Plastic Free July 2016

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The first action of our Plastic: It All Adds Up campaign was to participate, as a group, in Plastic Free July.

 Plastic Free July is a national initiative challenges people to reduce their plastic consumption during the month of July. We asked FNQ residents if they could refuse to use single-use plastic this July with the option to say no to all single-use plastic items, or just the Top 4 (straws, plastic bottles, plastic bags, coffee cups), or make their own custom pledge Eg. plastic free workplace.

..and wow, what a month. Over 80 people registered and participated in Plastic Free July in Far North Queensland and we estimate at least double that number participated via our Facebook channels.

The CAFNEC Marine Response Team  were very organising the program, fundraising and putting together the events over the month – while simultaneously facing the trials and tribulations of going plastic free. Over the month the Cafnec Marine Response team hosted six plastic free events for the public, wrote plastic free blogs, emails, graced the press, made a video or two and so much more! We’ve put together a little summary below.

In addition, a portion of the Plastic Free July Participants rallied the support of their family and friends to raise money for the Cairns and Far North Environment Centre Inc (CAFNEC) via the online platform, ‘GoFundraise’ bringing in over $2600 throughout the month. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those that fundraised and donated, assisting the ongoing advocacy capacity CAFNEC.

So what now? If you’re buzzing for more why not join the Cafnec Marine Response Team as we continue the Plastic: It All Adds Up campaign? We are a group of local volunteers who come together weekly to plan and organise events and campaigns that focussed on the conservation and protection of our marine environment. Plastic Free July is just the start of our Plastic: It All Adds Up campaign and with a container deposit scheme now announced for the state of Queensland we’ve now got our focus aimed at single-use plastic bags.

The Cafnec Marine Response Team meets fortnightly at 5.30pm on Tuesdays at the Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (Upstairs of Cominos House, 27-29 Greenslopes Street, Manunda). Come along to find out more – All welcome!
Meeting dates coming up:
Tues 11 April 5.30 – 7.30 pm
Tues 25th April 5.30 – 7.30 pm
Tues 9th May 5.30 – 7.30 pm
Tues 23rd May 5.30 – 7.30 pm
Tues 6th May 5.30 – 7.30 pm
Tues 20th June 5.30 – 7.30 pm
Tuesday 4th July 5.30 – 7.30 pm
… and so on : )

Plastic Free July Wrap up:

Family Fun Beach Day

Towards the end of June we launched Plastic Free July with a Family Fun Beach Day at Yorkeys Knob to show the community what the every-day person can do to reduce their plastic usage, in a fun way! We had a fabulous day featuring sandcastles, BBQ, drain stencilling, bag painting, colouring in, singing, plastic free living demos and giveaways. Fellow plastic warriors Boomerang Alliance and Tangaroa Blue joined the Cafnec Marine Response Team for the day and we made a human sign on the beach in support of a container deposit scheme for Queensland. Check our the pictures and video here!

Film Screening: ‘Bag it – Is your life too plastic?’

On the eve of Plastic Free July we hosted a film screening of ‘Bag it – Is your life too plastic?’. We sold out of tickets and had a full house for the passion-igniting story of an average man’s journey to discovering the issue of plastic and ways to overcome its consumptive powers. We also had a ‘how to fundraise’ session for Plastic Free July participants raising money for Cafnec and some scrumptious plastic-free popcorn care of The Source, Cairns. Check out the pictures here! 

Weekly catchups

Throughout July, we met up at the Hammock Café each Thursday to share stories, run plastic free workshops and learn tricks and tips from each other on living plastic free. Each week, volunteers from the Marine Response Team ran a different workshop:

Week 1: How to make your own toothpaste
Week 2: How to make your own beeswax wraps
Week 3: How to make your own insect repellent
Week 4: How to make your own almond milk

Don’t worry if you missed out – all of these workshops and more are now on the blog:
Plastic free bathroom and sanitary products
Best plastic free living blogs and websites
Plastic Free Business Directory: Cairns
Plastic Free dinner recipes and where to get the ingredients
How to make your own toothpaste
How to make beeswax wraps
How to make your own insect repellent
DIY: make your own Almond Milk
Plastic Free July: Amalia’s Story

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We would like to send a huge thank you to all of local businesses and groups who enabled Plastic Free July to be such a success. Firstly, the Hammock Café, who allowed us use of their great space to host our screening and weekly catch-ups. Secondly, to The Source Bulk Foods who donated hampers and vouchers as prizes and provided everyone with plastic free popcorn at the film screening. Thank you also to Yorkeys Knob Butchery for donating sausages for the beach day and to Topaz Sustainable Timbers, Adventure Friends and Carmel from No Waste, No Worries for donating prizes. You are all amazing.

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We're part of Plastic Free July