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Brisbane Tag

Declutter your Dormant Goods!

Spring has sprung and we all know that means cleaning out all the old rag-dag winter clothes to make way for a fabulous summer wardrobe. Spring cleaning and decluttering that winter wardrobe can be tricky – it’s hard to know what to keep, what to donate or whether you should really throw out your high school senior jersey that you never wear anymore. You know you should probably throw it out, but the thought of it sitting on a rotting pile of landfill makes your eyes a little watery. 

You wonder how you’re going to get rid of this jumper that’s just taking up space in your cupboard? Will the jumper end up in landfill waste? Will a charity shop take this garment? How do you get rid of something you have an emotional attachment to? All these questions can induce you into an anxiety riddled state, but don’t worry, this article has you sorted!

War on Waste

ABC War on Waste - Craig Reucassel and Fast Fashion!

According to the ABC’s war on waste documentary, “Australia is one of the most wasteful countries in the developed world.” There is a growing culture of convenience, fast fashion and furniture/appliances that are not built to last more than 2-3 years. Australians have developed a throw-away society: 

  • 6000kg of clothes are thrown out every 10 minutes, equating to 36 000kg every hour. 
  • 30% of clothing items end up in landfills and even if you donate old clothes to a charity, if the items are not in good condition, it’s landfill. 
  • The same goes for furniture and appliances. 85% of household items that are put out for the good old kerbside collection end up as landfill and are not recycled.

 

These statistics are daunting, but there are a few rules you can follow to successfully organise your home into different waste types in order to effectively make the most of your spring cleaning efforts, taking into account your contribution to household landfill. 

Declutter your Home

  1. Declutter in Stages: An article by Sirin Kale (The Guardian) advises not to declutter all at once. instead, break up your decluttering into smaller, more manageable goals. Spend 10 minutes a day decluttering or declutter three times a week focusing on different areas. 
  2. Set Measurable Goals: Nicola Lewis, organising expert and author of Mind Over Clutter, (Good Housekeeping UK) also recommends decluttering should be an activity you can enjoy by setting measurable goals. For example I’ll declutter my wardrobe in the month of spring, spending 1hr each week focused on different sections until I’m satisfied.
  3. Get Organised: The next step is to organise the declutter into separate piles to keep things organised. The list below is a great way to start:
    1. Retain 
    2. Repair
    3. Repurpose
    4. Rehome
    5. Recycle and 
    6. Resource Recovery (the absolute last resort). 

World’s Biggest Garage Sale - Dormant Goods for Good!

 

Elizabeth Larkin from The Spruce also suggests labeling bins with the above and keeping them in a centralised room within your home. 

Review and Hand-on

So, you’ve organised your declutter chaos and spread out the clean up into organised groups, what next? The next step is absolutely vital, so let’s go through the list again:

    1. Retain – take all your cherished treasured items and organise them in your home.
    2. Repair – for any items that need repair there are several resources out there to assist – visit one of almost 1000 Men’s Shed in Australia, consult iFixit online that has over 54,000 repair guides or drop-in to a local Repair Cafe or launch one yourself!!
    3. Repurpose – try turning those old clothes into household rags, washcloths or scrubbing/polishing cloths; old bags into washing baskets and old containers into desk/stationary storage. Repurposing is always a fantastic way to recommission those old goods into something new. Give your goods to Substation33 and they can disassemble the parts and turn them into something new!!
    4. Renew – Ministry of Handmade run workshops to help you try a fresh coat of paint/fabric, giving your old goods new life or turning them into household decor!
    5. Rehome– Donate items that are in good condition or good working order to local charities (St. Vincent de Paul, Lifeline, Salvos, Red Cross and many more) and for those dormant goods that you can’t bear to part with but rarely use/need (think awesome cocktail dress you can’t wear anymore but still love) World’s Biggest Garage Sale is the place for you.
    6. Recycle – Place anything recyclable in your home recycling bin and for all other items consult Planet Ark’s comprehensive Recycling Near You website and familiarise yourself with what can be recycled in your local area.
    7. Resource Recover (the absolute last resort) – after going through the exhaustive list above, there should be very few items that go into rubbish (aka landfill) and for those that do, remember them and think twice before purchasing something like it again, that is hard to dispose of at end of life. Consider calling on 1800-GOT-JUNK to take away any items you’re unsure of – they ensure that your rubbish is recycled, donated, or otherwise disposed of responsibly.

