The 14th Sustainable Living Festival was a wild ride and I’ve had some time to reflect on the amazing events of the Big Weekend. The Festival was in my opinion a huge success and it would not have been possible with the overwhelming support of the 800+ people who visited the stall and/or came to the events. Some of the things that you were saying loud and clear:
“I love it!”
“Keep up the good work’
“The concept is brilliant and should be implemented immediately”
However, the reoccurring comment that has stayed with me was all the people who said they feel guilty (or bad) for sending plastic bags filled with dog poo to landfill and the desire for a sustainable option. Now you should know that this is why I started Poo Power! - from knowing that there is a better way and instead of waiting for someone else to create that change I decided that I should take a chance and see if I could be that person. The various pieces are now falling into place and 2013 will be a great year for all of us.
Although I had committed myself to being at the Poo Power! stall for the three days, I allowed myself to attend one presentation and that was Annie Leonard’s Story of Change. As an educator I have been long-time supporter and have used her excellent resources in my tutorials and workshops so the opportunity to be in her vicinity was something I could not miss. At Swinburne I have taught behaviour change before so I was able to immerse myself in the presentation and panel discussion - reframing ourselves as ‘human beings’ and not ‘consumers’, and what she saw as the core non-informational barriers to change. She invited us to inspire others to exercise their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world; and to succeed in creating change by taking a big idea, a commitment to work together, and followed through with action. During this, I quickly realised that I was already doing this! It was a great affirmation that I am working in the right space and I felt reinvigorated to keep driving ahead despite not knowing where this path will take me.
So back at the stall there was a shift in the questions and comments from the stall - you wanted to know what you could do to help. The Annie effect was rippling through the Green Market! So, we asked you to exercise your democratic muscles and send our ‘Poo, Snap, Send’ postcards to your local councillors in support of sustainable dog waste management. We asked you to keep the conversation going after the Festival - talk to your family, friends and work mates about it and why it is important to change the status quo. Also, we asked you to sign up in anticipation for Melbourne’s first Poo Power! station (hopefully) by the end of the year.
Other highlights of the Festival included the Steaming Toad Variety Show with HG Nelson, Dan Ilic, Claire Hooper and Rod Quantock. I was part of the panel with Matthew Wright from Beyond Zero Emissions and Simon Holmes a Court from Hepburn Wind (coincidentally of which I am a shareholder). I certainly got my share of laughs as talking about dog poo is comedy gold.
Lastly there was the first Melbourne screening of Dog Poo - The Truth At Last with a Q&A session with its filmmaker, James Boldiston. There were laughs too and through the science it became clear to the audience that the issue of dog poo is no laughing matter. James at the end of the night showed his appreciation to those who came out on a school night by gifting the 90-minute extended version of the documentary which I’ll get sent out to you in the next week or so. For everyone else, including our international fans, the DVD will be available to buy via our website very soon.
So, the Poo Power! tour continues and the next stop is Pets in the Park.
I hope to see you there!
Subscribe to our newsletter to keep yourself up to date with the latest Poo Power news. Never fear - your details are safe with us - Diesel makes for a good guard dog.