Gardening guru pitches in for environment festival

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Gardening guru pitches in for environment festival


ABC TV's Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis

6 June 2014

Gardening guru Costa Georgiadis will be rolling up his sleeves for work when he arrives at the annual World Environment Day festival at the University of the Sunshine Coast on Sunday 8 June.

The ABC TV Gardening Australia host will officially open the University’s large composting machine called OSCA (On-Site Composting Apparatus) at 11am, provide a composting demonstration at 11.15am, then open USC’s “Moving Feast” community garden at 12.45pm.

The free family festival from 10am to 4pm has been organised by the Sunshine Coast Environment Council with support from USC, Sunshine Coast Council, Noosa Council and the Queensland Government.

It has the theme “have fun while you learn something useful” and is set to attract thousands of people from across the region.

Visitors will be able to enjoy environmental workshops, trade displays, wildlife presentations, sustainable fashion, food, music, entertainment, craft and games for the kids.

Mr Georgiadis, who first saw the OSCA machine when he visited USC last year, said he was keen to find out more about the University’s novel approaches to recycling and composting.

“There are lots of people getting into composting at lots of different levels,” he said. “I’m always willing to talk and learn about how people can get into composting on a large or small scale.”

The popular celebrity gardener congratulated USC on its moves to establish a community garden on campus.

“The university is very much a community, so it should have a community garden. It’s a great place for students to learn about growing food so that they can not only be part of it in the learning environment, but they can also take it back to their gardens, unit balconies or courtyards and enjoy eating healthy, seasonal foods.”

Mr Georgiadis said it was fitting that USC hosted this festival each year.

“Universities are great places to inspire people to re-think things and a day like World Environment Day puts the focus on the environment around us and can help change what we might take for granted in the day-to-day rumble of life,” he said.

“The other good thing is it’s nice to have a day that we can recognise the organisations and the individuals who are putting a lot of time and energy into ways to protect, support and nurture the environment.”

The University will provide displays of its environmental research throughout the festival, while 14 of its researchers will briefly outline their work at a special forum called “USC’s Bright Ideas for Sustainability” from 10-11am.

Topics will range from planning environmental suburbs, converting woody wastes in backyards to bioenergy, USC’s Sun Bear project in Borneo and eco-school programs, with the 2-3 minute presentations designed to spark further discussion and questions.

— Terry Walsh

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