Gardening guru Roman Spur shares practical and inexpensive ideas for sustainability but also inspires, educates and empowers people to do something different
When Roman Spur arrived in Australia eight years ago, he couldn’t believe how beautiful this country is.
He couldn’t believe how favourable the weather was, allowing food to grow all year around.
But there was a flipside. He also couldn’t believe how wasteful the society here is.
So Roman and his family, Yana, Lada and Zlata, have worked hard to create a lifestyle that is sustainable.
They call their one-acre patch “Fernvale Spurtopia Homestead”.
They recently opened their home for Sustainable House day and over 200 people came to learn about how Roman’s family had transformed an ordinary house and land into a property that has flourishing gardens, and a house that has a low impact on the environment.
Roman wants to share with some of his ideas, inventions, knowledge and experience with the community.
“I want to inspire you to live more sustainably,” he said.
“Empower you to make a difference. Encourage you to think outside of the box.”
Here are Roman’s top 5 practical tips for you to start a more sustainable lifestyle
1. Grow Your Own Food
This does make a lot of sense. You don’t have to have a garden. You could just start by growing sprouts on your kitchen bench near a window. It could be in self watering Styrofoam boxes which you can place even on concrete. Do something. Don’t wait. People say “when I get older I will buy an acreage and grow my own food.” But when they get older they may not have enough energy or health, so do something now.
2. Five “R”s Mantra
Refuse – You don’t really need to buy a lot of stuff in terms of both food and gadgets. A healthy diet is less expensive than a conventional diet. Always refuse a plastic bag.
Reduce – We need to save water. People take it for granted but we don’t have enough water. We use the water from our washing machine to help water the garden.
Reuse – Try to reuse an item and avoid single use items. Like reusable nappies versus disposable, hankie instead of tissues.
Repair – We try to fix up everything before we throw it away. I found a food processor on the street. The only thing that was wrong with it was the lid was stuck. For them it didn’t work so they threw it away. But I undid the lid, and we have used it for the last 7 years.
Recycle – We don’t have a recycling bin. We still separate paper, metal, glass. The soft plastic we take to coles and woollies to recycle. Our waste would hardly be one shopping back per week. We are energy positive, water efficient and very close to waste free.
3. Think about what you are buying
As a consumer, we have great power to make a difference with the choices we make. Read the labels, what is in it?
Buy from local farmers to reduce packaging and food miles. It is fresher, tastier and better for you. This also strengthens your local community.
4. Do whatever excites you most
Live your dream. It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, do whatever makes you happy. We are creating a world we want to live in. If you are complaining I don’t like that – make your own world.
5. Make stuff at home
Produce things yourself. You only need to buy basic ingredients which are cheaper. We make our own meals, sauerkraut, kefir, yoghurt, kimchi, jams, sour doh bread, cakes, ginger beer, mead, smoothies and kombucha. It’s not processed, we know what goes in and its far, far better for you.