Standing proudly in the Eureka Football Club canteen is a poster emblazoned with the words ‘Eureka FC – Playing for the Planet’.
It’s a motto the club proudly lives by.
This season, the club has introduced a range of inventive measures to drastically reduce the canteen’s environmental impact, and to have a positive influence on the world outside of selling delicious pies, cakes, and coffee.
‘We were a bit disturbed by the amount of plastic and waste being produced last year and we wanted to do something about it,’ club member Francesca Hart says.
‘And it was also a really great way to spread the message.
‘We’ve got clubs coming here every week from as far afield as Casino, as well as from Lennox, Ballina, and Lismore.
‘It’s a great way to show people what’s achievable.’
The club has gone completely plastic-free, even introducing Gatorade tablets so that those in need a post-match pick-me-up can get it in an environmentally friendly way.
All of the cans and bottles produced each Saturday go into a special recycling scheme where the money raised is used to buy Woolworths vouchers, which are then given to refugees.
‘We work quite closely with Federal Loves Refugees, as well as a group called Romero for Refugees,’ Ms Hart says.
Food miles cut
In a bid to cut down on food miles and buy local, the canteen is sourcing most of its food locally, including Moonshine Coffee and Byron Bay Pies. It also co-ordinates a different baking team from within the club each week to provide homemade cakes and treats.
Leading the charge are Ms Hart’s 13-year-old daughter Leila Clarke and her friend Annabelle Deacon.
‘They run the canteen,’ Ms Hart says.
‘They’ve really been the driving force behind a lot of this.’