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Sustainable solutions fill February

Sustainable solutions fill February
Artemis Pattichi

As we enter summer’s last month, it is turning out to be one of the most active months both when it comes to environmental solutions-focused events and opportunities to get involved with our group’s ongoing projects, from the garden to community events to Southbank’s first composting hub.

We’ll start with our own: opportunities to help and volunteer with our group.

Watering volunteers

As the sunny, hot days increase, so do our community garden’s watering needs. As a reminder, this is something you can do in your own time (preferably early morning or late afternoon onwards). Alone or with a friend, once-off or on an ongoing basis, and it involves giving garden beds at the front of Boyd and concrete planters at its rear a good watering to help our seedlings and food producing plants to continue providing organic, locally grown food for the community. Please email us to get a link to the watering roster and watering instructions.

Open leadership roles

We are looking to fill the following volunteer positions as part of our leadership team that will help shape the direction of this group and Southbank’s sustainability action and wider community moving forward. It’s also an opportunity to be a part of a diverse community of likeminded people, looking to bring positive change in the world. These positions require a commitment of two to four hours of volunteer work per week, most of which can be done at your own pace and leisure.

Educational events champion and co-champion

We’re calling for leaders to organise the fun educational events we have coming up. This involves one or two people leading this important arm of the group, who will be receiving plenty of ongoing support and help with the organising and implementation of events.

There are also always many helping hands in our group for implementing events and prior events management experience is not necessary. All you need is a passion for sustainability, a solutions-focused mindset, some organisational skills, and a self-motivated attitude.

Composting champion and co-champion

This person (or two people) will be leading the delivery and management of Southbank’s first community composting hub, set to be up and running by April. As part of a City of Melbourne grant our group won, this position will involve following the grant’s blueprint to deliver the composting hub along with help from an external composting consultant. The council is helping us create this very important space that will significantly help reduce methane emissions and food waste for Australia’s most densely populated suburb. This will also be a great opportunity to coordinate a volunteer team of about 10 people and learn more about the three main composting methods we will be using: worm farms, soil composting, and bokashi fermenting. Composting experience is welcomed but not necessary, as there will be good learning opportunities in this position as you go along.

Please email us if you’re interested in any of these positions.

Message us with your email address or check our Facebook page for upcoming one-off opportunities to volunteer. We always welcome new volunteers for educational events either behind the scenes or on the day, and make sure our volunteers have fun and build a sense of community in the process.

Sustainability events

We had a very successful event with the passionate father-and-son duo behind ReWine last December.

We got to feel like a neighbourhood community through an evening of wine tasting and nibbles next to the community garden, learning about how we can significantly reduce our carbon footprint through the way we choose to buy wine without compromising quality, and got a first view of ReWine’s mobile wine refilling van which comes right to your front door for wine bottle refills if their store locations are not within reach.

We were honoured to find out that ReWine chose to launch this new delivery service with our group through our event.

This family-run carbon neutral business with the motto “Return-Refill-Reuse” and decades of experience, has a strong environmental conscience that’s all about making good climate action solutions accessible to the average consumer and supporting the right suppliers. While they work with local winemakers who are also focused on doing right by the environment, ReWine is the only wine retailer in Melbourne that supports returning wine bottles for refilling (whether it’s for the same or a different wine). A small action that immediately cuts 80 per cent of a bottle of wine’s carbon footprint.

If you missed this event, we will be doing something similar in the second half of February, on a weekday afternoon. Please contact us or watch our Facebook page for more details. If you want to learn more about sustainability in the wine industry, ReWine, or their new home delivery refill service, go to rewine.com.au, their Facebook page @ReWineAustralia, or check out one of these events they will be running as part of the Sustainable Living Festival:

  • Sustainability in Wine Making with Mark Folett (February 10, 6pm),
  • How about “Low Waste”? with John Rbeiz (February 17, 6pm)
  • Waste in the Wine Industry with Marshall Waters (February 24, 6pm).

You can search for “rewine” in Eventbrite to find registration links for these events if you are interested.

February – Sustainable Living Festival

We also highly recommend visiting slf.org.au for a list of all Sustainable Living Festival (SLF) events taking place during February. There are even more interesting events happening this year, across Melbourne, and online. From beginning permaculture to holistic sustainable fashion, you’ll see a wide variety of interests and topics covered under this festival, which connects people with important knowledge and sustainable solutions that are relatively easy to implement in our lives. Connecting people with climate action solutions is one of our group’s core values, which is why we are keen to support businesses like ReWine and festivals like SLF that are representing these values across everything they do.

Why bother?

When talking about habit-changing solutions, I often hear people saying that it’s the responsibility of governments and corporations to roll out environmental solutions that mitigate climate change and that individual action is too small to make a difference. To that I always say, while this issue might feel too big for individual choices to have an impact on it, we all had a hand in creating this survival-threatening issue and we can start understanding our significant impact as individuals. When we consider that each person produces 136kg of plastic waste each year on average (a very lightweight material), our high individual carbon and waste footprints, not to mention how we vote with our dollars with every purchase we make and choose leaders to make decisions for us with our actual votes, it shows us why it’s important to stay informed and participate in festivals geared towards solutions, like SLF.

Next SSG meetups

Our next meetups will be Saturdays February 12 and 26, 10am to 12pm, at Boyd’s front yard. As always, we invite everyone to join regardless of gardening or climate action experience. Please email us or go on our Facebook page for the Eventbrite registration link for upcoming meetups and educational events or to volunteer for an event, watering, or ongoing roles •

About the group

A solutions-focused group of Southbankers working to bring positive change in sustainability practices and education to our neighbourhood, while building a wonderful community. Free to join. 2019 Environment Melbourne Award and KVB 2020 Sustainable Cities Environment Award winner. Reach us at [email protected] or facebook.com/SouthbankSustainabilityGroup.

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