Facebook is a funny place – you can jump on there for one thing and end up doing something completely different. Like at work when I have to manage my business page I can quite often log on to update our status and find myself 30 minutes later chatting to friends on messenger and watching funny cat videos. For me it’s the enemy of productivity!
But for resources and finding likeminded people it’s an absolute gem.
I don’t know where I would have been in the early days of motherhood without my all knowledgeable and understanding Facebook mum’s group that I found for babies born in the same month. Three years later there are still over 400 members from all over Australia sharing photos, problems, stories and memories. I’ve also connected with so many lovely and talented bloggers via Facebook, and have got so much free and friendly advice that I would have had to pay hundreds in online courses for.
As well as saving me money – good old Facey has also made me a bit. Despite the minefield that are Facebook buy, swap and sell groups it’s a brilliant way to declutter when you don’t have the time or the will to throw a garage sale. It was while trying to sell our much loved but never used pasta maker (a housewarming gift that we loved so much – all shiny and professional looking, evoking images of gnocchi sensations and fettucine feasts) that a simple bargaining exchange turned into a wonderful encounter with a very inspiring lady.
When I got the message offering me half of what we were asking for, I almost deleted without comment – but the sender shared the same surname as my best friend back in the UK so I thought I better reply (gotta listen to the Universe – right?)
So I quickly returned a ‘thanks but no thanks we were looking for a bit more as it’s brand new’ polite but curt response. That’s when Megan properly introduced herself with the following photo and explained how she runs the The Junk Weavers inc who make recycled paper bowls – they needed the machine to flatten the paper before weaving.
After checking out her Facebook page and discovering so many cute creations I bartered back – half the asking price and a hand woven pencil case! (I drive a hard bargain)
Megan happily accepted and sent me a few designs to choose from – and this is when I learned of the true wonder of her work. She sent me a photo of 3 items to choose from…
…all made by inmates in Bomana Women’s Prison in Port Moresby late last year. Megan told me how she travels there 3 times a year to help the inmates and very poor villages develop a sustainable cottage industry by weaving the enormous amounts of plastic rubbish available. She teaches them, enables them to create a sustainable, ethical and environmentally friendly income and then returns with the products to Australia to sell – sending all the profit back to the inmates and villagers. Pretty amazing work.
I chose the gorgeous silver pencil case – and to raise awareness of the wonderful work Megan and her organisation are doing I offered to write this blog – and give away my hard bargained goodies in the process!
If you’d like to support Megan’s amazing work you can view and buy products online here – or if you are a Cairns local you can order pieces direct from them to your own specifications – choosing design, size colour etc – or you can browse pre-made designs at the Tanks Markets. Also keep an eye out for regular workshops teaching you how to upcycle your own plastic and paper waste – held the first Saturday of each month and also Tuesday mornings. (Be sure to follow the Junk Weavers Inc on Facebook for all event and workshop notifications)
Here is a video of Megan holding a talk on her work and some of the people she has helped with 3 great tips for making the world a better place – perform random acts of kindness, teach something and stop labelling people.
Oh – and keep talking garbage of course!