ALEC has a range of community resources developed over the years to enable people to live more sustainably in the desert, and take action.


These include: Recycling in Alice Springs

Active Citizenship Toolkit

The desertSMART Challenge

The desertSMART Roadmap

EFSCAN Excursion Guides

Media Resources

Past Project Resources

Composting in Alice Springs

Composting at home is easy to do and avoids transporting food scraps to landfill where they produce harmful greenhouse gases as they break down. By composting your food scraps instead of sending them to landfill, households can significantly reduce their Climate Change footprint. In fact, about 3% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions comes from organic matter rotting anaerobically (without air) in landfills. 

Compost can be used to provide essential nutrients for arid zone gardens.

Download the Alice Springs Vege Garden Companion for some great tips on composting for local gardens.

Join the Compost Revolution via the Alice Springs Town Council

ALEC Composting Short Films

Composting is easy - find out how locals in Alice Springs are doing their recycling of food waste in their own gardens.

This community service announcement was funded by the NT Environment Protection Authority and produced by the Arid Lands Environment Centre. These ads are showing on regional television in 2016. 

'If you're not composting....what are you doing?' Throwing your food scraps in the bin?

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Roadmap to a desertSMART Town

The Roadmap to a desertSMART Town is a blueprint for making Alice Springs a resilient and vibrant desertSMART town. The first 'Roadmap to a DesertSMART Town' was developed in 2005 through community consultation in Alice Springs. This document was evaluated in 2013, and an updated Roadmap was developed in consultation with more than 70 local experts in the areas of energy, water, food, waste, transport and planning (built environment)


Originally conceived in 2005 by the Arid Lands Environment Centre and the Centre for Sustainable Arid Towns, the Roadmap brought together business, government and community to develop a shared vision for a desertSMART Alice Springs. The Roadmap to a desertSMART Town 2015, and associated 70 actions to make Alice Springs a desertSMART Town were highly innovative and influential documents at the time, directly contributing to the establishment of the successful Alice Solar City and Alice Water Smart projects in the years following.


With the support for the NT Government’s EnvironmeNT grants scheme, desertSMART COOLmob undertook an evaluation of the impact of the original 2005 Roadmap. This evaluation was planned to give a clearer picture of which projects from the 70 Actions to make Alice Springs a desertSMART Town had been implemented, and some indications of water and CO2 emissions savings associated with them. It was a key resource for informing the development of the new 2013 Roadmap.

Roadmap 2013

With support of the NT Government’s Community Climate Change grant scheme, and in partnership with Desert Knowledge, desertSMART COOLmob lead the development of a new Roadmap to a desertSMART Town for 2013-18. This Roadmap sets the agenda until 2018 in 7 key areas:

  • Energy
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Planning (previously built environment)
  • Economy
  • Food
  • Transport

Download the Roadmap to a desertSMART Town here.


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What is Climate Change

For effective climate adaptation in remote communities it is essential that Aboriginal people are able to understand the implications of climate change.

The Northern Territory is highly vulnerable to climate change with a predicted increase in the number of extreme weather events and heatwaves, which will have a significant impact on remote communities and exacerbate existing health, housing and liveability issues.

Anecdotal evidence suggest that many members of Aboriginal communities are already noticing the changes in climate and the impact this is having on local environments, including changing weather patterns, more heatwaves and changing bush tucker seasons.

However, there is limited understanding of the issue of climate change, and limited resources in first languages to help community members understand this complex issue.

ALEC has been developing resources to further the understanding of climate science for Aboriginal people in Central Australia.

These include the Climate Change in Central Australia animations, which have been translated into the Arrernte and Warlpiri languages, and the "What is Climate Change Flyer".

Download the What is Climate Change Flyer here


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How to Save Energy and Water In Your Home

Download the "How to Save Energy and Water In Your Home" Booklet here, an energy and water saving resource designed for Central Australian Aboriginal communities.



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Stay Connected

Protecting the outback and catalysing the essential change needed to tackle climate change and create a sustainable future is a big task and we need your support to do it. Sign up here for more information on how you can support the work of the Arid Lands Environment Centre