Kermit the Frog said, ‘It’s not easy being green’ and he was right. Creating a service or a product that is useful and sustainable, both environmentally and economically, isn’t always easy.
More often than not, a sustainable product costs more at the producer’s end, and consumers don’t always put the planet first, so it becomes a fine balancing act of being nice to the planet and not going broke in the process.
In early March, Byron Council opened submissions for their 2020 Sustainability Awards to highlight those businesses doing good things for the environment.
They were unable to host an awards ceremony this year, but still wanted to showcase local community groups, businesses, and schools who were nominated for their various projects and initiatives.
The list of winners includes Resilient Byron; Ocean Shores Tidy Towns Committee; Mullum Cares Inc.; Byron Palms Guesthouse; Zero Waste Kulture; Interflow Pty Ltd; O’Meara Dental; Bangalow Koalas; Mullumbimby High School Green Group; Reclaim Energy; Byron Bay Public School; High4Pets; Byron at Byron; and Earthbottles.
O’Meara Dental over the moon to receive a sustainability award
Dr Marcus O’Meara from O’Meara Dental says they are over the moon to receive a sustainability award.
‘The whole team at O’Meara Dental is passionate about sustainability and the environment and it is inspiring to live in a community that echoes that sentiment,’ he said.
‘To be sustainable is to allow future generations to enjoy life and the world around us like we do. Not recognising and acting on sustainability is to stand idly by and supervise the neglect of our planet.’
Meanwhile, Earth Bottles founders Danni Carr and Ash Grunwald say it was wonderful to be acknowledged within their own community for the work they do as a company.
‘We were among some pretty amazing businesses and groups in the awards, who are making some massive changes to better our planet’ said Danni. ‘It is very humbling’.
People who are trying to do the right thing by the planet
Danni said she feels it is important that people who are trying to do the right thing by the planet, by having sustainable products or sustainable services, are acknowledged.
‘Often when you take on any kind of activism or environmental work, there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes. A lot of commitment, time away from your family and sometimes even criticism. So to be held up for your efforts is really inspiring’.
Danni says that there are plenty of rewards. ‘I think as a business, educating people on how to make changes that help to support the environment rather than contribute to its decimation is vital right now.’
As a business, Danni and Ash literally put their money where their mouth is – pre COVID, they organised beach clean-ups wherever Ash, who is a musician, travelled on tour. ‘We all have so much stuff, so at times I grapple with that’,said Danni. ‘Am I just contributing to more stuff? But the hope is that we are offering quality products that last and reduce single use plastics.
‘Being responsible as a company, we like to get out there and get our hands dirty and work to clean up our beaches. This gives our business so much more meaning’.
To see the stories of all the Byron Shire Council 2020 Sustainability Awards winners, visit: www.byron.nsw.gov.au/Community/Sustainable-living/Sustainability-Awards.