Green Connect is a community of people with amazing stories. We are always growing and changing. We love to share these stories and all our news here on our blog. Check back soon for more.
At Green Connect, we believe we can do the right thing by people and the planet, and create a more liveable future for everyone. In 2015, the United Nations proposed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to measure progress towards the creation of a sustainable world. "They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The 17 Goals are all interconnected, and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve them all by 2030." (United Nations) You can read more about the 17 goals at United Nations Development Program. The goals are all interrelated [...]
We all know people and communities recently affected by fire. We can only imagine the panic of packing up people, pets and things and evacuating the area, and then not knowing if and when you will be able to return. For all of those who have evacuated areas affected by bushfires and have arrived in Wollongong, we want to make sure you have some clothes, linen, toys and other essentials. Please come and get the essentials at the Green Connect Op Shop at no cost. Please bring your drivers licence showing your address in a bushfire zone, or speak to one [...]
When planning a children's party, it can be really difficult to create a magical, delicious, yet low-impact experience for your child. If you want to create an event which offers all of the above (and doesn't cost the earth), then it is essential to plan a few things ahead of time. We have come up with a few tips on ways for you to cut costs, have fun and reduce or eliminate plastic waste from your event. 1. Party Food Make-your-own (healthier) salad/sandwich buffet (think cheese(s), tomato, lettuce, cold meats, carrot sticks, hummus and other dips, hardboiled eggs, a selection of [...]
What a year... It is the end of the year and the decade. In amongst the craziness that is a social enterprise, we’re taking a moment to reflect. Every year is a crazy one when you’re a business with a social purpose. We have the strategic and operational needs of a business and the support needs of a charity. 2019 certainly delivered its share of highs and lows. It started off really badly, with a fox in our hen house on New Year’s Day and new regulations for music festivals putting our zero waste work (and therefore the whole of Green [...]
Around this time of year, many of us are reflecting on the past and making plans for the future. If you're thinking about sustainability when it comes to your New Year's Resolution, this list might come in handy: Refuse single-use plastic (straws, bottles, coffee cups, cutlery and bags) – carry a water bottle, a set of cutlery, a keep cup and a canvas bag with you instead Switch to green electricity or get solar panels - if your current electricity provider doesn't offer green power, switch to one that does, and use the Energy Made Easy website to compare offers Eat less [...]
Personal protective equipment, uniforms and other work clothes are often branded and when brands change or projects end, it needs to be securely destroyed. Rather than shredding it and/or sending it to landfill, could it be debranded and reused or repurposed? We are keen to do a pilot project to explore this. Do you know of a company with excess PPE or other clothing in good to excellent condition that might want to participate? They would: - Send us up to 200 pieces of PPE or other clothing - Contribute a small amount to cover labour costs to debrand (current projections [...]
We know a thing or two about reducing waste. We manage the waste at big music festivals, and also help businesses and schools to be more sustainable (see our Zero Waste work). We often hear from individuals who want to reduce their impact, but simply don't know where to start! Reducing your waste is quite simple. You just need to ask yourself - where is it coming from, and where is it going? Here are the top two things you can do to start reducing your waste: 1. Recycle as much as you can. Start with soft plastics and food waste. [...]
End the year with a good deed. We need 12 volunteers to help us to paint and tidy a few things up at the Green Connect op shop. Friday 27 and Saturday 28 December, 9.30am to 4.30pm, 16 Bellambi Lane, Bellambi. Come for one day or both. We'll provide lunch, snacks, music and banter. Kids welcome if supervised. Bring clothes you don't mind getting dirty or paint splattered. Can you help? Please RSVP to email@example.com.
The Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University has been studying Green Connect over the last 12 months to investigate how social enterprises like ours improve health equity for young people. They have released a full case study detailing our work, available below. The Executive Summary reads as follows (bold added by Green Connect): This case study report examines the role of social enterprise, Green Connect, in producing health equity and wellbeing outcomes for young people and their communities. Forming part of a wider comparative case study project, the research focuses particularly on the organisational context and features of Green Connect [...]
On 10 December 2019, new water restrictions come in for the Illawarra, Sydney and Blue Mountains. We have been talking about ways to save water within the Green Connect team and thought we'd share our best tips. Maintenance Fix any leaky taps or toilets – you’d be surprised how much water is wasted this way! Toilet Use the half-flush only Don’t flush the toilet so much – as they say, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” Put a sealed container (such as a plastic bottle) full of rocks and water in your cistern [...]
Fairy lights are up! Trees decorated with sparkly ornaments! Yes, it is officially Christmas season! It is so easy to be swept away by all the festivities and get coerced into all the consumer hype, there is a way to be swept away with all the glamour and glitter and still make sustainable choices this Christmas. So here are some tips from us at Green Connect to play our part in not clogging up our beautiful oceans and killing our wildlife - we are battling with all the bushfires already. Let's celebrate a truly green Christmas with sustainable and plastic-free options! Decorations are so [...]
In recognition of the great work that Green Connect has been doing for the past nine years, the Wollongong-based not-for-profit organisation won the top award at Wednesday night’s highly prestigious Green Globe awards gala event, the Premier’s Award for Environmental Excellence, as well as the award for Community Leadership. Supporting sustainability leaders across New South Wales for 20 years, the annual Green Globe Awards are NSW's premier environmental awards, recognising and celebrating collaboration, partnerships and projects that encourage others to achieve positive change and protect our environment. This year’s awards were held at the Taronga Centre in Sydney. Ms Felicity Wilson [...]
