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Circular Economy

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

Community & Circular Economy beating at the heart of Sustainable Cities

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at the National Sustainability Conference for 2020 and addressed the topic of ‘Community & Circular Economy beating at the heart of Sustainable Cities’. My focus was on communicating the vital place that the circular economy model has in our city and country’s future. I also shared insights into World’s Biggest Garage Sale’s journey so far, as well as the many lessons learned along the way. 

Founded by the Association for Sustainability in Business, the National Sustainability Conference is a wonderful platform for World’s Biggest Garage Sale and our message of creating a more sustainable future for all. Like many large-scale gatherings, the conference stepped outside the box and delivered the entirety of its event online. However, this did not stop a range of highly skilled and visionary speakers from presenting their visions and proactive plans for a brighter and cleaner future.

World’s Biggest Garage Sale was born from an overabundance of ‘stuff’. The household items no longer used or needed, relegated to a dark and dingy cupboard. Out of sight, out of mind. Sometimes people take these items to a local charity shop or ‘dare we say it’, pop them in the bin. As a society, we’re often after the fastest outcome with the least hassle. It’s precisely this behaviour that has led to approximately $43 billion worth of under utilised ‘stuff’ in Australian homes and $500 billion (USD) in lost revenue per year due to underutilisation and a lack of recycling. Our solution was to reclaim dormant goods so that we could renew their potential –  to shift from linear economy norm to a revolutionary circular model. And it all started with a question of ‘how do we solve this ‘donor fatigue’?’. 

Since then, it’s been our mission to make repurposing as easy as it can possibly be. Partnering with big corporations so that we can do the groundwork and make sure that their ‘waste’ is transformed into something much more. On a larger scale, it’s about how we as an organisation can do our small part within the big landscape of the circular economy. A buzzword we use is ‘glocal’, meaning a global focus with local heart. These partnerships between big corporation, small corporation, charity and community are so essential because no one can do this all on their own. 

Our philosophy is to execute first and then learn on the job. 

We ran our Retail Rescue popup earlier this year which saw 40 pallets of dormant goods be sorted for renewal and repurposing. Revitalising these items for resale enabled us to divert from landfill and earn a profit for charitable causes. Not only that, but it helped us to envision a scaleable version of this ‘makerspace’ in which dormant goods are regularly received and renewed to reclaim a place in the current economy. Now with our new home at the Rivermakers The Depot in Morningside, this dream is starting to become a reality.

Our vision of a circular economy shopping precinct and the sublimation of resale into retail is a concept bigger than just our organisation. We are focused on activating dormant goods in a way which creates financial viability and the creation of jobs in our community. It’s long been a belief of mine that the future of our economy is ultimately relational, not transactional. Our work is always aligned with achieving as many of the Sustainable Development Goals as possible, and it’s exciting to these become part of the vernacular.

Social connections are an important part of our growth – it’s not ‘us’ and them’ but ‘us’ and ‘we’. 

If you’re equally passionate about a circular economy future or are interested in further education about our purpose, please get in touch with us via our website or social media! If you have dormant goods looking for a new home, we would love to see you at our Makerspace at The Depot, Morningside. 

Kintsugi: everything old is new again!

Kinstugi

Kintsugi literally means ‘to join with gold’.

kin = golden  tsugi = joinery

Belonging to the Zen ideals of wabi-sabi, it dates back to the 1300s in Japan when a Japanese Shogon broke his favourite tea bowl and sent it off for repair, only to have it come back with unattractive staples. And so was born Kinstugi, the art of repairing broken ceramics with lacquer inflected with a very luxuriant gold powder.

Rather than disguise the damage or wear and tear of an item, Kintsugi embraces the life of an object and breathes new life into it by making it’s repair a work of art. In a time that worships youth and newness, it’s refreshing to find an approach that honours an object or products journey, valuing the resources that went into making it and creating something of beauty.

Everything old can be new again – we like!

Wabi-Sabi: It’s not perfect and it’s ok!

It’s not perfect and it’s ok. Wabi-Sabi emphasizes an acceptance of transience and imperfection. Something we really subscribe to at World’s Biggest Garage Sale.

Another Japanese term that is difficult to translate, it can be comforting in a time when many things don’t seem perfect. The timeless wisdom of Japanese term Wabi-Sabi is more relevant than ever right now.

Making the most of life and accepting imperfections is at the heart of Wabi-Sabi. There is beauty and value in nature and items in their imperfect form. It helps us all breathe a sigh, steering us away from the western concept of manufactured beauty and the increasingly unattainable state of perfection. 

The conscious consumer understands the energy, depth and creativity that has gone into an item and honours & respects that. Their focus is not on imperfection, but the value in the totality of that item & the story of it’s journey. A scratch here and a dent there is ok – there is still a huge amount of value in that item! Take this laptop table below – it came to us not quite perfect, but still fully functional. Some minor repairs and it’s good to go.

Pick the imperfection on this laptop table.

Wabi-sabi reminds us to be more accepting of flaws and rawness, looking at something more deeply and to embrace superficial imperfections.

Relax, take a breath – it’s not perfect and it’s ok! 

#wbgs #circulareconomy #resourcerecovery #dormantgoods #mottainai #wabisabi #respect #reduce #reuse #renew