Introducing Zero Waste Victoria - a community education and advocay initiative

17 February 2017
Zero Waste Victoria - a community education and advocacy initiative
Photo by Em

After the Plastic Free Victoria campaign and petition submission I took some time to reflect on what I'd like to do next. 

Over the past year I have been invited to many festivals and events to talk about zero-waste and reducing plastic. Each one has been an amazing an amazing experience. 

Every-time I would go to these events I'd be overwhelmed with questions from passionate people. I started thinking it would be helpful to have some kind of community education stall at these festivals that allows people to ask questions without being sold anything - so many options for reducing waste don't require the need to always buy things. I also liked the idea of having a space that could reach those not aware of the zero-waste movement. With so much of the zero-watse conversations happening online why not take it offline too? I tucked the idea away thinking how I could implement this. 

When the Sustainable Living Festival asked me back to give a talk this year I decided to decline as I'm seven months pregnant (doing public talks while pregnant puffs me out) and I was busy advising on a fun TV project in my spare time. 

Instead I wondered if the festival was the ideal opportunity to turn the community education and advocacy initiative idea I had brewing in my head into a real life thing. The Zero Waste Facebook group is growing everyday with knowledgable people that I knew could share the message and help assist others face to face at the festival. 

I sat down and mapped out the stall set up on paper, using the Plastic Bag Free Victoria petition space we had at the festival the year before as a basis. I would need to fundraise money to get a stall space at the festival and ask for the help of volunteers to work shifts over the three day festival event (Feb 10 - Feb 12). I put out a tentative call out in the Zero Waste Victoria facebook group at the end of last year and was met with so much enthusiasm. Myself and the potential volunteers met in December for a brainstorming meeting to build on my little idea.

Generous individuals and businesses in the facebook group donated money to help me organise the hire of the stall space, and along with the volunteers we started putting the community education stall together in our spare hours. 

Zero Waste Victoria - a community education and advocacy initiative

Zero Waste Victoria - a community education and advocacy initiative

Zero Waste Victoria - a community education and advocacy initiative

The aim to create a safe space to learn about the simple ways to reduce our waste to landfill was very VERY successful. I enjoyed helping provide a space for people to browse at their leisure or ask questions if they wanted, without selling anything. Build confidence, connect, learn, share.  The stall became a hub of activity and ran very smoothly thanks to everyone on the day.

A sign was made out of waste by one of the volunteers which I think was pretty cool and inside the walls were covered with information signage about the why we need to swap. Of course there were the zero-waste props contributed by everyone for people to look at and ask questions about. 

The event was so much fun myself the volunteers have decided they'd like to continue the community education stall with me - if you'd like to hire us and have Zero Waste Victoria at your event get in touch, we'd love to be there. Below is a video from the festival showing the stall. 

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