After having lived in Gippsland for 10 years and knowing the small timber town of Heyfield quite well, I was delighted to hear about its remarkable community-based environmental flag system that heaps in the community embraced – young and old!
A little while ago the Heyfield Community Resource Centre did a survey to see what the community was thinking. Volunteers from the Centre had already installed thousands of efficient light globes and hundreds of shower roses around town, but residents weren’t sure what to do next. Julie Bryer from the Centre said:
“What came up was that people wanted more information on environmental sustainability practices. They were concerned about costs and they also didn’t know where to start.”
The Centre developed a three-staged program to save water, electricity and waste, in essence a way of developing sustainable practices that would reduce the carbon footprint and improve the local environment.
What did the Centre actually do? They
The flags were crucial to the scheme’s success. The thinking was that ‘if Joe Blow across the road got a flag, I had better get one too’!!
The scheme’s extraordinary success was recognised when it won a World Environment Day Award from the United Nations Association of Australia in 2011.
Project co-ordinator Judy Doolan tells of the range of ways that people are saving money through this initiative:
Well done Heyfield!