This was the final year that Coolmob was granted funding through the NT EPA. Unfortunately, with no further funding secured beyond June 30th, Coolmob has closed its doors. Although opportunities exist for small Waste projects through the EPA, these are insufficient to maintain the program. The closure comes at a time when it is evident that there is a strong demand to keep desertSMART COOLmob going as it is a valued program within Alice Springs and has been so for the last 12 years.
The project started under the Commonwealth Cool Communities program. Originally run by Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA) and Arid Lands Environment Centre, Alice Springs households were invited to participate in what was then the local community focused greenhouse gas reduction program. The aim was to reducing electricity, transport and water use, minimise waste and encourage recycling.
Many residents remember some of the earlier projects – there were free energy audits, solar oven bake-offs, a Cool Living demonstration house, retrofit days, water audits, garden tune-ups then the loaner bags project, and the Todd Mall Close Door Campaign.
In the last few years, COOLmob’s focus has broadened to include food projects, recognising the need to reduce our food miles and source sustainable food both in town and in more remote communities. We’ve hosted the Regional Food Summit, re-started the Santa Teresa Community Garden project, and ran Food For Alice in 2013/2014.
Over the years we’ve held numerous workshops on everything from Solar Air Heaters to Energy Efficiency, from Beer Brewing to Composting. We’ve hosted events on National Days such as Ride 2 Work events, a Big Aussie Swap during National Recycling Week and an Irrigation workshop on World Water Day as well as Permaculture Design Courses,
In the 2013/2014 financial year, desertSMART COOLmob was active in engaging the local community on a number of levels, working in multiple areas of sustainable living. After finalising the Roadmap to a desertSMART Town, our focus was on re-engaging our members through the deserttSMART Challenge and continuing to pursue local food projects.
In summary, in 2013/2014,desertSMART COOLmob: hosted events on national days; ran the fortnightly local food stall Food For Alice, supporting local producers, creating a hub where people meet and encouraging local gardeners; developed the desertSMART Challenge, a 10-week sustainability challenge for households; continued supplying information to the public, including a weekly article in the Centralian Advocate, member newsletters, a recycling directory, fact sheets on water, energy, green cleaning, and food; launched the Roadmap to a desertSMART Town and the Food Map website and report and more.
Please direct all future enquiries to the Arid Lands Environment Centre.