Creating a Cleaner Future With Your Kids

Creating a Cleaner Future With Your Kids

Our children are tomorrow’s adults and the generation that has to deal with our bad decisions today. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can turn your home into an eco-friendly refuge while teaching your kids about conservation all without going broke in the process. Keep reading for the best ideas and projects you can start right now.

Getting to know Mother Nature

The single most important thing you can do with your children is to teach them the importance of environmental stewardship. For young kids, the best way to do this is by hosting an environmental scavenger hunt. Make a list of items your children can find in their own backyard or neighborhood. This might include leaves, flowers, bees, bodies of water, or community gardens. As you locate each item, talk to your kids about how these aspects of nature correlate to each other to create our world.

Garden fun and water conservation

Growing a garden is an exceptional way to bring positive environmental changes into your home. It’s also a fun and engaging activity for children of all ages. And your garden is the perfect backdrop for an education on environmental awareness. Teach your children about water conservation by building your own rainwater collection system. This could be something as simple as routing your gutters into a clean 96-gallon trash can, or you can set up a more elaborate system that involves multiple tanks. Use this water to irrigate the garden in lieu of turning on the hose. HomeAdvisor notes that used dishwater may also be recycled to clean other areas of the home such as lawn furniture. Indoors, the kids can help by turning off water, lights, and power when these things are not in use. When brushing teeth, water can be turned off to save up to 200 gallons each month, according to NC State University.

Maintaining a spring, summer, and fall garden is also a great way to cut down trips to the grocery store, which will reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of emissions your family creates driving. Grocery store produce, although bright and beautiful, is also riddled with pesticides and insecticides that can damage the land where it’s grown.

Lights out and grab a blanket

Our parents taught us to turn the lights out when we weren’t in the room, but that’s about as far as our energy-savings education went. This remains sound advice if you’re still using incandescent or halogen light bulbs. Incandescent lighting, according to, emits energy as heat. Turning them off when you’re not in the room will lower your energy bills and keep the room a more constant temperature. Your kids can practice this by making a game of turning lights off when they see someone exit one room and enter another.

Another area where children can keep a watchful eye on your home’s energy consumption is your HVAC system. Assign them the task of turning the thermostat to 68° during the day and to 65° or cooler at night during the winter. If you’re not going to be home, turn it down even more. The Chicago Tribune notes that a 10° temperature drop could save you 10% or more on your energy bills, which can be significant over the course of a year. If you live in a warmer climate, consider using passive heating and cooling methods to keep your home’s temperature comfortable.

By teaching your children ways to conserve resources for today, you are one step closer to ensuring they have what they need for tomorrow. You don’t have to make drastic changes to your lifestyle, and you may even save a few dollars along the way. But more important than money, you are instilling strong values in your children that will last a lifetime.

Image via Pixabay

30 Scavenges Down the Track

30 Scavenges Down the Track

March 15th, 2015 the first Scavenge took place at Coogee Beach. What I had thought would be a one-off event of good vibes and beach cleaning action with friends and family has rolled into a full-fledged community marine debris awareness opportunity… and a full-time job.

3 years down the track, we just hosted our 30th Scavenge in Huskisson, Jervis Bay. The scale of Saturday’s Scavenge is a demonstration of how far we’ve come, and just how one idea, when nurtured by many, can grow into amazing things.

Seaside Scavenge has diversified into running corporate clean-ups, hosting community Scavenges and has joined forces with Boomerang Bags and Plastic-Pollution Solutions to create the Travelling Trash Troupe program.

Thanks to Shoalhaven City Council, and the unending support of Transition Shoalhaven’s Judie Dean, we rolled out a film screening of Blue at the Husky Picture Theatre which 170 people attended, 5 primary school presentations across the Bay, a Boomerang Bags Sew-A-Thon and gathering and a Seaside Scavenge.

Saturday’s Scavenge was a showcase of the inspiring spread of organisations and businesses working together to protect the environment and species that call it home around the bay:

·      Transition Shoalhaven

·      Seabird Rescue South Coast

·      Parks and Wildlife Shorebird Recovery

·      Clean-Up Australia Day

·      Take3 South Coast

·      Boomerang Bags

·      Bay N Basin Mens Shed

·      Vincentia Produce Markets Swap Table

All were invited to host a stall, and even the local radio station Bay N Basin 92.7FM broadcast live from the Scavenge, spreading the toe-tapping live tunes of local artists Ryan Ferry, Bella Pakes, Joe Visser and Hans Kleft far and wide.

We had more than 200kg of pre-loved stuff donated and collected by LeAnn Hanson at Huskisson Primary School. Prizes from Club Husky, Trees Adventure, Huskisson Yoga, Vincentia Butcher, the Maritime Museum, Dolphin Watch Cruises and Jervis Bay Kayak & Paddlesports were sources of inspiration. In addition, we had 100 beers from the Huskisson Hotel, ice creams from Simons Gelato Truck and pasta from Teresa’s Trattoria Food Van all on sale with litter currency.

