Making change one street at a time

Monday, 2 December 2019

A grassroots initiative that helps householders make their homes more energy efficient, reduces waste and creates a more enjoyable neighbourhood to live is gaining momentum in Geelong.

Transition Streets Geelong (TSG) connects and supports neighbourhoods around the issues of sustainability and gives real meaning to the phrase, ‘think globally, act locally’.

The movement now has 30 member streets in suburbs across Geelong with transition streets operating in Belmont, Highton, Waurn Ponds, Grovedale, Geelong West, Newtown, East Geelong, North Geelong, Coria, Norlane, Drumcondra, Hamlin Heights, Herne Hill, Leopold, Clifton Springs and Drysdale.

TSG facilitator, Monica Winston said the program provides homeowners and renters with information on saving energy and water, growing their own food, composting and reducing waste.

With research revealing that household waste increases by around 30% during the festive season, we asked Monica to share her thoughts for creating a waste-free Christmas this year.

  1. Identify your Christmas waste
    Make a list of all the areas of potential Christmas waste such as wrapping paper, cards, food, drinks, packaging and bon-bons. Identifying where the waste comes from makes it easier to implement waste-free alternatives.

  2. What’s your goal this Christmas?
    Invite the key people involved in organising your Christmas celebration for a pleasant get-together to discuss your goal to reduce waste and why it’s important to you. Be prepared to listen to what is important to others, for example tradition and look for win-win outcomes.

  3. Create a new Christmas tradition
    One of the easiest ways to avoid waste is to substitute the activity for another. Consider changing it up this year and spending Christmas Day working with a charity to feed the homeless.

  4. A gift for the environment
    Support the environment by donating to one of the many organisations that protect ecologies and the species that live within them. Take steps to reduce your own footprint by reducing your water usage and carbon emissions, growing your own food and helping to remediate landscapes.

  5. Make a pledge
    Make a commitment to not accept gifts produced in a way that harms the environment, such as newly produced clothes, airplane tickets and plastic items. Make your pledge official and share your actions with others.

  6. Make it fun
    If reducing waste involves making more things, share the effort around and make it fun for everyone. Invite your family and friends together for a session to make gifts such as preserves and passata.

Want to learn more? Watch out for the series of Transition Streets Geelong workshops planned for early 2020.

Funded by the Victorian Government’s Pick my Project grants program, the workshops will cover topics such as growing food and permaculture design, plus a festival is planned for 8 March 2020. Contact Monica on 0439 390 557 for full details.

Page last updated: Monday, 2 December 2019