Anna Jane is an environmentalist who wants to shake up the way we think about rubbish and the planet and how it relates to us. She is the CEO and Founder of Seaside Scavenge which is a grassroots organisation that targets waste reduction using fun and unique solutions that connect local communities and businesses.
She has been recognised for her work with Seaside Scavenge through the 2017 NSW Green Globe and was awarded the Young Sustainability Champion Award. She was named Young Citizen of the Year in 2018 for Randwick City Council, and voted as a finalist among the Pro Bono Impact Awards 2018. She was also a finalist in the 2018 Women’s Agenda for Emerging Female Leader in the NFP Sector.
Anna Jane currently works to diversify the audience engaged with waste reduction through expanding the programs Seaside Scavenge offers. Her aim is to create waste-less programs for business and community that are pro-active, positive and solution-based to change behaviours around consumer culture of single use plastics and fast-fashion.
The Seaside Scavenge is a conduit to living this vision. The Scavenge is a for-purpose organisation aimed at educating communities and businesses about marine debris and textile waste using a fun and unique approach that inspires participation by turning trash into cash.
Since 2015, the Scavenge has been hosting eco-action festivals where litter collected from local waterways becomes a currency in a pop-up market to purchase pre-loved clothes and goods that have been donated by the local community. Alongside a line-up of local musicians, there are talks and stalls hosted by local community groups working in waste reduction and environmental conservation.
82% of participants (over 6,000) to the past 53 Seaside Scavenge Festivals had never previously attended a clean-up. These are the humans we need to activate; to show them that contributing to the solutions on climate action can be fun and rewarding.
Whilst cleaning up waterways is not going to stop rising temperatures, the clean-up and the clothing circular economy component of the festivals, provide a gateway for inactive and unaware people to become environmentally active in a positive and friendly atmosphere.
Expanding ‘gateways’ like this, that incentivise action, is important if we are to successfully change the face of the climate action movement.
The Scavenge is expanding its programs to tailor workshops and activities that engage people working in the corporate sector to wake up to the solutions available to them. The Scavenge Festivals themselves are changing shape to have more touch points that influence ongoing behavioural change.
Whilst many may argue we shouldn’t need to incentivise action on climate, the reality is, we do. Especially if we are to make it mainstream.
MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET
In 2014, I was living in Chile when I switched on to the plastic problem. I returned home and decided we needed a fun and enjoyable way to get everyone picking up litter from their local waterway and to understand the immensity of the problem our convenience culture is having on the ocean.
Apathy is replacing action in the current climate of ‘eco-anxiety’ and ‘green-fatigue’. I believe that better waste management solutions is a gateway to activate people because it’s something we all create. But I intend to do so in a positive, fun and solution-based approach to keep people smiling while tackling climate change collectively!