This year’s event, held at the Seagulls Club in Tweed Heads West on September 16, continued a rise in attendances each year and equipped most visitors with clear goals on how they could make their households more energy and cost efficient.
Tweed Shire Council’s sustainability program leader, Deb Firestone, said a survey of visitors revealed many people ‘found helpful solutions and would act upon them’.
‘Sixty per cent of survey respondents left with a definite plan for their household power, recycling, food waste or building plans,’ she said.
‘A quarter of them would pursue options for renewable energy or improved energy efficiency.’
Ms Firestone said the high proportion of newcomers to the 2017 expo was also very encouraging.
‘It’s fantastic that each home expo is spreading the message to so many more people,’ she said.
‘This event aims to really spread the word about the sustainable living options that can bring substantial benefits to households, as well as benefits to the broader community.
‘At the same time, return visitors to the expo are telling us about the positive changes they have made since previous events.’
Ms Firestone said 77 per cent of them gave examples of how they had taken information from an earlier expo and put it into practice.
The community’s large appetite for design and construction tips was ‘evident in the large crowds at many of the event’s workshops,’ she said.
Sessions on alternative building materials, such as bamboo and hemp, attracted some of the day’s largest attendances.
‘That interest continued when many people signed up to “speed date a designer”, to get advice for their own projects,’ Ms Firestone said.
‘A workshop on the evolution of eBikes was also extremely popular, inspiring many people to take one of the electric bikes for a test ride.
‘I can’t wait to hear how people put their newfound knowledge into play during the next 12 months.’
The top prize in the 2017 Sustainable House Day Design Awards, this year hosted by the Home Expo, was claimed by Ballina and Brisbane-based firm Aardvarc. Its winning design in the Professional Category focused on recycling Murwillumbah’s industrial materials, in line with the competitions to use locally sourced materials for a sustainable house.
See www.sustainablehousedaynr.org for all the category prize-winners.