Switched on over sustainability

June 02, 2018

The first kit received to begin Boomerang Bags in Tatura.

Some of the solar panels on top of Tatura Children's Centre.

They say many hands make light work, a saying I believe rings truest in small towns and communities.

As I made the trip back to The News office from Tatura a few weeks ago, I started a mental checklist of the stories ready to be written for an upcoming issue of the Tatura Guardian.

One of the things I love about Tatura is the sense of community and pride of place.

Most conversations end with locals singing the praises of their lovely town and more often than not, these exchanges leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling in the pit of your stomach.

On this particular drive, I realised there was a certain theme surrounding my stories — sustainability and the environment.

I’m not sure if it may have been a coincidence or potentially a biased interest in this topic, but I decided it was important for me to celebrate and acknowledge the efforts of this wonderful community.

For example, did you know Tatura is the home of the first cafe in the Goulburn Valley to give up selling plastic water bottles and giving out straws and plastic lids on milkshake containers?

Coffee+ owner Michelle Keen simply made the decision one day after watching an ABC documentary and hasn’t looked back.

If anything, she’s pushing forward, initiating more changes to ensure her cafe is making the smallest impact possible.

The town is also home to Transition Tatura, a group hosting roadside clean-ups, a film festival and seminars, all with the intention of educating the community about the challenges and dangers of climate change.

This group is also another first for the Goulburn Valley.

It’s also incredible to learn that the introduction of Boomerang Bags or ‘Totes for Tat’ was established due to the efforts of four individuals taking the initiative to create handmade, reusable bags for the town.

Not only did the parties not know the others had also inquired, they have decided on an incredibly ambitious target to create more than 1000 bags for their town.

You’ll also find a food share program and the local nursing home predominately using produce from their vegie patches scattered around the facility.

Last but not the least, I was delighted to hear one of the local kindergartens had made the switch to solar with the intent of educating their students on sustainable practices.

I tend to get a little overexcited about these things and I’m sure I’ve lost a few people spreading my ‘greeny’ propaganda at this point, but I think it’s wonderful to see so many initiatives cropping up.

It’s time to further highlight these acts as the norm, with the hope of inspiring those with the ability to get on board.

We have no other planet to live on, it’s best we take care of this one.

Ashlea Witoslawski is a cadet journalist at The News.

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