The festive season is right around the corner and Randwick City locals are preparing to celebrate Christmas with their loved ones.
But amongst all of this Christmas cheer it’s easy to forget about the impact this time of year can have on our earth.
Did you know, of the $50 billion that is spent by Australians around Christmas, approximately $700 million is expected to go to landfill by the following February?
Randwick Council is working to help communities reduce our impact on the environment. So we’ve thought up some not-so-silly tips to help you and your loved ones celebrate the silly season sustainably. (Say that five times fast!)
1. Get creative with gift wrap
Australians use a whopping 8,000 tons of wrapping paper every year and often it’s the plastic kind that takes years to break down. This Christmas, think outside the box and get creative with how you wrap your gifts. If you’ve got small kids, it’s likely your home is filled with their artistic creations. Use their lovely artwork as wrapping paper and tie them up with twine. No children in the house? ‘Furoshiki’ is the Japanese art of wrapping gifts in fabric. The receiver also gets to keep the fabric, so choose something that’s part of the gift, such as a scarf, table cloth, t-shirt or beach towel.
2. Give experiences, not things
You’ve probably heard it before, but filling someone’s stockings with experiences is not only a great way to reduce what goes into landfill, but it also creates memories that last. If tickets to an event aren’t possible, make your own voucher that can be cashed in on throughout the year. It might be for brunch at a local café or meeting for a drink after work. For kids, the voucher might be to ‘build the best-ever cushion fort’ or ‘a family games night’.
3. Shop locally
Christmas is a wonderful time to get a little closer to your community and support small businesses in your area. Randwick City is bursting with independent businesses, producers and artisans that would love to help you make this Christmas one to remember. Pick up your Christmas ham from your local butcher or buy a thoughtful gift at the markets. Shopping your Christmas feast at the local markets means you’re cutting down on the food miles your food has travelled, which is great for the environment. Plus, buying local is a sure-fire way to get on Santa’s ‘nice’ list – just don’t forget your own shopping bags!
4. Get real
There is always a debate around whether to have a fake or real tree, and there are pros and cons to both. However, in terms of our environment, a real tree is the better choice. Fake trees are usually made of plastic and they’re not recyclable. Eventually they end up in the landfill and they don’t break down. A real tree on the other hand, can be discarded with your organic garden matter. And as a cherry-on-top, Randwick City Council will pick up your real trees for you – just leave them on your kerb on the first green waste collection day of 2019. If you're not sure when that is, check our waste and pickup dates map where you can type in your address and easily find your zone.
5. Dispose of your garbage properly!
On Christmas morning, you’re bound to be left with wrapping paper, boxes and plenty of rubbish. Take the time to dispose of it properly – recycle what you’re able to and put the rest in your red bin. If your wrapping paper is paper – and not foil or plastic, it can go in your recycle bin. We know this time of year can mean extra garbage, so if you’re overflowing you can drop off recyclables at our recycling centre in Matraville. Just check the opening hours. At the centre, we’re also able to accept a number of other recyclable items that we can’t collect through the yellow bins, such a polystyrene and soft plastics.
Free mulch for Randwick residents only — 1 December 2018
SATURDAY 1 DECEMBER 2018
10.00AM – 1.00PM
RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL WORKS DEPOT, TOP YARD (entrance near corner Storey Street and Flower Street) 192 STOREY STREET, MAROUBRA
Reduce weeds, save water and promote a healthy organically cultivated garden. Randwick Council is offering residents free mulch on following Saturdays: 2 June, 1 September and 1 December 2018 at the Council Works Depot Top Yard. Limits and conditions apply.* Please call 1300 722 542 to find out more.
Gararge Sale Trail — 20-21 October 2018
Garage Sale Trail is one BIG WEEKEND of garage sales that's happening right across Australia on October 20 and 21. It’s an idea to help encourage reuse, reduce waste and minimise our impact on mother nature. Register here.
We believe small actions drive BIG change. So while one garage sale on its own won’t make much difference, when hundreds of thousands of Australians get together in streets, community centres and schools to buy, sell and reuse at garage sales over a weekend… well, that’s a whole lotta difference.
Garage Sale Trail happens with the support of 146 Council partners and more than 400,000 bargain hunting, reuse loving Australians -who this year will shop and sell at more than 15,000 garage sales Australia-wide
Every garage sale has a unique name and its own sale page that provides clues to who's involved, what’s on offer and anything else that’s going down. Likewise, shoppers can search for sales, items of interest and make your own Trail of favourite sales to checkout.
Celebrating Biodiversity — 24 March 2018
9:00AM - 1:00PM
RANDWICK COUNCIL COMMUNITY NURSERY, 2B BARKER STREET KINGSFORD
- native and exotic plant sale
- bee and insect-friendly garden advice
- Aboriginal food and medicine plants
- potting compost, mulch and vegie seeds
- urban beekeeping workshop 10am – 11.30am Book Now!
