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Autumn 2011

Welcome to the Autumn edition of the Byron Shire Sustainability E-Newsletter!

Council's Energy Efficiency Lighting Retrofit

Byron Shire Council will undertake a major lighting retrofit of Council's main Administration Centre in Mullumbimby to improve the energy efficiency of the building. As an initiative under Council's adopted Greenhouse Action Strategy, the lighting retrofit is estimated to save 53 MWh of power per year, which equates to an annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 57 tonnes. It is expected that the project will generate financial savings of $14,000 per year, with a payback period of 3.5 years.

The savings generated from the lighting retrofit will be re-invested into Council’s Revolving Energy Fund to finance further energy conservation measures throughout the organisation.

Beyond Zero Emissions Launch in Byron Shire

21 March 2011

Transition Byron Shire has organised a local launch of the renowned Zero Carbon Australia Plan from 6.30 - 8:30pm on March 21 at Council Chambers in Mullumbimby. 

The Zero Carbon Australia plan (released late 2010) describes how to supply Australia’s stationary energy needs with 100% renewable energy within the next 10 years. This is baseload renewable energy, supplied around the clock, 24 hours a day by the sun and wind costed at $8 per household, per week. The presentation will be delivered by Mark Ogge from Beyond Zero Emissions.

Food and drinks will be supplied by Mullum Community Garden. This event is supported by Byron Shire Council and Santos Wholefoods.

For more info, call Gabi on: 0438 63 9984

Byron Hinterland Seed Savers News

2 April 2011

Next event: The Byron Hinterland Seed Savers next event will be from 1 - 5pm on 2 April at the abundant garden of Rasa Dover (186 Repentance Creek Road, Federal). The garden is a sustainable food delight with many varieties of fruiting natives, yams, taros, traditional fruit trees, edible bamboo and lotus. Please bring a plate of afternoon tea to share, $3 donation and any seeds, cuttings, tubers, seedlings or seeds you wish to share.

 For more info, contact Rasa by email:

New Seed Library:
Byron Hinterland Seed Savers are starting an organic seed store or community "Seed Library" at the Mullumbimby Community Gardens. The Group hope to encourage more people to save their own seeds and understand our responsibilities as the keepers of this precious resource.

Please bring your own saved seeds to our next event for the new Seed Library. It is important that the seeds are already cleaned and labelled with the month and year of saving and the name of the seed variety.

For more info, contact Rasa by email:

Sustainable Streets Update

The four 'Sustainable Streets' operating across Byron and Tweed Shires' had there finale celebration over the weekend of 12 and 13 March. The finales were an opportunity to reveal the results of the program and to thank the participants for joining us on the journey to a lower impact lifestyle!

Overall, the project helped generate the following reductions across the 4 streets

Sustainable Streets Results

Street Energy Water Eco Footprint
South Golden Beach
5.0% decrease
43.0% decrease 5.5% decrease
Uki 13.0% decrease
23.0% decrease 14.5% decrease
Mullumbimby Creek 13.5% decrease 62.0% decrease 21.0% decrease
Cabarita 26.0% decrease 23.0% decrease 20.5% decrease

Congratulations on the great results! Sustainable Streets is supported by the Tweed-Byron Bush Futures program. Download the full summary report here or visit

Landshare Scheme Launched!

The Northern Rivers has become the first region in Australia to launch a land match-making service that will help boost sustainable food production and food security in the region. Based on the very sucessful UK model, Landshare Australia provides a social networking service that introduces people with spare land to others wanting to grow vegetables, but without land, via the website:

The Landshare Australia website has gone live and people can register and post their particular need for a space or offer land to share with interested gardeners. The website will then provide a selection of matches, contact is then made, terms are agreed and then growing gets going!


New Sustainability Courses @ Byron Community College

Byron Region Community College has a Term 1 brochure jam-packed with great Sustainable Living Courses. New courses include:

  • Transform Your Yard into a Backyard Rainforest Habitat
  • Eco Parenting
  • Chemical Free Bush Regen
  • Becoming an Agent of Change
  • Bamboo Design and Construction
  • Bring Back the Bird Wing Butterfly
  • Natural Remedies from the Garden
  • Subtropical Food Forest
  • Growing Abundance 

...... plus all the repeats of the popular ones you may have missed.

To book your course call 6684 3374 or visit

Get into Green Cleaning

Are the cleaning products you use in your home safe for the environment or do they pose health risks to your family? Many everyday activities around the home involve the use of toxic chemicals. Household cleaners, garden pesticides, paints and detergents can all be hazardous to our health and the environment.

Find out how you can become a 'Green Cleaner' by taking the Byron Shire Green Cleaning Challenge. Download the green cleaning fact sheet containing Natural Cleaning Recipes here: Green Cleaning Fact Sheet