Blog - Page 2 of 2 - WBGS
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WBGS

WBGS mission to create socially and environmentally positive community solutions for waste

As I get ready for the World’s Biggest Garage Sale (WBGS) pitch at RCL Startup Invest today, I’m reminded of the importance and urgency of addressing our growing waste problem. I’m reminded of this for 2 very important reasons.

Yas calling in for an RCL Investor Update from the warehouse.

The first is because this Friday 7 Dec is the Meeting of Environment Ministers (MEM). What’s that I hear you asking — well it’s when the federal and state environment ministers meet to ‘discuss strategic issues and agree cross-government actions to improve Australia’s environment’.

In light of this meeting, the Waste Management Association of Australia has written to the Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price with 5 key policy suggestions, the first of which is “A national proximity principle, with the goal to manage our waste as close as possible to where it is generated”. This lines up perfectly with the goals of the WBGS, with our community events promoting the circulation of goods within the local economy to keep them at their highest value for as long as possible.

The Queensland Government is making great strides to address our waste issues via their Resource Recovery Industry Development program — let’s hope the federal government and other states can push this forward further and find overall alignment for Australia.

The second (and this is not news to anyone, but stay with me) was Sir David Attenborough at the United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Katowice, Poland this week who said quite emphatically that “Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate change.”

Well that’s climate change you say — I thought we were talking about waste? And I would argue that the 2 are not mutually exclusive. As Arno Berns has highlighted in his CEPS Policy Brief Time to connect the dots: What is the link between climate change policy and the circular economy?, “the production of raw materials, accounts for roughly 19% of global GHG emissions and the waste sector for another 3%”. He goes on to discuss that while low-carbon and renewable energy sources are important for reducing global warming, “improved resource efficiency, greater recycling and re-use, as well as an absolute reduction of raw material use must become key elements of climate policy in the context of a circular economy”.

Photo by Bruno Ramos Lara on Unsplash

This is not the time for us to be Ostriches and bury our heads in the sand. We can no longer sit back and continue to watch the waste keep coming and the problem continue to grow. The WBGS is on a mission to create and realise socially and environmentally positive community solutions for our ever-increasing waste streams. We’ve just launched our online store as another platform for circulating used/unwanted goods. We want to continue exploring our relationship with materials and products, debunk thinking around used goods, provide solutions to bring the circular economy to life and help society become a lot wiser with the resources the earth provides. Remember — No Planet B.

WBGS: Circular Economy alive and well, after the doors close

Well it was like a footy Grand Final, an Ekka and a major festival all rolled into one! Another successful World’s Biggest Garage Sale has come and gone and the WBGS team have been blown away by the amazing volunteers, partners and shoppers who contributed to make WBGS 2018 such a huge success. It really does showcase the best of community.

Cooopers Plains warehouse for WBGS Nov 17 2018, where over 10,000 shoppers came through.

We had over 10,000 shoppers come through our doors on Sat 17 Nov and we saw many of those generously donated dormant goods go back out the door to a new home. We also trialed selling some new stock this year, such as brand new shoes and toys (from excess inventory and unwanted stock) being sold in support of charity partner Good360. It literally was the circular economy in action and a demonstration of what’s possible when the community comes together, united behind social good and sustainability.

As I get ready for Pitch@Palacetoday, I’m drawn to a comment that HRH Prince Charles recently made when discussing the need to accelerate from a linear economy to a circular economy. He said, “One of the challenges is how best to put sellers in touch with buyers.” This fits in exactly with what WBGS does on the big day and also afterwards when the doors close and the big event is over.

While WBGS 2018 might be over for shoppers, it’s not over for the WBGS team and partners working hard to bring the circular economy to life. Not everything walks out the door on the big day, but we’re determined to see the items that remain find a good second home or be handled in the most appropriate and circular way.

So what happens to everything post WBGS? Here’s a sample of where all the remaining product goes:

  • E-Waste: Substation33 take all our e-waste. They are “an electronic waste recycling centre, providing a workplace where volunteers and employees gain confidence and skills for the transition to sustainable employment. Its purpose is to provide training and employment opportunities through the recycling of electronic waste.”
  • Antiques: Albion Antiques take all the remaining antiques and collectibles and display them and the items go to auction, with the funds coming back to WBGS post auction.
  • Furniture, Clothes, Toys, Household items etc.: These items went to St Vincent de Paul (Vinnies), Red Cross and Lifeline in support of their various causes.
  • Books: Several of the books went to The Unknown Project “a Brisbane-based social enterprise working to connect young people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds with resources and opportunities” and the Tweed Valley Adventist College.

And finally, anything that was leftover went to 1800-GOT-JUNK who dispose of what remains in an environmentally friendly, socially conscious manner, recycling whatever they can.

