Category Archives: Uncategorized

January School Holiday Program

This January, the school holiday program will be hosted at the Evanston Gardens Library. Activities include the popular Summer Reading Club Packs with prizes to be won by simply reading; special Storytime and Craft-it! sessions (for Superheroes only) and traditional board games for all the family to share.
See details below:


Tech Savvy: Tech Recycling

As we head toward the end of National Recycling Week in Australia and we’re talking all things paper and plastic, what about that old digital camera in the cupboard or obsolete television sitting in your garage? That stuff is e-waste and we’ve got some great ideas for how you can safely dispose of yours!
National Recycling Week was started by Planet Ark in 1996 to get Aussies all over the country to focus on how they could do their bit at home to diminish waste. Twenty-one years on and the campaign has gained momentum and they’ve added other initiatives, like Cartridges 4 Planet Ark where you can drop your old printer cartridges into participating outlets.
 So what can you do, where can you go and what exactly can you recycle?  There are three options – sell, donate and recycle.
Depending on the condition of your tech, you could get an ad on a site like eBay or Gumtree and get some of your cash back.  Another option is to donate the item.  If you have some tech that you no longer use but is still in great shape, check around with organisations or family and friends to see if they’d like it.  Local primary or high schools might appreciate your old tech for their students as it’s hard to afford for many schools.
The HYPA (Helping Young People Achieve) group would love your old mobile phones for their at risk youth to have a contact option when suitable emergency accommodation becomes available.  You can find out more about this great initiative from this link:
The final option is to recycle.  There are many ways to do this and sometimes companies will even give you a cash back for your efforts like Apple who have a program called Renew.  Check out the details at the link  This website also contains instructions about how to delete your data from the device before submitting for recycling.
batteriesThere are a range of options for the many tech items we discard.
The Gawler Library is a drop off point for old mobile phones and batteries. So every time you come in for your books, DVDs or magazines you can off-load your old mobile phones and expired batteries and we will forward it onto the recyclers for you.
The major Australian technology companies have come together to fund a recycling organisation called TechCollect.  This is something the Australian Government  requires  of tech companies who import electrical goods into Australia.  It’s a free national recycling service, approved under the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS) for computers, computer accessories and TVs (e-waste).  Their website,, contains great links, information about their activities and locations to drop off your old tech.  Worth having a look to see what you can recycle at your place.
The Australian Federal Government introduced the NTCRS in 2011 to assist Aussies with offloading their old televisions and computers in an environmentally safe way.  If you have any questions they have put out a factsheet to answer those frequently asked:
Other companies participating in a tech recycling scheme include:

Harvey Norman is a drop off point for the e-Cycle Solutions Scheme, which is also free to consumers.  You can recycle TVs, computers and computer peripherals (mice, keyboards etc) at your nearest Harvey Norman Centre.

IKEA have located in the entrance of their stores, a drop off where you can leave old light bulbs (regular and low energy), batteries, drink containers, cardboard and paper packing materials.

Camera Recycle Australia have partnered with specialist camera stores around Australia to offer a way to get rid of that old camera.  Since the rapid takeover of the digital image there are so many older film cameras sitting around that contain hazardous substances that need to be disposed of correctly before the rest can be recycled into new stuff.  This is also a free service to consumers, so if you’ve got an old camera, check out the link to find your nearest drop off point.

So whether you’re about to upgrade your phone, looking to buy a new TV or just having a clear out, check out the links above and get your old tech to a drop off point.  It’ll make a huge difference to our landfills and you’ll feel better with your new tech knowing your old gear is now being recycled, instead of adding to the problem!
Post Contributor: Melinda Kennedy

National Recycling Week: 7 – 13 November

Monday 7 – Sunday 13 November is National Recycling Week (NRW). Planet Ark founded NRW in 1996 to bring a national focus to the environmental benefits of recycling. We are promoting National Recycling Week in the Library through our Blog  What’s your Dewey (  if you missed it last week) and this week our Tech Savvy post will feature e-waste. We will also feature recycling in our Displays and our Craft-it! and Storytime sessions Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning respectively.

nrw-web-headerWhat are you doing for National Recycling Week?  To get some ideas from the official National Recycling Week website, click here:

Here are some of the recycling initiatives we do here in Gawler?

growingplayingleaningIn the Library:

  • Collection point for old mobile phones and used batteries.
  • Power Mates to check power usage in your home are available for loan.
  •  Newspapers and Magazines for loan – better than buying!
  • Children’s craft activities using recycled material.
  • Information and Resources to give you recycling ideas.

