Green machines: Glenda Maes, Zero Plastics Australia’s Adam and Ashlee Slater, and Cathy McCallum shared their sustainable ideas at Barkly Square. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

Eco warriors promote zero-plastic habits

July 22, 2021 BY

EMBRACING Plastic-Free July, two Ballarat Community Garden members hosted a mini zero-plastic fair at Ballarat Wholefoods Collective last week.

Encouraging the city to reduce the presence of single-use plastic in their lives, Cathy McCallum and Glenda Maes welcomed “eco warrior” stallholders and advocates, including We Bar None, The Hidden Orchard, Zero Plastics Australia, Eco Enviro Concepts, Green Earth Kids, and Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group.

“We want people to ask themselves, ‘can we approach our use of plastic in a better way?” Ms Maes said.

Ms McCallum said everyone participating in the plastic-free morning was “conscious about the world we’re going to leave.”

“People are really willing to be part of something that is promoting the betterment of the environment,” she said.

Flavia Guardia from Eco Enviro Concepts had a stall at the event.

“I’ve been an educator so I was just going to a tiny stall here today, but it’s turned into something much bigger because of peoples’ willingness to learn.

“I took a young man through, a Wholefoods person, and he was here for half-an-hour. He’s educated himself about all the things he can do now to improve his plastic habits.”

Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group’s engagement manager Elanor Mahon said grassroots events like the one organised by Ms McCallum and Ms Mae are “critical.”

“They encourage successful embedding of zero-waste habits in our community, because they give people the chance to connect with others on a zero-waste journey, look at what they’re doing, have conversations, touch and feel,” she said.

“Online information doesn’t give people the chance to fully understand how to approach making changes, but knowing others in the community on that same journey gives people the confidence to think, ‘I can do that.’

“Simple steps that are effective set you on a path, so you feel more able to tackle some of the bigger decisions.”