IT was plain to see for the crowds at Warrnambool’s Sustainable Living Festival on Saturday — we’re all in this together.
Warrnambool City mayor Michael Neoh said the Civic Green event had shown sustainable living started at an individual level, but grassroots changes could lead to larger benefits achieved through community groups and government agencies.
“It’s about working together,” Cr Neoh said yesterday.
“The council can impact with planning, developers can look at things like reusing waters ... but people have to appreciate that you can make a difference.
“While there are bigger issues about climate change, it starts at a grassroots level and works its way up.
“(The festival) was a great feel in terms of community groups doing things, not just about climate change and climate impact, but looking after our environment.
“Recent climate impacts have touched us all, whether as a consumer, through pricing of utilities. But we’re also on a coastal area so if the sea rise becomes an increasing issue we need to plan for that.
“It’s really a whole community approach, not just something you legislate against.
“It takes the government, it takes community groups and it takes individuals.”
Cr Neoh said the festival provided activities and DIY workshops for everyone, from green beer brewing and raising backyard chooks to children’s activities and craftwork.
“There were a lot of displays and things for children, in terms of looking at water quality and things like that,” Cr Neoh said.
“It had a good community feel about it, a lot of energy.
“With the car boot sale it was fantastic to see how someone’s junk is another’s treasure.”
While stating the community gardens had been a successful council initiative for promoting sustainability, Cr Neoh said he was interested in more local measures, including supermarket bags, recycling container deposits and community engagement.