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Introduction to Zero Waste Workshop

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by Lee Ellwood (EllWords) (subscribe)
An editor, writer and creative communicator, also fond of quilting, reading, yoga and tea. Want something done with words? Visit
Published March 16th 2019
Biome: eliminating waste one R at a time

'A whole lot of people taking individual actions is the only thing that really changes the world.' (Tracey Bailey, Biome founder)

If your bath was overflowing and flooding the floor, would you go get a mop? Or would you turn off the tap first?

It's obvious, isn't it. Yet why, when we're drowning in waste materials and excess rubbish, do we try to deal with the rubbish instead of 'turning off the tap' that delivers it all?

It seems impossible to act differently. But it can be done, and Biome's Zero Waste workshop will show you how.

Biome Collective, Paddington
Biome Collective at Paddington
I recently had the privilege of attending Zero Waste at the Biome Collective in Paddington and came away with more anti-waste strategies than I could ever have imagined by myself. Facilitated by Biome founder Tracey Bailey and Biome Collective coordinator Jacq Driscoll, the workshop runs through the seven Rs of creating a no-waste lifestyle and helps you shift your thinking away from our consumption-focused practices.

Wait - seven Rs? You probably already know 'reduce, reuse, recycle' - but as Tracey and Jacq will show you, once you've put a few other Rs in place, the waste you have left to deal with will be unbelievably minimal!

In the pleasant location that is the Biome Collective, next to the Paddington store, Tracey outlined these Rs in a sequence that will help you minimise your part in our waste problem.

Tracey Bailey - Biome Zero Waste
Biome founder Tracey Bailey leads the workshop

You see, it's not just about recycling the rubbish we produce: if you reduce (there's an R word!) your consumption of commercial products, you'll also reduce the pressure on the finite resources needed to make and distribute them. So, making for yourself many of the things you need is a big step in the right direction. But how?

Jacq explained and demonstrated some of the DIY products you can make quite simply to replace household cleaners, laundry items and personal care products, such as toothpaste. All of these (usually environmentally unfriendly) goods consume finite resources in their production and distribution, leaving you with waste material to dispose of - before you go back to the supermarket and buy more. (I'd never really thought about how many empty toothpaste tubes I've tossed out in my lifetime!)
Homemade toothpaste
Make your own no-waste toothpaste

The workshop is presentation-style, but with attendees asking questions and sharing their own tips and experiences, my session was highly interactive. I now have a long list of reusing and recycling websites (more Rs!) to add to Biome's tips, thanks to my fellow attendees. There was real community among those present, all concerned enough to have come along but all at various points along the no-waste road.

In fact, both Tracey and Jacq described the shift to a no-waste lifestyle as a 'journey': it won't happen overnight, but like all journeys, it will happen a step at a time. It was great to think of it that way, because changing your consumer behaviour can seem overwhelming once you've opened your eyes to the way we all live and the flood of waste materials we all create by refusing to operate any other way. (Another R word!)

Jacq Driscoll - Biome Collective coordinator
Jacq Driscoll describes her no-waste journey

If you've joined the War on Waste, or have at least let yourself see what's going on and become concerned about it, I highly recommend Biome's Zero Waste workshop to support you on your journey. Take along a pen and notebook - I filled pages with tips, quotes and ideas! - and also a lidded jar for taking away a no-waste laundry product.

The Zero Waste workshop is scheduled regularly - watch the Biome workshop webpage for the next session.

*Lee Ellwood was a guest.

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Why? Because individual action leads to global change
When: See website for next session
Phone: 07 3368 3009
Where: Biome Collective, 2 Latrobe Tce, Paddington
Cost: $10
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