Major Milestones – How Do You Handle Change?


What a difference a week makes.

Without tears or hesitation our Little One took her first swimming class without me in the water too – just her and the teacher.  To say the transition went swimmingly is not only a pun but an understatement.

Then two nights ago, our Little One announced loudy “potty” while tugging at her nappy.  Once I helped her remove her nappy, she then proceeded to do a number 1 and 2 in the potty.  My husband and I danced, clapped and cheered for the rest of the night.

To my surprise, she has continued to successfully use the potty every time without my prompting – I had no idea how often a child does number 1’s.

I sense this developmental mile stone, signals things will change very quickly on our home front.

The only constant in life, is change. The happiest people I know, understand this and embrace it (not fight or attempt to control it).

Do You Think Climate Change Influences Property Purchases?

Almost twenty years ago, I inspected a property for sale on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.  It was beautifully located right on the water – at sea level.

The real estate agent rang me afterwards to follow up.  “It’s a lovely home but I would be worried about climate change and rising sea levels”, was my response.  Today you may consider that a reasonable concern but twenty years ago, it probably was ‘out there’ and hence the agent unashamedly laughed at my feedback.

Not so long ago I had the opportunity to revisit that same property.  I stood and stared at the back yard which now has approximately five metres less garden than twenty years ago – it has simply eroded away.  I wonder if that real estate agent still laughs at climate change concerns from potential buyers?

This got me thinking to our home purchase almost two years ago.  Eventhough the house was located kilometers from the ocean, we still had a list of ‘must have’ features that were motivated by climate change and our desire to live more sustainably.

* Large north facing roof line for solar PV
* Ample north facing garden space for growing vegetables
* Area for below and above ground, rain water tanks
* A large undercover clothes drying area

Though not on the original list, having mature fruit and nut trees would also be on our list today.

I sense there are many other people today, who’s home must have feature list, has changed over the last twenty years.  Or am I still the strange ‘out there’ minority, that real estate agents laugh at?

I’m really interested to hear from real estate agents on this one – have you noticed any change to buyer’s needs due to climate change or the environment?


Our large undercover clothes drying area - enough space for four large washing loads.


A special thankyou, shout out to my Mum, who yesterday extended our undercover clothes drying area. Now the space dries even more clothes! Brilliant with all this rain we have had!

Divestment – The Movement Challenging & Impacting the Fossil Fuel Industry


I believe most people are concerned about rising power bills, the impact of coal seam gas and our current dependence on fossil fuels.

I also believe most people have a ‘head in sand’ strategy when dealing with these concerns – not because they don’t care but because they feel powerless to do anything about it.

If I have respectively described you, then the good news is that you are wrong about being powerless.  There is a rapidly growing movement that is having a powerful impact globally.

Individuals, families and businesses are moving their money away from supporting the fossil fuel industry. The movement is ‘divestment’.

Allow me to explain by sharing what my family and I have done to divest.

* I have moved my Sarhn McArthur Photography business bank accounts to Bendigo Bank.  Their policy is to not invest or support coal seam gas and the fossil fuel industry. 

* We have chosen a sustainable energy supplier company – moved our home energy away from the big providers.  We are now with Red Energy who own the Snowy Mountain scheme and hence all their energy is from sustainable sources (no fossil fuels). Red Energy where also cheaper than our previous big energy supplier.

* I have no superannuation being invested in the fossil fuel industry.

Australians to date, have divested 450 million dollars away from the fossil fuel industry. 

The latest global, big business company to have reportedly divest from fossil fuels is the Guardian Media Group – 
the second $1US billion business divestment commitment.

“What was a trickle is becoming a river and will, I suspect, become a flood.” Alan Rusbridger – Guardian’s Editor-in-Chief

If you wish to join the divestment movement – to add your money to the river of funds leaving the support of the fossil fuel industry:

* Consider moving your savings away from any bank and superannuation scheme that supports fossil fuels.

* Buy your home energy from a supplier not supporting the fossil fuel industry.

* Let companies know why you will no longer be a customer.

Check out @Sarhn’s Tweet:

I Refuse to do ‘My Part’ for the Environment

For days I have been reflecting on the post written at Sustainable Holdfastbay.

It was the first time I had heard of the CSIRO’s annual survey on Australian’s attitudes to climate change.

It didn’t surprise me that the survey revealed 4 out of 5 Australians believed in climate change and that it was likely caused my human activity.

However, the finding that did struck me as profound, was that ‘most people tend to overestimate the amount of actions they’re taking to respond to climate change’.

We have all heard and perhaps even said “I’m doing my bit for the environment” or “I’m better than most”.

It is this ‘better than average’ comparison to others, regarding the environment that fascinates me.  For the record, this post has not been written from a position of guilt or judgment – I’m just wanting to inspire conversation and reflection.  

If however my finger is pointed, I am fully aware that in doing so, three of my fingers are directed back towards myself. And that is my point – taking personal responsibility for the impact our choices and behaviour is having on the environment.

Being ‘better than your neighbour’ is nothing to be proud of, nor an excuse to hault personal improvement.

I don’t want to just do my part for the environment – settling on being mediocre. I don’t want to be good but great!  Great at owning my environmental responsibility and great at continually lessening my environmental impact and great at inspiring others to do the same.

May I find myself at the beginning of 2016, more environmentally aware than what I am currently.   After all, self comparison is the only true indication of improvement and greatness.

Interested in your thoughts and reflections on the subject?