22 August 2019

Canberra's first Zero Waste Festival aims to inspire and activate households

| Rebecca Vassarotti MLA
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A Zero-Waste Festival will take place on 7 September at the National Museum. File photo.

How well are you doing to reduce your environmental footprint and reducing your waste?

The evidence points to the fact that many Canberrans really care about the amount of waste they produce and want to reduce it. Canberra householders are great recyclers. We have been strong supporters of campaigns such as Straws Suck and the ACT Container Deposit Scheme.

But are we really making a difference and are there other things we can be doing to reduce our waste at a household level?

I am pretty passionate about reducing waste and in our household we are doing all the basics – we recycle, try to minimise our use of plastic and think about where the things we buy are coming from.

However, I know we could be doing better. I suspect I am not alone in sometimes getting overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. Sometimes I wonder how much difference our community level efforts are making when we see the level of unnecessary packaging or the wastage that is happening across our economy.

Given this, the timing of Canberra’s very first Zero Waste Festival couldn’t be better. We are very lucky that we have a group of passionate and committed locals who want to inspire us, educate us and help us in the shared community aim of reducing our environmental footprint.

Following on from workshops and talks that have been held over the last year, the Zero Waste Revolution has taken the next step and is holding the Zero Waste Festival at the National Museum on 7 September 2019.

At the festival, participants will find out what more we can be doing to reduce our waste. This event will be providing ideas about how people can go plastic-free, explore creative reuse ideas, highlight the issues around the fashion industry and encourage us to embrace sustainable fashion while highlighting businesses who are working to achieve zero waste.

As well as talks and stalls, there will also be practical workshops on topics such as how to compost, how to make a shopping bag (without sewing), how to halve your household waste and more. There will also be a repair cafe for people to bring broken items along to.

There is also a chance to be part of an Australian trial that is turning running shoes into park benches, and people are encouraged to bring along their old running shoes to contribute to the trial rather than throwing them in the bin.

There is no doubt that like many environmental issues, waste reduction will not be solved by individuals and households alone. However, this is an issue where we can make a real difference. This is an area that through changing our practices and consumer habits and demanding industry responds to our expectations, we can make a positive impact.

Canberra’s Zero Waste Festival. Saturday, September 7, 2019, 11 am – 3 pm at the National Museum of Australia. Visit their Facebook page for more details.

I am excited to find out more about how to reduce waste in my household. What are your tips to reduce and recycle your household waste?

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