Sustainability Education, Events & Initiatives

Sustainability Education, Events & Initiatives

Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July: small steps make a big impact!

Plastic Free July® is recognised globally as an annual month of global change, where individuals, businesses and governments unite to reduce plastic waste. By sharing ideas, positive actions and stories of change, Plastic Free July helps people and organisations “choose to refuse” single-use plastic every day.

Every small step we take to avoid single-use plastic can make a big difference towards:

  • Protecting the ocean
  • Reducing consumption and production and avoiding landfill waste
  • Reducing human health impacts
  • Connecting communities and driving systemic change

As a council member, Richmond Valley Council is actively supporting our community to refuse single-use plastics directly and pledging to make a difference by supporting Council’s Green Business initiative, which includes an internal borrow system that helps eliminate single-use plastics from our meetings and events.

Together, we can all do our part to help end plastic waste and alleviate the recycling crisis, reduce landfill waste, and mitigate the effects of climate change.

The Plastic Free July challenge provides resources and ideas to help participants (millions worldwide) reduce single-use plastic waste daily at home, work, school, and in the community.

It can be as easy as picking one single-use plastic item to avoid or swap for a reusable alternative.

Get started with this Action Picker to browse some popular ideas and make your pledge!

How to get involved (for free!) in six easy steps

  1. Register for the challenge. Participants receive weekly tips to help them to keep motivated and enjoy stories from others around the world who are reducing plastic in their lives.
  2. Take the Pesky Plastics Quiz to find some popular ideas to reduce plastic waste.
  3. Download some posters and put them up at your workplace, school or local businesses.
  4. Get some free Plastic Free July resources for your school
  5. Read inspiring stories of what others do
  6. Register for an event or workshop, either online or in person

 The Plastic Free July website is a great place to get inspiration, support and to share your tips, ideas and experiences.

Green Business Initiative

More than one billion disposable coffee cups are used nationwide each year. To combat this waste issue, Richmond Valley Council will tackle waste through reuse, as part of a Green Business Project, funded by the NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, which will help support local coffee service providers to implement the Huskee Swap, a reuse model that helps cafes transition to a waste-free service.

Green Business Initiative:

The project can support up to 30 Cafes and coffee service providers within the Richmond Valley Council local government area to implement Huskee Swap, a reuse model that helps cafes transition to a waste-free service.

Sustainable cup-swap system:

Huskee Swap is a cup-swap system that allows customers to order a coffee in a reusable cup and then return it to the café for washing upon their next visit. Simply drop your used cup at the café, and you will receive your takeaway in a freshly cleaned cup. Customers purchase a Huskee cup to participate in the swap system.

How do I join? (Community)

Step 1: Purchase an eligible cup at any participating café.

Step 2: Swap, Next time you drop in for your takeaway, simply swap your used cup for a to-go in a hygienically cleaned swap cup

Step 3. Repeat! Once you have joined the club, you can swap your used cup for a clean cup as many times as you like.

Reusable Cup FAQs

Is it safe to use reusable cups?

Yes! It is safe to use a reusable cup. Many cafés stopped using reusable cups during the COVID pandemic; however, research has shown that reusable cups pose no more risk than disposable cups.

Tips for hygienic use of a reusable cup:

  • Clean your cup with warm water and detergent
  • Practice good hand hygiene always

Can I use any type of cup?

You can use any reusable cup if it is appropriate for the café to handle. Your local café will be extra grateful if you provide your cup clean, dry and ready to use.

What if I forget my reusable cup?

Ask your café if you can purchase a Huskee Cup and become part of the HuskeeSwap network. The first 24 customers to join each café will even receive a voucher for 2 free coffees. This is a great option for those of us who sometimes forgot our cup – with the optional Huskee app; you can also borrow an extra cup if you leave yours at home.

Participating cafes in the Richmond Valley:

Reducing plastic waste

Public place water refill stations play a crucial role in combating plastic pollution by providing a convenient and sustainable alternative to single-use plastic bottles. These stations allow individuals to easily refill their reusable water bottles, reducing the demand for disposable plastic bottles and minimising the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills and oceans.

By encouraging people to opt to refill instead of buying bottled water, these stations promote environmental consciousness, reduce the production and consumption of plastic, and contribute to a cleaner and healthier community for everyone.

Water refill station locations:

  • Evans Head – Park St
  • Evans Head – Skate Park
  • Evans Head – Air force beach
  • Casino – Crawford Park
  • Casino – Colley Park
  • Casino – Barker St

Climate Resilient Landscapes – A planting guide for the Richmond Valley.

This book is designed for the Northern Rivers Landscape to help gardeners cultivate climate-adaptive gardens that thrive in a changing climate. Brunswick Valley Landcare has curated an exceptional resource to inspire anyone to start gardening, with a strong focus on ensuring our gardens are resilient.

Recognising the significant impact of the first edition, the Sustainability team at Richmond Valley Council has created a second edition to keep this valuable resource dynamic. The updated guide now includes information tailored to inland flood plains and towns, providing enhanced coverage for the Richmond Valley region.

Find a copy here.

Local Farmers’ Markets

Local farmers’ markets are essential for environmental sustainability and community benefits:

  • Reduced Food Miles: Farmers’ markets enable direct farm-to-consumer interactions, reducing long-distance transportation and carbon emissions associated with food transport.
  • Support for Local Agriculture: Shopping at farmers’ markets supports local farmers, preserves farmland, and promotes sustainable farming methods like organic and regenerative practices.
  • Preservation of Local Varieties: Farmers’ markets preserve traditional and locally adapted crop varieties, enhancing genetic diversity for long-term food security and resilience.
  • Minimal Packaging and Waste: Farmers’ markets promote minimal packaging and encourage the use of reusable bags and containers, reducing single-use plastics and packaging waste.
  • Education and Awareness: Farmers’ markets educate the community about sustainable food production, seasonal eating, and the benefits of supporting local agriculture, empowering informed choices.
  • Community Building: Farmers’ markets serve as community hubs, fostering connections among farmers, consumers, and local businesses, promoting economic development and food security.
  • Nutritional Benefits: Locally grown produce at farmers’ markets is harvested at peak ripeness, providing fresh, seasonal, and nutrient-rich options for healthier eating habits and improved community well-being.

Overall, local farmers’ markets offer a sustainable alternative, supporting the environment, local economies and empowering communities to make environmentally conscious decisions while enjoying the benefits of fresh, locally grown food.


Casino Lions Farmers Market – Crawford Square – Every Saturday: 8am – 11am

Evans Head Farmers and Produce market – Surf Club: 2.30pm – 5.30pm

Link to Discover the Richmond Valley – for up-to-date times and locations

Fishing Tackle and Hook Bins


Fishing tackle and hook bins provide a designated place for anglers and fisher people to safely dispose of their used or damaged fishing gear.

Without proper disposal options, discarded tackle can end up in the water, posing a significant threat to marine like. Hooks and fishing lines can entangle marine animals, leading to injuries or even death.

By providing dedicated bins, we can reduce the chances of this happening and protect the delicate ecosystems beneath the water’s surface.

Additionally, readily available bins promote responsible fishing practices and encourage anglers to take responsibility for the waste they generate. It helps raise awareness about the importance of keeping our marine environment clean and contributes to preserving the beauty and biodiversity of our oceans for future generations.


  • New Boat ramp – Evans Head
  • Old Boat ramp – Evans Head
  • Shark Bay – Evans Head
  • North Wall/ Break Wall – Evans Head
  • Macdonald Park/ Boat Ramp – Casino

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