Like many Australians, I wanted to do more to reduce my impact on the planet and save resources, but didn’t have a clue about how or where to begin. Inspired by the work of sustainability expert Michael Mobbs, I decided to work with him to take my innercity Sydney terrace house off-grid.
It’s been a tough few years in Australia watching politicians fail to get serious about reducing our emissions and protecting our precious land and water, whilst supporting organisations who have zero interest in the quality of life for our kids and grandkids.
I’ve felt infuriated and helpless in the face of their inaction. As a science publisher, I’ve been appalled at the way that our scientists have been sidelined and how funding for science has been cut. When in fact science is breeding ground for innovation, new industries and creating a healthier planet.
I have accepted that voting isn’t enough. I have also published a lot around science and the environment and that is not enough. I need to stop waiting for politicians to lead, so I decided to challenge myself to do everything I could to reduce my waste, stop my reliance on government and corporate services that I could get myself (like water and electricity) and reduce the impact I was having on the environment.
A fortuitous meeting with sustainability pioneer Michael Mobbs made me realise that there is much more I can do. I have started a blog to share the ups and downs of my renovation and my off-grid project. If you aren’t renovating, this blog will still be relevant as much of what I am doing doesn’t require you doing a full-scale renovation.
Yes, I will have a new kitchen and bathroom. No, I won’t be bringing in dirty electricity or water. Instead I will be using rainwater and energy from the sun. But when it is all finished, if you were to come around for dinner you wouldn’t realise that my home is disconnected.
About the author
Kylie Ahern is a Sydney-based publisher and entrepreneur who co-founded the award-winning science magazine COSMOS and the environmental magazine,Green Lifestyle. Follow her off-grid adventures at Kylie Off Grid