World Environment Day at St Cat's ☀️
Interview by Amy Papasergio
Wednesday 5 June marks World Environment Day – raising awareness and promoting action to protect our environment.
This year’s theme is Air Pollution. With more than 7 million people across the world dying every year from the effects of air pollution, we need to act to ensure the quality of the air we breathe.
Our gardening team is led by Joseph Mann, who shares his initiatives that make the College environmentally friendly:
We’re Pesticide and Herbicide Free 🍃
We haven’t used any pesticides or herbicides for six months. There is no spraying. All the weeds we pull out are done by hand (It’s not as big of a task as you would think!).
This is beneficial to us because now we have waste that we can put in our compost. We’re very close to the Swan River so we don’t want chemicals from the sand and soil here going into the water. It also helps protect the bees, arthropods and worms.
Spraying chemicals affects all the insects, not just the harmful ones.
The Bee Project 🐝
The Bee Project is organised by St Cat’s residents Laure Law-Lin and Bec Cotton. We have planted out a few native species up on the rooftop, along with some lavender to attract the Blue Banded Bees.
To add to that, we have also planted some other species like kangaroo paws, which will hopefully attract birds and other pollinators.
It's a long-term project (it’s in its infancy stages at the moment) and the plants are still quite small. It’s also much more sustainable than having vegetables on the rooftop because it’s way too hot during the summer for them!
Vege Planting 🥕
Since it’s too hot on the rooftop for vegetables and herbs, we’ve created a vegetable nursery out the back near the garden shed.
We have lettuce, spinach, rocket, beetroot, celery, and some edible flowers which we will plant around the College.
Soon, the vegetables can be used for certain meals in the dining hall, such as the leek for leek soup or residents can come down to make a salad, by simply snipping off the leaves. It’s a real “feel-good” thing, and it’s done as organically as possible (available to residents soon!).
What does World Environment Day mean to you? ☀️
For me, every day is World Environment Day! However, having a day like this is just as important - if people are made aware that the environment sustains us and that the environment is under threat, then they will more inclined to do something about it.