Making an Impact in Angelsea and Pinjarra

Residents in Angelsea and Pinjarra found new ways to tackle climate change this year after Alcoa and Greening Australia took the Make an Impact program out into their communities.

More than 420 people participated in the pilot program and rose to the challenge to reduce their environmental footprint and live more sustainably, by saving water and energy, and cutting waste.

Participants learned how to grow veggie gardens, make jams and non-toxic cleaning products, build worm farms and grey-water recycling units, and compost household waste.

“In our five month composting trial, the community diverted from landfill over 2,840kg of food waste, equivalent to abating around four tonnes of carbon dioxide,” says Sarah Bolus, Angelsea Make an Impact Coordinator. 

They also learned that up-cycling old clothing can be as much fun as going shopping for something new.

“Producing a cotton shirt uses up to 2,700 litres of water. Instead of buying something new, we showed how to create funky gear from second-hand clothing,” said Sarah, who also organised a vintage and recycled fashion show for 150 locals.

“What a great night. Who knew that second hand clothing could be so fashionable and desirable.”

John Halford from the Pinjarra Refinery also got involved and had participants busy cutting, screwing and drilling together 12 worm farms using second hand wheelie bins. The bins would divert from landfill 1,250 kilos per annum of organic waste.

“Our group found 80 different ways to live more sustainably. The course showed participants that even making small changes, like having three minute showers, can have a big impact over time,” said Lesley Thomas, Pinjarra Make an Impact Coordinator.

The Make an Impact Toolkits were also used to conduct energy audits on homes and were provided to over 40 local schools.

Pinjarra’s Make an Impact program draws to a close on Sunday, 4 December with a Local Food Safari bus tour that will showcase the Shire of Murray’s local producers to the community. The event is open to Alcoa employees but places are limited.

For more information contact Lesley Thomas on 0431 050 831 or email

Alcoa of Australia will celebrate its 30 year partnership with Greening Australia in 2012. It is the longest running corporate/not-for-profit partnership in the country.

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