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EPISODE 14 - Zena Cumpston says NURTURE NATURE + GIFT NATIVE PLANTS (sdg 13)

Zena Cumpston

Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung Country (Melb Uni Parkville Campus Emu Sky exhibition)

'Biodiversity' is the variety of creatures – from the biggest (like whales), to the smallest (like bacteria in soil) + their essential, inter-connected role, making life on earth possible.

A healthy biodiversity is essential for our mental and physical health. Doctors even prescribe “time in nature” for conditions like high blood pressure, anxiety and depression.

A healthy biodiversity provides clean air + water, healthy plants + soil required to grow the food we eat.

It also regulates the climate. A healthy biodiversity (like varied birdsong) can increase life satisfaction as much as an income increase! *

Messing with biodiversity messes with all life on earth.

Every little bit is important.

Native plants are the life support system for the biodiversity that supports our life on earth.

So how do we nurture biodiversity?
1: Notice nature everyday
Notice nature nearby. Like the purple bush outside your window…that’s home to the bees, that pollinate the flowers, that produce the seeds, to plant the tree, to feed the people...

Once we notice it, we’re more likely to nurture it.

2: Give a Native Plant.
Avoid the plastic, wrapping + waste of other gifts.

For birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, Mother’s Day, Father's Day, give something that heals rather than harms!

Google “native nursery near me” + ask for local natives, indigenous to your area.

Natives save time, money + resources.(they need little maintenance, pesticides, or water.)

3: Go wild! Build up biodiversity in our homes, backyards and balconies:

- Provide nest boxes or water bowls for thirsty birds;

- Host an ‘air bee n bee’ for bees to shelter in;

- Plant local native grasses or flowering shrubs, providing a sanctuary for ‘the little things’;

- Keep cats inside making tiktok videos, instead of outside terrorizing local wildlife;

- Leave old stumps, trees and logs (providing wildlife a place to nest, rest, eat and grow);

- Share your biodiversity wins on the socials. What wildlife has paid you a visit?

Google “Gardens for Wildlife” in your local council area for more tips.

 Find out more about Zena’s exhibition Emu Sky, which was at Melb Uni Old Quad 2022




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*"A high biodiversity in our vicinity is as important for life satisfaction as our income, scientists found. All across Europe, the individual enjoyment of life correlates with the number of surrounding bird species. An additional 10% of bird species therefore increases the Europeans' life satisfaction as much as a comparable increase in income. Nature conservation thus constitutes an investment in human well-being."

Joel Methorst, Katrin Rehdanz, Thomas Mueller, Bernd Hansjürgens, Aletta Bonn, Katrin Böhning-Gaese. (2020) The importance of species diversity for human well-being in Europe. Ecological Economics, 2020; 106917 DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2020.106917


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