Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reuse Advertising

You guys know the spiel, The Bower is an independent environmental charity co-operative. We survive predominantly on funds raised through the sale of goods, and are beholden only to our members, having no parental or auspicing body.

That said, Marrickville council have been one of our most staunch supporters since our founding days.
 They strongly believe in our aims and objectives here at The Bower. Through word of mouth and contributions to our Reuse Referral Service they've helped us greatly increase the amount of waste we can divert from landfill - often without even seeing it come in to the store!

When we approached Marrickville council for a grant to update our signage last year we did so because we wanted new signs that were highly visible, that mentioned some of our more recent initiatives, like our Eco-Library. Mostly we wanted some giant signs for our 'new'(reused) truck.  We're super excited and grateful that Marrickville shared our vision and funded this project, and we look forward to an increase in waste diverted from landfill through The Bower as a result of our raised profile in the area.

What we hadn't considered, probably because it's second nature for us, is just how great an example of reuse the project would turn out to be.

To practice what we preach, we agreed to sand down our old hand painted boards, and cut new sheets for A-frames without boards from donated metal. When the donated metal ran out, we found the back of some metal shelving that was missing other parts, and put it to new (re)use by cutting it down to size with an angle grinder. Some A-frames were re-glued, re-hinged or de-rusted during this process as well.

We also limited the number of signs/A-frames required by making them dual purpose. we have 'Open' on one side and 'closed' on the other of a single Aframe for example, and our direction boards for throughout the Addison Road Centre double as signage for markets and festivals.

To reduce embedded energy (from transport) and costs we opted to go with a local business who understood our reuse & repair ethos and were willing to work with us on our old boards and signs. Sign Kiosk have been fantastic, accommodating us at every turn, and double checking everything to ensure we wouldn't be wasting money on typos or size errors. If they could stop the rain to get to our truck signs applied sooner, I'm sure they would!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


For a long time now we've been wanting to harness the knowledge and expertise of our friends, family and Bower regulars and share our collective knowledge.
It's finally happening!

This June, The Bower presents Bowerography in the Eco-Library
A weekly talk on issues of sustainability, local living and much more.

Each Tuesday we'll meet at 6pm for a 6:30 start and enjoy a talk from somebody passionate about ethical food purchasing, Coal Seam Mining in metropolitan areas, 3 fold social order or social enterprise. (See below for full details)

Presentations will be followed by Q&A, and knowing us, some lively debate and tea, coffee and sweeties.

Places are limited (if you've ever been up to the Eco-library you'll know why!) so please check out the synopsis below and call to reserve your seat(s) for the talks that interest you.
BOWEROGRAPHY EVENTS are aim to give people the opportunity to engage with socially & environmentally inclined groups, individuals & organisations through a series of lectures, forums, debates, panelled discussions, screenings or workshops held at The Bower Co-op. All events are open to the general public & co-op members.
Where:  The Eco-Library, Building 34, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville, NSW, 2204
                Phone 02 95686280 email info@bower.com.au

Why: To raise awareness on social & environmental issues in an accessible & laid back setting and also to establish & maintain strong active membership & community ties. As all environmental & social issues are also political & economic ones too, a wide perspective is needed & we are acting as a facilitator, platform & venue for this idea.

When:  All events are held on Tuesday evenings, 6pm for 6:30 start- 8:30pm. Light refreshments served. By gold coin donation.
Please check our website or FACEBOOK page for more info, directions and bus & train access to the centre.
Below is the schedule of winter events for June/ July 2011. Please call to reserve your places as spaces are limited.

Tues 7th June-  Karla Cryer
Where is globalization taking us? What is the current global power structure & what are its outcomes? What is the intention? 
Why are we constantly at war?  Are there alternatives? How do we achieve them?
Karla Cryer, psychologist, college teacher & writer tackles these questions & provides some intriguing answers. She introduces a 3 Fold Social order based on the teachings of the initiator of biodynamic farming, Steiner schools & anthroposophical medicines. This lecture will highlight an effective alternative economic & political philosophy that could benefit the whole of society and not just a privileged few.

Tues 14th June- Adam Taylor

Adam Taylor, Coordinator of Alfalfa House Community Food CO-OP in Enmore, will be discussing issues relating to human consumption and some of the destructive consequences for our Earth. The session will tie together issues of factory farming vs. local & organic growers, GMO crops, product packaging, deforestation & the plastic islands floating in the oceans.  

Adam has been active in food justice around the world and his talk will be full of positives to counter the negatives & he will be taking a solutions based approach to these issues.

Tues 21st June- nogasmininginsydney.com

St. Peters in the inner-west is being proposed as a coal seam site. In the race to meet our insatiable energy needs, the chemicals and by-products injected into and produced by the “Fracking” process is causing damage to aquifers and the disposal of extracted salt water are concerns for residents, farmers and rural towns and the general public.

Come to a free screening and watch this edited version of the award winning GASLAND (2009) and witness the long term impact of this industry to communities, their health, the atmosphere and our water sources. Truly shocking.

Tues 28th June- Lisa Sampson

What is social enterprise?  What does it mean for Co-op’s like The Bower?  Where could it take the organisation in 10, 20, 50 years?  What does it mean for the re-use and recycling industry?  How do we create partnerships with government, not for profit and commercial entities that ethically further a social purpose?  How does social enterprise interact with modern consumer society within the context of the welfare economy and some of our basic drivers as human beings, such as the struggle for recognition?  

Join writer, producer and social systems architect Lisa Sampson for a robust discussion about the state of play and the possibilities.