X is for sex
At the heart of treading lightly is the ability to control our population. Indigenous Australians developed complex and sophisticated ways of managing reproduction so that even in times of scarcity there is still enough food for everyone, including local animals. To add to this, in order to ensure that babies being born are healthy and genetically diverse, a kinship system for intimate partnership is strictly followed. The question is HOW do we incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing into dominate society so that we can live respectfully with country again, including population control? Ultimately the answer lies in incorporating Indigenous education into mainstream schools.
According to the author of ‘Drawdown’, Paul Hawken, educating Women and girls is the key to curbing population growth. While this is important, the education of men is also important. There is a growing number of young men choosing not to have children and having a vasectomy early in their life, or choosing to have a vasectomy at the completion of having a family. At a local level in Banyule I have seen a vasectomy offered as a prize in our local kinder raffle. It was a very popular prize! Normalising contraception that doesn’t involve flushing hormones down the toilet definitely has a role to play in respectful partnership with country.
Image description: Adult hands holding a sphere of the earth toy, handing it to outstretched child hands.
Y is for yams
One of the first descriptions written by Europeans setting foot on what is now called Melbourne, depicts yellow flowers as far as the eyes can see. These were the local staple food, Murnong (yams). These are a delicious and highly nutritious local food.
Are you growing Murnong in your garden?
Picture from: Victorian collections, Item number: 8890, Drawing – “Image, Native Women Getting Tambourn Roots, c1883”, Image from William Westgarth’s “Port Phillip Settlement” (1883), URL: https://victoriancollections.net.au/items/5b72556b21ea6b0f60519e44
Image description: A black and white drawing of 3 Wathaurong people digging Murnong with digging sticks.
Z is for Zero Waste
‘Zero’ is an unrealistic goal, however, significantly reducing our waste IS realistic. Aiming to create a circular waste system where items are made from raw materials that don’t cost the world is very realistic, especially if we hold politicians to account, requesting the introduction of policies that promote and legislate a circular waste system.
A massive shout out to Zero Waste Victoria for supporting this project to get off the ground. Zero Waste Victoria is a wonderful not for profit group that provides waste reduction education and workshops. They also run a very informative newsletter and supportive Facebook page that is wonderful for waste reduction trouble shooting.
Image description: A screenshot of the Zero Waste Victoria website home page.