The 2011 Sunshine Coast World Environment Day Festival is only days away and promises to be bigger and better than ever before with over 70 exhibitors, a high-profile speaker forum on the Green Economy, a vibrant children’s area and an engaging community forecourt to entertain and inform the over 5,000 expected visitors.
The Festival will be hosted at the University of the Sunshine Coast on the internationally-recognised World Environment Day, Sunday June 5 which is celebrated by over 100 countries worldwide. This year’s theme is ‘A Festival of Ideas’ and organisers hope to inspire those who attend to not only take home some good ideas to reduce their environmental footprint but to implement them to effect real change.
Wiebe ter Bals, Executive Officer at the Sunshine Coast Environment Council (SCEC) which organises the festival believes there is a strong desire within the community to reduce the impact on the environment and to become a truly sustainable region however recognises the challenge in converting that desire into measurable outcomes.
TAFE Student & Sunshine Coast Council Work Placement, Matthew Kerr in the Sun Shark – the first public appearance of the vehicle on the Coast. It completed the world’s leading solar race from Darwin to Adelaide.
“The World Environment Day Festival gives us the opportunity to present some of the most cutting-edge innovations across various thematic areas and gives festival-goers access to a range of products and ideas to make an informed choice about how they can reduce their environmental impact without having to compromise on lifestyle,” said Mr ter Bals.
“The Children’s Festival of Ideas area, food court and plethora of entertainment on offer ensure a fun day out for the whole family with the speaker forum, interactive displays, fashion swaps and community forecourt being highlights on the program.”
The Festival will be divided into various thematic areas including the Auzion Energy Area, the TAFE Home & Lifestyle Area, the Century Battery Recycling Transport Area, the Water Area and the Food Area.
Eco Fashion, which is included in the TAFE Home & Lifestyle Area is expected to attract a great deal of attention with six local Eco-fashion labels showing their creations on the red carpet during a series of fashion shows. Festival-goers will also have the opportunity revive their wardrobes for free by swapping their used fashion items with others at one of two fashion swaps between 10.15am-12.30pm and 12.45pm-3pm.
Another highlight will be the speaker forum which will see a panel of experts from across the country engage with the audience in a Q&A style discussion on the ‘Green Economy’. Panellists include Cate Collins, Head of Sustainability at LendLease Australia; Assoc. Prof. Michelle Rosano, Chair of Industrial Ecology Department, Curtin University; Robert Pekin, founder and director of Food Connect; Garrie Lette, Chief Investment Officer Catholic Super and Dr Haley Jones, Senior lecturer in Engineering at Australian National University.
People will be able to travel for FREE to the Festival with Translink providing FREE use of scheduled Sunbus Services to and from the University on June 5 from 8am until 5pm. To take advantage of this offer people will need to download the World Environment Day Travel Voucher from the Festival website: www.scec.org.au/wed2011.html.
The Auzion Energy Area
This area includes a range of private, community and public sector organisations promoting their ideas to address the environmental impacts of the electricity production and use. Exhibitors include:
Auzion displaying the latest developments in the solar power industry and their AUZiMAX energy meter which allows you to monitor in real time how much energy your household is using and where in the house it is being used.
Beyond Zero Emissions which is a community organisation that has developed a blue print for transforming Australia's electricity sector to 100% renewable electricity by 2020.
The University of Queensland which is in the process of commercialising a biofuel made from algae. Algae offer a source of biofuels that does not compete with food crops for the use of agricultural land which is something other biofuels suffer from resulting in increased food prices.
The TAFE Home & Lifestyle Area
This area focuses on the environmental impacts resulting from the products we buy and consume, from the building of our homes to the clothes we buy and the paper we use.
The Eco Fashion area highlights that while fashion is not traditionally regarded as a environmentally friendly industry, there are those working hard to use sustainably grown and recycled materials. This includes fashions shows and fashion swaps throughout the day.
WD Architects are an award-winning design firm that has expertise and extensive experience in the design of affordable buildings that tread softly on the environment both during the construction and for the end-user.
The Century Battery Recycling Transport Area
Transport accounts for 10% of Australia's Green House Gas Emissions and in this area you will be able to browse different forms of transport that produce less than 125 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, as opposed to the average Australian car which produces 265 grams of carbon emission per kilometre.
