Australia’s recycling trailblazer and War on Waste television presenter Craig Reucassel helped spread the sustainable living message at Lake Macquarie’s Living Smart Festival on Saturday.
More than 25,000 people overall attended the annual family-friendly festival, which promotes sustainability and green living.
Reucassel was the most popular figure on Saturday at Speers Point, drawing the largest crowd to his talk about how people can cut down on the waste they produce in day to day life.
Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser was among the hundreds who took part in a morning yoga class before she officially opened the festival.
“It’s fantastic to see so many people of all ages and backgrounds out here enjoying themselves and embracing the idea of sustainable living,” Cr Fraser said on Saturday.
“We are doing what we can at council to reduce our environmental footprint and we are lucky to have a community that overwhelmingly supports these initiatives.”
Cr Fraser said in keeping with the war on waste ethos, stallholders did not supply plastic bags, drinking straws or bottled water.
“Living Smart is Lake Macquarie’s biggest sustainability festival, demonstrating how people can live well while treading gently on our precious planet,” she said.
Year 6 environmental campaigner Shalise Leesfield joined Cr Fraser for a talk on sustainability and marine waste.
The 12-year-old has spearheaded clean-up campaigns targeting marine waste such as fishing line and nets.
Her efforts prompted authorities to install special fishing line bins in her home town of Lake Cathie on the Mid North Coast.
The festival featured lost trades workshops, tiny house exhibitions, a native plant giveaway, electric vehicle displays, a ‘Raid My Wardrobe’ pop-up fashion event, sustainable cooking demonstrations and urban farming workshops.
Masterchef 2018 top 10 contestant Reece Hignell also held an ‘Organics on a Budget’ workshop.
For the first time, the festival included a Friday night ‘Feast for the Senses’, which featured locally produced, organic food and entertainment of live music, fire twirlers and light performers.
Edgeworth Public School won the school garden competition, while Blacksmiths Public School took out the people’s choice award.