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Author: Worlds Biggest Garage Sale

July Drive for Goods a Huge Success – Now Open Each Week!

We’re excited to share with you that our July Drive for Goods was a huge success we have extended the service and are now open every Friday and Saturday afternoon! We had over 100 givers come through our contactless declutter drive-through at our Morningside Circular Economy Precinct.

Locals were thrilled to have a space to drop-off items they had decluttered during lockdown, especially since kerbside collection has currently been paused. Many businesses also came through with office furniture and goods they know longer needed.

So many were eager to learn about the work we do and wanted to get involved, very supportive of a Precinct like this in their local area, with several people joining the WBGS family as volunteers as volunteers. 

Over 25% came through and dropped off goods multiple times and found the service easy and seamless, loving the fact that they could bring virtually anything to us and we would give it a 2nd, third or even fourth life.

Several stayed to see our range of circular goods that had been through our resource recovery phases, encouraged to see a Queensland bred business tackling the waste challenge on the world’s to do list. 

Our goods for good program relies on contributions of dormant goods from households and businesses. These contributions enable us to thrive and grow and create tangible environmental and societal impact. As a profit-for-purpose business we specialise in resource recovery, retail returns, unused goods (aka dormant goods) and giving new life to them via re-commerce, renewing, repurposing and recycling.

The drive was such as a success that we have kept the service open. If you’re decluttering, downsizing or refurbishing please register to give us your goods. See you at our precinct soon!

Fight for Planet A – There is no Planet B

Who watched the Fight For Planet A series recently? The series has really highlighted Australia’s current position with regards to climate change and focused on 3 areas we can work on: energy generation, transportation and food.

Energy Generation

We were shocked to hear the magnitude of Australia’s emissions and the harmful impact this is having on our planet. In Australia we’re pumping out 4 times the global average of greenhouse gas emissions. For a small country population-wise to be responsible for 1.3% of global emissions for .3% of the world population is too much.

Craig really sums it up well though regardless of what you do to reduce your impact on the environment:

“We can all solve the problem of climate change. This is empowering. We can give people solutions rather than just bunker down waiting for more horror to hit us.”

So where do we start on reducing our carbon footprint? The show gives some great tips:

  • install solar panels
  • purchase greenpower
  • sign up to carbon offset through Energy Australia
  • ensure you’re as energy efficient as possible
  • if current energy provider doesn’t have carbon offset, ask them why?

Transportation

The majority of emissions in Australia actually come from cars (60%) and Australia has been very slow on the uptake to transition to hybrid or electric cars.

Australia currently has no mandatory standards with regards to greenhouse gas emissions, even though 80% of the global car market have standards for vehicle emissions. With Norway banning petrol and diesel cars by 2025, the Australian Government needs to demonstrate leadership and positive support for hybrid and electric vehicles in this country.

Right now there are very few incentives for Australian’s to buy an electric car and cost is still an issue. It’s anticipated that by 2024-2026 the price will be similar to what they are now.

And for those Australians who want grunt in their car and they’re worried electric vehicles:

Telsa can outrun the most powerful car in Australia

What’s the transport take-away: Make the switch to EV or hybrid cars now, take public transport, fly less and offset always and travel local, especially in these COVID times!

Food

It is estimated that a quarter of greenhouse gases come from food and food production. The series held a 250g/250ml challenge and you might be surprised by some of the results (from highest to lowest below):

  1. Asparagus (from Mexico)
  2. Beef
  3. Lamb
  4. Cheese
  5. Pork
  6. Kangaroo
  7. Chicken
  8. Beer
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Milk

Not surprising, but local grown fruit and veg has much less impact and beef and lamb are higher due to the methane production from these animals in farming. There is hope on the horizon however, with Queensland researchers discovering a pink seaweed fed to cows can significantly reduce methane. But it’s a little way off yet.

Deforestation for agriculture continues to also been an issue, with Queensland unfortunately leading the way.

And who’s bearing the brunt of rising global temperatures – our farmers who are suffering unprecedented drought. As one farmer said:

“We’ve been through droughts, but we have never had a stage where we haven’t planted. This district is unique – there’s such diversity in what’s produced here. But there are so many crops locally that are only being produced at 5% capacity. The biggest issue is that we have no water, even in other droughts, we’ve been at 30%. In March this year, we had to truck in water and that’s never happened.”

What’s the food take-away (no pun intended): – Grow Local, Shop Local, Waste Less and eat Plant based foods.

Where to from here

Like lots of things with climate change, there’s no magic bullet, just lots of things we need to keep trying and doing collectively. Good For The Hood has partnered with the ABC program ‘Fight for Planet A’ and provided toolkits to help us all make a difference.

The whole World’s Biggest Garage Sale team were struck by the sobering words from Professor Charlie Vernon (former Chief Scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science) talking about the coral bleaching on our beloved Great Barrier Reef – akin to an underwater bushfire. It’s in our hands to have the conversations and speak up for action with regards to our planet wherever we can.

#FIGHTFORPLANETA

Second life is my first choice!