 

Spring is such a fabulous time of the year!! Hopefully this article has given you some tips and tricks to help you declutter and breathe new life into your home, while responsibly handling the resources that flow in and out of your life!

Happy decluttering!

Volunteering to Make a World of Difference

This week is National Volunteer Week 2019, and this year’s theme is ‘making a world of difference’. At WBGS volunteers are integral to our events and the social impact that is a direct result of our events.

WBGS Volunteers

From the very beginning, volunteers have been integral to the World’s Biggest Garage Sale. Some amazing connections, experiences and even marriages that have come from volunteering at our events! These volunteers, many who have come to help year after year, really have been ‘making a world of difference’.

Some of our international student volunteers from WBGS 2018

 The World’s Biggest Garage Sale Events are hosted, organised and run by volunteers from the local community. Our goal is to connect the community and activate them in sustainable consumption while raising funds for much needed causes. And the engine that drives the setup of events are the volunteers – real everyday heroes.

In QLD alone, volunteering is worth an estimated $11.6-billion to the economy, with 95% of volunteers reporting their volunteering activities are linked to feelings of positivity, happiness and increased well-being.

Benefits of Volunteering

So if you’re sitting there:

  • watching issues in the world or seeing problems that need to be addressed, or
  • maybe you want to learn something new and build some skills or
  • you’d like to meet some new people while engaged in a worthwhile activity

 

then volunteering for a cause that you care about can tick many of these boxes. Interestingly volunteering was associated with less work–life conflict, burnout and stress, and better positive mental health, according to a study from researchers at the University of Zurich. So if you’re pondering “Why would I give my time to something for free?” the rewards appear to outweigh the time invested.

Volunteering with another group outside of your normal activities, in tasks that you may not regularly perform, can offer perspective and variety, which can be rejuvenating. If it’s tied to a cause that you care about, the benefits will multiply.

Corporate Volunteering

The World’s Biggest Garage Sale time recently took part in Global Payments Inc. #DayOfService at their Brisbane HQ. We spent time cleaning the streets with the Brisbane City Council Litter Prevention group, who provided some wonderful education on changing habits to keep our city cleaner! And the Global Payments team are a great example of a corporation that integrates volunteering into their ethos.

The WBGS Team at Global Payments ‘Day of Service’

If you care about sustainable consumption and want to help raise funds for much needed causes, then volunteering at one of our World’s Biggest Garage Sale Events would be a great fit. We welcome anyone and everyone and can find a role or task that you would enjoy – from department manager, to catering, to driving a forklift!

It can be a great team building exercise for companies aswell. According to Romualdo Ramos, one of the authors of the University of Zurich study “It does seem to be the case that people who volunteer are in their paid work more engaged”. Seems counterintuitive but companies like Global Payments and CISCO have caught onto the value of volunteering.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as we celebrate our own wonderful and valuable volunteers over the next week, who have helped make a world of difference!  

Radical Generosity is Creating a New Playing Field for Female Leadership

I’ve just spent the weekend at the inaugural Australian SheEO Venture Retreat, where fellow Venture finalists spent time deep-diving on goals, challenges and visions in a safe and open environment. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. When we arrived at the Venture retreat it was clear we were in the midst of something amazing.

 

SheEO Australian Ventures Happy Hour on Retreat!!

What is SheEO?

To set the scene, SheEO is a movement started by Vicki Saunders. It aims to mobilise $1 billion in capital behind 10,000 female-led ventures through the contribution of 1-million activators. It’s a simple formula. As an ‘Act of Radical Generosity’, individual activators contribute $1100 into a perpetual fund to support female-led ventures. Those activators then vote on which of the ventures that apply should receive funding. There is no fiscal return on your investment, it’s something much greater than that. The supreme knowledge and well-being that comes from knowing you’ve helped make the world a better place.

We are not trying to fit into the existing models and systems and level the playing field, we are creating an entirely new field.

First Australian SheEO Ventures

Five Ventures made it through as Australia’s first cohort of finalists. It is an honour to be included alongside this incredible group of women. The time spent together at the retreat has led to the most profound web of trust between us. We all know that we are in this together — we’re here to uplift each other. I walked away with four new team members for World’s Biggest Garage Sale and I joined their teams too. We’ve got each other’s backs and will help each other on our journeys.

