upcoming events

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zero waste festival

Canberra’s first Zero Waste Festival features talks and workshops to demonstrate practical ways to live with zero waste and to inspire you to take action. 

Stalls will connect you with Canberra businesses and organisations with zero waste at the centre of their enterprise.  

Workshops will provide you with practical skills on topics like composting, sewing and halving your waste. 

The talks program will feature panel discussions on:

  • Plastic free living

  • International best practice in waste management

  • Re-use in focus

  • Sustainable fashion

Be part of the first Australian trial that will transform running shoes into park benches by bringing in your old runners (don’t put them in the rubbish bin).

The festival is located right beside the Garden of Australian Dreams, a perfect all-ages outdoor play area.

As there is limited availability for our hugely popular workshop program, we will be charging a small participation fee and participants will be invited to book in advance. Participating in the talks program and children’s craft will be free. 

Huge thanks to our two sponsors for the event, The Green Shed and Ginninderry.



11am - 3pm, Saturday 7 September


The Peninsula Room

National Museum of Australia

Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsular, Canberra

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speakers @ the zero waste festival

11.15 – 12.00: Plastic Free Living

Facilitated by Mia Swainson and featuring:

  • Loren Howell: Owner and designer at the Plastic Free Shop. She promotes and sells reusable and biodegradable products.

  • Caique Ponzoni: Co-owner of Naked Foods, an organic & health bulk food concept with 21 stores in Australia. They promote “unwanted dressings” of modern processing & packaging.

  • Ryan Lungu: Director of the Canberra Environment Centre, an NGO, not for profit environmental education centre that supports environmentally conscious behaviour in the Canberra community.

  • Minister Steel: ACT Minister for Transport Canberra and City Services, responsible for a range of waste management & reduction actions including banning single-use plastics in the ACT, waste recovery through waste-to-energy.

12.15 – 1.00 International Best Practice

Facilitated by Lish Fejer and featuring:

  • Markus Dirnberger: Physicist and waste expert in Austria’s seven bin collection system and the circular economy.

  • Olympia Yarger: Founder and CEO of insect farm Goterra, a company that manages food waste and creates livestock feed, using robotic, modular insect farms.

  • Gerry Gillespie: Organics waste expert and founding member of the Zero Waste International Alliance and the Zero Waste International Trust.

1.15 – 2.00 Re-use in Focus

Facilitated by Mary Milne and featuring:

  • Rebecca Sellers: Organiser of the The Repair Café, where volunteer repairers help members of Canberra’s community to repair broken household items, helping save items from landfill.

  • Sandie Parkes: Co-owner of The Green Shed, a company that manages the Reuse facilities at Mugga Lane and Mitchell Resource Management Centres in Canberra.

  • Minister Rattenbury: ACT Minister for Climate Change & Sustainability who has helped negotiate improvements to waste & recycling, including support for an ACT container deposit scheme.

  • Cass Proudfoot: Administrator for the Watson/Hackett Buy Nothing Facebook Group. Buy Nothing groups allow people to gift and request items from others in their neighbourhood.

  • Caroline Odgers: Launched GIVIT in the ACT in 2017. GIVIT is a national online not-for-profit where you can donate your quality pre-loved items to someone in need.

2.15 – 3.00 Sustainable fashion

Facilitated by Suzanne Orr MLA and featuring:

  • Nikki Hogan: Ecostylist and thrift expert who has Nomad Canberra Instagram, show-casing her op shop finds. She also works with the ethical and sustainable fashion brand Pure Pod on PR and media events.

  • Colleen MacMillan: Cotton Fibre Quality Team Leader in the Cotton Biotechnology Group, CSIRO. Her research is biotechnology-based, to help create solutions for a sustainable cotton industry.

  • Kaitlyn Gillies: Influencer who promotes an anti-consumerist culture through social media, with an emphasis on abolishing fast-fashion.


workshops @ the zero waste festival


How to halve your household waste

Want to know how to cut your household waste in half? You don’t need any special technology or a new government initiative. Find out how you can cut your household waste in half in this fun, engaging workshop with Canberran mother of three, Mia Swainson.

Mia’s philosophy of change is to take it one step at a time, to feel good about the things you’re doing and not guilty about the things you don’t do!


Make your own shopping bag

With just scissors and a few knots, learn how to transform a t-shirt into your very own bag. We have sourced t-shirts which would otherwise be destined for landfill and you can give them a new life. Your new bag will be perfect for shopping, the beach or the pool and is a fantastic example of textile reuse.

date and time

7 September 2019

2:10pm - 3:00pm



Zero Waste Festival

Red Workshop Room, Museum of Australia


date and time

7 September 2019

11.10am - 12.00pm



Zero Waste Festival

Red Workshop Room, Museum of Australia

Repair cafe

Bring along clothing, tools, kitchen items, costume jewellery, furniture (or photos of it) and many other things and we will help restore them.

Volunteers have experience in repairing items, and usually bring their own tools and help visitors fix their broken item, teaching them how to do it for next time.

Volunteer skills include fixing clothing, woodwork, bicycles, jewellery and plastics. If you can bring spare parts (like zippers, clasps, chains) for your broken item, this will make it easier to fix, but otherwise we'll improvise! Attendees can also bring their own tools if they have them and use the time to repair with others, or seek advice.

Unfortunately, we won’t have our electrical kit at the National Museum, so if you need an electrical repair – come to one of the regular repair cafés at the Canberra Environment Centre.

date and time

7 September 2019

12:10pm - 1.00pm

Small cost depending on type of repair


Zero Waste Festival


Composting is a simple process that mimics the systems of nature and converts your food waste into healthy soil and it is a great place to start when thinking about reducing your household waste. Food waste makes up approximately 35% of the average household bin yet with a little bit of effort it can be turned into a valuable resource for the garden.

At this workshop you will learn the basics and various methods of composting and worm farming. Get ready to fall in love with your food waste!

Tour of the Canberra Environment Centre composting hub

Join Canberra Environment Centre director Ryan Lungu for a tour of the Compost Hub in the Acton Community Garden.  The Hub incorporates an On-Site-Composting-Apparatus and showcases the various methods of composting in what is Canberra’s first community compost station.

thanks to our sponsors


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past events


date and time

7 September 2019

1:10pm - 2.00pm



Zero Waste Festival

date and time

7 September 2019

2:15pm - 3.00pm


Meet at the Zero Waste Festival welcome desk @2:10pm


A big shout-out of thanks to our two festival sponsors: The Green Shed and Ginninderry.


Lakeside Scavenge

“The scavenge is about having fun while doing something good for waterways and our planet.”

Anna Jane, Seaside Scavenge Director

On 1 June 2019, Zero Waste Revolution partnered with Seaside Scavenge to clean up Lake Burley Griffin: the litter that participants collected became currency to purchase quality, pre-loved clothes, books and more.

Key statistics from the event:

  • 7 volunteer organisers

  • 33 participants

  • 4 community groups

  • 25.6 kg of waste removed

  • 8.1kg of recycling removed

It’s great to see the community come and be a part of the solution to the impact of litter, especially plastics.”

Joshua Holliday, Event Coordinator

DATE and time

Sunday 1 June, 10am - 1pm


Lake Burley Griffin