When it comes to clothing, second life is my first choice! In the past shopping secondhand often held quite the stigma – if it wasn’t new, it wasn’t worth it. It’s only recently that the stereotype has shifted, and this can be attributed to the simultaneous rise of vintage fashion trends and a move towards environmental impact awareness. 

Consumers are now concerned about where their clothing comes from and the natural resources used to manufacture new additions to their wardrobe. According to Gumtree’s Secondhand Economy Report, the secondhand economy is now worth a staggering $43 billion.  Purchasing pre-loved clothing is now considered the style-savvy and sustainably conscious way to shop.

A comprehensive report by Farfetch estimates that each pre-loved clothing purchase saves 1kg waste, 3040 litres of water, 22kg CO2. Buying secondhand also reduces the amount of clothing being sent to landfill where synthetic fibres can take 20 to 200 years to break down (Close The Loop). The following table from Farfetch lists the environmental impact of each newly created fashion item:

Next time you’re looking to update your wardrobe, consider shopping for secondhand. There are now a multitude of outlets offering bargain buys and vintage finds – we recommend browsing your local op shop, searching online via Etsy or Facebook Marketplace or perusing the range available at World’s Biggest Garage Sale!

We have a range of items listed on fashion marketplace Depop (@wbgs_global) – a brilliant way to discover unique and sustainable items especially during a pandemic. It supports a global community buying, selling and connecting to make fashion more inclusive, diverse and less wasteful. This is what transforming fashion looks like. And we can deliver to you during these times of lockdown and uncertainty.

Do you have pre-loved clothing taking up space? Give your high quality secondhand goods including clothing via our contactless Goods for Good drop-off. We’ll make sure these items keep circulating in the economy. To find out more – visit our page here.

Tote bags from t-shirts – there’s no time to waste!

I love the statement “there’s no time to waste”. Whether it’s food, clothing, furniture, I’m a firm believer that everything can be reused, repurposed or at the very least recycled and will try my very best to make it happen. Sometimes it’s easy and other times it’s not so easy, but when there is a will, there is a way right!

When it came to our very own WBGS volunteer t-shirts that had come to the end of their life, I was determined to abide by my core philosophy. I knew that we could have the shirts shredded and respun back into usable thread, but I really felt like we could do better.  And we did by making tote bags from t-shirts, with a little help from our friends.

Enter Grace Mullins. Grace came to us as a volunteer looking to just help out. As with all our volunteers, interns and others that engage with us, Grace has a strong passion for reuse and waste reduction. Grace had been on the Waste Minimisation team at BCC focused on the “Love Food Hate Waste” initiative and beyond despising food waste, Grace could sew and offered to help repurpose our t-shirts (insert happy dance).

In no time at all Grace had knocked together a couple of bags from our disused t-shirts. Check out the first attempts below! Amazing right. I am sure you’ll agree that the outcome is incredible. Not only are these repurposed tote bags from t-shirts thoroughly usable, they solved a reuse problem with a really challenging fabric to work with too. 

Grace had this to say…

The t-shirts material isn’t great to work with (it’s stretchy and not super sturdy) so I was careful with the design. I’m really stoked with how the black one turned out! The pocket works well on the front to hide the (old) logo. This could defs be something people learn to make. The pattern is fairly simple and very sturdy (as far as you’ll get with tshirt fabric) and looks tidy.

I love a curly problem with a happy ending and this is about as good as it gets. Over the next few months we’ll be releasing details on how you can make your own tote bags from t-shirts. We’re also considered running repurposing weekend workshops at our Morningside makerspace. You’d get to hang out with legends like Grace and other environmentally focused folks like yourself. Would this be of interest to you? If so, let us know in the comments below,

Yas    

PS: You can learn more about the wonderful Grace on her LinkedIn profile – https://www.linkedin.com/in/gracemullins/?originalSubdomain=au

A Decade of Plastic Free July

July is a month known for many occasions – Dry July, Christmas in July…but did you know that it’s also the time to reduce your plastic consumption? Plastic Free July is an annual initiative turned global movement designed to challenge individuals to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in their everyday life for the month of July. With this year marking it’s 10th anniversary, Plastic Free July has now become one of the most influential environmental campaigns in the world with, millions of people across the globe taking part every year.

The production of virgin plastic has increased 200-fold since 1950 and has grown at a rate of 4% per year since 2000 (WWF 2019). With a range of additives being added to plastic to improve its durability and flexibility, it is estimated that these plastic items will now take at least 400 years to break down (National Geographic 2019). About 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations therefore posing a considerable environmental issue.  

Geyer et al.

While plastic is fantastic in certain applications, single-use really don’t make sense. And with the invention of plastic alternatives now readily available, it’s even easier to make smart substitutes. For example, ditch single-use plastic cutlery for the real thing stored in a cutlery wrap or rolled up in a tea towel for safe keeping.

Scarf upcycled by WBGS into a cutlery wrap.

Be part of the solution to plastic pollution and #choosetorefus single-use plastics. That way we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.

For easy tips on how to reduce waste every day, visit our Instagram and Facebook pages for #TipTuesday.

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More information on Plastic-free July available at plasticfreejuly.org