Sustainability Archives - WBGS
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Sustainability

Embrace the #Manbassador in You!

We celebrated IWD last week with so many great men and women and during the week we stumbled across a fantastic term Manbassador (full credit to Leanne Kemp, Chief Entrepreneur of Queensland). And what an inspiring term it is!

So let’s break it down. We’d be most familiar with political ambassadors who represent their country in another nation and build relationships. According to the Oxford dictionary, an ambassador is also a representative or promoter of a specified activity.

 

Awesome #manbassadors — Harley WestonIsaac Holmyard & Marc Orchard

In the context of IWD and #balanceforbetter, a Manbassador is someone who represents, promotes and supports women in all the arenas that have traditionally only been reserved for men. They’re also the guys who believe our voices, opinions and contributions matter as much as theirs — they recognise that they’re as much on this journey to balance, equality and fairness as any of us women are.

While we’ve come a long way as a society, women still start life behind the eight ball. We’re born into a world where men hold the majority of government and corporate leadership positions — and the reality is, people at the top set the tone for the group and these groups make up our society. Manbassadors can provide a pathway to balance by promoting and supporting the idea of women in leadership roles.

One of the many benefits of balance is diversity and diversity increases a team’s creativity and performance. A balanced group is also more representative of the world we live in and that’s a world I want to live in.

Manbassador extraordinaire Michael ReidCISCO, supporting women in the workplace.

My husband has always been an ambassador for women, giving me complete support to live life in the best way for me and us as a family. And with 2 daughters we want to know they will have every opportunity to live the life of their dreams.

We’re still not 100% used to seeing women in leadership positions but both men and women need to embrace it. Women need to be brave enough to be seen as the female at the table and bring our insights, instincts and emotions to the discussion. And men need to get comfortable with it too — showing passion and emotion (including tears!) does not warrant the label of hysterical! Manbassadors can help usher in a change of perception and allow women to be themselves in business settings.

And before I go any further, we want to acknowledge all the hardworking men who have traditionally been the providers — no easy job that comes with significant pressure, ensuring your family is safe and protected, with a roof over their heads and enough food to eat, allowing them to live happily.

 

Yet more awesome #manbassadors — Peter LaurieLlew JuryCristo Pajust

One concrete way #manbassadors can help right now is by sponsoring a woman via SheEO. “SheEO is a global initiative designed to radically transform the way we finance, support, and celebrate female entrepreneurs who are creating new mindsets, new models and new solutions that are benefiting humanity.”

Less than 4% of venture capital flows to female founders. To all the wonderful male champions of change (aka #manbassadors), please consider sponsoring a woman in your family or your office. Alternatively contact me and I will connect you to wonderful women changemakers that you can support. The youngest Activator is 14 and receiving a masterclass in business and investment surrounded by supportive committed mentors.

 

#manbassador Mark Healy from Global Payments Inc.bringing balance on IWD

A huge shout out to Global Payments Inc. who are the first global organisation to activate for SheEO!!

We live in interesting times, with so many inspiring women out there leading the charge and #manbassadors right beside them, not holding their hands, but supporting and encouraging them as equals.

Plogging - pick up waste while Jogging!

We hope your week has been as productive and joyful as ours has been here at WBGS. With plenty of new and exciting ideas in the pipeline, there are a few fun things we wanted to share with you, both in our local community and nationwide.

You may have seen local community members carrying bags full of plastic and wondered what their intended use could be. Implemented in November last year, the Queensland Containers for Change Scheme refunds 10c for every eligible bottle or can collected, and this small incentive successfully saw 100 million bottles and cans collected within the first two months of its implementation! What you see in our communities is the beginning of more plastic being taken off the streets and out of landfill. We are so excited about this great initiative to take back needless waste and cycle money back into the community — this amazing effort will help us all reduce the number of plastic containers going to landfill each year. We now need to raise efforts toensure these containers become the food for future production.

 

We love active things with great messages and feel that establishing human connections while working hard towards environmental sustainability is really important. Last Friday we went #plogging along the Brisbane river and through the Botanic Gardens, finding many items along the water’s edge — plastic bags, bottles, polystyrene and even a red shoe (totally on brand, but ready for the bin unfortunately!). You’ll often find a lot of waste in or near water and I think it’s important to remember that anything we produce as a society needs to have an appropriate place at it’s end of life.

 

And that’s the perfect lead-in to Australia’s largest and most successful community-based environmental event which is coming up next week. Australians all over the country will be gathering in their local communities to #cleanupaustralia, and we couldn’t be more pleased. Schools, businesses, youth groups, community groups and councils alike will spend their sunny Sunday picking up rubbish that’s accumulated in public areas across the nation. Did you know in 2018, the estimated rubbish removed came to 16,942.2 ute loads?! Though our primary goal is always to prevent rubbish entering our environment, it’s also just as important to take a look around and remove the rubbish that is already there.