What if there were no plants, trees, birds, insects, water, air or soil? In our busy daily lives we sometimes forget the many essential services provided by our natural world and how these services protect our health, provide endless enjoyment and are our planets first line of defence against climate change.
On Saturday 24 March join your community in celebrating and appreciating the important things that keep us alive. From 9am – 1pm at Randwick Community Nursery you’ll find out which local plants attract bees and other small critters to keep your garden healthy and easy to maintain, purchase native plants best suited to the climate of the Eastern Suburbs, and learn how to keep bees with our urban beekeeping workshop (bookings essential).
Earth Hour — 24 March 2018
THIS EARTH HOUR #CONNECT2EARTH
This Earth Hour be part of a global movement protecting our planet and its incredible nature.
Inspiring individuals, communities, businesses and organizations in more than 180 countries and territories to take action for our shared home, Earth Hour 2018 will shine a light on the impact of biodiversity in Australia as a result of climate change.
By 2020, at the current rate of biodiversity loss, the world could have witnessed a two-thirds decline in global wildlife populations in only half a century. People currently need the equivalent of 1.6 Earths to produce the goods and services we use each year, threatening the natural resources base and ecosystem services that humanity depends upon.
How can I get involved?
- join in Celebrating Biodiversity in Randwick City from 9am - 1pm on Saturday 24 March
- switch off your lights at 8:30pm to show your solidarity in protecting our planet and its biodiversity
- find an event near you or register your own
- read the Earth Hour blog on how you can #Connect2Earth
- sign up and Win a Trip to the Great Barrier Reef
- learn about Council's energy saving incentives here.
Best GRIN idea
Enter our GReen Innovation ideas competition. It's not really a competition but we are interested in hearing from you with your best Green Innovation idea. Where possible we'll even see if we can implement or pass on the winning ideas. Let's be creative about the solutions for our Planet!
International Permaculture Day — 21 April 2018
Workshops, tours, puppet show and the opening of the final stage of the Randwick Sustainability Hub project
IT'S INTERNATIONAL PERMACULTURE DAY again at Randwick Sustainability Hub and this year we've a puppet show for children, we're buzzing with native and honey bees, learning how to live off the fat of the land, taking a look at the energy, water and materials retrofit of the community centre and touring the range of garden trails.
JOIN US FOR OPENING THE FINAL STAGE of the Randwick Sustainability Hub project with Mayor Cr Lindsay Shurey and after we'll be planting out our new garden with ABC TV's host of Gardening Australia, Costa Georgiadis.
CHILDREN are in for a treat with the Amazing Drumming Monkeys puppet show.
JOIN OLIVER TO LEARN ABOUT OUR URBAN WILD HARVEST. The wilder ‘zone five’ that is usually the location of reforestation and wildlife habitat in rural permaculture systems also apply in urban permaculture, though here in the cities we harvest it: seaweed from the oceanic wilderness; the common ‘weeds’ of unused spaces and gardens; the passing snacks of street tree fruit to meaningful harvests of staple foods. When approached ethically, the wild food of our urban areas are bounteous places for urban foraging if you know where to look. This talk is intended to be a guide to the wild harvest where we live.
BEES are our focus in workshops by landscape architect and native bee expert, Elke Haege; honey bees will be the buzz with Doug Purdie from The Urban Beehive. The Sydney Bee Club has installed honey and native bee hives at the Sustainability Hub and these will be on view.
RENOVATORS will find a lot to learn by joining the tour of the community centre’s energy and water retrofit with permaculture architect, Terry Bail. There’s ideas on materials selection, water harvesting and storage and energy management to take home. Then there’s the recently-completed classroom-on-the-commons that makes extensive use of recycled building materials.
HOME FOOD GARDENERS, TEACHERS and COMMUNITY EDUCATORS — there's inspiration for you when you join the tour of the Permaculture Interpretive Garden and its balcony-scale aquaponic and vertical garden system; our guide is landscape architect and permaculture educator Steve Batley from Sydney Organic Gardens. Steve will also take us along the wild food and habitat trails that are used as part of the Hub’s pre-and-primary schools science education program.
So… there’e lots to do and see at International Permaculture Day 2018 at Randwick Sustainability Hub, the name given to the community resiliency education program at Randwick Community Centre.
WHEN: Saturday 21 April 2018
WHERE: Randwick Community Centre, 27 Munda Street, Randwick.
Book through Eventbrite booking system.
World Environment Day — June 2018
World Environment Day, June 2018
Each year, nations around the globe coordinate their efforts to celebrate and recognise the important job done by the natural environment for all living creatures!
The celebration of World Environment Day (WED) occurs on June 5 each year under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program. Randwick Council is doing its part for World Environment Day by coordinating and supporting an eclectic mix of events and activities in support of and/ or with a diverse mix of community partners.
Here's how you can get involved....