We managed to keep the Scavenge zero-waste even with food vans! The Crockery Library stocked with bowls, cups and cutlery from the Community Centre and Wash-Up Station emanated the wider plastic-free pledge message that local cafés; 5 Little Pigs, Nutmeg Café, Main Deck Café, Pilgrims and Foodies Delight, had taken for the day.

And it didn’t stop there. We had the Huskisson Drumming Group host a workshop, Bonnie Cassen run an Earth Healing Meditation, a display of paintings of the Bhewerre Wetlands at Sanctuary Point from local artist Vanessa Barbay, the bike powered generator with a second-hand battery from Jervis Bay Automotive and the plastic-bottle greenhouse built by the Mens Shed and converted into our pop-up market change room. The King & Queen of Green even joined us for the day!

Evidently there was an impressive number of hands that contributed in pulling off last Saturday’s Scavenge. We successfully engaged 169 people across the community, 89% of whom had never attended a clean-up, to assist in removing 203.8kg of litter including 4,058 butts, 974 glass bottles and 1,696 pieces of soft plastic packaging.

Seaside Scavenge has now removed 6,009kg of litter and 103,536 butts from the environment and redistributed 4,148kg of pre-loved stuff with the help of more than 3,000 people from 20 communities across the East-Coast, 90% of whom had never attended a clean-up previously.

For me the Scavenge is much more than stats. It’s a platform to inspire individuals to take a stand against single-use plastics and the fast-fashion industry, but more importantly an opportunity to connect with others about the future of our ocean and see the potential of the individual to do anything they set their mind too!

I am committed to connecting the hands and hearts of communities through the Scavenge and bring the environment to the forefront of our conscious. It’s clearly something that can be strengthened by the support of many, so don’t miss out on the next 30 Scavenges and get in touch to get on board.

Founder and Ocean Lover




Port Macquarie Chapter & First Generation Scavengers to Be!

Port Macquarie Chapter & First Generation Scavengers to Be!

The Port Macquarie Seaside Scavenge Chapter is hosting their first independent Scavenge on the 14th April at West Port Park! This is a milestone for us here at the Scavenge, so, we thought we’d let you in on the backstory.

Scoring the Taronga Green Grant last year has given us the opportunity to set up Chapters of the Scavenge Australia wide. This means we can fund local leaders to coordinate the Scavenge in their own communities on a bi-annual basis.

Our first Port Scavenge, back in 2016, was a huge success, really because of all the local legends that showed us so much support. Not only was Port-Mac Hastings Council so amazing to work with, but also Port Macquarie’s very own Karen Fulton was such a force to be reckoned with, it was a no brainer for us to offer her the opportunity to spearhead the next Scavenge for this area.

And spearhead it she has! Surrounding herself with a collection of already passionate and inspiring eco-women; Rhiannon Simmonds, Amelia Babidge, Shannon Kelly and Meghan Stephens. These ladies are proving to be a powerhouse of ideas and energy, taking the Scavenge to new heights!

They’re teaming up with existing local groups such as Coastal Warriors who run local cleanups, Boomerang Bags who up-cycle fabrics into funky reusable bags as well as coordinating the event to tie in with Youth Week. There’s definitely no limit to where they’re taking the Scavenge! (So if there’s anyone out their with ideas or talents to share, we’re sure the girls would love to hear them!)

Emotions are always flying high in the Scavenge sorting station. Hands deep in other peoples trash, there’s mixed feeling of disgust, solidarity and change in the air… but love?

Well, for Karen and her partner, Matt, it was where their love bloomed! So, it’s just another reason why Karen has the fire in her belly to take on the Scavenge. Rumor has it that fire is also being shared by a little bub… Could this be the second generation of Scavengers!?

On a more serious note, we’re unbelievably stoked to have communities around the coast jumping on the Scavenge bandwagon and placing a value on litter in their community. So, the biggest of thanks goes out to Karen, Rhi, Meegs, Amelia and Shan for taking it on.

The solution to reducing plastic pollution in our environment is not only picking it up. It’s about inspiring individuals to be active consumers and chose reusable options over the disposable ones. We have no doubt that the Port Mac crew of Scavengers will be doing just that!

So be sure to note down the Seaside Scavenge on the 14th of April at West Port Park in the diary, and get ready to be inspired and feel the change (and maybe even love) in the air!




The Fair Food Foragers

The Fair Food Foragers

We’ve all been there.

Your stomachs empty, unfamiliar streets are splaying out around you and all you want is to put your dollar towards some nutritious and ethical food.

That’s why Paul Hellier founded Fair Food Forager, an ethical eating app that finds the local hangouts priding themselves on sustainable business.

Paul says, “It’s about making those values such as ethical eating an easy decision to make. So users can quickly find the nearest place, support a business that is trying to be better, and then have an impact with where they spend their money.”

Not only will it alert you to eco-businesses surrounding your location in Australia, but across the UK, New Zealand, Indonesia, the US and many more. They’re growing rapidly, and since their recent app upgrade there’s even more businesses to find, so check it out!

