Peregian people power means big savings
  • Thursday 07 July 2011

A cluster of 17 Peregian businesses are making big environmental and financial savings with the help of Sunshine Coast Council’s ecoBiz program.

The program helps businesses reduce their waste, water and energy, and helps them to make savings on waste disposal costs and utility bills.

The businesses celebrated their achievements today as they planted fruit trees along the Peregian boardwalk—just one of the actions from their eco-biz action plan.

Manager of council’s environment and policy unit Steve Skull said council’s role was to help these businesses help themselves and support them in their goal to be the Sunshine Coast’s most sustainable business community.

“This program is about building community and business partnerships and there are some fantastic examples of this developing,” he said.

“The Peregian cluster is tackling a number of issues head-on including turning waste into a resource and reducing the distance food travels to get to our plates.”

Project Officer Emma Menzies said food sharing between local community gardens Veggie Village and Boardwalk businesses was a step in the right direction.

“Each day Veggie Village collect coffee grounds, vegetable and fruit scraps in a trolly and take it back to the gardens to make into compost,” Ms Menzies said.

“This initiative, along with better recycling has helped Raw Energy reduce its waste by 69%, not to mention all the other great initiatives they have started to implement.

“In addition, the fruit from the new street trees will be available for all to enjoy, hopefully helping people think about where their food comes from and maybe inspire them to grow their own produce either at home or in the community garden.

“Across the Coast, council is working with over 60 businesses to help them save money and do things better environmentally.”

By taking closer account of the energy, water and materials used to produce goods and service, these ecoBiz participants are showing it is possible to do more with less and creating a strong sustainable vibrant community at the same time.

EcoBiz is a state government partnership program delivered by council.

Some key initiatives from the cluster:

  • the Surf Club is purchasing fair-trade coffee and organic, free-range sausages for their BBQ each market day—they have implemented recycling at the local market and hope to have solar on their roof very soon.
  • the Romantic retail shop and funky hole in the wall expresso bar is encouraging regular patrons to buy reusable cups, instead of single use disposable ones.
  • public place recycling bins have been introduced and are going well.
    local businesses are starting to buy more local produce in bulk—saving money and also getting trucks off the road.
  • The Patisserie, Raw Energy and Sushi Wave are looking at reducing food miles and supporting local growers.
  • DERM has provided $10,000 to council towards the project. Local electrical company Craig Eades from C.E. Electrical is working with the Cluster on more energy efficient lighting and energy efficient alternatives. Sushi Wave have replaced nine 50w halogen lights with LED's, which should have a saving of more than $300 per year.
  • HighTide Mark are replacing their 50w halogens and are expecting over 50% energy savings per year!
  • Local community gardens Veggie Village collect vegetable, coffee scraps and fruit food scraps from local businesses and convert it into compost to use in the gardens.
  • Raw energy has reduced its waste by 69% by composting their fruit and veggie scraps and better recycling.
  • Boardwalk Businesses will reduce their waste by a third- that’s over 520 wheelie bins every year, a financial saving for them of $1990.

Participating businesses include:
Peregian Beach Hotel, Peregian Beach Surf Club, Le Bon Delice, The Romantic, Altum Constructions, Raw Energy, Zachary's Gourmet Pizza Bar, High Tide Mark, Sushi Wave, Finders Keepers, Peregian Physiotherapy Centre, Malaga’s Gourmet Deli, Liquor at your Local, Styleworkroom, M Design by Michael Broeren, Veggie Village, Atmail