Festival Program 2021



What’s On

Workshops and Panels

MC – Ellen Burbidge

Ellen is a dedicated package-free, plant eater who’s passionate about making zero-waste more achievable through connective and self-empowered communities. She’s known for hosting The Juice Media’s political satire, Honest Government Ads. Her work has been shared around the world, and has been acknowledged by climate scientists, environmental activists, school teachers and we love her too.

10 am Everyday Waste Warriors – Panel Discussion 
Can one person really make a difference?

Bales of plastic bottles

What difference do our actions really make? Meet changemakers who will share how even the smallest change can have a big impact.

Charlotte Archer – is the founder of Bob Hair Co in South Yarra. Sick of the wasteful practises and harsh chemicals common in the hair industry, Charlotte established Bob in 2017 as a zero-waste, non-toxic hair salon that puts hair health and sustainability at the centre of the customer experience.
Tony Corrales – Podcaster Producing with Purpose
Helen Lamb – Fashion upcycling
Kate Hume – propelled by her own purchase of a feminist t-shirt, is completing a thesis focusing on the tense relationship between feminist’s consumption practices and environmentalisms. She has spoken with people whose feminisms are practiced with silicone, linen, cotton, wood, and hormone-regulation. These items, their materiality, generate feminist practices of pleasure, of care, of descelleration, of extending the body beyond the skin, of non-biological kinship… Simultaneously, these items create harmful socio-environmental landscapes of production and discard, of extraction, of waste… The items are much more than inert, passive ‘things’. 

Facilitated by Rosie Pham

11:15 No Waste Cooking Demonstration
Make the most of the food you buy  with Alanna Brown

Did you know that 20% of food purchased by Australian households ends up in the bin? To help you be part of the solution, through an interactive cooking demonstration we’ll teach you simple, practical and money-saving tips and tricks to reduce food waste and our collective impact on the environment.

You will learn how to make broccoli stem pesto and get tips on how to store produce, so it will last longer.

Open Table is a not-for-profit community organisation focused on preventing food insecurity and food waste. They use food that would otherwise go to waste to share free, fresh food through our regular community lunches and food relief programs. Last year alone they shared 8,300 free fresh food parcels and diverted more than 30 tonnes of food from landfill. 

12:30 The Circular Consumer – panel discussion
Ditch waste by designing it out of your life 

A hopeful, entertaining & educational panel session about how you can master the circular economy. The expert brains behind some of Australia’s favourite circular brands will lift the lid on what it takes to minimise waste in a world with too much stuff. It’s time to redesign our consumption of finite resources by offering simple, affordable & accessible alternatives which put you at the centre of your circle!

    • Josh Howard (Moderator) is the CEO & Founder of Aussie sustainability brand Single Use Ain’t Sexy. This has helped save in excess of 125,000 single-use plastic soap bottles from landfill, by replacing them with dissolvable hand soap tablets and reusable glass soap bottles. Josh also hosts the weekly live TV show ‘Ticker Green’ on Ticker News – Australia’s leading live news destination for sustainable innovation & entrepreneurship.
    • Sally Williams is known as the “Brand Power Lady”, promoting everything from muesli bars to washing detergent. But the Brand Power lady has become a changemaker by transitioning into “Sustainable Sally”. Sally now works with clients in the sustainable sector, as spokesperson or ambassador. In 2021 Sally launched “Choice for Life” a media/advertising content platform available to brands who are making a dedicated contribution to sustainability with their products and services.
    • Jeremy Kerrigan is a founder of Noa and Parker who have developed a convenient ‘circular economy platform’ that employs borrowing in order to reduce the use of single-use takeaway packaging. The start-up business provides convenience for both consumer and café, and the elimination of the guilt that comes with using another piece of single-use packaging.
    • Ellen Burbidge is a dedicated package-free, plant eater who’s passionate about degrowth and making zero-waste more achievable through connective and self-empowered communities. She’s known for hosting The Juice Media’s political satire, Honest Government Ads.  Ellen is currently making a short documentary where she speaks with fire-affected friends and Cobargo locals who are rebuilding their town and community identity around the circular-economy.

1:45 The Art of Second Hand Fashion
Sustainable fashion for the conscious consumer with Nina Gbor

In the last couple of decades, we’ve moved to an era of hyperconsumption. It’s convenient and easy to have lots of stuff, then dispose of it at will. But what’s driving this endless crave for more stuff? And what is it really costing us and the planet? 

