Sustainable Salisbury

During World War II, the Brisbane suburb of Salisbury was the site of a secret factory – where workers made bombs and ammunition for Aussie diggers.

Nearly 80 years on, Salisbury is still fighting the good fight – except these days the battle-cry is “Re-use! Repurpose! Recycle!”

Turns out this hub for light industry on the city’s south-side is also home to some leading lights in sustainability.

Take the Share Shed – a community-driven venture that’s created Queensland’s first library of “things”. The concept is ridiculously simple and so good for curbing rampant consumerism:  join up for $80 a year and you get to borrow 5 items a week, for free.

Drop into to the Share Shed to browse the catalogue or simply book on-line.

There’s everything from lawn mowers and kayaks to party equipment and camping gear. You can even borrow a guitar or keyboard if the musical mood takes you. And how about a fairy floss maker, chocolate fountain or disco ball for that special occasion?

It’s all about “doing more and owning less”, says co-founder Nicole Bray.

“Sharing resources comes back to sustainability, doesn’t it? Do we all need a lawnmower in our shed or could we all share the same one?

It’s a great way to do your bit for the environment but it also means you get to meet other cool people in your community.”

There are plans for further share sheds across the city – and if you’d like to start one in your community, the team at Salisbury are keen to help you do it.

Got a leaf blower or vacuum cleaner gathering dust at home? Check out the wish-list on-line for requested donations of “things” for the library.

Sharing the same warehouse space as the Share Shed is Food Connect – a quiet revolution in the fresh food realm.

It was founded 13 years ago by former dairy farmer Rob Pekin and his partner, Emma-Kate Rose.

Food Connect puts city consumers directly in touch with local farmers, cutting out the middle man as much as possible. Produce boxes are packed at the Salisbury ‘homestead’ and distributed to customers across the region.

The system means customers get access to farm-fresh, low-food-miles produce… and farmers get a fairer deal.

Along with social justice, sustainability is a key philosophy of Food Connect. Second and third grade produce that would normally go to waste is sold at a discount in “unruly boxes”.  Unsalvageable food scraps go back to pig and chook farmers as stock feed.

Food Connect also hosts pop-up market days where the public can meet local growers and sample delicious products created by small-scale foodie entrepreneurs in the on-site commercial kitchen.

Money is being raised through crowdfunding so that Food Connect can purchase the warehouse it leases and enhance their vision of a one-stop local ecologically-friendly food hub.

Who knew helping the planet could be so tasty? And, on that note, how about a beer in the service of sustainability?

Ballistic Beers is a boutique brewery in Salisbury that’s named for the suburb’s military connections.  It’s also the ‘bomb’ when it comes to inspiring patrons to do right by Mother Earth.

Customers are encouraged to BYO growlers – for an eco-friendly top up of their favourite brew.

And Ballistic Beers rewards the return of plastic 4-pack can holders for recycling. The plastic is so durable it can be used to make everything from water tanks to industrial pipes.

Bring back 6 pack holders, get your card stamped – and score a free beer!

Be further inspired to help save the planet during National Recycling Week – from the 12th to the 18th November.

Local events include Brisbane City Council’s annual Recreate Fashion Show & Twilight Market in the city’s King George Square on Friday 16th November.

The recycling-themed show features hand-made, eco-friendly fashion designed and created by Brisbane designers – proving that looking good and doing good aren’t mutually exclusive!