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No matter what you hold close to your heart with ethical eating, Fair Food Forager has 13 different icons indicating the café, restaurant, producers, grocers or caterers practices of:

  1. Reduced Food Waste/Composting
  2. Reduced Plastic Waste
  3. Local Produce
  4. Ethically Produced
  5. Cruelty Free/Vegan
  6. Charitable
  7. Chemical Free/Organic
  8. Fair Trade
  9. Fair Work
  10. Gluten Free
  11. Homemade
  12. Sustainable Seafood
  13. Vegetarian

Even better, Fair Food Forager have met the rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency to become a registered B-Corp . Basically, the cream of the crop in fair trade business!

Inside and out they’re oozing goodness, so give this sprouting Aussie brand a hand to reach its vision of changing the way the world eats by making ethical easy, and start putting your dollar where it counts.

Come hear from Paul this Saturday 17th February, he’ll be presenting at our Coogee Seaside Scavenge  from 1-5pm and hanging around for all the chats.


Tips for Single Parents on Eco-Friendly Living

Tips for Single Parents on Eco-Friendly Living

Photo courtesy of Stock Snap

From the moment your child was born, that sweet baby became the center of your world. As a parent, you don’t have to be in a marriage or partnership to be fully devoted to your children. The same can be said for going green; even as a single parent, you can find ways to make sustainable living work for your family.

The United Nations predicts that the global population will rise to 9 billion people by the year 2050. Meanwhile, each child’s carbon emissions may fully exceed the lifetime of his or her parents. Knowing this, how can parents reduce their family’s contributions to global warming?

If you’re an environmentally conscious single parent who is interested in reducing your family’s carbon footprint, here are some ways you can implement a more eco-friendly lifestyle:

Going (and Staying) “Green”

The concept of “green parenting” doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It can start with a few small changes, such as switching to reusable cloth diapers rather than disposable ones. After seeing how easy it is - and how much money you’ll save - by transitioning to environmentally-friendly lifestyle habits, it becomes easier to maintain your “green” lifestyle. In fact, you may even notice a snowball effect as you begin incorporating more and more eco-friendly habits into your daily routine.

Stop Junk Mail

Nobody has time to sort through all the unsolicited advertisements or “junk mail” we receive each week, especially not as a single parent. Luckily, you can help save the trees (and save your sanity) by removing your name and address from senders’ mailing lists.

The US Federal Trade Commission offers this advice on opting out of these mailing lists for five years - or for life. Outside of the United States, many other countries have similar procedures.

Sustainable Gardening

If you have a green thumb or are interested in learning to garden, creating your own sustainable home garden can be a fun, eco-friendly hobby that the whole family will enjoy. You can start by determining what types of plants you’d like to grow. Some ideas include growing your own fruits, vegetables, herbs, or spices and seasonings. To be even more environmentally friendly, you might also consider starting a low-water garden by choosing plants that don’t require frequent watering.

In addition to providing you with homegrown foods, your garden also provides a way to reduce your trash and waste. Since much of our garbage is made of food scraps, you can start using those scraps as compost for your garden rather than throwing them away with the trash.

Conserving energy

If, like many single parents, you are on a budget, you can still find some very affordable ways to make your home more “green.” For less than $10, you can invest in some good LED or CFL light bulbs, which will in turn save you money on your monthly energy bills.

If your budget is slightly higher, you might consider switching to solar power. Although they are more expensive to install, solar panels make up for it by saving you money over time. In addition to lowering your energy bills, they also help the planet by reducing your carbon footprint.

Another energy conservation method you might consider is hanging your clothing outside on a clothes line rather than using a drying machine. You’ll save money on your energy bill, help the environment, and enjoy the fresh, sunkissed scent of your clean clothes.

Reducing Plastic Usage

The world’s oceans are becoming littered with trash, including plastics and bottles. You can do your part to help by reducing the number of plastic bottles you use (and recycling whenever possible).

A good place to start is by investing in a water filtration system so that you can avoid purchasing plastic water bottles altogether. You might consider purchasing eco-friendly clothing, such as these materials that are made from special fabrics created out of recycled plastic water bottles.

As you can see, being a single parent doesn’t have to limit your options when it comes to eco-friendly living. There are many affordable ways that you and your children can “go green.” Not only does this save you money on energy bills; it also helps sa

123: 1 Tonne, 2 States, 3 Weeks

123: 1 Tonne, 2 States, 3 Weeks

We definitely hit the deck running this year. The first three weekends have been spent Scavenging up a storm of good vibes, trash trading action and plastic pollution awareness in Victoria and NSW.

Kicking off the first Sunday of the year, the Mornington Peninsula Chapter organised the third annual Rye Scavenge Festival with the support of Seaside Scavenge and the Taronga Zoo Green Grant. Local leader, Sacha Guggenheimer, together with the endless support of passionate Scavengers organised an event of epic proportions.

We were welcomed to country of the Kulin Nation with a Smoking Ceremony by Lionel Lauch, a Gunditjmara Kirrae Wurrung-Bundjalung man. This was followed by an array of talented musicians organised by Ryan Luckhurst.

