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17 September 2009

A recent trip down south illustrated how even seemingly ordinary businesses can lighten their eco-load and make a 'green' difference. Grumpy's Pub is one such business that has adopted an environmentally-responsible stance by stocking an all local wine and beer list (minimising carbon emissions from transport), and uses soy-based candles, rainwater harvested on-site to flush toilets and compost bins to dispose of waste from its fully vegetarian menu that would tempt any carnivore.

Maybe the most surprising thing about this pub is that it looks just like any other, demonstrating that the integration of sustainable practices doesn't require massive change.

Let's find inspiring answers to some of the world's problems. Read on for more details of what's happening around Byron Shire.

Cape Byron Steiner School Spring Fair

26 September 2009

Cape Byron Steiner School will be holding their annual spring fair on Saturday 26 September with this year's theme being Sustainability. The Fair will be an opportunity to raise awareness within the community of sustainability issues as well as provide a great day of music, entertainment and craft activities.

The Fair will feature numerous local providers of sustainable products and provide the public with an opportunity to see some of the sustainable initiatives the school has implemented - including a grid-interactive solar power system, energy monitors in classrooms, water harvesting systems, edible plantings and much more!

For more information, contact Gavin Colley on 0427 847 400.

One of the School's edible gardens

National Organics Weeks - Free Community Film Night

19 October 2009 7:00 - 8:00pm

Buying organic products supports good nutrition, local farmers and the environment. To celebrate National Organics Week, 2009, Council will be hosting a free community film night on Monday 19th October to screen HomeGrown. The film follows the Dervaes family who run a small organic farm in the heart of urban Pasadena, California. While "living off the grid", they harvest over 2,700 kilos of produce on less than a quarter of an acre, make their own bio diesel, power their computers with the help of solar panels and maintain a website that gets 4,000 hits a day. The film is an intimate human portrait of one way to live a sustainable life style in the 21st Century.

Mullumbimby Community Garden members will be on-hand serving delicious cakes and tea with all proceeds going to the Garden.

Council's Eco-Envelope Initiative

Did you know that every tonne of recycled paper saves approximately 17 trees? Byron Shire Council is making the switch to 100% recycled, non-bleached envelopes to reduce its eco-impact. Recycled paper generally consumes 50% less energy and up to 60% less water than manufacturing from virgin pulp. Using recycled paper conserves natural resources, while reducing waste and pollution.

Council has already made the switch to 100% recycled business cards, which provides a powerful tool to communicate the sustainability message.

Rebates Roll-On!

Since October 2007, households in Byron Shire have claimed more 1,086 energy and water-saving rebates, worth over $713,000 under the NSW Residential Rebate program. This huge number of rebates places Byron Shire 6th in the State in terms of per capita rebate uptake and has helped create more than 1,700 green jobs across NSW, while saving householder's money and greenhouse emissions. Hot water heating is the biggest power user in NSW homes and the switch from electric to either solar, gas or heat pump systems will help achieve big savings. Rebates are now available for Solar Hot Water Systems, Washing Machines, Insulation and Rainwater Tanks.

For more information, or to receive a rebate application form, call Council's Sustainability Officer on 6626 7305 or DECCW on 1300 361 967.

New Sustainable Living ACE Courses

Get an education in sustainable living with ACE Byron Shire's 'Sustainable Living' Workshops. New courses include Introduction to Biodynamics, Introduction to Permaculture, Grow Your Own Green Curry and Sustainable Seafood.

Check out the Sustainable Living Workshops flyer for course options or contact Katrina Shields, ACE Sustainability Officer on 02 6684 3374.