2515's November Feature Article Green Connect was lucky enough to be included as the cover feature in this month’s issue of 2515. This fantastic local independent news magazine is delivered to every household from Thirroul right up to Clifton! Kylie spoke with 2515 editor and publisher, Genevieve Swart about the amazing growth that Green Connect has experienced, the impact we are making on the zero-waste scene, the jobs we are creating and the possibilities that lie ahead if we work together for a more sustainable Illawarra. The article includes some inspiring stories on our own Natasha Wilmer, Ama Folly Bebe, Jacob [...]
As always, there is a whole lot happening at Green Connect this month! Alright, here we go... Funding The big news last week was new collaborative funding from the Ian Potter Foundation and the Westpac Foundation, which will be used to develop all of Green Connect's business arms. This funding will create 111 more jobs for young people and former refugees over the next three years. We'll be ramping up environmental education at the farm, opening more shops and strengthening our zero waste and labour hire arms. You can see the full media release here. We are so incredibly grateful to [...]
Are you arty? We need your help! The kind folks at Burning Palms Gallery are doing an art exhibition called “Art with a message” and would love to have a print that represents Green Connect featured in the exhibition. All original artworks (no copyright issues) welcome! Please email us your A3 design with a maximum of two colours by 9am Tuesday 26 November.
Collaborative funding approach to create more jobs in the Illawarra Republished from the Westpac Foundation with permission Illawarra-based social enterprise, Green Connect, is the fifth organisation to benefit from a new collaborative funding approach led by Westpac Foundation which aims to create more jobs for vulnerable Australians. Together, Westpac Foundation and The Ian Potter Foundation will invest $564,000 in Green Connect to help scale its enterprise to create an estimated 111 new jobs and 262 employment pathways over the next three years. Legal firm MinterEllison will also be involved in the collaboration as a key pro bono partner. Green Connect focuses [...]
Christmas is magical and we want to share some great gift ideas that are sustainable, memorable and will create much-loved presents. Things that you can make yourself, are second-hand, experiences that will last a lifetime or donations are ways we can gift this Christmas and make a contribution to help our planet! These are our tips for Sustainable Christmas Gift Ideas: 1.) Buy less this Christmas! Why not agree to a limit that you and your family will spend, or when buying think of what do you need, want, can wear or can read! 2.) Buy second-hand or home-made Christmas Gifts. This really [...]
Green Connect is proud to be able to offer locally produced, chemical-free, free-range pork from our farm in Warrawong For the last 4 years, we have kept pigs on the Green Connect farm, they've been a great addition to our workforce. They root around in the ground, digging up roots and plants and fertilising the ground as they go. Using animals as part of the permaculture process is a great way of diversifying the use of the land. Our pigs are rotated around the farm, where they have huge areas to graze and explore. They are fed vegetable and fruit scraps [...]
Fair Food Internship Green Connect employs young people and former refugees to do work that helps the planet and the community. We run an 11-acre permaculture farm in Warrawong and an op shop in Bellambi, as well as offering zero waste services and labor hire to local businesses, schools, councils and events. Please explore our website for more information. Our fair food farm provides chemical free vegetables and fruit that feed over 120 households along with several restaurants and cafes through the Illawarra every week. We also produce free-range pork, lamb, eggs and natural honey, and provide farm tours and workshops [...]
This week Wollongong City Council unanimously passed a motion in support of the Australian government's investment in the recycling industry and "to express an interest that Wollongong be the site of a new Australian recycling plant noting a suitable site or sites for its location" (more info in the minutes here, item 23). We were very excited to hear this! While jobs in Wollongong in mining and manufacturing continue to decline, there’s a new wave of employment opportunities in waste, recycling and the circular economy, that the region is poised to lead. This is a new industrial revolution, where what has [...]
Excellence in Sustainability from the Illawarra Business Awards The Illawarra Business Awards were held on Friday evening, and Cal Champagne and Kylie proudly accepted the Excellence in Sustainability award on behalf of Green Connect. We were also finalists in Excellence in Workplace Inclusion and Outstanding Business Leader. For almost nine years, Green Connect staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to create jobs, reduce waste and grow fair food. This is wonderful recognition of the contributions of many. Thank you to everyone who has been and/or continues to be a part of it – and for everyone standing up for and [...]
Here’s some of the latest news from Green Connect… We’re hiring an Activity Coordinator We have been piloting farm tours, workshops and experiences over the last few months and they are proving very popular. Luckily, we have secured some funding to ramp these up and now we need a superstar to join our team as Activity Coordinator. If you or someone you know think you can do amazing things for the community and the planet by coordinating a range of events at Green Connect, particularly for children and families, please head to https://green-connect.com.au/were-hiring-an-activity-coordinator/ for more information and to apply. We may [...]
We are about to scale up our activities at the Green Connect farm (and possibly op shop) to offer more tours, workshops and experiences, especially for children and families. Once we have an Activity Coordinator in place (see here for more information and to apply), we may need additional Facilitators and/or Curriculum Developers. Please let us know if you are interested in either of these roles and what background you have that makes you a great candidate by filling in the form below.
We're hiring! Green Connect employs young people and former refugees to do work that helps the planet and the community. We run an 11-acre permaculture farm in Warrawong and an op shop in Bellambi, as well as offering zero waste services and labour hire to local businesses, schools, councils and events. Please explore our website for more information. After almost 9 years working in sustainability, almost 7 years at the Green Connect farm, and now with an op shop, we are often approached to share what we know and there is demand for hands-on activities that help people to learn more [...]
The 2019 financial year was Green Connect's biggest yet. There were some tough moments and some great moments. We grew, we welcomed new team members, and we welcomed the op shop in to the Green Connect family! Importantly, we: Employed 122 young people and former refugees (more jobs) Kept 119 tonnes of waste out of landfill (less waste) Grew and distributed 35,166kg of chemical-free food (fair food) For a full overview of the year that was, download an excerpt of our parent company Community Resources' annual report here: Annual Report 2019 excerpt - Green Connect For the full annual [...]