Leading with Love

We went through some incredible processes, led by the inspiring MJ Ryan (outstanding human being and author of Radical Generosity: Unlock the Transformative Power of Giving), culminating in the final day where the Ventures divided up how the SheEO Venture fund would be distributed amongst each other. Just one of the key differences in how SheEO operate. They support and empower female founders to make critical decisions with trust, love, transparency, and radically generosity.

After the Venture Finalists announcement

SheEO Summit

Finally on Monday we spent time together at the inaugural Australian SheEO Summit, hosted by the legendary Holly Ransom, where we were announced as the finalist Ventures to all our Australian Activators. To say the energy in the room was electric is an understatement. It was an amazing day sharing our ventures with this incredible room of Activators and meeting so many remarkable people!

Room full of female leaders and Holly Ransom (Super Activator and a rock star – just saying!!)

 

SheEo selected Ventures that aligned with the ‘world’s to-do list’ aka the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

SheEO Ventures for 2019

All the ventures are led by truly phenomenal women who are tackling really important problems that desperately need wise solutions. Here they are:

  • Jenny Brown from Envorinex who currently recycles 50% of Tasmania’s industrial waste and are seeking to expand this to 100% and include household waste for recycling.
  • Sarah Gun from GOGO events who are creating life-changing paid-work and pathways to employment for homeless people, predominantly women, at events and festivals.
  • Kristina Freeman from Grow Your Mind who are educating young children, their schools and their families about the importance of taking care of their mental health and empowers them in ways they can do this.
  • Lucinda Hartley of Neighbourlytics which is a social analytics platform for neighbourhoods, pioneering the use of social data in cities, giving city-makers real-time insights into the social life of neighbourhoods, transforming the way they plan, design and manage places.

I’m so incredibly fired up about SheEO #radicalgenerosity and enormously grateful, honoured and indebted to the Australian Activators for selecting our Venture. At World’s Biggest Garage Sale we will use these loan funds very wisely to help us scale and grow. If you have the capacity to, I’d love to invite you to activate too — join the movement http://sheeo.world

Circular Economy Brisbane Innovators in our Midst

Monday night was another fantastic Circular Economy Futures Meetup for Brisbane. We discussed ‘waste to wealth’ and explored innovative and sustainable solutions for building a Circular Economy. There are some excellent businesses in Brisbane doing some really great work, tackling different issues. From prolonging the life of industrial equipment, to creating useful products from waste, Brisbane has seem real innovators in its midst.

 

Brad Parsons, CEO, MOVUS

Harnessing the Circular Power of AI: ‘Turning Dumb Machines Into Smart Machines’

Our first speaker, Brad Parsons, CEO of MOVUS, discussed how they’re helping to bring sustainability to industry. MOVUS’ world-leading Industrial IoT (IIoT) solution FitMachine® transforms dumb equipment into ‘smart equipment’. It enables this through consumer styled simplicity combined with world-class artificial intelligence. MOVUS’ FitMachine proactively monitors the condition and operating performance of industrial equipment.

Brad challenged us to look at the ‘way’ we live. Their work really fits into the inner circle of maintain/prolong within the Ellen Macarthur Foundation butterfly diagram. Their devices improve asset management and lifecycle optimization, with maintenance teams proactively monitoring and maintaining equipment, rather than reacting to failures or following OEM preventive maintenance schedules. The overall outcome being waste reduction, increased efficiency and empowered people. There was some really great discussion around prolonging the life of machines and keeping them in good working order for as long as possible.

 

Brendan Lee, Circular Economy Manager, Closed Loop

Trash to Treasure: Innovation in Recycling

Our second speaker, Brendan Lee, Circular Economy Manager of Closed Loop, showed us some of the great work they’ve been doing. Very much focused on creating sustainable solutions within existing business models they are finding useful products from waste. Their work sits on the outer arm of the Ellen Macarthur Foundation butterfly diagram looking at recycling. With their Simply Cups coffee cup solution they’re providing an excellent mechanism to ensure the excess of 1 billion disposable coffee cups avoid landfill in Australia. They’re collecting the coffee cups and transforming this trash into treasure with several innovative products emerging, ranging from coat hangers and bricks to pallets and even a keep-cup the rCup®, made from the disposed coffee cups. If that isn’t circular, then I don’t know what is!