Town of Gawler:

  • Green kitchen waste bins  available from our offices – a Town of Gawler/ NAWMA initiative.
  • Town of Gawler staff cycle between sites during the summer season as part of the Bikes People Places Project.
  • Purchase and use of electric/hybrid vehicles in the staff fleet.
  • All Town of Gawler sites undertake weekly recycling.
  • As part of the Gawler Going Green Project the Town of Gawler has provided access to the Community Energy Efficiency Program YouTube video which you can view here:

In the Gawler Community:

  • The Gawler Regional Natural Resource Centre has many resources and information to support sustainability, culminating in the Sustainability Festival each year.
  • Gawler has many organisations that accept and on-sell pre-loved items. They include the Gawler Community House, Salvation Army Stores, the Uniting Church Shopfront, Vinnies, RSPCA and LifeLine.
  • Regular Swap Meets are held in the community (the largest, the Gawler Auto Swap Meet, is usually held in September of each year).
  • Australia Post Gawler and Gawler Country Office National accept used printer cartridges.
  • Two of Gawler’s big supermarkets Coles and Woolworths now provide REDcycle bins for depositing all plastics that can be ‘scrunched up into a ball’. This plastic, which was not previously recycled, is now made into outdoor furniture. Find out more from this link:

There are many ways you can participate, not just during National Recycling Week but also throughout the year. If you want to locate recycling opportunities near you, follow this link:

Happy Recycling!

What’s Your Dewey: 745.5 Recycling – Not Waste But Upcycling

You might expect to find Recycling under 363.7 (Environmental issues) and you will.  Strictly speaking, Recycling as a technology will be found in 628.4. While there are interesting titles in both those Deweys, what really fascinates me are the wonderful ideas that turn ‘junk’ into treasure, usually employing low-tech solutions. A term for this coined in the 1990’s is Upcycling. In a 2010 article in Upcycling is defined as:

A process that can be repeated in perpetuity of returning materials back to a pliable, usable form without degradation to their latent value—moving resources back up the supply chain.

My understanding is a little simpler – I call it ‘making useful and/or attractive things from things at hand’. The best place to find titles on this topic are the 745.5s. Below I have selected just a few to share but there are many, if you care to look.

craftsmartThe Craft Smart series of books is aimed at children and provides step-by-step instruction for 12 crafts in each title. Recycling by Danielle Lowy uses junk mail, bottles, socks, buttons and old ties to make toys, noticeboards, pincushions and jewellery. The instructions are well illustrated, clear and easy to follow – and not all completely ‘for children’.

greencraftGreen Crafts for Children by Emma Hardy is aimed at older children and young teens and gives step-by-step instructions for 35 projects using natural, recycled and found materials. The book is divided into 5 sections with the Recycling section providing 8 projects. My favourite is the felted bag made from an old, well-loved jumper.


Found and made: The art of upcycling by Lisa Hölzl is for teens and aims to arm them with a set of upcycling skills and resources for the future. In its Introduction it says ‘This book is about using your unwanted everyday household trash to make works of art.’ It also makes the point that ‘turning trash into treasured art is more than just recycling because it keeps rubbish out of the waste stream… finding a new purpose for your waste products before you throw them away.’ The book is very useful in encouraging readers to look at all materials in a new way and has some great suggestions worth pursuing.