Sea Shepherd’s Marine Debris Team joined us in the sorting station to manage the 770kg of trash collected by 270 Scavengers over 3.5 hours. This broke our previously record of 750kg of waste collected at our Lakeside Scavenge in Jinbdayne.. The Peninsula is hard hit with tourists over the Christmas period, and despite the Council’s best efforts employing a Clean Team and emptying the 500 bins along this stretch of coastline twice a day, they simply cannot keep up with our disposable lifestyle -  and nor should they.

Our trash is our responsibility.

That’s why the Scavenge is a zero-waste event! Even with Jetty Road Brewery and Tag For Life Coffee Van at the Scavenge, we didn’t contribute even one plastic-cup or one coffee cup to landfill. This was possible because of our awesome Wash-Up Station stocked with mugs, bowls and cutlery from local Vinnies and Rotary clubs, and the proactive energy of our participants who borrowed the items at $1 a pop and kindly washed them up.

There were big flippers to fill after such a successful Scavenge in Rye. Despite, Mother Nature not quite dealing us her kindest cards, our first Melbourne Scavenge the following Saturday was a banger!

In three hours of sunny skies 140 participants collected 220kg of waste and a total of 12,676 butts from St Kilda beach and parklands! Butts accounted for half the number of pieces of litter we collected and this wasn’t even including tobacco related products like cellophane wrapping, lighters or boxes.

Beach Patrol gave us a helping hand by hosting their monthly St Kilda clean-up the morning of the Scavenge. The Eco Centre joined us for the day and Captain Trash made an appearance hosting his Seashell Shoreline Safari.

Thanks to the power provided from our wondrous bike powered generator local Councilor Tim Baxter opened the event with an acknowledgement of country. Then, we heard from local Sea Shepherd ambassador Erin Lindwall discussing the importance of policy change in addressing plastic pollution such as Cash for Container Schemes and banning the bag.

Fortunately the Scavenge van, Oscar, made it all the way back to Sydney to team up with Mosman Council for the first Balmoral Seaside Scavenge. On Sunday 21st January, we nestled behind the island in the middle of the beach and set-up for a sunny afternoon of beach cleaning and change-making action.

Boomerang Bags Lower North Shore joined us with an array of beautifully sewn bags made from reusable materials, and local Balmoral clean-up crew, Responsible Runners, came down to give us a hand in the sorting station.

A majority of the litter collected from the beach was smaller pieces of hard micro-plastics and plastic packing. There was over 10,500 pieces of litter collected including 400 straws by 100 people. Thirty of whom used their trash tokens to check out the 5m Great White displayed at Shark In A Bus hosted by the Two Hands Project.

The bike powered generator was definitely running low after two big events, so our volunteers had to ride extra hard to keep the tunes of Grace Brown, Ari Levy and Portia Hackett flowing.

After three big weeks and the collective effort of 510 Scavengers, 84% of whom had never previously attended a cleanup, 1,054 tonnes of waste, 25,562 cigarette butts, 7,862 pieces of plastic packaging, 1,534 straws and a whole lot more was removed from our coastline.

Twelve businesses across these three communities took the plastic-free pledge for the Scavenge by going topless on coffees (no lids), not serving straws and going bag-free. This avoided over 600 single-use plastic items being used and thrown away.

With China banning imports of recyclable waste from Australia from the 1st January, we need to wake-up and consider the impact that our convenience culture is having on our environment, our health and even now, the economy.  All it takes is a little extra thought about our impact, a conversation in a café and the understanding that our individual actions make a difference,

We all have the power to shape the world we live in for the better.



Wrapping up 2017 Scavenge Style

Wrapping up 2017 Scavenge Style

We’ve been dodging rain forecasts left right and centre this week! Firstly for our Corporate Scavenger Hunt on Wednesday, then for the Jack Johnson concert Thursday and on Sunday the weather turned it on big time for the 24th Manly Ocean Care day and our last Scavenge for the year!

This time round we teamed up with the folks from Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Team and Responsible Runners. They kicked the day off with a group clean-up from 10am-11am and had 44 extra hands help collect 13kg of litter including 2,053 butts.

It was such a pleasure to be at the Beach there with these guys and other groups such as Take 3, Two Hands Project, SO Manly and many, many more, showcasing to the public exactly how we can change the future of our oceans.

Over the course of the Scavenge we had more than 85 people register to scour the sands. It was a pleasant surprise to see that overall we collected less litter than last year’s Manly event, with just 49.5kg of waste including 10kg of recycling, and less butts!

Butts are a hot litter item at the beach, always! Unfortunately we still collected a lot! A total of 3,132 was scavenged in 5 hours. It was tough competition for the most butts collected. Our counting jar reached the limit when Carleen filled it with 350 butts, which has scored her a brewery tour for four people to 4 Pines Brewery.

Throughout the day we had guest visits from Captain Plastic on the southern stage testing our plastic-pollution knowledge with bouts of heads and tails trivia! We were also treated to the tunes of Portia Hackett and Mishka on ukulele and harp! Clearly, quite the day to be at the beach?!

