Enabling change in our Society, Environment and Economy (SEE)

Margaret’s Story

Have you changed your life to live more sustainably, and if so, what has been the key motivator of that change?

It is good to have a community base that is on the same journey as myself. I have been on a changed curve for the past 8 years and will be changed forever to have a more sustainable life style.

SEE-Change has provided me with a community to communicate and be with like-minded individuals to learn and grow with.

What changes have you made?

I’ve lowered my energy usage over the years by retrofitting a 1968 brick veneer home with:

  • Insulation in ceiling and walls and installing bamboo hardwood flooring.
  • Secondary glazing windows with Magnetite and zoning off unheated rooms.
  • Heating the room of use only instead of using a ducted central system.
  • Solar PV array 1.4KW that gives me a full credit for two quarter of electricity per year. Draught sealing the front and back doors.
  • Replacing halogen down lights with LED 4watt globes and down light covers.
  • Growing my own vegetables e.g. lettuces, tomatoes, potatoes from seed.
  • Eating produce from my garden daily.
  • Lettuces growing with the pansies.
  • Composting any organic matter in outdoor compost.
  • Cutting back on garbage for land fill. Recycling and reusing.
  • Rain water tank watering with watering can for vegies.
  • Switching off standby power daily.

How do you feel about the change and how much further do you intend to go?

My work enables me teach householders about energy efficiency within their homes.

Like a small percentage of people I am concerned that we as Australians take one step forward, then one backwards i.e. what is happening in Gladstone where bordering on the Great Barrier Reef, dredging millions of tonnes of soil from the ocean that is affecting the sea creatures as well as the fishermen. They are becoming sick from the toxicity of the Galileo Coal Basin. It is great that a few small old coal generators have closed in SA and Vic but this is a giant set up for export.

It will kill off the Great Barrier Reef–our children will not get to see the real beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. How will we stop this operation from taking place? It is really sad.

At least GET-UP is on the ball and trying to make Australians aware.

What has the change given you that you did not expect?

Well it is good to have made friends with Anne and Barbara at the Downer office who always do great work in organising and keeping us informed without too much fuss.

To what extent has being involved with SEE Change contributed to this change?

The food movie Food Inc that I helped to organise with See Change Inner North group gave me a look into how much we depend on processed food and has made me very grateful for the Canberra Farmers Market on Saturdays where we have a great array of stall holders with delicious, fresh products.

The visit to the Hume recycling plant was an educational event, opening my eyes to the wonderful work the plant is doing churning out recycled products from our waste. Well done ACT

With thanks to our


  • ACT Government Environment and Planning
  • The Association of Independent Schools of the ACT (AISACT)
  • Catholic Education Office (Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn)
  • Education and Training Directorate
  • ACT Government