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Sustainability E-Newsletter - Autumn 2015

Byron Shire Zero Net Emissions Community Forum – Save the date!

Byron Shire Council, in partnership with Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), has set a visionary goal to become Australia's first Zero Emissions community. Byron Shire Council and BZE will be hosting a Community Forum on Sunday June 21st at the Cavanbah Centre (Ewingsdale Road) in Byron Bay from 9.30am-12.30pm. This forum is an open invitation to all interested community members to come and help co-create a Byron specific strategy and plan. More information coming soon but please save the date in your diaries.

Wanted: ethical caterers!

In June 2010, Byron Shire Council resolved to adopt an Ethical Catering Policy to recognise the importance of ethically and sustainably produced foods to the nutritional health and general wellbeing of our community, the local economy and the wider environment. 

Council is now updating its register of Ethical Caterers and is inviting suitably qualified individuals/organisations to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for Ethical Catering.

The creation of the Ethical Catering register is to support the Ethical Catering policy which gives preference to local, seasonally-available, certified organic, cruelty-free and fair trade produce and also aims to promote sustainable agriculture by supporting local farmers across Byron Shire.

Submissions close at 4pm Thursday 4 June 2015.

For more information, please contact Sandi Middleton at Byron Shire Council on 02 6626 7305 or visit Council’s website.

World Environment Day 2015 Celebrations - Shire wide student photography project

To celebrate World Environment Day in 2015, Byron Shire Council and Brunswick Valley Landcare are running an environmentally focused photographic project with Brunswick Heads Primary School.

The shire wide project will involve students learning about the local environment as part of the science curriculum. Students will then be taken on a tour of the Suffolk Park Dunecare and Saltwater Creek Landcare sites by Landcare volunteers. During the tour children will be guided to photograph the regeneration work and the local environment.  

Each student will then have one image displayed as part of a walking photography exhibition around Brunswick Heads leading up to and including World Environment Day on Friday 5 June 2015 and the Old and Gold Festival on Saturday 6 June 2015.

The theme of the photography exhibition will be ‘Our Environment is Golden’.

A limited edition book of the project will be created, including photographs by and of the students, and Brunswick Valley Landcare and Byron Shire Council will distribute further information and resources from a stall during the Old and Gold Festival.

Come along and visit our stall on the day and celebrate living sustainably!

Further information about the project can be obtained from Melody Valentine, Secretary of Brunswick Valley Landcare at

Want to learn how to upcycle?

Come along to the clever repair café on Saturday mornings at the Byron Community College, Mullumbimby campus. Bring along things needing gluing, sewing, sanding or you’re not sure what to do, that might otherwise get thrown out. Volunteers will help you to fix it up for a small donation.

Free Energy Efficiency Workshops

Are you a community service or adult learning group who would like some in-house energy efficiency or energy literacy training? Would you like to help your clients with saving energy or understanding their bills? For more information, please contact Katrina Shields at Byron College on

Free fact sheets and videos available at

This project is supported by Byron Shire Council. 

Peddle & Hawk your wares at Kulchajam

Kulchajam, a non profit organisation, is hosting a new initiative to support local entrepreneurs, artists, crafters, foodies and recyclers. Peddle & Hawk the Acacia Street Market will host a treasure trove of art, craft, home grown produce and homemade food creations, up-cycled, recycled and pre-loved items. Commencing Saturday 30 May, and coinciding with the Kulchajam Community Food Cooperative open day, the Market will occur on the last Saturday of every month.

For more information or to register for a stall, click here:

Thank you Louis Palvin! - Shara Community Gardens

Shara Community Gardens is on Shara Boulevarde, next to the pre-school in North Ocean Shores. It is a beautiful meeting place and productive organic food gardens, much appreciated by locals and visitors. We have both food-for-all beds and private beds, and two covered meeting places. People meet casually, hold parties, run workshops. If you haven't already, we invite you to take ten minutes to look around.

As we say goodbye to our talented Co-ordinator Louis Pavlin, there are opportunities for folks with expertise and time to join our community. The activities include Coordinator, Work for the Dole Coordinator, MYOB dropbox book-keeping, some small building project-management, grant applications, and organic gardening. If you are interested in one or more of these, please
contact David Hall on 

We also host two regular events. A playgroup meets on Friday mornings, 10am-12pm at the fabulous bloodwood table in the pergola by the sandpit, and weaving workshops using natural materials are on Saturdays from 10am-2.30pm. All are most welcome!

Last and importantly, much of the great work is done by Work-for-the-dole and voluntary work (over 55s) who maintain the gardens and build the structures. This is rewarding and valued by the community, so contact David (see above) to enquire.

100% Sustainable Mullumbimby - The biggest little town that did, and is doing it again!

Saturday June 13, Mullumbimby Community Gardens
   1-2pm Community Lunch
   2-5pm 2nd Annual Public Meeting for 100% Sustainable Mullumbimby


On Saturday 13 June from 2-5pm at the Mullumbimby Community Gardens, there will be the 2nd Annual Public Meeting for our town's movement towards 100% sustainability. This will be a free event, offering presentations from existing action groups, with the opportunity to join them, as well as form new groups to bring action to the gaps needing addressing within the vision for 100% sustainability for Mullumbimby and beyond.

This meeting will be attended by Permaculture Pioneer David Holmgren and his partner Su Dennett who, like many locals in the shire, are passionate about relocalisation and retrofitting current systems to make them more sustainable. Please note that before this event there will be a yummy lunch, chai and cakes made by COREM - Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullum and First Light - Peer Support Mental Health Network, with all proceeds going towards the continuing organisation of this movement.

People love Dirt

We had a fantastic and inspiring evening on Tuesday 5 May at our Council Sustainability Seminar.

With over 90 people packing the Councils Chambers we watched ‘Dirt – the movie’ and heard snippets from the Mullumbimby Community Gardens, Munch Crunch Organics and Compost Central around the importance of caring for our soils.

We also enjoyed delicious food prepared by Jeannette Martin at the Mullumbimby Community Gardens. Thanks for such a great evening Byron Shire and if you are interested in sharing your sustainability ideas and projects for next year’s calendar contact me via email at

Suez Environment Community Grants - closing soon!

SUEZ environment has a long standing commitment to working with and supporting local communities, both in Australia and globally. They believe that by creating local partnerships and growing community participation in social and environmental projects and activities, they can help create a sustainable future. SUEZ environment Community Grants are calling for applications from organisations for projects that will have a positive and sustainable impact in the communities they operate within. Projects must be undertaken by Australian organisations working in Australia.

See more at:

New 3 Bin Collection Service

Byron Shire Council is introducing a New 3 Bin Collection Service for urban residents in August this year!

The new service will include a weekly green organics bin collection for all food and garden organic waste.

A 2012 bin composition survey of the Shire revealed that a staggering  50% of what we put into our red landfill bins each week are food and garden organics. That is a waste of valuable resources!

Our new organics service will help our environment as it is expected to divert over 3,000 tonnes of food and garden organics waste from landfill each year, instead being converted into certified organic compost that can be returned to our local soils.

During July, residents will receive their new green bin, a kitchen organics caddy, a six month supply of compostable liners and information to help get started with an easy and convenient new household  waste separation system. 

For more information visit the New 3 Bin Collection Service page.