This talk will give an eye-opening insight to why we acquire things we don’t need, and the tools to shift the paradigm for a healthy planet. While being genuinely content in our personal lives – with less stuff.

Join Nina Gbor, award-winning eco stylist, who will show you some exciting ways you can revamp your wardrobe to make you look and feel great in the most low-waste and ethical ways.

3:00 Environmental Anxiety
Turn the overwhelm in to empowerment with Rachel Sietzema

Worries and concerns about our environmental future can affect well-being, or even cause anxiety and stress. Reducing your ecofootprint by avoiding waste has never mattered more, but there are definitely challenges we face in the war against waste.

If you’re frustrated with the rubbish our society creates, or the waste you just can’t seem to avoid – you’re not alone. It can be disheartening when others seem apathetic about reducing waste. But you don’t have to be overwhelmed by frustration, dismay or angst. There are strategies you can add to your toolkit to feel empowered with your actions to reduce waste.

Come along and learn how to focus your mind, and control your thoughts, to make being environmentally conscious and waste-free easier. Transform yourself, your friends and family, and your world.

Rachel Sietzema of UchangeU is a Mindset Coach who helps people navigate the feeling of overwhelm, manage life’s stresses, and uncover their true confidence. She takes a holistic approach towards sustainability and empowers people to take a balanced approach while being environmentally conscious and inspiring others.

Zero Waste Festival Main Hall

Trash Puppets

Trash Puppets is on a mission to save the world…. one puppet at a time.

Trash Puppets empowers people of all ages to get creative using recycled and reused materials. We believe that the key to sustainable living is in finding creative solutions to problems. Our playful puppetry workshops are a hands-on, technology-free way for children and families to get creative together. Get messy with our Trash Puppet Leaders and learn how to make your very own Trash Puppet! Instagram –  @TrashPuppetsAus

Mend A Thon 

The ‘Mend-a-Thon’ is part of the Zero Waste Festival ‘normalising’ the act of mending. 🪡🧵

Menders will be demonstrating the art of mending and are happy to discuss mending options with you. Bring along you items in need of a mend and we will be happy to help by  showing you how to mend them. Mending is a great life skill which can save you money, save your clothes and reduce your impact on the environment!

If you would like to take part as a mender please email Tamara of Karhina Textiles tamara@karhina.com with the times you are available. All assistance welcome. 🪡🧵

Bike Safety checks – come to the festival by bike

Does your bike need a bit of attention? Got a punctured tube? Want to know low-waste ways to maintain your bike?

Ride to the event and get a free safety check at our drop-in bicycle repair workshop. Learn from Cazz and the bike experts from Bike it Better to get your bike in top shape again, and learn how to keep it that way.

Stonnington Council’s Waste Education team will be at the festival to answer your recycling questions, and provide advice on how residents (including those living in apartments) can divert food waste from landfill. You can also find out about the recent changes in the waste industry and what’s next for Stonnington with our waste services and programs.


Zero Waste Victoria and Bring Your Own Container

Come and meet the Zero Waste Victoria crew and the Bring Your Own Container Campaign team. You can learn ways to avoid single-use waste, and how you can support, join, or be a part of our activations to educate, inspire and empower waste reduction.

Darlings Down Under is Melbourne’s only real-life cloth nappy shop. Based in Ringwood, Darlings Downunder stocks a wide variety of reusable nappy brands and offers workshops, advice, and friendly service to help your family choose and use reusable nappies successfully. Facebook – darlingsdownunder Instagram – @darlingsdownunder

Stonnington Bike Users Group (BUG)  is a community group formed to discuss all matters cycling in and around Stonnington. This group aims to encourage the development of better cycling infrastructure in the area, in order to get more people cycling more often. 

The Compost Depot helps businesses and residents find solutions for organic waste that are tailored for the needs of the individual. Focusing on education through workshops, events, community hubs, and problem solving. 



AusPen – Makers of refillable whiteboard markers that have replacement parts. Passionate about combating waste in the classroom. Instagram – @_auspen



Beach Patrol / Love our Streets l is a chain of volunteer community groups, defined by post code, helping to clean the beaches of Melbourne by picking up litter.  Likewise, Love Our Street volunteers look after our environment by helping to clean our streets, stopping litter getting into our waterways.

Naked Asian Grocer Launched in Feb 2021, Naked Asian Grocer is Australia’s first zero waste Asian grocery. We offer Asian pantry staples without single use plastic. 