We had received over 89kg of pre-loved clothes, books, DVDs and more set-up in our pop-up seaside market.  10 pieces of litter would score you a trash token (the currency in the market) and 20 pieces would score you a Stone & Wood Beer at Hotel Steyne Manly… Massive thanks to all the people, Luke from Stone & Wood and Amelia from the Steyne for donating and co-ordinating!

Most of the litter collected was primarily small stuff like micro-plastics, pieces of cardboard & paper, butts and Styrofoam balls. Everyone that participated can be very proud that over 7,000 pieces of litter were collected yesterday and halted in their tracks from entering the ocean.

Taronga Zoo sponsored the event with a 4 pass family pass to the Zoo for the person that collected the most litter. There were some very impressive efforts put in on the day, but little Evie and dad, Stuart and Mum collected the most with 533 pieces! We hope you enjoy your adventure and see some favourite animals!

As always there was a plethora of bizarre stuff collected from the beach with everything from a complete bicycle wrapped in seaweed to 10s of meters long receipt… But we decided the oddest to be an Invisalign mould collected by Todd! We hope you’ve got 3 keen mates to take along to 4 Pines Brewery for a tour and some tasting!

A massive thanks to the organisers of Manly Ocean Care day, Robynne and the rest of the Manly Environment Eco Centre… We can only imagine how much effort it takes year in, year out to pull this off! So thank you for having us along!

Aaaand of course, the volunteers in green without whom the Scavenge wouldn’t exist. We had a big bunch of these legends who generously donated most of their day to sort litter, induct our participants and help them in the market. SO thank you!

And that’s a wrap for 2018! A total of 10 Scavenges; 2,500+kg of waste, over 28,000 butts with the help of over 1000 hands! Can’t wait for our events to kick off the New Year down in Mornington Peninsula… See ya next year Scavengers!

25th Scavenge in Coffs!

25th Scavenge in Coffs!

We’re all about the trash, the tunes and the treasure at the Scavenge, and Saturdays Creekside Scavenge was all of that and more! We were stoked to be part of the local Council’s Sustainable Living Festival in Coffs Harbour where the likes of OKA performed a seriously funkilicious fusion of roots, Dreamtime and electro.

It was our first creek-side event and we were intrigued to see what would be scavenged. The Friends of Coffs Creek Landcare group host a regular clean-up of the area, so we teamed up with them to hit the litter hotspots they’d discovered. We were very glad to have their hands on board as our core Scavenge team was on the small side!

The creek wraps its way around the showground, with mangroves connecting the land and the water. At least 100 people helped us collect 444.5kg of rubbish from the banks of the creek, (which is our second biggest haul ever!). Sadly, we couldn’t even get the brunt of it as it was high tide, so the bases of the mangroves (where most of the litter collects) was underwater.

Not to mention that whilst many of the items collected were glass and plastic bottles, only 40kg could be recycled as most of it was too caked with mud! That meant only 2 of the 13 wheelie bins full of litter were yellow and the other 11 were red.

Just 100m up stream the creek runs directly under the A1 highway which became pretty apparent when every haul included food packaging and plastic bottles. Surprisingly though, our cigarette butt count was minute… less than 100 butts in 4 hours! This was a clear indication that the beaches – where we collect SO many butts – have a much higher concentration of foot traffic which leads to more butts being littered.

We had a 5 class yoga pass for One Conscious Breath Studio up for grabs for the most butts collected… We were very pleased to award it to Silvanna, who collected the most butts with only 15!!

There was some serious commitment shown by our Scavengers on Saturday… Most were more than happy to get muddy and messy for the cause of cleaning up our creek.

We had one family, The Barlcays, clean-up a 100m stretch on the of the opposite bank of the creek and collect 5 full bags of rubbish including 23 toy balls! This was definitely our biggest haul scoring themselves The Happy Frog plastic-wise hamper!

As usual we had an impressive spread of second-hand goods donated, including 119kg of pre-loved threads and countless boxes of books. For those that were after a thirst quenching beverage after all their hard work, they could head over to the Plantation Hotel with drink token in hand (worth: 20 pieces of litter) for a refreshing drink!

There was one item that kept us guessing. Initially we mistook it for wet nappies wrapped in a plastic film, but the more of them we pulled from almost every bag collected, the more apparent it became… Newspapers wrapped in a plastic sleeve that had turned into a soggy mess.

The local Advocate in fact! Clearly these papers get left on the nature strip and wash down the storm water drain, but because of the plastic sleeve they can’t simply break down so they sit in our waterways a heavy bundle of waste. It would be awesome to see the Advocate take responsibility and unslip these papers to reduce the number of them clogging our waterways!

As part of the event we also had a spectrum of cafés and restaurants who had taken the Plastic-Free Pledge for the day…

~ SuplyCoffee – No straws
~ GroundEarth – No straws or take-away food containers
~ SplitCafé – No straws & Topless on Coffees (no lids)
~ BaristaBarCafé – Strawless & Topless on Coffees (no lids)
~ Twenty46 – No straws
~ Club300Bowling&Bar – No straws, no coffee cups

Looking forward to hearing how it went for them!

