Dialog Box

Arts | Community | Education | Environment | Health & Wellbeing
Waste Not - Mash Up!


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Waste Not Mash Up is the sequel to TEC’s acclaimed and multi-award winning Waste Not documentary film. The sequel builds on the original film’s investigation of how our societies will transition to a greener fairer world by including inspirational interviews with scientists, chefs, gardeners, recyclers and environmentalists. The film also has a reality strand which follows the efforts of several schools involved in the Mash Up pilot education project as the students spend several months planning and producing two online activist segments based on events they create, a cooking show and a trashion couture show, designed to highlight the challenges and solutions to sustainable consumption. The film climaxes with the school groups competing to present their projects, having submitted a filmed and produced online segment, to the Sydney Olympic Park’s annual Youth Eco Summit (which is attended by hundreds of students each year) https://www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au/Education/Events/Youth-Eco-Summit-Secondary-Schools.
The finalists will present their projects to a panel of YES judges drawn from the fashion and food industries, with sponsorship and prizes for the winning projects. The film will also cover the way these projects will then be used to create online spin offs using diverse creative interactive technologies (apps and youtube videos).

How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?

Waste Not - Mash Up is an innovative environment awareness documentary film project designed to engage teenagers in positive solutions to the great ecological crises facing human societies across the globe in the 21st century - sustainable food production/consumption, and plastic marine pollution. Designed to allay anxiety and promote positive activism in young people facing a challenging inheritance on a once-resource rich planet, the film follows several high school groups as they engage in two creative education projects, guiding them through research and production, and encouraging them to compete with peers at the annual Youth Eco Summit at Sydney Olympic Park (with whom we have begun to forge a significant partnership). The project also engages with the fashion and food industries, two of the most wasteful sectors of the global economy. It is open to interpretation by diverse genres of cultural and ethnic minority groups, as well as the mainstream (emos, punks, skateboarders, footy players, etc) and encourages a global awareness of how food production and waste management affect the ecologies of the whole planet, as well as the immediate Australian environment. The ultimate goal of the project is to create a vision of a greener fairer world to inspire future generations of Australians.
Aims & Objectives

What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?

The aims of the project include - to promote a sense of positive agency in the generation about to inherit a plethora of environment challenges; to create a new generation of eco-aware Australians with basic life skills to consume sustainably and with environmental awareness; make sustainable meat free cooking cool and fun for teenage boys and girls, while equipping them with critical skills for shopping and menu planning to create healthy waste free recipes, foraging, composting, and feeding family and friends; to make recycling cool and fun for teenage boys and girls by deconstructing the fashion industry (the production and distribution of textiles and other consumer goods) and creating a Trashion Couture show of fashion items made from recycled items at their school. Waste Not Mash Up out reach strategy will guide students and teachers through the research, promotion, event planning, production and filming stages of their project, and encourage each school to submit a short filmed segment to compete at the annual Youth Eco Summit. The Mash Up documentary project will film the journey of the pilot schools to create a feature film which will inspire high school students around NSW (and eventually Australia), and their families, to create their own Waste Not Mash Up projects. We aim to make sustainable consumption cool for teenagers by focusing on food and fashion. The outcome will be measured by youtube hits and social media responses to each schools Mash Up project (whether trashion or kitchen), mainstream and local media response and coverage across the pilot period, coverage of participation in the Youth Eco Summit, and subsequent penetration of the project into high schools across Sydney and NSW, as well as screenings of the finished documentary film. If Waste Not Mash Up stimulates high school students across NSW to create their own Mash Up Trashion shows and Mash Up Kitchens, whether they choose to compete at YES or not, then we have done our job. The Waste Not website will also host the Mash Up school projects, study guides and supplementary support materials.

What is your education and outreach strategy?

Through the experience of the original multi-award winning Waste Not documentary film, and the creation of an educational website (through funding from the Pratt and Myer foundations via DAF) the creators realised the limitations of the traditional “Study Guide + Community Screenings” model of educational and community out reach. While engaging with hundreds of high school teachers through the Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre, led considerable traffic to the Waste Not website, TEC had produced hundreds of free study guides which could never reach the critical mass of teachers and students without the involvement of the NSW Department of Education. Our ambition is to reach thousands of high school students, not hundreds, by engaging them in creative projects that demand and stimulate a diversity of skills and talents. By teaming with YES, a high profile eco-awareness event already engaging high schools across Sydney, we feel the project will infiltrate school playground and staff room cultures much more efficiently. The competition aspect raises the stakes for each school that participates, while the process itself is educational and engages with a school’s local community, no matter what the outcome. At the end of the pilot project period (12 – 18 months) the documentary film will be edited and completed, and made available as a motivation tool to schools via the Waste Not website, along with supplementary educational materials, first person narratives, links to youtube videos, and other creative outcomes (apps, etc)
Ruth Hessey
Ruth Hessey
Total budget
60 Minutes