 

If you’d like to create or join a Clean Up, please head over to the Clean Up Australia Day website to find out how. Depending on who you choose to clean up your community with, there are a couple of main dates where you’ll be able to chip in with workmates, friends and family!

Business Clean Up Day — Tuesday 26 February 2019

Youth and Schools Clean Up Day — Friday 1 March 2019

Clean Up Australia Day — Sunday 3 March 2019

How To Make Valentine’s Day Romantic While Reducing Your Environmental Footprint

I can’t believe it’s already February! Just like that, the holiday period is over and we are well on our way into what I’m sure will be a very busy year for us all, especially here at WBGS! However, before we completely lose ourselves in business as usual, let’s make one last excuse to take a relaxing break and spend a day with the people that mean the most.

Whether you’re celebrating with a loved one, friends or family, Valentine’s Day is closing in fast (February 14th for those who don’t already have it down), and it’s always good to have something special planned for the occasion, big or small.

As humans, we often find ourselves getting carried away with the glamorousness of it all — a romantic and expensive evening out, an elaborate bouquet of flowers and a big bunch of pink and red balloons, chocolate… More chocolate…

BUT as much as lavish celebrations are fun and exciting, it’s also important to take a step back and remember why we’re celebrating. How we can make these moments even more special, by making meaningful choices that take back control from the cost, consumerism and carbon footprint Valentine’s Day tends to draw. For whoever you’re giving out candy hearts to this year, we have some top tips to make sure it’s suitable and sustainable!

Bake it don’t buy it

If you love the idea of celebrating love and are wanting to go all out, we suggest a fun-filled picnic followed by some gift exchanges and a cheeky wine to end the night on a high. Consider packing a homemade picnic with delicious sandwiches and organic fruits to go along with your drink of choice, instead of pre-packaged and mass-produced items from the supermarket. You will save a whole lot of dollars and a whole lot of plastic waste!

Photo by John Dancy on Unsplash

For dessert, perhaps opt for some fair trade organic chocolate (we really like the brand Loving Earth!) or bake your own desserts from scratch! Nothing beats the satisfaction of biting into a perfectly soft and chewy cookie made from home. Save some for your date, though!

DIY gifts

If you’re crafty, you may consider going an extra step and making your own gift. A hand-knitted scarf or a home-pottered mug will go such a long way and your significant other or family members will truly appreciate the time, effort and thought you put into the project. Otherwise, buy pre-loved gifts, something handmade, support your local merchants and choose fair trade. Swap a bouquet out for a house plant that your gift recipient can keep for a lot longer than flowers! Get creative with it and opt for something that will be as long-lasting as the love you hold for your loved one (corny, I know).

Lastly, no matter who you’re giving to this V Day, make your cards from scratch! Find some old cardboard or materials around your house (maybe some glitter if you’re feeling extra festive) and recycle them into some amazing, homemade, love-filled greeting cards that will be cherished for so long! (Can you tell that I’m feeling the love?)

Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash

We hope that wherever you are this Valentine’s Day, that you take a moment to celebrate the incredible privilege that it is to be surrounded by those you love! (We love you, too.) Happy Valentine’s Day!

Keep on Keep-Cuppin’ On! Solutions for the Environmental Caffeine Enthusiast

We hope your New Year was safe and joyous, spent with the ones you love the most! Now that it’s 2019 we suspect that means you have the inevitable list of New Year’s resolutions burning a hole in your back pocket. Getting big goals is something I definitely subscribe to and then it’s all about committing and regularly checking-in to that commitment over the year.

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash

One way to make it easier to stick to the big hairy audacious resolutions is to break them down into smaller bite size chunks, making small positive improvements to our daily behaviour and setting attainable goals that we can work towards. One way to make a more positive and sustainable choice in 2019 is to reconsider the way you receive your takeaway coffee each mor

According to Sustainability Victoria, Australians consume more than 50,000 cups of coffee every half hour, and an estimated 1 billion takeaway hot drink cups each year. ONE BILLION! Unfortunately, most of these are rarely recycled and ultimately end up in landfill. Australian coffee culture is harming the environment, every morning on your way to work!

So how can we, as everyday caffeine addicts, make small, sustainable adjustments in our day-to-day routine while keeping the environment in mind? To start, you can make a small investment in a good quality keep cup and remember to leave the house each day with it in your work bag. This small and convenient step means that you can easily do your part to reduce the number of takeaway cups going to landfill. At most cafes, you will also get a discount on your coffee for bringing your own cup! That’s what I call a win-win!

A small issue I have personally faced when BYO-ing my coffee cup to work is avoiding leaks and spillages during transit. As someone who hops on public transport regularly, I have sometimes found myself in the awkward situation of holding a leaking keep cup that is dripping on my hand, with me frantically trying to clean it up! I understand this can be disheartening and could lead you to revert back to having your daily cappuccino in a paper cup. Never Fear!