They’re also tackling food waste, by providing customers with commercial on-site composting units recycling organic matter, with the capacity to reduce food waste volume by up to 90 per cent in 24 hours. This is some seriously impressive technology, with the machines taking food and organic waste throughout the day, including fruit, vegetables, grains, dairy, meat, fish, poultry, eggshells, crustacean shells and liquid. Within 24 hours, the original material is transformed into a concentrated compost ready for the garden!! Significantly improving on allowed inputs and time of home composting.

Highlighting MOVUS and Closed Loop on the Circular Economy Butterfly Diagram – Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation, SUN, and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment; Drawing from Braungart & McDonough, Cradle to Cradle (C2C)

 

Our First Youth Speaker: Activating the Sustainable Development Goals

Finally, we heard from Sarah and Simeon, co-founders of Illuminating Distractions, a mother and son team working together to educate and engage people on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Illuminating Distractions is a start-up supported by St Paul’s School Centre for Innovation (CIE) and Entrepreneurship. With a passion for the world and a desire to make sure people are educated on sustainable practices, Sarah and Simeon created a fun and interactive card game to teach players about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. And we’re big proponents of SD12 Responsible Consumption and Production, where Circular Economy practices will really come to the fore to address this goal. They’ve already sold over 100 units including some to the United Nations! Our future is in good hands with young leaders like Simeon leading the change.

 

Slide by Illuminating Distractions, Sarah & Simeon Gover

 

The event has really grown over the last few months and the energy on Monday night was fantastic – plenty of robust discussion and connection before and after the talks. It’s a really innovative, encouraging and supportive group proactively bringing the Circular Economy to life in Brisbane and Australia, all with solutions that have the potential to go global. If you have ideas or really care about the Circular Economy, come along to our next Event Wednesday, April 24 to learn and share.

 

This Christmas Join the Growing Movement of Conscious Consumers Who Aren’t Above Pre-loved

With Christmas just around the corner, Brisbane shoppers who want to celebrate the circular economy this year are encouraged to visit the World’s Biggest Garage Sale (WBGS) on Sat 17 November, with a preview night on Fri 16 November. According to the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan, Australians will spend more than $51 billion across retail stores over the Christmas trading period, a 2.9 per cent increase over the previous year. It would be great to see some of that staggering amount of money going towards creating and sustaining a circular economy in Australia.

 

Christmas Decorations available for Sale at WBGS18

The last couple of years have shone a spotlight on waste, with the ABC’s War on Waste series, and China’s waste ban this year highlighting our consumer culture and a waste problem that has been growing for some time. Our attitudes and perceptions regarding products really need to change — we need to look beyond the surface of an item for its buried value. The latest, greatest and shiniest isn’t always the best (particularly for the environment) and while something might not be ‘brand new’, it can still be new for you or your loved ones.

A lot of people still feel a real stigma around giving gifts that are pre-loved, thinking that others will consider them stingy, but there are a couple of ways to transition.

  • Start with someone you know cares about the environment and openly declare that it is a pre-loved gift and proudly announce where you bought it from, showing the receiver that not only are they receiving a wonderful gift, but that the money spent acquiring it is going towards growing a better community and world to live in.
  • Carefully match the item to the person and ensure it is something they will absolutely love, so they know you’ve put a lot of care into its purchase.
  • Children are great recipients of pre-loved gifts, often not giving a care about where it came from (I know my kids often had more fun with the big box the present came in, rather than the actual gift!). Again, if it’s not for your kids, declare the origins of the gift.
Stationery and Toys on offer at WBGS18 this weekend.

There are many great items on offer at WBGS that would make excellent gifts e.g. christmas decorations, antiques, arts and crafts, stationery, home décor and artwork, quality manchester, electrical goods, gardening items, toys for the kids and appliances still in their boxes.

According to Channel 7 news, most Brisbane locals are more likely to spend money in-store than online and about half of Brisbane like to get their Christmas shopping done by the end of November. So be sure to include WBGS on your November Christmas Shopping trail, grab a bargain and join the growing movement of conscious consumers who aren’t above pre-loved and enjoy knowing their purchase is helping the environment and growing a better world powered by People, Planet and Profit for Purpose!