IOE is going green!  It started with our Eco Action Recreation Activities group, grew to involve programs run by our adult day services and now some of our staff have recently formed an Eco Action Working Group.

The Working Group, which plans to meet monthly, will focus on identifying the less sustainable areas in IOE’s collective practice and implement actions to improve on these. We want to increase environmental awareness at Interchange Outer East and encourage everyone to be involved – IOE staff, participants, and families alike. We want these green initiatives to become a part of IOE’s culture, rather than sitting with isolated programs.  One of the ways in which we plan to do so is to acknowledge our commitment, within IOE’s strategic plan, to work towards the U.N.’s Strategic Development Goals  (see image below).  Over the next two months we will be focusing on Strategic Development Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production which is about ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns are developed within the workplace.

Our plan is to set Green Goals each month and distribute advice on how to achieve these goals to our IOE community through our social media outlets, newsletter and staff bulletins Specific individuals in our workplace will be designated to champion these goals.

For the next couple of months our Green Goals will be:

To become more conscious of single use products.
This involves reducing the use of plastic bags, single use cutlery and take away coffee cups in the workplace. An easy first step that all staff can take that involves gently reminding each other to reduce our use of unnecessary single use items and to encourage alternatives like keep cups and reusable containers.

To facilitate Redcycling by offering designated places to collect soft plastics.
We’ve distributed RedCycling boxes throughout the IOE work space. These are for recycling soft plastics – any plastic (excluding glad wrap) that you can scrunch but not recycle in a conventional recycle bin – packaging, wrappers, plastic bags etc. This initiative aims to reduce the large amount of waste that goes to landfill on IOE’s behalf. Please see (and share!) this poster for more information: https://www.redcycle.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/REDcycle-Poster-2017_Final-1.pdf

There is also a green bag beside the Redcycle box to encourage use when buying lunches etc, instead of using single use plastic bags.

To make the change to recycled toilet paper.
We are in the process of negotiating this goal and we will most likely move to Who Gives a Crap, a socially responsible company which only uses recycled materials in its products and donates half of its profits to build toilets for those in need.  https://au.whogivesacrap.org/pages/our-impact

Once we have these goals in place, we are hoping to develop a working compost system at each site as our next step in reducing our landfill waste.

These initiatives will take place at the all our office and hub sites.

Small steps but with everyone’s help, we are on our way to becoming a more sustainable, environmentally and socially responsible organisation.