The weirdest item of the day was a challenge to select…. We had everything from full wallets to 20m long piping to broken boomerangs and bike tyres to choose from. In the end it was the swivel/office chair collected by Amelia Campbell that scored the 3 class yoga pass to the Melting Pot Loft Yoga!

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And that was a wrap for our 25th Scavenge event! Thanks to the volunteers that made it along, the participants for collecting all the litter and the Council for hosting such a spread of DIY and waste awareness event.


Bigger and Better in Port Mac

Bigger and Better in Port Mac

It’s a wonderful thing when it turns out bigger and better second-time round, and that’s exactly what happened on Saturday! Almost a year ago to the day we hosted our first Port Macquarie Scavenge at Town Beach.

We had 160 people come lend a hand to clean-up all the way from Bonnie Hills to Settlement Point. That’s double the number of hands we had last year, but even better is we didn’t collect as much rubbish! 246.5kg compared to last years, 259kg! We had comments floating in that, ‘there’s nothing left on the beach!’.

Plus, it marked the first event for our Port Macquarie Seaside Scavenge Chapter supported by Port Macquarie Hastings Council and Taronga Zoo, and led by local legend Karen Fulton with the support of a handful of passionate and inspiring woman; Shan, Meegs, Amelia and Rhi… Without whom we wouldn't have managed half of this epic day!

The day opened with Rhonda Radley who is a Birrbay woman from Port Macquarie. She welcomed us to connect and share the land we were standing on and to respect it alongside one another. The Boomerang Bags crew were set-up to share their DIY kits and the Climate Change Australia mob there to spread action against Adani.

Throughout the day we heard from Kate from Kate Caterers, who has successfully set up a completely plastic-free bakery… She even baked us a bunch of delicious loafs that were up for grabs for 3 trash tokens. Needless to say they were gone before the first hour was up!

Liam came down from Coastal Warriors to give us a hand and let people know how to get amongst the clean-up action on a regular basis. We had Maria Doherty from Council chat to our very own Plastic Pollution Solutions MC, Anthony Hill! Oh and a special ‘What’s recyclable?’ workshop by the Miss Rhi Rebellion.

Whilst all this was happening, the sorting station was a constant flurry of trash separating, counting and cataloging. Throughout the day, a total of 2,711 cigarette butts were collected. The most came in from Lee and Sherley with an epic haul of 430 and have scored themselves a surf lesson with Port Surf School!

There was also a constant stream of odd items being collected from fleece blankets with plants growing from it to number plates to street signs… but something we’ve never come across before was an entire camera lens. So well done to Emma’s dedicated crew of cleaners that scoured from Town to Flynns beach to collect 3 bags and a bucket of trash! We hope you enjoy your $100 voucher to Glasshouse.

The market was set-up with all kinds of colourful goods! Over 185kg of pre-loved threads, toys, books and more had been donated by the local Port community and snapped up throughout the day to the toe tapping tunes provided by local musos, Charleigh and Brock and later in the day by Todd Bourke…

Big appreciation goes out to Todd Bourke for his patience and understanding as our bike powered generator had to get an extra surge of power from some gung-hoe cyclists before we could kick off again!

There was a stack of support from all over town, with a whole heap of local businesses taking the plastic free pledge to avoid at least one single-use item on the day. Big shout out to:

·      Murray St Bakery
·      Salty Crew Kiosk
·      Drury Lane Eatery
·      Carlos & Co.
·      LVs On Clarence
·      Four Espresso
·      Social Grounds
·      Port City Bowling Club
·      Breakwall HQ

And the legendary crew over at The Duck for giving us 60 beers that could be purchased with just 2 trash tokens! Libby from Bunnings got in touch last minute to donate a whole heap of gloves in all sizes and tubs for the clean-up too.

There was something for everyone on Saturday, which is what we’re all about at the Scavenge… Bringing people together with a twist of fun, action and smiles to clean-up our coastline. Again, a massive thanks to Port Mac Council for funding the event and particularly Nicky Julian for ALL her extra-ordinary help.

The Scavenge is here to stay in Port, so for anyone in the area interested in getting involved there’s a crew of volunteers that you definitely want to get to know… We’re tingling with excitement to see where you guys take it.


Scavenging, rain, hail or shine!

Scavenging, rain, hail or shine!

Whilst most people were tucked up inside with a warm cup of tea in hand, us Scavengers were braving the comparatively cooler temps and the pitter-patter of rain. The radar had said it would clear up for a couple of hours in the afternoon and that’s what we were holding out for.

Participants started rolling in at 1pm on the dot whilst it was still drizzling, but by 1:30pm the radar held true and we were underway. Big shout out to Randwick City Council and Sea Life Trust who financially supported this Maroubra Scavenge. 

Our new and improved bike generator, built by #1 scavenge volunteer Paul Phillips, was getting charged…  so the likes of Grace Brown on vocals and Matt Stacey on guitar could bring on the good vibes!

Of course there was no shortage of butts to be found, with our total tally reaching 3,281. The most butts was actually collected by Tanya with over 300! Scoring herself a 5-class pass to The Collaborative Maroubra.

