AMIDST climate change chatter and terrifying weather, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the state of our warming environment, but connecting the human body and natures ability to heal, Bhavani Rooks sees hope.
‘Letting nature do its thing,’ is the philosophy of natural healer and Totally Renewable Phillip Island (TRPI) coordinator Bhavani.
Whilst at a carbon conference on soil health, Bhavani made the connection between caring for the body and the environment.
“It was after looking through a microscope at dirt and stomach bacteria that I realised they’re almost the same.
Science sparked Bhavani’s environmental passion and following her husband’s role in Landcare, she found herself at the newly formed TRPI group.
“I filled in one night at a TRPI meeting as a Landcare rep for my husband and somehow I ended up becoming a facilitator with TRPI,” Bhavani said.
After the steep learning curve and some overwhelming findings whilst studying climate change, Bhavani found hope relating back to the human body.
“The one thing that gives me hope is that I’ve worked with bodies in horrible states that have become healthy again,” she said.
With the right care and support, Bhavani has seen impressive results.
“TRPI is an amazing group; we’ve come together with various expertise and have managed to get a lot done,” Bhavani said.
Earlier this year Bhavani started to put her learned knowledge from TRPI into practice at her family’s five-acre Ventnor home.
“TRPI is on track for the island to become carbon neutral by 2030 and at home we’re hoping to do the same, much sooner,” Bhavani said.
“With tanks, solar and carbon sequestering we’re hoping to be carbon neutral in the next few years,” she said.
Bhavani has installed two massive 50,000 litre tanks, with solar hot water and soon to have solar and wind energy. She has also made some challenging changes to her own lifestyle.
“We make consumer choices, buying without plastic, buying with low transport km. Also choosing not to fly without good reason.”
Around her property, Bhavani has also made some regenerative changes that are slower than typical farming.
“Between six different farms on the Island, we’re trialling different techniques to regenerate our land.”
Bhavani’s technique is the simplest of the group.
“Basically, we’ve seeded a crop of varied grasses into the cut grass and are waiting for them to sprout.”
With sprout spreading in early December, Bhavani sees all of the green life adding to sequestered carbon.
“I have a new appreciation for weeds, as they too sequester carbon into the soil,” she said.
“Simply put, the deeper the roots, the more carbon is being removed from the environment,” Bhavani said.
With such a large ‘Carbon Legacy’ in our environment, reducing this is the combined goals on the farm and for TRPI.
“The problem is that each day we’re producing a lot more carbon dioxide than we remove,” she said.
“Most people don’t appreciate this problem, too much CO2 in the atmosphere is covering the earth like a polar fleece blanket.
“It’s a start to have zero emissions, but we need to reverse several generations of carbon release for the planet to be restored,” Bhavani said.