The Big Weekend of Sustainable Living Ideas

by Brighton Council
The Derwent Catchment Project display

The Big Weekend of Sustainable Living Ideas was held late March and was a roaring success! The weekend was packed full of many creative sustainable suggestions including bamboo basket burial caskets, the importance of healthy soil, backyard chook keeping skills, creative arts and the environment, and the health and wellbeing aspects of climate change.

About 800 people attended the two venues, with a sustainability expo and forums at the Civic Centre, Bridgewater, and a permaculture and garden demonstration at MONA’s Material

Institute on the Bridgewater foreshore, over the weekend. Sustainable Living Tasmania (SLT) celebrated 50 years of helping the Tasmanian community with information, services, and product recommendations, and had many SLT volunteers running the event. Mathew Evans, known as the Gourmet Farmer, shared his time and knowledge to demonstrate how to cook with an electric vehicle! The Good Car Company, other EV suppliers, and the University of Tasmania’s fully electric high speed motor vehicles were on display, showing the technology developments in a rapidly developing area.

Mayor Leigh Gray opened the event, making special mention of the local sustainability supporters – the Derwent Catchment Project, Derwent Estuary Program, Landcare Tasmania, the Jordan River Food Hub, LINC Library Tasmania, local businesses, and community landcare groups and the Material Institute, all present at the festival and working together to build a sustainable way of life in the Brighton municipality.

“Brighton Council supported the festival with a $10,000 grant to celebrate opportunities in the local area in the transition to a low carbon economy. It was pleasing to see local businesses, such as HALS agricultural suppliers and Hazell Bros, sponsor the festival and be available to talk to the public about the work undertaken locally. For example, HALS are reducing plastic use, increasing recycling and creating new biodynamic soil products,” Mayor Gray said. “We are immensely pleased to see a diverse range of age groups, three years and above, entering wonderful Waste to Art artworks, on display at the festival, as part of a competition to design creative objects out of used materials.” said Mayor Gray.

A key event theme was demonstrating best practice recycling and reuse options, with:

  • SLT providing Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) bins and yellow bins at the event
  • The Resource Work Collective, South Hobart Tip Shop, donating clothes towards the clothes, toys and book swap
  • The Jordan River Op shop reselling all remaining items
  • Creative artworks made from cardboard boxes for the children’s play area
  • YourTown, an Early Childhood Development program, collecting a truckload of items to resell and reuse
  • Anke, an East Derwent Primary School teacher and 24 Carrots gardener, organising a student led stall making bubbles out of collected used items, supported by Centacare Evolve

Mayor Gray said, “Brighton Council’s sustainability team were there in person to chat – the Waste Education Officer, Gwen Harper promoting the new FOGO service and showing the many ways to reduce waste to landfill. Mel Fazackerley, NRM Officer at Brighton Council and Project Officer at the Derwent Catchment Project, highlighting the recently endorsed Draft Natural Resource Management Strategy, while Brighton Council’s Climate Change Officer, Alison Johnson profiled the range of corporate and community measures currently reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Locals and visitors shared in over $1,000 worth of sustainability prizes, supported by SLT, event sponsors, Brighton Council, Glenorchy Bunnings and Solmates – a reusable roll-on sunscreen container company. Metro Tasmania kindly provided multiple extra bus services across the weekend to ensure lower carbon options such as public transport were available. One visitor, Gabi, walked the talk of sustainability and rode all the way from across the city to Bridgewater on an electric tricycle.

For further information on Brighton Council’s upcoming sustainability activities check social media and the website: www.brighton.tas.gov.au/community/environment.

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