Mend a ThonKarhina Textiles is the work of Tamara Russell specialising in free machine embroidery, hand stitching and mending. Creating handbags, jewellery, buttons and wall art using up-cycled, recycled and reclaimed materials and machine embroidery for a one-of-a-kind sustainable fashion statement. Karhina Textiles runs workshops teaching mending skills, garment reinvention and embroidery both hand and machine .

In creating each item, I work with upholstery samples, dressmaking offcuts and/or clothing, usually linen or silk, which have been discarded, things with a history that might otherwise end up in landfill. Wherever possible, additional materials are 100 percent natural, produced sustainably and sourced locally. My work takes waste from landfill and creates individual pieces of art with no two items the same, each becoming as individual as their owner.

Stonnington Library and Information Service provides library and information services to residents and visitors of City of Stonnington. Our service is comprised of four libraries, the Stonnington History Centre and a Home Library Service. They offer a range of in-person and online programs and events and provide access to a wide range of materials and resources. Facebook – stonnington.libraries/ and Instagram – @stonningtonlibraries/

Stonnington Toy Library encourages sharing of toys, puzzles and games through reuse, while promoting the importance of play in each child’s healthy development.  Toy rotation keeps play fresh at home in a clutter free environment, while reducing consumption and landfill.    Facebook – stonningtontoylibrary/ and Instagram – @stonnington_toy_library/

Rewilding Stonnington rewild nature strips with indigenous species to boost biodiversity, reduce the heat island effect and build community.

Stonnington Kitchen Library Love parties, hate waste? Discover Stonnington’s local kitchen library where you can borrow party kits for all events, from picnics, birthdays, and all special occasions in between. Instagram – @stonnington_kitchen_library


Australian Energy Foundation has partnered with City of Stonnington to provide you with free and trustworthy energy saving advice, services and products. Come and visit our stall for practical advice on how to rethink energy waste and how to take action against energy waste in your home. 

Big Blue Cosmetica is a local business offering all natural alternatives to daily skincare, haircare and home essentials with a strong focus on sourcing ingredients locally and using plastic free packaging. Everything is made to be SAFE (for us, and our environment), EFFECTIVE at doing what it is supposed to do, and SUSTAINABLE, in every sense of the word. For our health, and the health of this big, blue, beautiful home planet of ours. Instagram – @bigbluecosmetica/  and Facebook – bigbluecosmetica

Planet Angels offer a range of eco-friendly products that aim to help people live a more ethical and eco life. Our range is designed to replace single use plastics and reduce household waste and landfill.

We want to help make sustainable choices accessible and affordable to everyone! Instagram – @planet.angels and Facebook – planetangels.com.au

Roving Refills Eastside – Refills of eco friendly cleaning and personal care products 

Precious Plastic Melbourne is a social enterprise working towards a solution to plastic pollution, helping businesses, community groups and schools move from our resource-draining‚ take, make, waste‚ linear system, to a progressive circular economy!  Facebook – preciousplasticmelbourne and Instagram – @preciousplasticmelbourne


Crema Joe (Australia’s first reusable coffee pod brand) specialise in planet-friendly coffee capsules for Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, Aldi K-fee, Caffitaly, Vertuo & Lavazza machines. Their range of zero waste products are better for you, and better for the environment! Facebook – cremajoe and Instagram – @cremajoe

Bowerbird Gardens Our idea is to make things – places, backyard studios, gardens, spaces – often for schools and kindergartens, mostly from second-use materials. Timber, stone, metal. Whatever is suitable, close-at-hand, available, sourced from house demos, building trades, discards, skips, leftovers, spotted often by friends. It is to teach, advocate, and repudiate the waste of a disposable economy – its landfill, excessive packaging, selfishness, greed.

Rethink Recycling Co-op is a not-for-profit cooperative of businesses and individuals driving the development of waste plastic re-manufacturing and inspiring change through community education.

Our mission it to teach schools, communities and industries how to rethink recycling. To promote behavioural change with particular focus on plastics, taking plastic from waste to resource and promoting responsible production and consumption habits. Facebook – Rethink Recycling Co-op and Instagram – @rethinkrecycling.coop


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You can view our past festivals
Zero Waste Festival 2018
Zero Waste Festival 2019
Zero Waste Festival 2020 – online


The Zero Waste Festival 2021 is being held in partnership with Stonnington Council and is also supported by the Stonnington Community Grants Program