Participants were bringing in bags packed to the brim; everything from thousands of Styrofoam balls, stacks of soft plastic packaging to straws and coffee cups, countless plastic lids and so much more.

In total 306.8kg of litter was collected including a 120kg of recycling from Maroubra. Very grateful for the support from Randwick City Council who promptly came down and collected all the litter… Somewhat disheartening to see all our tirelessly separated litter go into the same truck though! 

Oh and how could we forget, the Underwater Research Group led by Rianti Bieler took a journey down to Bare Island and dived below the depths to pick-up 26.7kg of rubbish! This included 13.5kg of fishing sinkers, 3.5kg of dive weights and 9.7kg of mixed rubbish! Taking the total weight for the day to 333.5kg!!

There were a LOT of odd items being pulled in from the surrounding area; from car rims to Marvel characters to vibrators to street signs. But by far the strangest (and creepiest) item had to be the washed out framed portrait of a baby found by Emma… Scoring herself a surf lesson with the crew at Lets Go Surfing. NO idea how this ended up at the beach!

We had over 250kg of pre-loved clothes, toys and books set-up in the market, all of which had been donated by the Maroubra community in the weeks leading-up to the Scavenge. Shout-out to all the people who picked out some quality items from their wardrobe to go to the Scavenge!

Not only were there clothes and books to buy with the litter currency but also delicious beverages from The Bay Hotel & Diner. A massive thanks to Troy, Brendan, Olivia and Nathan and all the staff for their support on the day and rewarding our core Scavenge volunteers with a much needed beverage and burger!

We had a crew of about 15 volunteers down there on the day to make the Scavenge happen. They set-up in the rain, they smiled all the way through sorting litter, signing them in and even during the mad flurry of pack-up whilst the rain started to pelt. As usual, nothing would be possible without them, so hats off to them all!

To wrap up the day we had Billsbry aka Charlie Fisher, a veteran musician at the Scavenge, come down and perform some funkilicious beats. Before that we heard from Eva from Responsible Runners and Aleysha from the Helm Society talk about the fast fashion industry.

We also had 8 cafés doing their bit to clean-up the ocean by taking our Plastic-Free Pledge on Saturday. This committed them to avoiding at least one single-use item on the day of the event:

1.     The Grumpy Baker – no bags
2.     Pavilion Beachfront – no coffee lids, no straws, no bags
3.     Beverage Depot – no bags, 50c off coffee for takeaway customer
4.     Zeebra Café – no straws
5.     The North EndC afé – no straws, no lids
6.     Flamez Eatery – no takeaway containers
7.     Chalk Espresso – no plastic bags
8.     Marini Café– no plastic bags

As we proved again on Saturday thanks to the 108 participants that braved the unpleasant, rainy weather, cleaning up and looking after our beaches can be an epic amount of fun. But if all we do it clean-up, then that’s all we’ll ever do… So, if we can all stop using at least one single-use plastic item like coffee cups or straws then there’s one lot of rubbish that we won’t need to worry about!


5 Brilliant Businesses Drumming-up Cash for the Scavenge!

5 Brilliant Businesses Drumming-up Cash for the Scavenge!

We’re just 7 days out from our first Corporate Fundraiser event and we can’t deny the butterflies are fluttering. There are 5 Sydney-based businesses that have taken on The Scavenger Hunt opportunity, to help us raise funds for a new set of wheels to Scavenge all over the country.

We don’t want to give too much away but let’s just say there’s going to be a fair amount of recycling know-how put to the test, some peddling power required and even a needle and thread involved.

We would like to introduce the 5 brilliant businesses participating on Friday 20th October at Coogee:

1.    Crestone -


Crestone Wealth Management provides wealth advice and portfolio management services to high-net-worth clients and family offices, not-for-profit organisations and financial institutions.

They pride themselves on having a collaborative and connected workplace. Between the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane office there are 170 employees who have worked with one another for an average of 10 years!

Unfortunately we can’t cater for all 170 of them, but we’re excited to have 5 of the Crestone crew joining us for the Scavenger Hunt.

2.    Mackay Goodwin -


Mackay Goodwin is a leading advisory firm specialising in Corporate Recovery, Turnaround & Restructuring, and Real Estate Advisory.

They’re a dynamic team with innovative expertise and experience who deliver on complex problems faced by multiple stakeholders to small business issues.

There’s no disputing the dynamic presence of Mackay Goodwin, especially as they’ve submitted two teams to participate next week!

3.    CBS Interactive -


CBS Interactive is leader in online content network for tech, gaming and entertainment. 

Based in the US with sister companies dotted all over the world, including one here in the heart of Sydney.

We’ve seen the creativity flow from this lot with some of the most original fundraiser ideas… Definitely looking forward to seeing what they bring to the table on the 20th. 

4.    Google -


We all know who Google is and more or less what they get up to.

The Google Australia branch lives up to all the tales of creating a cutting-edge and green work environment for its employees.

4 Google-ites will be put to the test next Friday, to see just how enviro savvy they really are!

5.    The Developing Clean -


The Developing Clean is an Online Store that provides simple, sustainable and plastic-free lifestyle products for everyday use.

