knowledge at work and in the community.

EcoShop

Our EcoShop changed considerably over the last two years with the energy and organisation of Shop Co-ordinator Maxine Petty widely appreciated. Volunteers kept the shop open to the public six days a week over the year, with visitation rates of between 5-30 per day from people seeking products, advice or simply a conversation about living sustainably. Our EcoShop provides an informal point of contact for people from many different backgrounds seeking support and advice on sustainability issues. Volunteers and the public regularly report their appreciation for the non-judgemental and relaxed culture at Environment House.

eh-plants-to-residents-program-2019.jpgCollaboration with the City of Baywater

Collaboration has become a key platform for project development at Environment House, delivering outstanding results. Our relationship with the City of Bayswater is one of active partnership and co-operation. This enables us to identify projects where our input can make a difference, work with the community to find solutions and have the support of the City when we need it. This has been strengthened with our Switch Your Thinking partnership enabling us to use this valuable resource and link in with Switch Your Thinking Councils across Perth.

The Ascot Park Multiple Dwelling Waste Project began in 2018 with the Council of Owners and community group Future Bayswater. The 209 units in the Ascot Park apartments in Bayswater had no access to recycling, with 18 tonnes of waste going to landfill each week. Working with the City of Bayswater and the residents, a range of recycling initiatives were introduced along with education. Due to the extensive consultation and engagement with stakeholders, recycling skip bins, green waste skip bins and furniture skip bins have been successfully introduced and with ongoing monitoring by local resident Erin Swindley, have been a big success. Erin has also introduced recycling for hazardous waste streams such as batteries and light globes. We also trialled a Bokashi Bin Library where residents have the opportunity to use a free bin supplied by the City of Bayswater. This trial is ongoing as resident education improves around composting and diversion of waste to different waste streams.

The City of Bayswater Home Composting Project was a new initiative between the City of Bayswater and Environment House trialled in 2018. The Project was designed to support householders to compost in their own home and evaluate the results over a six month period.
Every participating household was provided with a free compost system of their choice following a free workshop explaining composting and each system. Participants were provided with free support through further workshops, face to face troubleshooting or access to a Facebook page to ask questions. 176 households participated in the program, with 246 individuals attending the free workshops. The Project identified that for every 100 City of Bayswater Households composting at home there is the potential to save the council up to $4477 in landfill processing fees, divert 24.6 tonnes of food waste from landfill and prevent 39.36 tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions annually.

The feedback from participants in the 6 month evaluation survey was positive and informative and Stage 2 of the Project is being rolled out in October 2019:

"This program is so important...It sparked a whole revolution in the way my house deals with waste... The flow on effects from this knowledge and the connections it has helped to create in the community cannot be underestimated. It would be great to have it available to all residents in the future." – Participant at six months into the program.

Environment House partnered with the City of Bayswater "Native Plants to Residents Program" for the fourth consecutive year from May - July. The aim is to encourage local residents to grow more native plants to improve biodiversity and support water efficient gardening. Over this time, this program has distributed 25,000 native plants into private gardens, verge gardens and common areas in multi-dwelling housing. This year we introduced a formal evaluation of the project and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Thank you in particular to Alan Benn for ensuring this Project runs smoothly and professionally, meeting the expectations of Council and residents, and our volunteers for assisting people with plant education.

Our Community Projects

Community Garden

Volunteers have taken on more responsibility in our garden looking after our compost systems, worm farms and planting food growing plants for visitors to enjoy.

Waste Diversion Initiatives

Volunteers Mary Van Wees, Aileen O'Rourke and Miho Armstrong are now into their fourth year of diverting 90kg of coffee grounds each week as part of the Coffee Ground to Ground Project. They have been joined by local resident Jeremy Hamilton. Coffee grounds are left outside our building and we can't keep up with demand from home gardeners. Miho Armstrong, Prue Robertson and Liz Wright have also overseen our waste diversion program collecting oral care and cosmetics products from the community for recycling with Terracycle.

A Meeting Place

Environment House provides our building and facilities to aligned community groups to use for meetings and events. Baigup Wetland Group and Transition Towns have been regular users of our centre this year.

Stalls and presentations

We have continued to receive invitations to provide guest speakers and to set up stalls at community events. This level of demand for practical information on sustainable living is encouraging. We provide at least one stall a month for different events around Perth.

Chisholm College's Christian Service with Environment House

We have continued with our work experience/Christian Service partnership for Chisholm students in Year 10.

University Student Placements

Environment House has provided student placement opportunities for four students over the 2018/19 year. This has been a valuable experience for us an organisation and students have reported to Supervisors that it has been a useful experience of working in a grassroots community organisation.

Friends of Maylands Samphires

Environment House has had a special focus on the Maylands Samphires at Clarkson Reserve since 2012. This year we received another SALP grant to work with Apace Nursery to propagate samphires from seed and cuttings from the site. The aim is to supplement the natural regeneration in this threatened ecological community. Council arranged for a hydrological study by Urbaqua and has set aside funds for a management plan for the area. We held a community planting session and had regular weeding sessions concentrating on our focus sites, with special thanks to Kate Cornes and the Tuesday morning group for their commitment.

Online Presence

Our online presence has continued to expand with our website providing information, over 4,000 people following our Facebook page and our monthly email newsletter has grown to 1,500 subscribers.

Awards

Environment House rarely nominates ourselves for awards for our work. We did however nominate ourselves for the City of Bayswater Community Garden Awards and won in that category in 2018.

Strategic Overview

Chart showing the actions and areas of involvement for Enviro House.

eh-strategic-overview.jpg

Our People

Part-time staff and volunteers

Environment House is only able to stay open and deliver projects to the public through the work of our fabulous 40 volunteers and eight part-time employees in 2018-19. Maxine Petty continued as our Shop Co-ordinator, Nadine Wright Toussaint took on the new role of Project Co-ordinator, Miho Armstrong took on the role of Garden Co-ordinator, Robyn Brown has been our Workshop Co-ordinator, Warren Haley overseeing shop accounts, Gavan Wood as our Accountant/Bookkeeper, Bronwen Eybers providing Administration Support and our wonderful Cleaner Almas Tulema.

Our Committee Members contributed many volunteer hours over the twelve months providing a wide range of skills to the organisation. Rosemary Lynch took over the role of Convenor in 2018/19 and provides invaluable communication and IT support; Jo Bower supporting projects and ensuring our administrative functions and volunteer co-ordination run smoothly; Alan Benn, as our in-house energy and water auditor, also providing organisational wide support for all projects and initiatives; Giorgia Johnson for her finance skills and organisational support; Prue Robertson for providing substantial support in our EcoShop; Warren Haley for overseeing shop administration and providing support to volunteers; Kerry Wilson providing waste expertise, Eleanor Reuvers providing specialist landscape architect skills and active engagement with Transition Town Bayswater and Rachael Roberts as our Co-ordinator overseeing funding, projects, collaborative relationships and identifying the opportunities that arise in our community to develop local responses to improve environmental sustainability.

Sponsors

It is with thanks to our sponsors below that we are able to undertake this work. Please support them.