What happens when people who are passionate about making a difference, take on reducing or eliminating waste?
Amazing things happen.
Let’s look at two fantastic Australian examples.
Whilst Tasmanian wine maker Peter Bignell was at the Rootstock sustainable food and wine festival in Sydney last year, he noticed the huge volume of wine being spat out into buckets, destined to be poured down the drain. Appalled at the idea of such waste, he collected all the spat out wine from the event, all 500-litres of it, and took it to a nearby distillery. He has turned these wine spits into a spirit, aptly called “Kissing a Stranger”.
Talk about ingenuity – turning spat out wine into a new, valuable alcohol.
In keeping with the Tasmanian connection, the second example of environmental fabulousness is the Panama Music Festival in Star Valley in North East Tasmania. Have you ever seen the waste generated and often left on the ground after large sporting events or music festivals? The litter can be horrendous. The organisers of Panama have a different approach.
The event attracts 1400 adults and 200 children, who camp for 2 nights and 3 days. At the end of this event, a scour of the area found only a few items of waste – a biodegradable cup, some bits of a Pokemon card, a Bunnings receipt, and a few other very small bits of waste. In addition, the event processes recycling and compostables on site and patrons are asked to take any of their hard waste with them.
As you might imagine, this event has many other sustainable practices that reduce waste and GHG emissions. One such thing is the Great Panama Clothes Swap. Punters bring 2 or 3 quality pieces of unwanted clothing to the swap point in the morning, and come back in the afternoon to hunt for some fabulous ‘pre-loved’ clothing to add to their wardrobe.
How far can we take things? Who knows, we have only begun to scratch the surface. When there is a will to make a positive difference to our environment, amazing things happen.
What can you do in your life? It doesn’t have to be big or difficult. Sometimes all it takes is commitment.