My family is new to town – we arrived just this January.

A keen sustainability practitioner, I was ready to interview sustainability icons, write voraciously about benchmarks, GHG reduction efforts and brilliant social media campaigns.

But I forgot. It’s hot. And it’s lovely.

No surprise I lost the motivation to read through corporate brochures and was more interested in chasing squid than doing professional research and ground-truthing. So what was to be a dozen well-researching and glowing articles and interviews has become something significantly less. But isn’t that what sustainability is about? When the weather’s good, forget the policy, ditch the campaign – simply head to somewhere natural and beautiful and soak it all up.

So here’s my “summery” (rather than a summary).

What are the bricks, the disappointing first impressions? What are the bouquets, the things that have gladdened our hearts and buoyed our confidence that we have in fact, chosen a great green place to live?

Find it below in my “Top 10 Green Summery Adelaide”.

Over the coming months I promise to deliver (as I suspect it’ll get too cold for beach combing).


1) Locality – the topography and location of this slice of land that is Adelaide. So diverse, such great landforms, hills, gullies, beaches, rolling plains. So easy to locate yourself, so picturesque, something for everyone.

2) Sub-tropics ! There are coloured fish and coloured birds, banana plants and avocados bearing fruit. Oh my, what bliss to know we are living in such a lush micro-climate.

3) Obviously thanks go out to the ocean – to cool, rich, stabilizing water. Bringing incredible seafood to our shoes, steady mild seasons and great beaches to find ourselves when the cooped up inner-city suburbs get too much.

4) The heritage building stock was something we immediately were gladdened to see. From a sustainability perspective this is such a gift, and it is captured in this publication Sustainability and the Old Australian House. We have seen there is such an awareness about the great contribution old building stock makes to our communities.

5) Icons are everywhere. If I did decide to write about the iconic Adelaide institutions, where would one start, and how to stop? Haighs, the Zoo, the Central Markets, and so on. This place is as iconic as a Ken Done t-shirt.

6) Of course you have to mention the coffee and the local food (worth a bouquet each really). Well-supported hubs and hives of community activity and more posters of events on a single wall than my old home town had in a decade. It was here I saw the  – Lavazza sustainability report lying casually on a side table.

And heard about OzHarvest who pass on gourmet left-overs to local charities.

7) Cultural vibrancy. I think almost enough has been said about this, but do consider – that art, architecture and design contribute very strongly to our well-being.

8) Awareness and appreciation of natural resources, especially water vulnerability and biodiversity. It’s everywhere you look. Interpretive signs, swales and fenced off areas.

9) Local government sustainability. Yay ! You have sustainability officers, they’re everywhere ! And plans and measurement and……..

10) What really counts. Willingness. 

Will we bother with the bricks? Maybe next time.

I’ve got to go re-apply my sunscreen.