Upcycling : 20 creative projects made from reclaimed materials by Max McMurdo photography by Simon Brown is a recent publication that is arguably an adult orientated, designer look at upcycling. At the onset, McMurdo points out that upcycling can also be re-purposing, reuse, reclaimed, salvaged, remade, preloved or reinvented. The book makes a good argument for not buying new, apart from the environmental benefits and possibly (though not necessarily) the cost-benefits, McMurdo makes a case for pushing design elements to review the way we create our living environments. Contents include Furniture, Storage & Display, Lighting and Accessories and a useful section on Tools & Techniques. Step-by-step instructions are accompanied by photographs and commentary.

index-aspxReclaim that : upcycling your home with style by Sarah Heeringa takes the view that we can and possibly should surround ourselves with things that have meaning and therefore re-use, re-purpose and redesign the things we love  for long term use. The book has many interesting ideas but anyone seriously wanting to pursue Sarah’s  views on interior design can also access them at her Facebook page

There are so many ideas and thinking outside the box is guaranteed to bring more. Next week is National Recycling Week so in the spirit of ‘waste not want not’ it may be a perfect time to Upcycle some things. I may even revisit the 363.7s and the 628.4s to see what else I can use.

Nola Cavallaro

Blossom Possum Out & About: Home By Land and Tree

I set out for home on a sunny morning and headed for the hills. No fancy planes, boats or cars this time, just me and my super getting-about-powers of feet, tail and senses. Okay, okay –  I do have to admit to just a little vehicular help, just to get on my way.
blossom-heading-homeHere I am getting close to my drop-off point in a valley not far from home. I can already see there have been lots of changes since I left in February – for one thing, things are much greener than before. Did I miss some rain?

img_1357Once on the ground, I had to get my bearings – up a tree. Where else? I am after all arboreal! It took a while to climb this Euc. – I think I’m out of practice but that’s okay, I can see I’ll get plenty soon. The woodlands are just across this field. The sun is getting high now so the field crossing can wait. Some leaves and a snooze in the canopy is next on the agenda.

I set out again at dusk and along the way I met a few of the locals who tried to fill me in on what I missed.
img_1378Apparently, there’s been quite a bit of rain and there’s lots of grass to eat (if you like grass). Personally, I prefer fruit and flowers with a few nuts and seeds thrown in for good measure. The leaves I ate this morning just didn’t hit the spot so I set out to find some Blossom food.








Here I am having a snack in an Allocasuarina verticllata.  I thinks its also called a Drooping Sheoak – maybe because you have to sometimes droop from your tail to reach the juiciest or nuttiest bits. This little group of trees were great for foraging.

I kept moving and foraging over the next few nights until I knew I was getting really close to home. I found the family lookout to our valley early one morning.
blossom-possum-view-creekHere I am looking around – there was always a bit of water about but I’m pretty sure you couldn’t hear it from here before.
blossom-possum-view-creek-second-dam3Looks okay but a bit wetter. I’ll just have to go down and see. Hope they’re all happy to see me home again!

blossom-possum-string-of-ponds1Mmm… this was barely a trickle when I left… but a bit of water doesn’t scare me! Looks like I’m gonna get wet feet.
blossom-possum-second-dam4Well, maybe a bit more than wet feet!  Lucky I’m a good swimmer…

blossom-possum-string-of-ponds3…and my leaping is simply phenomenal (even if I do say so myself).

Well I finally made it home – was there ever any doubt?
blossom-possum-second-dam1Here I am in our home valley looking at the small string of ponds that has now become something quite impressive. I never knew we had so much water here? Lots of rain clearly. Someone will just have to fill me in…possum-on-a-limb…but where is everybody? I’ve been looking everywhere and here I am, in my birth-tree waiting. Its getting a bit too bright to stay out. Perhaps if I call…

possum-and-fatherHere’s Mummy-poss coming to meet me. She’d been waiting all this time to see if I’d show enough poss-sense to get in out of the sun. Apparently not.

Mummy-poss and all the family really were glad to see me and that evening we all celebrated with a feast of our native peach, Quondong (Santalum acuminatum for the botanists out there)…
blossom-possom-possum-quandong2…and a wildflower salad of orchids and lilies and blue-squill and hypoxis and scaevola.blossom-possum-wildflowers3It’s an excellent time to be having a coming-home feast! Best of all, everyone wants to hear all my travel stories from my trip to the Gawler Library on the Adelaide Plains and from there, over the seas and across continents with Xanthe and her family.

img_1359_2Here I am at the entrance of our family Drey (or nest as you might call it). We talked and shared stories through the night. I expect I’ll be heading out soon for the next installment of my Gawler Public Library adventure, looking for books to read and stories to tell- and you know how I love a story or two.

#nature #wildlife #adelaidehills