Yarra Valley ECOSS is the Community Champion award winner in the Premier's Sustainability Awards 2021 – Sustainable places category.
First implemented 15 years ago, Yarra Valley ECOSS has created a vibrant community hub that demonstrates sustainable living. The hub supports ethical businesses and not-for-profit groups through an inclusive environment and has extraordinary expansion plans and potential.
The initiative involves partnerships on several levels, from councils and businesses to community and not-for-profit organisations. Through these, Yarra Valley ECOSS aims to showcase alternative living options via creative onsite projects including:
These are undertaken by volunteers, most of whom are living with a disability and visiting schools.
Yarra Valley ECOSS harnesses opportunities to promote waste reduction, healthy eating, organic and bio-dynamic food, and exercise. There are multiple small businesses onsite, all supported by these sustainably focused projects.
In their efforts to promote food security at the beginning of the first COVID lockdown, Yarra Valley ECOSS started ‘The Valley Market’. The weekly market provided local producers an outlet to sell their produce whilst supporting the community to shop outside of a supermarket, and still feel connected to the community.