A Frank Green coffee cups goes anywhere with you! (Source: Frank Green)

Enter Frank Green – the market’s latest technology in reusable coffee cups. These keep cups are known for their great minimalist design, coupled with their impressive functionality. Some funky design benefits are:

+ A spill resistant lid – even when it’s upside down!

+ Drinking hole designed for optimum liquid flow

+ Stain and odour resistant inner

+ Comfortably fits in standard cup holders

+ Dishwasher safe

+ Recyclable at end of life – this is a big one!

WBGS enjoy coffee from a Frank Green keep cup.

Frank Green reusable coffee cups are made with premium, long-lasting materials and come in a vast range of sizes and colours. Better yet, their Next Generation range lets you Paywave your purchase from the cup! All this in a sleek and effortless design – you’ll never use a disposable cup again! As a bonus, the brand also manufactures reusable water bottles, another stylish step towards a solution to the thirty-eight billion water bottles that are discarded into landfills around the world every year.

We may not be able to commit to all our New Year’s resolutions overnight, and hey, that’s okay! What we can do is make a conscious effort to lessen our personal impact on the environment by changing small behaviours, one day at a time. If you are a ‘forgetful work in progress’ like me, please be aware that you can recycle the lids on takeaway cups as long as they have a plastics identification code stamp – just make sure you separate it from the cup first!

Try for a Sustainable Silly Season — the WBGS way

Every year the Collins Dictionary issues a word of the year #collinsWOTY and both sadly and amazingly this year’s word is “Single-use’. I say sadly, as we’ve gotten ourselves into a bit of a pickle with single-use items that are used once, thrown away, often plastic and something we’ve become very dependent on. But I also say amazingly, because it’s actually fantastic that there is so much discussion and awareness globally around the problem — that’s what leads to solutions and behaviour change.

As we head into the silly season, it’s prime time for single-use items what with all the parties happening — straws, plastic plates, packaging etc. My children have opted not to take straws these days — their motto is “saving the world — one straw at a time’. And that’s how we all have to think, while we wait for the inventors, designers, creatives and change-makers to come up with better solutions to these problems and we see widespread systemic change. I was out for lunch the other day, ordered a milkshake and received it with a metal straw — it was different, but it was great! Some of those inventors, designers and creatives are already flying! More of this I say.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

The festive season is also the time when a crazy number of completely unwanted presents make the rounds of the office Secret Santas and various family Christmas gatherings. It happens, because it can be really hard to find a perfect gift for some people and sometimes even with the best of intentions, people just make bad calls. According to a study done by Gumtree “many of the gifts given at Secret Santa/Kris Kringle end up in the bin, with five per cent throwing away their gift within a week of receipt, others will be binned if they are not good enough to re-gift (12 per cent) and some say they hang onto the gifts for a bit but then put them in the bin (13 per cent).” But please don’t just throw that gift away adding to landfill, hold onto it and in the New Year WBGS are hoping to trial a way for you to ‘donate your unwanted gifts’ — January will be prime-time.

So thinking along these lines how we can we all try for a more sustainable festive season? Here are some ideas from the WBGS team:

Christmas Decorations for Sales at WBGS18
  • Wrapping paper — re-use gift bags, make your own cards from left-over cardboard and try using newspaper and artwork that the kids have done for wrapping;
  • Bon-bons — try making your own (I know I hear you saying — who’s got the time), but some of the WBGS team will be making bon bons from toilet rolls people (yes you heard right) and they won’t be filling them with single-use plastic toys (but there will be some really, super bad jokes in them!). Check out these eco-friendly bon-bons.
  • Plates/Cutlery — avoid plastic plates, straws (if you must have straws you can get paper at the big supermarkets now), cups and cutlery and ask family and friends to bring extra if the gathering is getting big. Most people are happy to muck in and wash up on Christmas Day (I’ve had some of my best chats with family and friends over the kitchen sink!)
  • Pre-loved/recycled gifts — embrace the circular economy this year and buy something pre-loved, recycled or upcycled — some of you may already have bargains from WBGS18 and also check-out Plant Ark’s Recycled Products Directory
  • Make a Donation — this year the adults of our family aren’t giving each other gifts and instead we’re donating to that family member’s charity of choice — most of us really do have enough and Christmas is a time for sharing.
  • Recycle — people go through a huge number of plastic/glass/metal drink containers over Christmas with Christmas drinks and eggnog — now that we have Containers for Change in QLD you can easily do the right thing! And don’t forget your normal council recycling bins!
  • Food, Waste not Want not — I am still personally a work-in-progress getting ensuring I don’t waste food, but really it’s all about planning. And remember people it’s not the end of the world if you run out of something — just think of that other waist! haha
Ourgoodbrands Christmas Shopping List.

Here’s hoping yours is a joyous, peaceful and sustainable Christmas, wherever you are. Thank you to all our partners, volunteers and the wider Bris Vegas community for making 2018 such a wonderful year. WBGS are looking forward to a cracking 2019!