Day 12: CERES and More Melbourne
This morning we went to a place called the Center for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES). It was a really interesting place filled with wind turbines, solar panels, community gardens, a farmers market, and a bunch of educational buildings. The idea of the center is to education people on what they can do to help the environment and to make people more aware of their environmental impact.
The most interesting things that I saw was the environmental friendly house they built that had a bunch of information inside of it on how to reduce energy consumption and build in a smarter manner. The house was actually a house that was already built somewhere else and was going to be destroyed but they decided to purchase the house and move it on site. This saved both costs and is a 100% recycling of materials. The farmers market was also really interesting because the center prided themselves on selling local foods and therefore saving transportation costs and the detrimental effects that transporting foods create.
For lunch we had sushi, which is one of the few things that is cheaper here! They also have really interesting rolls here, for example for $2.50 you can get a single long roll (almost like a burrito) that is probably equivalent to 6 small rolls. With that said, I’m excited to save money by eating tons of sushi and fish!
Day 13: Wind Farm and Melbourne-ing
Today we went to the Hepburn Wind Farm, which is a community funded set of two windmills that power around 2,200 homes. The farm itself was a little unexciting because we were all waiting to see a huge array of wind turbines and found only two, but the concept of the farm was really awesome. With around 3,000 people donating an average of $5,000 the farm was created with a few government incentives and the investors all receiving cheaper sustainable energy and a return on their investment. With that said, the new government here is taking a huge fight against renewables, which was really interesting to learn about (and supports why I have heard so many negative comments about the new PM), but also really sad to hear. I hope the government will avoid this devastating cut to renewables, but in the end this farm is really cool and a great tactic that could really help in the energy crisis around the world.
Driving to this farm was also really cool because we drove through the rural farmland, which really reminded me of England (which makes sense seeing that this was an English colony. I also had my first meat pie today, which was super tasty and almost the only food I have had that is kind of native Australian. I am trying to get more Australian food, but sort of like America, the food here is very much determined by its immigrants. Therefore, there is tons of great Asian food and European food!
Today was a great finish to Melbourne, but farewell for now for tomorrow we are off to Sydney!
Day 14: The Start of Sydney
After a short one-hour flight to Sydney, we settled in to our new dorms at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). The dorms here a super nice and it is interesting hearing that college here is very different, with most students living at home and the dorms mainly being for international students. After registering to get a student ID and Internet access (finally!), we went and played soccer, and got some really great Thai food! As I mentioned before, the Asian food here is really good and really abundant. Tonight was kind of a lazy night, with all of us catching up on sleep, but tomorrow the next two weeks of adventures in Sydney begins.