Western Sydney Community to come together for Inaugural Greening Day

Community groups in Western Sydney are set to come together with local sports stars Keira Austin and Remi Siemson this Friday 2 November for Western Sydney University’s inaugural ‘Greening Day. The university has arranged the event to encourage Aussies to plant more in urban areas, as research reveals the average Sydney resident would need to plant 1 tree a week to offset an the average weekly carbon emissions of an ordinary Australian citizen.

Local children, businesses and families will join students from Western Sydney University to build a stunning Green Wall at the Parramatta South Campus. The 10-meter wide structure will hold up to 320 plants that will be potted in recycled plastic bottles and individually placed by members of the community.

Western Sydney University’s first ever Greening Day has been organised as part of #EarthIQ, a campaign arising out of the university’s research into sustainability, that brings together young Australians who want to be proactive in their daily lives, harness people power, and combat global warming.

At the event, Western Sydney University social change academic, grass roots activist and presenter, Dr Holly Kaye-Smith, will be on hand to talk about the small everyday changes we can make to lessen our carbon footprint.

“We’re so excited to celebrate spring with our students, sponsors and members of the local community at our first ever Greening Day. We’re inviting everyone to head down to the event, pot your plant and contribute to making our world a little cooler and greener.

We want everyone to feel optimistic and enthusiastic about tackling environmental issues and make creative changes to the way we eat, travel, keep cool and buy and use things."

Western Sydney University is encouraging all Aussies to plant more greenery and feature more plants at home, and have shared the top five reasons why they make a fantastic contribution to our lives.

  1. Plants cool our homes and cities – provide shade, reduce heat buildup and help keep us cool, this reduces aircon & carbon emissions.
  2. Flowering plants provide food for pollinating insects – keeping our ecosystems ticking along
  3. Live plants clean the air you breathe – even just one plant in your home makes a difference
  4. Looking after plants increases our mindfulness and wellbeing – improving our mental health

Western Sydney University researchers from the ‘Which Plant Where’ initiative will also be at the event to advise attendees on how to choose plants that will best suit their environment and lifestyles. The five-year Urban Green Space research programs at Western Sydney University is looking at how well current landscaping species will cope under increasingly unpredictable climates, and at new species and varieties for the urban context.

Dr Renée Marchin commented that selecting the right plants can lead to greener, cooler and move liveable cities for everyone.

“Our Which Plant Where project will help ensure the right plants are being selected for the right urban spaces with an eye on the future. A key challenge for Australia’s urban environments is to ensure that future plantings are made with trees, shrubs and turf that can tolerate and positively contribute to our changing climate. We hope that by advising people on the best plants and shrubs to use we can encourage a more sustainable, greener Australia.”

The Greening Day will take place at Western Sydney University’s Parramatta South campus from 10am to 4pm Friday 2nd November. The activity is open to the general public and the community is encouraged to join in. Registrations are free and can be made through Event Brite.

About Western Sydney University and Earth IQ:

At Western Sydney University there are more than 70 researchers and academics looking at our changing climate and ways to mitigate the challenges, through over 400 different research projects and initiatives. Students have opportunities to study sustainability-related subjects in any discipline, including science, social sciences, education, law, business and agriculture.

The university is one of only 10 universities in the region committed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 and one of only four universities appointed by the UN as a Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development.

Taking a positive step in engaging and empowering millennials and their communities with the issues of a changing climate, Western Sydney University has launched a new awareness campaign Earth IQ. Through multimedia storytelling, expert commentary and activations, Earth IQ is a way of inspiring a generation to embrace more mindful and sustainable living - one carbon footprint at a time.

Find out more at www.facebook.com/EarthIQ/ or follow the conversation using #EarthIQ


31 October 2018

Isabel Wagner, Senior Media Officer

Which Plant Where is funded by the Hort Frontiers Green Cities Fund, part of the Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative developed by Hort Innovation, with co-investment from Macquarie University, Western Sydney University and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and contributions from the Australian Government.