Events Archives - Page 3 of 3 - WBGS
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Events

Volunteering for WBGS: Empowering individuals, corporations and the community

Volunteers are the backbone of WBGS — without them the show simply wouldn’t go on. Volunteering is a great way to feel more connected to your local community and to contribute something positive and meaningful outside of your normal week. It’s also a great way to help grow and support something new in your community — like the World’s Biggest Garage Sale and help people feel like they’re doing something to turn a problem around i.e. tackling waste.

Australia has a rich history of volunteering. Many iconic organisations that we know now and take for granted were started by a group of volunteers who saw a problem that needed to be addressed. For example Surf Life Saving Australia, the Endeavour Foundation, Clean Up Australia, and most recently Orange Sky.

The personal empowerment that comes from volunteering is immeasurable. Individuals can:

  • gain experience and new skills (especially when you’re studying, or formal work might be limited), bolstering confidence and leading to a sense of achievement and accomplishment;
  • socialize, meet new people and expand their network of contacts, which improves wellbeing;
  • help grow a worthwhile activity that is addressing a real-world problem and give back to the community and feel hopeful and empowered as a result.

Not only is volunteering great for an individual, it’s also great for companies. Instead of expensive Corporate Team Building exercises, organisations could consider Corporate Volunteering and work with a local not-for-profit or profit-for-purpose organization. Volunteering Australia highlights that Corporate Volunteering provides companies “with the opportunity to develop staff skills, build teams and bolster your reputation within your local community.”

                                              Mark Simpson, Performance Business Director of News Corp Qld

Some of our Corporate Partners who have volunteered time and effort are News Corp Australia and CISCO Qld. Mark Simpson, Performance Business Director of News Corp Qld stated, “it’s all about connection with community, that’s what we do, day in and day out with our content…talking to over 80% of Queenslanders every month, so what better way to connect with community than by working with the World’s Biggest Garage Sale”.

CISCO Qld are taking 50 people out of their office for a full day to help support the WBGS this year, and Michael Reid, State Manager said “by taking our staff out of the office for a whole day and giving back to the World’s Biggest Garage Sale, the impact that they feel walking away is incredible. It actually brings our team together, it’s a team building event for us, we make it a big celebration and we hope it makes an impact at the other end.”

So next time you’re sitting back worried about the growing waste problem in Australia and climate change, rather than feel frustrated, consider volunteering with WBGS. Because the truth is, your contribution really does matter and makes a big difference. In the words of Margaret Mead,

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Come and volunteer with WBGS. We are a fun, passionate and committed group wanting to grow the circular economy, reduce waste and help the environment by promoting sustainable living practices. There are several ways you can get involved, such as Department Manager where you can develop your leadership and management skills, Drivers, Caterers and Retail roles.

And last but not least, a big shout out to all our individual and corporate volunteers. Thank you so much for all your support, enthusiasm and hard work — we can’t do it without you!

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.

WBGS takes out two sustainability awards in one week

Spirits are flying high at the World’s Biggest Garage Sale with our team winning not only one, but two awards and our co-founder having been nominated for another! We are very honoured to announce that the World’s Biggest Garage Sale has won:

 

We’re also proud to announce that our founder, Yasmin Grigaliunas, has been named one of Queensland Urban Utilities Making a Difference finalists in the Women In Digital International 2018 awards, coming up this weekend.

The whole philosophy of the World’s Biggest Garage Sale is to activate sustainable consumption practices and promote the circular economy in our beloved River City, Brisbane, with the intention to take it global. It’s fantastic to be recognized for our work, that provides the community with a way to keep good quality unused or unwanted household goods circulating, rather than going to landfill.

At the end of the day we are all trying to make the best choices for our families, the community and the environment. There is a significant amount of embodied energy buried in the everyday goods we purchase every day. At a time when society’s issues with waste are becoming apparent, particularly in Australia, we need a better vehicle to ensure that precious embodied energy doesn’t go to waste.

One way to help limit our impact on the environment is to keep those goods and products circulating at their highest value for the longest possible time. And this is where WBGS comes in. We’re making it easy for the community to donate their unwanted goods and providing a focal event for people to purchase those donated goods. We have weekend donation points and pick-up trucks to come and collect your goods – just go to our Donate Stuff page. We then host an annual event, coming up on Sat 17 Nov, where you can come and purchase those goods (more to come on this in upcoming posts).

To sweeten it even more, we operate on a profit for purpose model, donations are made from the profit of the sale of donated goods to charity, helping the community prosper even further. These awards have highlighted to us that it’s possible to be successful and follow a non-standard business model, while making a positive contribution to the community.

Once again thank you to the Brisbane City Council and Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, Cleanaway and the Women in Digital Awards Gala. And of course, a huge thanks again to our community – you are the people who inspire us and keep us motivated to deliver greater impact for the wider Brisbane community every day.

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