8 Aussies Who Are Spearheading Really Bloody Cool Sustainability Initiatives Right Now

For every terrifying article about the impacts of climate change, there’s another about good people doing great things on the sustainability front. Simply put, Australia is brimming with talent in this arena, with initiatives ranging from grassroots groups fighting for land rights to design studios creating furniture from waste products from the building industry.

The only comfort in the climate change conversation comes by focusing on the helpers doing incredible work to tackle the crisis. Undoubtedly, there’s a really, really long way to go to overcome this issue, which is why Electrolux launched Better Living in 2030. They acknowledge that it’s Gen Z who’ll feel the fullest impact of climate change, so they’re giving you the chance to become the Australian representative at the global innovation hub and actually play a part in creating more sustainable homes in the future. But more on that later.

To give you a little bit of hope about the future (and some inspo on where to send your dollars), we’ve put together a little list of eight Aussies who are doing some amazing work in the sustainability world.

Jean Darling, Cirque du Soil

One-third of the world’s food is wasted every year, and when you consider that rotting food that sits in a landfill emits methane — a gas that’s 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide — it starts to put into perspective just how terrifying that stat is. That’s why Jean Darling founded Cirque du Soil, a Melbourne-based subscription service that picks up your food waste and composts it for you. She believes that regenerating the land we build on is the key to fighting the climate emergency, so the goal of Cirque du Soil is pretty simple: to work with local residents, traders, and businesses in Melbourne to return food waste to the earth and eliminate it from landfill.

Varsha Yajman, Climate Change Activist

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Varsha Yajman is a leader in the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and she helped organise the 2019 Australian Climate Strike. But her work doesn’t stop there, nope. She’s also studying to become a lawyer so she can take her activism another step further to make a systemic change at a law and policy level.

Amelia Telford, Seed Mob

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Seed is Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network, and lead by the National Director Amelia Telford, a young Aboriginal and South Sea Islander woman from Bundjalung country, it’s building a movement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. Fighting for a sustainable future with strong cultures and communities — all powered by sustainable energy — is their goal and that means they have their sights set on stopping fracking in the Northern Territory and protecting land rights over mining rights (for starters).

Clare Kennedy, Tom O’Shea, and Hunter Eccleston, Five Mile Radius

Did you know that concrete accounts for 8% of the world’s greenhouse emissions? No, neither did I. But that’s what makes the work that Clare Kennedy, Tom O’Shea, and Hunter Eccleston are doing with Five Mile Radius. A Brisbane-based design studio dedicated to closed-loop thinking, waste reuse, and bioclimatic design, Five Mile Radius makes gorge homewares like terrazzo coffee tables using 100% waste concrete, wood, and steel and they’re as chic as they are sustainable.

Jordy and Julia Kay, The Great Wrap

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Jordy and Julia Kay founded The Great Wrap in 2020, becoming the world’s first certified pallet wrap. Julia is an architect and Jordy is a former winemaker and they were both disgusted by the amount of plastic waste that was taking place in their industries. Deciding to tackle one very specific part of the problem, they designed a plastic-like wrap that can be used for food wrapping and, yep, pallet wrapping, too. The Great Wrap is made from organic materials that break down in a home composter in only 180 days.

Independent MP Zali Steggall

Since taking Tony Abbott’s seat of Warringah in the 2019 Federal Election, Independent MP Zali Steggall has staunchly fought for climate change to be addressed on a national level in parliament. In a nutshell, the hefty Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) Bill 2020 sets a target of Australia achieving net zero emissions by 31 December 2050, to establish a Climate Change Commission, reduce emissions, put a halt to the worsening droughts, bushfires, and flooding, and to finally build a country powered by renewables.

The reason we’ve partnered with Electrolux (a company that’s in millions of Australian homes) is to spread the word about their Better Living in 2030 initiative. If you want to be in with a chance of becoming the Australian representative at the global innovation hub, sign up and share all of your thoughts right here.