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Resource & Local Action – The latest E-bulletin from the Zero Waste Campaign, Environment Victoria

Posted in Research by Ferne Edwards on December 20th, 2007

This newsletter is posted with permission from Georgie Coram, Environment Victoria. It is an excellent summation of what they have achieved over the last year in terms of local action to achieve zero waste.

E-Bulletin 5: Festive Season Guide and Gifts That Give Back this Christmas

With 2007 drawing to an end, I would take this opportunity to reflect on the activities and the achievements of the Zero Waste Campaign over the past year. Its been a very busy year for both Mark and I. Since taking up our respective roles as Campaign Director and Community Campaigner, we have worked hard to raise awareness in the community about the impacts of consumption and waste on the environment. In addition to working with the community, the Zero Waste team has continued to place pressure on key decision makers to bring about legislative change.

Specific highlights of our community engagement activities include:
Þ The development of a range of Zero Waste communications materials: information brochures, Green-Action booklets and updated website information and resources
Þ Development of a state-wide network of Zero Waste representatives
Þ Development and implementation of the 2–week Zero Waste Challenge, which has attracted widespread community participation
Þ And most recently, the online sustainable Festive Season Guide

'The Shadow' by DavidHR

Marks advocacy-based work this year has focused on:
Þ The Lets Do IT Alliance – preventing electronic waste going to landfill through the establishment of a national take-back computer scheme
Þ Involvement in the Boomerang Alliance, which works to create solutions for sustainable packaging in Australia
Þ Ongoing participation in the processes of the National Packaging Covenant. The Covenant aims to help industry improve their performance in packaging
Þ Coordination of the most recent DUMP Awards, which exposes the some of the worst types of packaging on our supermarket shelves. (Keep your eye out for the ‘winners, to be announced on our website in the coming week)
Þ Plastic bags – a national levy on all single use plastic bags
Þ Working with stakeholders across a range of industries for better solutions for managing, recovering and reusing resources

Environment Victoria coordinates two annual fundraising appeals to raise money for campaigns and projects. This years festive season appeal was put together by the Zero Waste team and focuses on the critical issue of unsustainable consumption. The appeal is aimed at highlighting the impact our current patterns of consumption have on our environment, and this is never more apparent than during the Festive Season.

In conjunction with the appeal, we developed an online Festive Season Guide. This guide offers practical solutions to the problems of excessive food, gifts and decorations typical at this time of year. Check out the guide for a list of facts and tips, it contains everything from sustainable fish species and home-made decorations to the localities of farmers markets in Victoria.

In developing the guide, we have endeavoured to help Victorians rediscover the fun and simplicity of the Festive Season. Through emphasising the importance of time with family and friends we hope to inspire a move away from a consumer-focused celebration.

Please take the time to browse the guide via the link below.
1. Festive Season Guide
2. Gifts That Give Back

Stuck for present ideas? Buy a Gift That Gives Back! Environment Victoria has developed a range of virtual gifts that help preserve and protect the environment for future generations. Rather than buying the usual boring socks and jocks you can buy gifts such as:
a training session for young multicultural leaders,
an intensive course in sustainable water management or
a community consumer awareness training session.
When you buy a Gift That Give Back you will receive a recycled card with the relevant gift explanation and space for your name and the name of the person you are giving it to. A gift purchased through the Gifts That Give Back range is a tax-deductible donation that will help support practical projects that raise awareness, train and help Victorians to make changes in their lives and voice their concerns.

Finally, I would like to sincerely thank you all for your support and involvement with the campaign. I have had a terrific year here at Environment Victoria and I look forward to 2008 and continuing to work in partnership with the community.

Kind Regards,

Georgie Coram,

Together we can inspire visions and solutions for a Zero Waste community.

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