Sustainable Schools, Sustainable Community, & Sustainable Business in Gympie

By David Waterworth, from material supplied by Murray Keys

Gympie is a tidy town 2 hours north of Brisbane. It is situated in the beautiful Mary Valley, and unfortunately seems to feature on the news every time we have a high rainfall. Envirotech is the town’s celebration of sustainable community. It also celebrates the determination of a town to thrive despite floods and pestilence.

Starting as an EV Day in 2019, but growing into a broader exposition of sustainable technologies, this event aims to:

  • promote technologies which will help to make our community more sustainable across a range of economic sectors — agriculture, water, energy, transport, education, housing, waste and recycling;
  • inform both households and businesses of the benefits of these technologies; and
  • Celebrate the steps already taken to improve the sustainability of communities.

Gympie residents recognise that they are partially responsible for the world’s current unsustainable state and that they can take steps to make this community more sustainable.

Viewing the EVs at Envirotech.

In 2020, the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic struck — not just the world, but Gympie as well. Envirotech had to be cancelled.

Days like Envirotech don’t come together without a lot of hard work by individuals and the cooperation of community and business groups. In 2019 the event was organised chiefly by Gympie Community Solar Assn (GCSA) and Gympie Regional Council. In order to broaden inputs to the event for 2020, a management committee consisting of Gympie Regional Council, Gympie and District Sustainability Alliance, Gympie and District Landcare Group, and Gympie Living Magazine was formed. Gympie Regional Council developed the artwork for the Events promotion.

Envirotech Day 2021 was able to continue. It was estimated that around 750 people visited the event. Unfortunately, Gympie experienced a severe flood earlier this year and Envirotech Gympie 2022 had to be postponed from April to August 6th.

Envirotech Gympie

Red Earth battery on display.

In order to get the next generation involved, there are two school competitions based around waste and recycling:

  1. Kindy to Year 6 students are asked to make “junk from junk.” These boats must float and be made from regular materials normally tossed in the bin.
  2. Students/the school are to prepare a poster or display on sustainability — more specifically, efforts by the school to reduce waste and to recycle.

Organizers want to celebrate the role business is playing in making our sustainable community. A Sustainable Scorecard has been developed and distributed through Gympie Chamber of Commerce. A business can self-assess its progress along sustainable lines. GADSA will print out certificates showing their results and have these on display at the event.

Also, there will be a music board. Anyone wishing to do so can add their name to a 15 minute time slot and play for the crowd for 15 minutes. A mini Gympie muster?

Recently, we have been to Yeppoon, Gladstone, and Noosa celebrating EVs and sustainable living. None of these have had it as tough as Gympie. This town is a great example of people with true grit. What about your town — can they muster a day to support the environmental cause?

Featured image courtesy of Google Maps


 

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