Buninyong Smart Building & Living Expo set for biggest year yet

The Ballarat CourierBallarat Courier Article, JANUARY 27 2020 - 9:30AM, by Ben Hopkins

2020 expo Ballarat Courier photo Justin Whitelock

CLEAN LIVING: Andrea Mason believes this year's Buninyong Smart Building & Living Expo will be the biggest in its seven year history. Picture: Justin Whitelock

Buninyong Smart Building & Living Expo organiser Andrea Mason is expecting the 2020 edition of the festival to be the biggest in its seven year history.

Ms Mason believes because of the recent bushfires and other extreme weather events, climate change and how to help combat climate change has never been a bigger talking point.

"The bushfires have really brought climate change into the spotlight," she said.

"I think a lot more people are aware of what is happening and a lot more people are open to what they can do around the house to help reduce their carbon footprint... it's up to the community to make the change."

This year's expo will follow the theme of 'Dare to change', inspired by the work of Sweedish teenager Greta Thunberg.

READ MORE: Smart Building and Living Expo inspires sustainable lifestyle changes

Ms Mason is hoping people who come to the expo are willing to dare to change, however small that may be.

"I think the biggest thing which may scare people from getting involved with the expo is the expectation that we'll try and force them to make major changes right away, which just isn't the case.

"We want people to make meaningful changes at their own pace and in the most appropriate way for their lifestyle."

Bringing in around 1500 people through the event in 2019, nearly 60 sustainability stalls were up for show, including one operated by the Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group Can Do Community Program.


The stall displayed to expo visitors how small appliances can be fixed, how sewing repairs can help garments last longer, how to care and repair for books and other ideas to reduce waste like community composting and community gardens.

Executive officer La Vergne Lehmann said the program was about building community capacity to reduce waste.

"We are very excited about showing the community how easy it to get some of these activities happening and how they can help reduce our waste, save money and bring a community together at the same time," she said in 2019.

Ms Mason believes the enthusiasm in becoming more sustainable means the expo will continue to grow.

"I think the stigma of being sustainable and being 'a greeny' has gone down a lot. People are more open to the idea of being sustainable in their everyday life."

The expo also sports one of the biggest regional electric car exhibitions, which always draws numbers to the Buninyong event.

Buninyong is set to unveil its first electric vehicle charging station near De Soza Park on Friday, 30 January.

The AURIGA charger was installed by the City of Ballarat prior to Christmas.