Blog

Blog2020-03-08T18:17:35+11:00

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Fair Food
General blog
Zero Waste

Kindness in a Coronavirus world

Green Connect was founded on permaculture values - earth care, people care and fair share. We have been living and breathing these values for nine years, whether it be in making festivals more sustainable, growing chemical-free produce in Wollongong, creating employment for former refugees and young people, or in operating an op shop to extend the life of everyday goods. The world is facing an enormous health and economic challenge in the form of COVID-19, and like everyone we are doing our part to stay informed, practice good hand hygiene, have everyone stay home if they're sick or have been exposed [...]

March 20th, 2020|Categories: General Blog|0 Comments

Local resilience in uncertain times- COVID-19

It seems that this week it’s hard to focus on anything other than the impact that COVID-19 is having on our community. Green Connect is experiencing firsthand the implications of this crisis, most notably due to all our zero-waste festival work, and our workshops and farm activities being suspended. Having a large staff base who are not only among some of the financially vulnerable populations in the country but in the case of former refugees, are also having difficulty accessing language relevant information about how to keep themselves and their communities safe, is adding to our concerns. [...]

March 19th, 2020|Categories: Fair Food Blog, General Blog|0 Comments

Meet the team – Ama and Su Meh

Meet two of the wonderful women at Green Connect. Ama (left) and Su Meh (right) are two long-term employees who have stepped up into leadership positions. Now they are helping to support and build capacity among our less experienced staff. Ama Folly Bebe has been working for Green Connect since 2011. She is a former refugee from Ghana, but grew up in Togo. She works at the Green Connect farm and in the Zero Waste team. At music festivals and large events she leads a team that sorts waste by hand. This means they can make sure every item thrown away [...]

March 4th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, Green Connect Team|0 Comments

Is the Green Connect op shop closing?

Yes – but only as you currently know it. The current shop will close on 4 March 2020 so get in quick for some great bargains! Then please stay tuned. We plan to re-open on 6 April 2020 and very close to our current location! Visit this page again to check the latest news as we will update it regularly. If you have feedback about our current shop or want to throw in some ideas for the new one, please email us at opshop@green-connect.com.au. If you want to leave us a review, please head to our Facebook page or Google listing. [...]

February 28th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, News|0 Comments

2019 Green Globe Award winners

The Green Globe Awards are the NSW Government’s premier awards for sustainability and environmental leadership across the state. The Awards celebrated their 20th anniversary in late 2019 and Green Connect was lucky enough to be a part of the incredible group of environmental leaders who were acknowledged for their work in working towards a more sustainable future for New South Wales. The NSW Government has just released an e-book which tells us about the remarkable projects and achievements of the 2019 winners and finalists - check it out HERE. We were nominated for the Green Globe Community Leadership Award which recognises [...]

February 19th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, News|0 Comments

3 reasons why kids love this farm activity

Green Connect regularly opens its doors to the public to show people how a working permaculture farm operates. Since kicking off in 2019, the monthly Farm Tour for Families has become a fun outdoor activity for kids in the Illawarra. Here are three reasons to bring the kids for a visit to the farm.  Reason 1: Meeting farm animals Green Connect is an 11-acre farm in the middle of urban Warrawong, south of Wollongong. The most popular stop of the tour is when kids get to meet the free-range pigs, sheep, goats and chickens. They are an essential part of farm [...]

February 18th, 2020|Categories: General Blog|0 Comments

Bushfires are #notbusinessasusual

The ongoing bushfire crisis has made this summer an incredibly tough time for many of us. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the 33 people who have died and with the thousands of people who have lost their homes. We are also mourning the enormous environmental toll – the loss of habitat, animals, forests and the future impact of the increased carbon emissions. But the economic toll of bushfires is also huge, probably flying under the radar and is likely to be impossible to ever accurately calculate. When we think of how Green Connect has been affected and [...]

January 28th, 2020|Categories: General Blog, News|0 Comments

Green Connect’s work towards UN Sustainable Development Goals

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 [...]

January 15th, 2020|Categories: General Blog|0 Comments

Free essentials for bushfire evacuees

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 [...]

January 8th, 2020|Categories: General Blog|1 Comment

Sustainable children’s party ideas

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 [...]

January 3rd, 2020|Categories: General Blog, Tips, Zero waste|0 Comments

End of the decade musings

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 [...]

December 30th, 2019|Categories: General Blog|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Sustainable goals for 2020

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 [...]

Debranding project

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 [...]

December 24th, 2019|Categories: General Blog, Zero waste|0 Comments

How to go Zero Waste

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. [...]

December 19th, 2019|Categories: General Blog, Tips, Zero waste|0 Comments

Working bee at the op shop

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 enquiries@green-connect.com.au.

December 18th, 2019|Categories: General Blog, Volunteering|0 Comments

The “secret sauce” – how Green Connect improves lives

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 [...]

December 16th, 2019|Categories: General Blog, Youth employment|0 Comments

Water saving tips

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 [...]

December 9th, 2019|Categories: General Blog, Tips, Zero waste|0 Comments

How to host a sustainable Christmas

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 [...]

December 9th, 2019|Categories: Christmas, General Blog|0 Comments

Green Connect wins top environmental award, the Green Globes

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 [...]

November 27th, 2019|Categories: General Blog, News|0 Comments

We’re on the cover of 2515 Magazine!

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 [...]

November 26th, 2019|Categories: General Blog, News|0 Comments

November 2019 Green Connect News

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 [...]

November 21st, 2019|Categories: General Blog, News|0 Comments

Calling all creatives

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.

November 21st, 2019|Categories: General Blog, Volunteering|Tags: |0 Comments

Media release: collaborative funding for Green Connect

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 [...]

November 13th, 2019|Categories: General Blog, News|0 Comments

The Best Sustainable Christmas Gift Ideas 2019

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 [...]

Illawarra’s only free-range pork straight from the farm

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 [...]

November 10th, 2019|Categories: General Blog, News|Tags: |0 Comments