- Our Energy Future comes to Randwick! Tailored information sessions are being held for residents on 'Our Energy Future' at Bowen Library. Visit the Our Energy Future website for more information and look out for the Our Energy Future app, a free energy audit app to audit your household energy use and gain specialist advice on ways to save on energy and cut your energy costs.
COMMUNITY FORUMS & COURSES
- Community Trivia RSVP
National Tree Day — July 2018
Tree plantings at Council sites (includes Schools Tree Day)
Planet Ark is celebrating 20 years of planting trees and urging Australians to volunteer for National Tree Day on Sunday 26 July and Schools Tree Day on Friday 24 July.
By taking part in National Tree Day, you will be contributing to Australia's largest community tree planting and nature-care event and joining thousands of individuals in making a difference, connecting people with nature, beautifying neighbourhoods and inspiring positive environmental change.
Eco-Living Expo — September 2018
Held at the Randwick Community Centre, the next Eco-Living Expo will be held on Sunday 16 September 2018 and will continue to provide a range of new and popular activities for local residents and their families.
- Sustainability experts and designers
- Market stalls promoting and showcasing environmental friendly homewares and products from across the Eastern suburbs and wider Sydney
- Children's entertainment including eco-stage shows, gardening workshops, recycled arts and crafts, native wildlife and birdlife exhibits and much more
- Workshops and demonstrations with an environmental focus.
Many local partner organisations attend to provide information and conduct formal and informal talks and workshops based on the environmental issues that affect our community in their homes, at school and in the workplace.
Other popular events on the day have included free bicycle maintenance workshops and experts on hand helping out with keeping bees, chickens and sustainable food production.
Receive updates and stay up to date by joining the Eco-Living Expo Facebook event.
Take a look at the highlights from the 2017 Eco-Living Expo!
Sustainable House Day — 17 September 2017
Tap into Local knowledge on Sustainable living — venue to be determined soon.
Open the door to sustainable living by touring our little house of sustainability, Barrett House, in Frenchmans Road Randwick and the Randwick Sustainability Hub at Randwick Community Centre.
A tour Barrett House may be arranged with some of our sustainability experts, tap into local knowledge and learn how to successfully integrate renewable energy, recycling, and other sustainable practices into your home and lifestyle.
This unique event is a valuable resource for anyone looking for inspiration, ideas and the key to sustainable living.
National Recycling Week — 13-19 November 2018
Australians are willing recyclers with 91% of us agreeing that it is the right thing to do. However, as the recycling sector keeps developing there is still some confusion about what can and can't be recycled. More than one in two Australians wrongly think aerosol cans can't go in their kerbside recycling bin and 24% sometimes put their recycling in a plastic bag.
Last year's theme Seven Secrets of Successful Recyclers was designed to lift the lid on the actions and habits that make a successful recycler. National Recycling Week 2014 looked at some of the key questions that cause confusion: what can go in the home recycling bin; what should be left out; how to recycle effectively at work; what to do if there's no public place recycling bin; and, what's the problem with plastic bags?
Big Aussie Swap Party — 17 November 2018
Plus Festival of Forgotten Skills — 17 November 2018, 1:30pm to 5:30pm
The Big Aussie Swap Party continues the great Australian tradition of sharing, making do and creatively reusing those things that we no longer have a use for instead of tossing them in the landfill bin. People love rummaging in other's discards and this is exactly what the Big Aussie Swap Party encourages.
It's our way of celebrating National Recycling Week and encouraging creative reuse rather than uncreative discarding.
- Bring up to 3 good quality, clean items to swap — CDs, books, clothes, toys and homewares...
whatever you can carry. No electrical or large items please
- Leave your items for swapping at the registration table in exchange for a token.
- Take a look around at what other people have brought to swap and then, at 4.00, the swap happens and off you go with an armful of pre-loved, incredibly useful—even beautiful—things.
- Want to know how the swap works? Watch Planet Ark's swap party video at http://youtube/Hqo8Zwku1C8
Best Gift Market - 25 November
9am - 3pm
The Best Gift Market is a new Christmas event showcasing local, handmade, sustainable and ethical products. There will be market stalls with artisans and designers showcasing environmental friendly homewares, gifts and products from across the Eastern suburbs and wider Sydney.
- Handmade gifts by local artists and designers
- Old fashioned quality car-boot sale (“they don’t make it like they used to”)
- DJ entertainment
- Food trucks
- Fresh native Christmas trees
- Green Santa at Best Gift Market
Find out more at the best-gift
Shop local: The Best Gift Market aims to stimulate Randwick’s creative industry and encourage residents to buy from local makers, whether they are home-crafters, backyard builders or apartment artists.
Reduce waste: Of the $50 billion spent by Australians around Christmas, approximately $700 million is expected to go to landfill by the following February. Be mindful during the frenzied time around Christmas instead of being caught up in the hype of buying and spending.
The Best Gift Market provides an alternative option to consider choosing gifts that celebrate the earth.
Take a look at the highlights from the 2017 Best Gift Market!