by kaiconfusion

About aspects of sustainable living in Perth – about permaculture projects, urbane permaculture, dumpster diving, community projects, low impact life, organic gardening, urbane culture and how we have explored it all as travellers…

I am writing this now that I have time. A lot of time. I am in kind of political social economic – you name it – refugee kind of state. I had to rush to leave Australia because my permission to be a legal alien within the boundaries of the continent had expired. I have overstayed my visa illegally – of course – and now I am at the mercy of the civil servants of the department of immigration to grand me re-entry. My refuge island is Bali in Indonesia – I know it could be much worse.
Our car is parked at Darwin airport since November 10th and the parking meter is ticking at a rate of 12$ a day!
It has been 16 days now since I have left the Commonwealth and still no visa. I wait and with the gift of time I can now after one year without writing a single word try the retrospective and tell our story of one year in Australia…

Life with nature - kai confusion
After nearly one year in South East Asia that led us deeper into the world of sustainability, spirituality, health, ecology,
community living, permaculture and so many interesting ideas more, that only enriched our awareness and meaning in
life, we only had a deepened urge for a simple life with as little impact as possible on the biosphere as we live and travel in Australia.

Our first 4 weeks we spend in Perth Western Australia’s capital city, the most remote capital on the planet. We found a COUCHSURFING host (Couchsurfing is an international community of people offering and sharing their homes for travellers without monetary interest) who led us stay with him the whole time that we spend in Perth. John had many other people staying at his house travellers just like us. Some stayed in the house others in his garden. John is an old bloke with a lot of history, now in his sixties he devotes his love and energy in his garden project SUN as an example for a sustainable use of urban spaces, for food production, beauty and comfort and in the same time improving the environment and inspiring others to do so too. We were happy to have had such a great start into being in Australia!


urban garden shelterurban free camping - simple living urban free camping shelter simple living

I knocked up this little shanty shelter that kept us dry warm in chilly November nights in Perth.

To feed ourselves we quickly started to explore the local and outer Perth supermarkets rear entrances in search for their dumpsters. Dumpster diving or skip dipping or whatever you want to call it has gained popularity as more and more people learn how much food goes to waste everyday. The global impact of food production is enormous. Agriculture and animal production are likely the greatest cause of destruction and pollution of them all. Through dumpster diving,  as an alternative especially in urban places not a permanent solution, people can minimize their impact by using things that have been dumped. Thereby the production of new things theoretically should decrease among many other positive outcomes such as less waste for landfills etc.. The same applies for second-hand closing, gift shops, flea markets etc. … reduce, reuse, recycle, repair …


dumpster diving australia dumpster diving australia dumpster diving australia dumpster diving australia dumpster diving australia dumpster diving australia

What you see here is mostly from one tiny supermarket that we went to every single day!
What do you think? Worth a try? Try it! Get inspired by browsing the web for other websites and documentaries
on dumpster diving…

The SUN project SUstainable Urban Nutrition – Johns house and garden(our Couchsurfing host)

John hosts Couchsurfers and others at his home and involves people interested, in his project which comprises worm farming, growing fruit trees and a variety of vegetables. He collects lawn clippings from the local bowling club to use as mulch for his garden and generally tries to approach a zero waste principle by recycling and reusing.
SUN is a project focused on the “intensive local conversion of green ‘waste’ into food”
2012-11-06 11.10.49 2012-11-06 11.14.43 2012-11-06 11.15.13 2012-11-06 11.15.42 2012-11-06 11.16.44 2012-11-06 13.30.24 2012-11-06 13.31.15
A raised garden bed with potatoes. At harvest no strenuous digging is required since the loosely laid brick walls can easily be taken apart and later reassembled. Garlic and potatoes harvest is drying in the sun so they can be kept for a long time.


 Perth Urban Permaculture Community Organic Garden FERN - Perth Urban Permaculture Community Organic Garden 2012-11-12 18.03.00   2012-11-19 18.23.01 2012-11-15 18.33.50 2012-11-12 17.55.192012-11-19 18.24.562012-11-12 16.49.07 2012-11-19 18.25.01 2012-11-19 18.26.00 FERN - Perth Urban Permaculture Community Organic Garden

The FERN project is a community of volunteers that have created a beautiful place to be.
It encompasses vegetable gardens, many fruit trees, native flora and fauna reintroduced to the urbane space, a pond, dugs and chickens, an efficient grey water system, a bike repair workshop, soup kitchen on Mondays, bonfires, live music and endlessly more …  Simply a place with a wonderful creative uplifting inspiring positive community spirit!
We are so grateful to have found this place and to have met the people! What a great example…



Perth is like most cities in Australia: rich, modern, full of spectacular scenery, the sea, beaches, seemingly endless opportunities and the most extraordinary public facilities such as public toilets and even showers at every corner. The central business district has a free public transportation system, free wi-fi, all cultural institutions such as museums and galleries and botanical gardens are always free. Along the Swan river the city has built an extended pedestrian and cycle path stretching easily 20 km with endless parks and conservation areas along side it.
People engaging themselves in an endless variety of recreational activities such as surfing, cycling, sailing,  jet skiing, wake boarding you name it.
It is the hedonist dream come true. There seem to be no problems in Perth.
It is living the good life.
Perth is a magnificent city far advanced in many respects, of course there too is still much to improve. The outskirts are unlike European cities designed for cars just like cities in the USA. Suburbia is inefficient and unattractive but with clever design such as permaculture design it hopefully can be transformed into something sustainably functioning and aesthetically pleasing.


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Perth city has created this amazing green place in the heart of the city. Exiting Perth central station to its north side one walks through the cultural centre of Perth and Western Australia (WA) encompassing the WA library, WA art gallery, WA history museum, the Perth institute of contemporary art (PICA) and the urban orchard amongst many more things. It is a vibrant place with always plenty to see and experience and even the busiest commuter get there daily doses culture injected by walking through the place. Truly ingenious design of the city planners and developers.
VISIT !!! –

2012-11-07 17.30.11 2012-11-07 18.51.54

Always we have travel by scooter or bus and train…. View across the Swan river to Perth’s CBD…


Perth City Farm Urban Permaculture Sustainable Organic Gardening Perth City Farm Urban Permaculture Sustainable Organic Gardening Perth City Farm Urban Permaculture Sustainable Organic Gardening Perth City Farm Organic Farming Perth City Farm Organic Farming Perth City Farm Organic Farming IMG_9349IMG_9342 IMG_9343 IMG_9346 IMG_9347 IMG_9361 IMG_9351

Perth city farm is in the heart of the city, a 10 minute walk away from all the skyscrapers. It is most successful in attracting large amounts of visitors from children to elders. It is a great example for urban permaculture and organic food production on small urban spaces. Again a place that shows what is possible when people with a vision work together!


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 Perth City Nightviews Skycrapers Kings Park Perth City Nightviews Skycrapers Kings Park  Perth City Nightviews Skycrapers  Perth City Nightviews Skycrapers Kings ParkIMG_9254The crew Kathie and Hildegard

… Next story will be about our life as farm workers at a farm in tiny Donnybrook …



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