So, it really can be done people! We can unearth and move those dormant goods around, keeping them alive for much longer. We can also ensure that when products have truly reached ‘end of life’, they are handled in the most environmentally responsible way. That way we’re continuously working towards reducing what goes to landfill.

Last but not least, we had a blast at WBGS 2018 and we want to shout out a huge thanks to our community of volunteers, partners and shoppers. You are the people who inspire us and keep us motivated to deliver greater impact for the wider Brisbane community every day. Looking forward to an even bigger and better WBGS 2019!

Donate now, Avoid Waste, Create Positive Sustainable Impact

We’re well into the season for spring cleaning and now is the perfect time to declutter your home environment and unearth all those dormant goods lying around your house and move them onto a new home. You know, those items that are in good condition, still functional and useful but just not something you want or need anymore, but you can’t bear to send to landfill or don’t have the time or energy to sell or give away.

With statistics like below (coming from the War on Waste):

– Australia’s waste growing at double the rate of our population,

– over 85% of furniture placed kerbside not being recycled and instead going to landfill,

– 700 thousand tonnes of e-waste in Australia per year, and

– 36,000KG of clothes thrown out every hour (not to mention 2700 Litres of water to produce one item of clothing)

It’s no surprise more Australians are embracing their inner “Mottainai” (pronounced moat-tie-nigh, a Japanese term for regret over wasting something before deriving its full value) and looking for meaningful ways to offload their unwanted goods.

The upcoming National Recycling Week also provides another great motivation to offload all your functional and useful unwanted goods and avoid all that wonderful treasure going to waste. The idea of passing on what you no longer want or need, to someone who does want it, is a fantastic form of sustainability, because the reality is, perfectly functional and useful items are ending up in landfill simply because people no longer want or need them and it’s just easier to throw them away.

And the reality is, there isn’t really any ‘away’. All waste ends up somewhere and for perfectly serviceable items, that means all the effort and energy that’s gone into making that item may all have been in vain. There is no planet B, there are no more resources other than what the earth provides freely and we liberate from it. We have a duty of care to our planet to respect what is provided and ensure we’re using those resources as wisely as possible.

So, kill 2 birds with one stone, declutter your house and be part of the solution to Australia’s growing waste problem. Donate to WBGS and help us divert products from going to landfill, reduce CO2 emissions and save water on epic proportions. Our trucks can come to you and collect your goods, or you can drop items off at our warehouse — just complete the donationpage on our website and we’ll be in touch.

After you’ve donated your goods, come join us on Saturday 17 November, for the annual WBGS focal event — a garage sale on a grand scale. Help us keep those products circulating for the longest possible time and ensure all that embodied energy (e.g. water, electricity and natural resources) isn’t going to waste.

Pinching ourselves….2018 Lord Mayor’s Business Awards finalists unveiled

There was a thrilling moment for our World’s Biggest Garage Sale team recently….that moment we received the news that we are finalists in the Lord Mayor’s Business Awards 2018.

“The Lord Mayor’s Businesses Awards are the benchmark for business excellence in Brisbane, showcasing our city as a great place to live, work and invest,” Cr Graham Quirk

I already feel like we are winners, fortunate to be seated alongside some of the most incredible organisations in YURIKA AWARD FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN BUSINESS.

The 5 finalists in this category:

There’s a sense of pride and honour to be considered equals with these leading and legendary organisations. The work they do is extensive, impacting and widely known.

We recently joined other finalists at the LMBA Finalist Cocktail Event presented by ANZ.

I was fortunate to bump into Cr Adam Allan too. We have been talking about locations to hold our next major Brisbane event. It’s amazing how the world collides us with what we need at the moment we need it.

Cr Adam Allan and Yas Grigaliunas

The WBGS team are now thinking about ‘what to wear’ at the LMBA this year. We’ll leave our trusty WBGS t-shirts in the drawer in exchange for something a little more glamorous.

When your passion (and business) is centred around the circular economy and sustainability in business, you can be assured that we won’t be buying anything new! With 60% of women having dormant items in their wardrobes, we have put the call out to friends, family and even strangers, to search for dresses and suits on theme with our WBGS brand. (reach out if you have something in your cupboard)

I’m predicting red, black and white will be the colours on the night!! ❤️

I want to acknowledge the judges for choosing the World’s Biggest Garage Sale as a finalist. We are still pinching ourselves……

#thrilled #honoured #disbelief #LMBA18 #WBGS

Impact Report Brisbane 2017

We were extremely proud to have helped raise $151,000 in just our 4th event and are proud to provide our Impact Report for the Brisbane 2017 World’s Biggest Garage Sale event. Even more pleasing than raising money for charity is to learn where the money has gone and more importantly, who is benefitting from all that hard work. The top 12 recipients of this money are as follows