Project: Open Table

Up for discussion…do others believe sustainability is just an “aesthetic discourse?” I see what so many are doing and just cannot believe this man is so wise 🙂


A man much wiser than me told me that the sustainability movement is dead, its just an aesthetic discourse.

Walking around Melbourne’s inner north I totally see what he means. Single speed bikes, magazines printed on raw paper with soy inks, tight jeans kept up by suspender belts and artisan bakeries are just the start of it. But I can’t help but wonder if despite the apparent ‘branding’ of sustainability there still lies an undercurrent that hopes and dreams about environmental change.

Enter, the Open Table. An excellent initiative set up by, well yes a few inner north hipsters (but be careful here as one of them has been my student!) to feed the community with leftover food from Fairshare every week. The dinners are held on Sunday nights at the Brunswick Community House using excess food that would overwise go to waste. Outstanding considering Australian’s waste $8 billion…

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4 thoughts on “Project: Open Table

  1. There is a significant degree of “Greenwashing” to be made most profitable by middle men the world over. We are a consumer generation and we can’t wait to be led by the nose to something “New!” and “Fantastic” that will make us “Pioneers” and “Trendsetters” and “Unique”… all catch phrases and buzzwords for Greenwash. I would like to think it’s a good way to lure mainstreamers into our way of life. To at least harness a bit of that desire for change and turn the tide in our direction and if they are all floating our way (so much flotsam and jetsam) they can at least see how the weather is down here! The “Green” movement has spawned some prize wankers. They ride bikes whilst maintaining 3 cars at home, all “environmentally paid for” by planting some ubiquitous and unseen trees in the Amazon with some form of green currency. It’s a way to still feel good about consuming if you ask me and so many of our youth are suckered in by it. I consider that they are at least being funnelled in the right direction albeit via a hefty pay packet to middle men and clever entrepreneurs the world over…I guess a buck has to be made everywhere and if we are foolish enough to buy into it, we deserve to get fleeced. It’s too easy to feel like you are doing your bit for the earth by riding a bike and by buying fairtrade coffee but we need to remember that doesn’t cancel out our negative impact and it certainly isn’t making our governments sit up and start taking some serious action about climate change and peak oil. I do love the idea of fairshare though, developing community and resiliance through community involvement can only be good. Wish I lived in the city sometimes so that I could volunteer my time at a food bank etc.


    • Yep, I agree with all the above…I also feel though that whether done through desire to be seen to be trendy or through genuine desire every little bit makes a difference I guess 🙂 The end effect is the same, the motivations don’t concern me much….each to his/her own lol and yep, like you if we are foolish enough to buy into it…!! Our own governments efforts are laughable (wanting to introduce a fart tax for farmers!!) and our local council only brought in recycling 2 years ago, 2 decades behind my hometown. It’s going to be a lonnnngggg time before serious commitment from our governments occurs me thinks. In the meantime many are doing great things their own ways and communities and that great. Sustainable housing is becoming more important and hopefully that will mean cheaper….we would love solar power but that ain’t going to happen any time soon. Other countries subsidise or give loans to aid with this but not ours.

      I like that schools teach alot about conservation and sustainability, my wee granddaughter informs me often about things she feels I need to know 🙂

      I’m like you in that I feel building resilient communities an important thing right now, times are tough for so many and it’s not going to improve anytime soon…I would love to see a back to basics and helping our fellow man way of life take more priority than being seen to tote labelled handbags and our obsession with reality programs that certainly don’t depict my reality lol, let alone those who can’t feed their kids!


      • I think that both of our governments could go a long way towards solving a lot of problems if they made it cheaper (subsidisation) for people on lower incomes (and the unemployed) to be able to afford solar or wind power and water tanks and other sustainable systems to minimise the drain on the community coffers. If people have a degree of security regarding their power and their water supply (let alone producing their own food in gardens) it reduces the cost in the long term to the governments but unless there is some sort of vote grab at the time it’s highly unlikely they are going to bother. We had a debarkle here with solar power and insulation rebates that ended up with the vultures flocking to the uneducated masses and making a killing whilst delivering shonky results which made the government scrap the scheme. A tiny bit of forethought would have stopped that, maybe tendering out the whole job to a select group of providers would have allowed for quality control…that would take thought though wouldn’t it? ;). That just leaves we “normal people” struggling to pay exponentially increasing utility bills and trying to save up to pay for our freedom. I guess it will taste all the sweeter when we eventually do manage to get off that treadmill 😉


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