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Nurturing our nature at Cumberland View

With our planet slowly choking on plastic, it is important that we acknowledge the sustainable efforts at Cumberland View Aged Care in light of World Environment Day on Monday 5 June 2023.

Our home loves to ‘recycle, upcycle and renew’ and our initiatives help to ensure that we leave the smallest carbon footprint possible. Janine Linnert, Leisure and Lifestyle Coordinator explains that the home is ‘always looking for better ways to be environmentally intelligent.’ ‘We limit our single use plastics in our kitchen and use instead bamboo or wooden utensils when required.

In our craft sessions, we reuse and repurpose many items which not only helps the environment but pushes our imaginations to their limits as to what residents can create,’ says Janine. ‘We receive donated items that would otherwise be put into landfill and repurpose them in a crafty way.’

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For resident, Jeff Walker, being an environmental warrior is a passion he’s committed his life to. Jeff says that environmental sustainability means ‘being conscious of the many variable sources of CO2 production associated with our lives because of economic development and taking appropriate action whenever we can and encouraging others to do the same.’

Throughout his life, Jeff says he has always done his bit to ensure the sustainability of our planet by recycling household products and encouraging others to do the same. He has been actively involved in politics championing environmental strategies like growing and harvesting seaweed to feed cattle which reduces methane gases.

‘As well as these initiatives my passion is the pittosporum weed,’ says Jeff. ‘When I was a child 80 years ago, there was a single pair of Pittosporums (Undulatum) trees in the village of Menzies Creek, 50 kilometres east of Melbourne, in the Dandenong Ranges.’ ‘70 years later, there were 6-8,000 hectares. It is an aggressive weed tree, so having completed an Agricultural Scientist degree at Melbourne University, this was curious’, he says.

As the tree originated in central Queensland and then migrated down the east coast to Victoria, Jeff explains it then mutated and then spread west to Margaret River and then the rest of the world. ‘We researched the growth and biology of the tree, published a booklet and won a $300,000 Grant from the Federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt to commence control work and determine the likely cost of that control,’ recalls Jeff as a major highlight in his career.

When asked what he liked most about the environmentally friendly initiatives while living at Cumberland View, Jeff responds, ‘It is great to see individual rooms being kept at an environmentally friendly 22 degrees Celsius,’ and that the ‘Single use jugs rather than plastic milk bottles is the latest and welcomed change that I have seen.’

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