Much to be gleaned from the Great Local Lunch

13 February 2018

Crowd sitting at tables eating lunch at the 2017 Great Local Lunch

Sustainability Victoria CEO Stan Krpan came away from Sunday’s Great Local Lunch, at the National Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne inspired.

“The festival is part of a growing conversation in which people from a variety of backgrounds and places can find out about what they can do to achieve a more sustainable future.”

This was the biggest festival ever with more than 100,000 people attending the various events and festival hub at Fed Square and Birrarung Marr on the banks of the Yarra.

Around 250 people took part in yesterday’s free four-course feast which featured produce that was home-grown across Melbourne, salvaged locally and even included natural herbs and bitter greens picked from urban fields.

“It was all wonderfully prepared with a modern edge by Kinfolk – a growing social enterprise in Bourke Street,” Mr Krpan said.

“We’ve always been told not to waste food, but this goes a lot further than ‘Eat your greens.’

“I met people interested, and doing something about, the macro issues involved in primary production, the way that food is stored and packed, how we consume it and what happens with what we don’t.”

People like Ryan Creed – a co-founder of life cykel which grows mushrooms in used coffee grounds and has set up an operation in Abbotsford. Local chefs and foodies have also launched a new app called WeEatLocal which allows you to find restaurants and cafes that are doing good by the environment by sourcing local produce.

“The Great Local Lunch takes us back to a simpler time when most people grew some of their own food, composted their own organics waste or gathered it locally. For kids, it teaches them about how food is produced and where it goes.”

“Our host Costa Georgiadis inspired us with his enthusiasm and core message about the joy of growing your own, because just about everyone can grow something, even a pot of herbs.”

The Sustainable Living Festival, running throughout February, has a vast program of activities, workshops and events covering everything from food and fashion to music, green-building, gardening and technology.

“Even though I work in sustainability, the festival confirmed my belief that a huge social movement is occurring and that there is a surge of interest from people in the mainstream in waste reduction, better resource use and growth in renewable energy.”

“We know the community supports sustainability – that’s mainstream now. The festival puts some of this in perspective, it also educates and inspires us to do more.”

“And that’s the great thing about the National Sustainability Festival - it’s a reminder that there are endless things we can do to live better, more sustainably and in a way that protects our finite resources and reduces the contributors to climate change.”

Find out how you can make a difference at or and join TAKE2, Sustainability Victoria’s pledge program at