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Take 3 – A Clean Beach Initiative wins the inaugural Taronga Green Grant - April 14 2011

Take 3 is a not-for-profit organisation formed by marine scientists, surfers and ocean lovers in 2009. Their idea is designed to inspire people to take away three pieces of rubbish every time they visit a beach. 

This idea responds to an obvious need for the safety of wildlife, in fact we see evidence every week of the impact that careless human waste has on marine and coastal species that come to the Taronga Wildlife Hospitals in need of emergency care and rehabilitation. It is also clear that the vast plastic rafts floating in our oceans are releasing environmental pollutants that endanger the health of all marine species, the ecosystem itself and of course the people who depend on the ecosystem.

While the issue is an old one, the Take 3 model is an innovative way of reducing this type of pollution through direct action, and most importantly by inspiring each and every Australian to take action themselves. In fact once you get in the Take 3 habit you can apply this anywhere.

The Taronga Foundation provided the $50,000 grant to put Take 3 in to action. It perfectly complements the Taronga Foundation’s Conservation Field Grants program which has put over $300,000 into in-situ conservation projects across the region and in Australia in just over two years. Our Zoos are also offering to showcase Take 3 to our 1.6 million visitors each year. 


Taronga’s Conservation Committee received 209 applications from across Australia in 2010 which were assessed by an expert panel including Bernie Hobbs, Andy Ridley and Tim Flannery.

Seven finalists were selected:

‘Backyard to Bush: Healthy Homes, Healthy Parks’

The program promotes activities that deliver tangible benefits to the household by creating savings in energy, food, healthcare, water and waste costs, (Healthy Homes) and expands the level of understanding from the individual to the communal by bringing local groups together for an environmental regeneration activity (Healthy Parks). The Healthy Homes program will be piloted for six months with a Western Sydney community bordering the Western Sydney Parklands area.

‘What’s My Wildlife Impact?’ (Animal Works)

This project will use the best available emerging digital technology in iphone applications combined with the development of a targeted long-term communication and education program to connect peoples’ daily activities such as food consumption, mobile phone use and lifestyle choices to their impact on some of the most charismatic ambassadors in the animal world.  

Taronga Green Finalist
Finalist Reincarnated McMansion with Head of Fundraising Cameron Mowat and CEO Cameron Kerr.

‘Reincarnated Mansions’

The Reincarnated McMansion project proposes to audit, dismantle and rebuild a single unsustainable large Sydney suburban home into two or three best practice zero-emission smaller green homes using the existing home’s building materials, reducing the energy footprint of the ‘new’ 2- 3 reincarnated homes by 60-80%, to draw mass attention to existing unsustainable residential building practices in Australia.

Environmental Activity Statement in Tax Returns

The proposal addressing this issue is to introduce a requirement for every individual tax paying citizen in Australia to include an ‘environmental footprint calculator’ (or basically an emissions calculator) into their annual tax return to help raise the level of understanding around the degree of change required for us to achieve a sustainable standard of living.

‘National Borrow it from your Neighbour Day’

The ‘National Borrow it from your Neighbour Day’ campaign is designed to raise awareness of the relationship between consumption and conservation. The day itself will be an awareness raising event whereby sharing on all scales will be encouraged and promoted, from neighbours sharing garden tools, to local community groups running swapping and borrowing events, to people sharing skills.

Rode RAGE City Wide Worm Farms

We want to work with the City of Ballarat to place a Vermicompost bin in every property in Ballarat (as the Council already does with rubbish/recycling bins) to massively reduce the amount of organic waste going to landfill, the use of petro-chemical fertilisers and the resulting environmental damage which impacts most harshly on wildlife and extremely poor people whilst caused by wealthy people.  Then to use Ballarat as a model for all other communities in the world.

Taronga Green Grants

Taronga Green Grants
Taronga Green Grant to fund the best and most innovative project to inspire Australian communities to live more sustainably and have a positive impact on our wildlife.

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