Mullum Cares

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Mullum Cares

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Mullum Cares partners with other community groups, council and businesses to drive our agenda to reduce lineal consumption and build more caring and sharing communities:)

Think Global, Act Local.

Founder, Sasha Mainsbridge, is passionate about reducing human impact on the earth and was awarded the 2017 Local Woman of the Year Award for the Ballina Electorate for Mullum Cares design and implementation of a town wide, Plastic Free July campaign in 2016 which resulted in the IGA removing their plastic carry bags for good and the successful crowd funding of a filtered water bottle refill station for the town. Sasha is pictured above with Dave West from the Boomerang Alliance and Daniel Tiffin, the manager of the Mullumbimby IGA.

Mullum Cares launched at the Mullumbimby Show in 2016 where Costa was the star of the show!

Type of group

Incorporated Association

Primary environmental focus

Sustainability

Geographic sphere or activity

Local

Primary location

Mullumbimby, New South Wales

Website link/s

Founding Year

2016

Successes

It’s first whole-community campaign was the Plastic Free July trader focused effort in Mullumbimby in 2016 that resulted in the Mullum IGA removing it’s plastic carry bags for good along with most of the towns traders. (Mullum IGA had previously been supplying approximately 150,000 plastic carry bags per annum).
The Plastic Free July effort included many aspects: face to face coaching to support and promote the local businesses who stemmed their supply of single use plastics during the month of activity (and many beyond) was a core activity but many others contributed to the success during the month and beyond of reducing the towns volume of single use plastics. A team of dedicated seamstresses sewed bags on the street outside the IGA every Monday, Wednesday & Friday during the month to raise awareness of the campaign and help arm customers with a BYO bag before they headed into the bagless supermarket. Mullum Cares branded stainless steel water bottles and coffee cups were heavily promoted by this street stall to amplify the BYO message so the habit of expecting traders to supply wasteful single use items can end.
World renowned music festival, Splendour in the Grass, is held 15 minutes drive from Mullumbimby during July so a pilot use of paper straws rather than plastic ones at the STEER breathalysing tent lead to a 3 year sponsorship of the service valued by locals to ensure that they could avoid using plastic straws. While we had the festival’s co operation we sent a dedicated team in after the patrons had left to collect abandoned complete and damaged tents and other camping equipment to divert it from landfill. A 12 x 4 caged trailer load of sleeping gear was collected for the Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre that they distributed to locals in need and the broken tents were used by the Mullum Cares team for spare parts at future festivals and the fabric upcycled into bags, bunting, flags and even dresses!
In the middle of Plastic Free July, at the height of the media support and buzz in the town we launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money for a permanent, filtered drinking fountain and water bottle refill resource that was installed in the centre of town and officially opened on the first day of the Mullum Music Festival in November 2016. The crowdfunding campaign was so successful excess funds are being used to add a second filtered water asset within a larger place activation project in the town’s developing Sculpture Walk.
Unlike plastic bags and straws that should be banned due to the fact that alternatives are readily available, single use coffee cups and plastic drink containers are much harder to remove from our lives as shifting to vessels that don’t pose a risk in the marine environment means encouraging a culture of reuse and plastic avoidance. The water fountain means you can simply have a drink from the bubbler if you find yourself downtown and thirsty without a refillable container. The infographic below explains why avoiding beverages in plastic is a habit worth getting into as an environmental action.
The Mullum Music Festival held in November made a concerted effort to promote Green Music Australia’s mantra of #BYObottle to combat the volume of single use water bottles at music festivals. The grand opening of the drinking and water bottle refill station was perfect (and planned) timing. The crowdfunded water fountain was officially opened on the first day of the music festival and Mullum Cares worked with the festival organisers to produce a map showing where patrons could refill their water bottles and We Refill provided chilled filtered water refills for patrons and the public from its station out front of the Neighbourhood Centre.
The Boomerang Alliance headlined the Plastic Pollution Solutions event hosted by Mullum Cares & Plastic Free Byron on the Mullum Music Festival’s Community Program and the Boomerang Alliance team spent time during their visit to the region meeting local shopkeepers who had participated in Plastic Free July activities and with other key stakeholders including council and local environmental organisations to begin discussing the process to implement Marine Plastic Pollution Abatement strategies on a regional scale.

Mullum Cares organised a Disposable Free Camping stall at the Falls Festival in Jan 2017 and worked with the Byron Spirit Fest to reduce the waste from their food and beverage stalls by approximately 30% by managing a dish washing station that cleaned the 100 plates, bowls & cutlery sets donated to Mullum Cares by the festival and the 200 cups lent to the festival by the Mullum Farmers Market!

Green Music Australia partnered with Mullum Cares to ensure the Byron Spirit Fest’s commitment to being single use water bottle free was a success in conjunction with the We Refill crew!

A big vision for the North Byron Parklands to improve the culture that leads to waste has been shared with the Splendour organisers and the development of an efficient Waste Free Catering system was honed at the 2018 Renew Fest so the shift to reusable crockery and cutlery at events has begun.

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