Cathy and Mike’s passion for a sustainable, positive, and carbon neutral future informs how and what they do at home and at work.  And they love our biodiverse and beautiful Perth Hills environment.

In their Gooseberry Hill business, the Sea Turtle Swim School, they teach water safety and a love for water to babies, children and adults.

The business is carbon neutral. To achieve this, they use a free online platform called ClimateClever to work out how much carbon is created.  They also use Climate Clever to create a plan for what to do to reduce (mitigate) carbon emissions (e.g. solar pool water heating, solar energy panels).  After this, they offset the remainder of their carbon pollution (which after mitigation, usually comes to about 30 tonnes) to achieve carbon neutrality. Mike is also having a discussions with some local people about a local carbon offset scheme… watch this space☺

Also,  Mike and Cathy have adopted WaterWise strategies,  such as a pool cover- which is put on even in between classes, a roof over the pool area, encouragement so people take short showers at a pre-set temperature , and, blinds to reduce direct sunlight exposure.  Their business also has an anaerobic black and grey water treatment unit, and the processed water is used in the garden. 

Parents are encouraged to reduce waste and fossil fuel pollution.  For example, Cathy and Mike ask parents to make sure all babies in classes use reusable nappies (it is actually one of Cathy’s terms and conditions of enrolment). Sarah Ward, the owner of EarthBabes, gives a discount for nappies purchased for Sea Turtle babies and toddlers.  Cathy and Mike also have a one car policy, where parents and grandparents can only park in one bay per family.  

Mike has a background in sustainability policy and practice.  He once worked for the UK government’s Sustainable Development Unit.  He also led the delivery of what were the ‘greenest ever’ Olympics. He currently teaches at Guildford Grammar School and has just completed a PhD on “Low carbon transition through innovation at the university-industry-government nexus”.  Essentially his thesis looks at how to use partnerships to drive a low (zero) carbon future.

Cathy said ‘I’m passionate about what we are doing to contribute to a sustainable world.  It’s the right thing to do.  I don’t want to muck up my children’s future, and who would? – it’s a no brainer!  We’re making a small difference.  Sometimes it all seems so overwhelming. But it’s what we can do.  If we all do something, the difference will be big!’

Mike and Cathy – thank you! What an inspirational small business, and hills community, couple you are!