Sustainable Schools, Sustainable Community, & Sustainable Business in Gympie

By David Waterworth, from material provided by Murray Keys

Gympie is a tidy town 2 hours north of Brisbane. It is located in the beautiful Mary Valley, and unfortunately seems to be in the news every time we have a high rainfall. Envirotech is the city’s celebration of a sustainable community. It also celebrates a city’s willingness to thrive despite floods and plague.

This event starts as an EV day in 2019, but grows into a broader exhibition of sustainable technologies, and aims to:

  • promote technologies that will help make our society more sustainable across a range of economic sectors – agriculture, water, energy, transport, education, housing, waste and recycling;
  • inform both households and businesses about the benefits of these technologies; and
  • celebrate the steps already taken to improve the sustainability of society.

Gympie residents recognize that they are partly responsible for the current unsustainable state of the world and that they can take steps to make this community more sustainable.

Envirotech Gympie

See the electric cars at Envirotech.

In 2020, the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic hit – not only the world but also the Gympie. Envirotech had to be canceled.

Days like Envirotech do not coincide without a lot of hard work from individuals and collaboration between communities and business groups. In 2019, the event was mainly organized by the Gympie Community Solar Assn (GCSA) and the Gympie Regional Council. To expand input to the event for 2020, a management committee was formed consisting of the Gympie Regional Council, the Gympie and District Sustainability Alliance, the Gympie and District Landcare Group and the Gympie Living Magazine. Gympie Regional Council developed the artwork for the Events campaign.

Envirotech Day 2021 could continue. It was estimated that about 750 people attended the event. Unfortunately, the Gympie experienced a severe flood earlier this year, and the Envirotech Gympie 2022 had to be postponed from April to August

Envirotech Gympie

Red earth battery on the display.

To get the next generation involved, there are two school competitions based on waste and recycling:

  1. Friendly 6th graders are asked to make “junk from junk.” These boats must float and be made of ordinary materials that are usually thrown in the trash.
  2. The students / school must prepare a poster or exhibition about sustainability – more specifically the school’s efforts to reduce waste and recycle.

The organizers want to celebrate the role the company plays in making our society sustainable. A Sustainable Scorecard has been developed and distributed through the Gympie Chamber of Commerce. A company can self-assess its progress along sustainable lines. GADSA prints certificates showing their results and has these exhibited at the event.

In addition, there will be a music board. Anyone who wants to do so can add their name to a 15 minute time slot and play for the audience for 15 minutes. A mini Gympie muster?

Recently, we have been to Yeppoon, Gladstone and Noosa to celebrate electric cars and sustainable lifestyles. None of these have had it as hard as Gympie. This city is a good example of people with sand gravel. What about your city – can they one day muster to support the environmental cause?

Featured image lent by Google Maps


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