Vincent Neighbourhood Soup – Boomerang Bags Foyer Oxford

Boomerang Bags Foyer Oxford photo

Bronwyn’s Boomerang Bags @ Foyer Oxford was voted to receive funding at the inaugural Vincent Neighbourhood Soup in 2017.

Bronwyn pitching Boomerang Bags Foyer Oxford at Vincent Neighbourhood Soup 2017
Bronwyn pitching Boomerang Bags Foyer Oxford

She shares her project’s progress below.

Boomerang Bags is going well.

We have made approximately 100 bags. This may seem like not many but all of the people making bags hadn’t touched a sewing machine before so it has been a big learning curve.

With the bags we were able to put up a string of bags for Light Up Leederville to help promote boomerang bags. We also have a stand in Foyer Oxford with bags for residents/staff/volunteers to take when heading to IGA to grocery shop. Foyer can have up to 95 people living within the building plus all staff throughout the day so I would average about 150 minimum people having access to the bags per day.

We have had a few obstacles to overcome, the biggest one is the reliability of our boomerang bag team. It has been very hit and miss on whether residents come to the sewing bees. The other challenge we have had is the time it takes to complete a bag. Because of this we have decided to keep the bags within Foyer currently as we would not be able to maintain upkeep if opening it to the general public.

One of the successes I did not anticipate was the conversations engaged in during the sewing bees. There have been in-depth discussions on how to create less waste, become plastic free and the importance of getting rid of plastic bags.

We actually still have a good portion of the funds for on-going needs for Boomerang bags. We have used the funds to buy an overlocker, calico for the logo for boomerang bags, a screen printer and paint and the hat stand for their display.

Transition Town Vincent is proud to have helped fund the Boomerang Bags @ Foyer Oxford project.

If you have a project or an idea to improve the City of Vincent community, Vincent Neighbourhood Soup 2018 will be on Tuesday 31st July.

Submit your idea!

Attend Vincent Neighbourhood Soup 2018

Glass half-full

Clear glass tumbler half-filled with water.

It is said that optimists see the above as half-full and pessimists see it as half-empty.

It is the opposite when it comes to my journey into living a sustainable life.

I see that my half-empty green-lid landfill bin as a sign of optimism.

Actually, my green-lid bin is not quite half empty.  Most weeks, it is actually about 10% full.

And my yellow-lid mixed recycling bin is usually more than 75% full.

It has taken effort including:

  • buying wisely (what is needed and choosing to pay more for things that will last a long time),
  • composting kitchen waste at home, and
  • green-lid bin diving to retrieve recyclables from ending up in landfill – training the family is still on-going.

Where I was

Before I became aware of sustainability, I viewed the dumping everything into the green-lid landfill bin as a great convenience.

An event that prompted my desire to live more sustainably was when the City of Vincent (CoV) surveyed ratepayers (people who live in the locality and pay they city for services) about what kind of recycling we would like to have the City provide.

For convenience sake, I replied that I would like a large yellow-lid mixed recycling bin.

Since joining Transition Town Vincent (TTV) and learning more about waste, I wish I had opted for the alternative of having multiple smaller bins which would contain waste that residents had already sorted (e.g. paper & cardboard, glass, plastic).

It turns out that the contents a significant number of yellow-lid bins are rejected because they contain non-recyclable material, like garden and kitchen waste.  Rejected contents are sent to landfill.

Hence my regret for choosing the convenience of mixed-recycling.

But I live and have learnt.

Where I am

Contents of my yellow-lidded mixed recycling bin

Now, through my work with Transition Town Vincent, I try to influence my local community to effect better recycling practices (i.e. only putting the correct materials into their yellow-lid bins) and with the City of Vincent to trial waste disposal alternatives.

On the latter, TTV and CoV are have set up a Community Composting Station, which will accept kitchen waste which will be composted locally, reducing greenhouse gas emission from garbage trucks.

The City of Vincent is trialling a smaller green-lid bin for a once-off $40 discount.  I have chosen not to participate because I don’t think that once-off $40 discount is sufficient incentive to have the convenience of occasionally being able to send more to landfill.

Where I want to go

My journey still continues and I think I will be on it for my whole life.

The optimist in me would like to achieve a green-lid bin fully empty AND a yellow-lid bin also fully-empty.

The pragmatist in me acknowledges this will be difficult but I like being an optimist.

Individual journeys

Each persons’ waste reduction journey is their own.  How fast they travel and where they want to go is up to them.

I believe by reading this blog, you have started or are well on your way on your journey.  I congratulate you – it takes all our efforts to make our communities more sustainable.

Movie nights – now at the Paddington Ale House

TTV held our first movie night at the Paddington Alehouse on Monday 13 November 2017 and, in my opinion, it was a success.

89 people registered and it looks like the 60 people who attended enjoyed the movie.

The main reasons for the venue change are:

  • Less setup effort required, which makes running these nights more sustainable for organisers,
  • Better sound, and
  • We had outgrown the seating capacity in the Foyer Oxford room.

There are also the side benefits of people being able to enjoy a meal and/or drink plus we get to support a local business.

We would like to thank Neil for hosting the movie nights, Joe for setting up the room and the City of Vincent for financial support in the purchase of the movies.

Our heartfelt thanks also go to Foyer Oxford for allowing the use of their room for previous movie nights.

Finally, thanks to you for coming along to watch the movies.  We hope it helps you with your effort to tread lighter on the earth.

Get your free ticket to the next movie night!