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3 December 2009

Welcome to the latest issue of the Byron Shire Sustainability E-Newsletter!

This edition we take a look at the global issue of 'Palm Oil' and how we can help prevent rainforest deforestation through our basic everyday purchasing choices, plus the usual bevy of local sustainability initiatives! Enjoy..

Palm kernel oil is the world's second most widely produced edible oil. It is often vaguely labelled as 'vegetable oil', yet is found in many everyday products, including biscuits, chips, shampoos, cosmetic products and pet food etc. The increased worldwide demand for palm oil is fuelling the destruction of rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia where massive tracts of forest are cleared for palm oil plantations, pushing endangered species, including orangutans and the Sumatran tiger closer to extinction and contributing to global warming (UNEP, 2007). 

Australian's consume an average of 10kg of palm oil per person each year, but by making simple choices we can avoid certain products that do not obtain palm oil from socially and ecologically responsible sources. For more info on what you can do visit the Palm Oil Action website

The Byron Shire Sustainability E-Newsletter connects local people with sustainability news and events in and around Byron Shire.

Byron Shire Swap Market

12 December 2009

We're wishing you a low-consumption Christmas this year with the launch of the Byron Shire Swap Market! The Shire's first Swap Market will be held outside Council Chambers, Mullumbimby on Saturday 12 December from 10am - 2pm.

Swap Market Rules:

1. Bring up to 10 easy to carry, quality items that you want to swap (clothes, tools, books, toys, CDs, bric-a-brac, ornaments, but no electrical goods please).

2. Register your swap items at the registration desk and receive one token for each item (registration opens from 10am).

3. Choose the item(s) you would like to take and hand your token back to a swap party helper.

So rather than buy, SWAP for your Chirstmas presents this year and keep unwanted items out of landfill.

Plus more!

  • Local Seed Swap with Byron Hinterland Seed Savers,
  • Composting Demos with NEWF, and
  • Delicious Food supplied by the Mullumbimby Community Garden!

Any 'un-swapped' items will be donated to the Salvation Army in Byron Bay. For more info contact Council on 6626 7305 or visit the webpage

Rebate Survey - Fill Out to Win $50 Gift Voucher!!

Byron Shire Council is surveying residents to gain an insight into people's response to energy and water saving rebates. The survey will take approximately 5 minutes.

* Every person who completes the survey will go into the draw to win a $50 voucher to spend on organic groceries!

  • If you have installed a solar hot water system, ceiling insulation, rain tank or solar panels, click here
  • If you haven't applied for any energy or water saving rebate devices, click here

Thank you for your assistance!

Sustainable Streets - Eco-Shopping and Bike Tune-Up Workshop

5 December 2009

The next Mullumbimby Sustainable Streets workshop will be held on Sat 5th Dec.

Residents will enjoy a fun and interactive workshop on the themes of Sustainable Shopping and Bike Maintenance with experienced local tutors.

The Sustainable Streets Program will be looking for new streets around Byron Shire in early 2010!

For more info, visit the Sustainable Streets Website

Your Responses: Voluntary Simplicity Entries

In our last e-newsletter, we asked you what you were doing to embrace Voluntary Simplicity. Everyone who entered won a free edition of 'G-Mag'  - The Sustainable Lifestyle Magazine..... Here's what you said:

  • "I recycle almost everything - tin cans under citrus trees, paper as mulch, food into the compost etc. I make my own cleaning products and buy food in bulk to reduce packaging waste." - Vivienne


  • "Op-shopping! I love, love, love it and we are reducing, reusing & recycling and not to mention supporting wonderful charities in our community at the same time!" - Natalie


  • "We bake our own bread as a simple start to a bigger lifestyle change. Its a beautiful activity to do with the kids at the beginning of the week and (rising time aside) is way quicker and easier than driving to the shops for a loaf, and tastes way better too. It costs us only $2 to make an organic loaf. Next on the list is chickens and a veggie patch!"  - Latifah


  • "We are moving in a couple of months and are selling 90% of our things... we have come to realise how much of our life is taken up with "stuff" and how much of precious time it takes to look after that "stuff". The kids are on-board and have been clearing out their toys and donating them to charities (and a box is going to the local hospital for the emergency room). We are also looking into growing our own food and getting some chooks. Life has definitely become too busy & we are looking forward to winding it back." - Kris


  • "We just moved into a smaller, energy-efficient house closer to town and can now  walk or ride our bikes to the shops. We have also installed solar hot water, painted our roof white and insulated the house." - Jo


  • "I take clothing that other people don't want and turn it into something I will wear. Often I find that a piece of clothing will sit in my cupboard and not be worn, but when I adjust just a little thing I will be wearing it every day." - Sophy


  • "Following permaculture principles of more than 1 use for an item, i run our household worm farm." - Stephanie

$10K Prize for Thinking Big and Thinking Green!

Got a big green idea? Need money to make it happen? This could be the grant for you....

The Big Green Idea is a new funding initiative from the British Council designed to help put eco-visionary ideas into action. They're offering five (5) grants of AU$10,000 each to people who will make a real contribution to Australia's environmental future.

They're looking for eco-entrepreneurs with savvy ideas that will help address some of the biggest sustainability challenges for urban communities while making a positive impact on the way people live. Specifically, funded projects can address the following urban issues:

  • waste reduction and efficiency
  • transport and travel
  • energy reduction
  • water efficiency
  • sustainable design

Applications are now CLOSE Friday 4 December 2009

For more information visit the British Council's website