Century Battery Recycling encourages festival goers to hand in their lead acid batteries as part of a battery round up which is aiming to clean up all those old batteries that lie forgotten in Sunshine Coast sheds and garages.
The Solar Shark is a former entry in the Solar Challenge, the world’s leading solar race from Darwin to Adelaide. This vehicle will make its first public appearance on the Sunshine Coast at the Festival.
There will be a fleet of environment-friendly cars and bikes including the Mitsubishi iMiEV which is Australia's only commercially available electric vehicle and a petrol-to-electric conversion of a vehicle that was completed by DeepGreen.
The Water Area
This area will focus on how we can get smarter about our water use to significantly reduce the pressure on our water supply and water treatment facilities.
Water and Carbon Group design and build water treatment systems that use ephemeral wetlands to achieve water retention and purification outcomes. Their systems use minimal chemicals and energy and produce minimal waste and carbon emissions. Moreover they can be constructed at as little as 30% of the capital investment of ordinary water treatment systems.
A&A Worm Farm Waste Treatment Systems can processes sewage, waste water and organic garbage using state-of-the-art worm technology. The system can process all waste water and sewage as well as up to 90% of domestic waste and will turn this into a rich liquid fertiliser to be used on your garden.
East Coast Environmental Solutions have developed a range of products that help filter and purify water prior to delivering it to the stormwater system. Their modular wetlands provide a product that creates both a visually attractive streetscape and a localised solution to storm water treatment.
The Food Area
The food we eat accounts for almost a third of our carbon emissions, half our water use and half the land we require to sustain our lifestyles. The food area will be populated by a host of local producers and organisations that are working on producing and promoting sustainable food. Check out the cooking demonstrations by Chef Laurent, Peter Wolf and Ninderry Kitchen.
Children's Festival of Ideas – Science Creatures and Craft
It wouldn't be World Environment Day without a good dose of snakes, spiders and the odd wombat. The festival will not disappoint and a variety of wildlife great and small will be on display. Learn more about the creatures in our region at the Wilvos Wildlife talks and get up close and personal with a host of native animals during Geckoes Wildlife Presentations.
Enthrall the young scientist in you and check out natures creepy creatures in the Bugs Ed Microscope Labs, or touch a piece of the moon and check out the Sun with the Wappa Observatory solar telescopes.
Discover what lives in our forests and under the sea at the Queensland Museum and UnderWater World interactive displays or try out some the newest sustainability displays from TAFE's Sustainability Interpretative Centre.
On the stage the Young Scientists of Australia will put on their Earth, Wind, Water, Fire show, Living will tell you all you need to know about the weather and Renata will teach you a thing or to about looking after our planet. If you’re more into your arts and crafts there is a host of 'make it and take it' activities that will run all day: create a tree, paint some rocks, make a kite. There are low carbon games, face painting, plants to pot and other fun and educational activities to encourage and enhance awareness to empower the children with the knowledge that their positive participation in environmental practices will make a difference.
Interesting Facts & Figures – Did you know?
· Almost 50% of Australia's Greenhouse Gas Emissions result from the production of electricity
· More than 50% of household electricity use is associated with the heating and cooling of water and the home
· It takes 2,700 litres of water and 3.3 kilogram of CO2 emissions to make a t-shirt
· A growing tree is capable of harvesting approximately 100 kilograms of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. An average Australian car will produce 3,967 kilograms of carbon emissions per year, requiring 40 trees to be offset.
· A return flight from Brisbane to Bali produces 2,511 kilogram of carbon emissions – the equivalent of driving an average Australian car for eight months.
· It takes as much water to make four squares of chocolate as it does to have an eight minute shower every day for a week.
· On average every person on the Sunshine Coast uses 185 litres of fresh water every day in the bathroom, kitchen, garden etc. But this is only part of the story. When you count all the water required to grow the food we eat and make the goods we use every one of us uses approximately 1,785 litres of water every day.
· Worldwide the rearing of livestock uses 1/3 of all the land, accounts for 1/5 of all green house gas emissions and 1/10 of fresh water consumption.
When: 9.00am – 4pm June 5, 2011
Where: University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs
More info: www.scec.org.au/wed2011.html
Attendance: Over 5,000 in 2010