The Developing Clean is a Sydney founded social enterprise that donates 10% of their annual profits to clean initiatives.

These guys have a big space in their heart for plastic-free living, so we’re looking forward to having them down in Coogee to spread the re-use love.

As with all our Coogee events, we have the support of the legends at the Coogee Pavilion where we'll be hosting the awards ceremony upstairs in Wylie's Shed, and hearing from the one and only, Huw Kingston. Huw is the man behind the first plastic water-bottle free town, Bundanoon!


We hope these teams are getting clued up on all the recycling facts, warming up their muscles and all round thinking in terms of re-use and upcycling…because there’s only one Trash Trophy to be won.

Let the countdown begin!

Microfibers Contaminating Oceans & The Food Chain

Microfibers Contaminating Oceans & The Food Chain

*** Re-published from The Sustainable Cat ***

If anyone grew up watching The Simpsons, they'll know the famous catch phrase of Bart Simpson "eat my shorts". I never thought that phrase would be so relevant to humanity, until the rising issue of 'microfibers' from clothing has been splashed all over the media from environmental reports. To break it down (no pun intended) - Microfibers are tiny synthetic fibers from synthetic apparel (Polyester, Nylon, Spandex, Rayon or Acrylic) that are less than 5mm in length. These tiny fibers shed from clothing when they are washed and manage to filter out into rivers and oceans.


There have been various scientific studies world wide into the environmental effects of plastic in the ocean on marine life, with microfibers falling into the category of microplastics (small pieces of plastics that filter into the oceans and aquatic life). The conclusions from these studies are pretty shocking, showing that a huge number of microfibers are in oceans and rivers. One study by Mark Browne published in 2011 by Environmental Science & Technology,  found that marine life and habitats in coastlines around the world were highly contaminated with microfibers. It's suggested that this may be derived from sewage as a consequence of washing clothes. 

The World Economic Forum estimates that in just 35 years, the amount of plastic trash in the ocean will outweigh all the fish.

These microfibers in the ocean are mistakenly consumed by marine life, which we then consume as part of the food yes we are in fact eating our own clothes. The worst part is, microfibers in water expand and attract different forms of harmful bacteria and pollutants. This all makes one toxic meal for us to consume. The health effects of plastic contamination are disgusting - just look at the recent story of the whale in Norway that washed up sick with 30 plastic bags in it's stomach. Further studies are here. 


The outdoor apparel brand Patagonia has been a key change maker in the apparel industry, investing large funding grants into studies to find out more about microfibers. A project called 'MICROFIBER POLLUTION & THE APPAREL INDUSTRY' by the University of California funded by Patagonia, researched the variables that could effect the release of microfibers and how that could be used to change the textile industry and social behaviour. This study revealed that the amount of microfibers released from clothing change significantly between a number of factors; apparel age, fabric quality, washing machine type, fabric type and fabric construction. Basically - the older and poorer quality clothing washed in a top loader machine will produce vastly more microfibers. Sad news for second hand and vintage shoppers (trust me, I'm devastated). 

The Inventions

Thankfully to every problem, someone out there gives a shit and is investigating ways to help. The solution to microfibers is stopping them be released during the washing process. The next process is perhaps going to the appliance industry and waste operators and encouraging new filters and systems to be put into place.

Guppy Friend is a great innovative solution to the microfiber issue and the first of it's kind. It's a bag that you can put your clothes in before placing it in the washing machine. The bag allows the clothes to be washed but microfibers can't be released. They are then left behind and can be disposed of in the bin. Some brands have picked up on this solution and may start selling in the near future! 

Microfibers under a microscope 

Cora Ball - this is an incredible design, inspired by coral and made from 100% recycled materials. It is currently on Kickstarter getting pre-orders, produced by an innovative team of people that have been working on ocean protection for 7 years. The ball sits in the washing machine and just like coral, allows water to flow, while picking up those little pieces of microfiber and catching them. I'm pretty looking forward to pre-ordering one of these!

Cora Ball in a washing machine

Moving Forward

The fashion industry is a big problem for the environment and brands are starting to be put under the spotlight by consumers so they need to get their shit together. In today's society, everyone is obsessed with fast fashion - Greenpeace recently wrote a report that 60% of clothes are made with the synthetic material polyester. This is why the solution is not to simply phase out synthetic materials as it won't happen, unless there is an incredible alternative.

Brands and industries (appliances / apparel) need to actually care for the impact they make on the world and make better quality clothing. They should always be investing in science and technology, looking for new ways to change the fashion industry for good with the evidence to back it up. The clothing brand G-Star Raw recently partnered with Plastic Soup Foundation to encourage other apparel brands and retailers, textile producers, and washing-machine manufacturers to support the Ocean Clean Wash. This is a great message for other brands to follow. 

Consumers can also do their part aside from buying / using the inventions above. Consumers should buy good quality clothing that will produce less microfibers but also clothes that will last and be produced with less chemicals. A big solution is to wash less, hang your clothes out in the air or hand wash stains. Also demand more from your clothing brands, invest in good companies that are invested in the future - consumers have the power to make change!