From February 9th – 24th the Sustainable Living Festival is running in and around Melbourne with talks, movies, workshops and exhibitions. The main event is the ‘Big Weekend’ held on the 15-17th of February in and around Federation Square in central Melbourne. There is a market full of stalls selling sustainable products, informing about their work and holding demonstrations as well as a range of talks, interactive workshops and exhibits. There was even a bike valet parking station!
I went along on the Saturday afternoon of the Big Weekend and, despite it being about 33 degrees, had an excellent time. I wandered through the market for well over an hour, chatting to a huge range of people about the work they are doing and looking at all kinds of amazing products. There is so much incredible work happening in every aspect of sustainability at the moment – from small scale permaculture at schools to huge campaigns to increase our use of renewable energy and stop the reliance of coal – it was so inspiring to see it all.
There were also a range of vegetarian food stalls and a Mountain Goat bar so naturally I had to get involved in all of that as well!
I attended a number of talks as well, including Biomimicry in Australia, Removing 70% of Cars by 2020 and Great Taste, No Waste. All of the talks were fascinating and I absorbed as much information as I could. A few facts that really made me think were that on average cars in Melbourne are only used for 1.5 hours a day which is concerning considering how many resources go into the production of them, the amount of public space we dedicate to cars and the cost they have on both households and the environment. The other interesting fact was that Australians waste approximately 450,000 garbage trucks worth of food every single year, which works out at over $1000 worth each household. Frightening! All of this just helped reinforce why I want to keep focussing on living as sustainably as possible because each of us can make such a difference.
One of the other great things was the room the talks were held in was completely powered by a big solar panel located right outside the entrance – renewable energy in action!
All in all it was an eye-opening and fascinating day in the Melbourne sunshine, and I hope to catch a few more of the talks and movies before the festival wraps up for another year.
What are you up to this weekend?