284 Albany Hwy, Victoria Park
Local resident and business owner Jo Bussell has recently opened Urban Revolutions on Albany Highway. She talks to Business in the Park about life and business in the Town of Victoria Park.
What is Urban Revolution?
Urban Revolution is a permaculture based business that has products and tools to lessen the impact on our environment, grow food and compost. Our products are as local as possible including Vic Park made bulk tea, beeswax wraps which are cling wrap replacements, lip balm, honey and reclaimed material products. We have a great range of flower, herb and veggie seeds, biodegradable takeaway coffee cups, crockery and containers, plastic homeware replacements, low impact laundry detergents, gardening tools, soil inputs and home composting products – the list goes on!
You live in Victoria Park and have now set up Urban Revolution here. What do you love about the Town?
There is a great community vibe that’s present in Victoria Park. I love that I can walk to most places, see and chat to people going about my daily business. I feel connected to the community through our local environmental groups, my kids go to local schools and my involvement in the Victoria Park Community Garden and Friends of GO Edwards Park.
If there was one initiative you would love the Town to implement, what would it be?
An Eco Hub! A place where like-minded businesses and individuals have a space to recycle, learn, trade, barter, implement best practice techniques, educate, create local produce and start up Perth’s first (and best) zero mile urban grown food restaurant. That would be awesome!
Your passion comes from nourishing your particular patch of earth sustainably and your love of growing nutrient rich food. What is your 12-month goal for Urban Revolution and what is your ‘shoot for the stars’ goal for your business?
My 12-month goal is to survive the first year! The statistics for a business closing within the first 12 months are high, and we are working hard to make it. I believe there is a place for a shop like Urban Revolution to exist here in the Town.
My shoot for the stars goal for Urban Revolution is to expand the permaculture design aspect of the business and employ permaculture designers to assist community members to grow their own food and be surrounded with a healthy and sustainable environment. Also to grow the business to supply the Town with essential everyday products that have very little impact on the planet at the end of their life and during manufacturing.
Herbal tea leaves available from Urban Revolution
What do you think stops people from embracing a more eco-friendly/sustainable life?
Cost is definitely a factor. Conventional products are certainly cheaper at face value, but the environmental cost of the product isn’t factored in to the price reflected on the tag. At Urban Revolution, the aim is to have products costed similarly, so a plastic scrubbing brush brought from a supermarket would cost the same from Urban Revolution, where the product is made from sustainable products with a lighter environmental impact.
I also think there’s a general lack of awareness about the overall impact to the environment from buying plastics or putting dog poo or food scraps in a plastic bag in the rubbish bin. Most people would think they’re doing the right thing but are completely unaware of the methane implications to their behaviours.
How do you think people can become more educated about eco-friendly/sustainable living?
Visit our shop! Talk to me or whoever else is at the shop. If you’re short on time, sign up to an environmentally focused or sustainable living Facebook page, or e-newsletter to gain greater awareness about the impacts of your daily behaviours and then make small changes every day. One of the easiest behaviours to change is to go plastic free – remember to take your own recyclable bags to the shops whenever you go, say no to a drinking straw, always look for plastic alternatives. Some plastics don’t break down for seven generations – that’s quite the gift to leave to our sons and daughters.
What is your advice for people wanting to be more sustainable, who don’t really know where to start?
Aside from visit us? Compost your kitchen scraps and pet poo. Methane gas is 25 times more potent than CO2.