I must confess I had never heard of a Men’s Shed. I am not from these shores and was blissfully ignorant until this week. I received an email from Port Phillip Men’s Shed making me aware of their outstanding sustainability efforts and I am now a big fan.
A Men’s Shed is an updated version of the shed in the backyard. It provides a safe and busy environment to find an atmosphere of old-fashioned mateship. In doing so it supports men’s health.
And if that wasn’t enough they’re doing great things in sustainability. Port Phillip is fortunate enough to have their own thriving Men’s Shed based in South Melbourne.
There’s too many reasons to list why you should love your local Men’s Shed but here’s just 5;
Many projects utilise recycled timbers sourced from skips, donations by local business and members. Several projects we have made on behalf of community groups incorporate such materials. Some of these projects are:
Musical instruments for both the Albert Park and Middle Park primary schools
Bird nesting boxes
The ‘Mary and Basil’ sign for the community garden at the Mary Kehoe Centre
Compost bins for the St Kilda Primary School.
Paints and varnishes. We use paints and varnishes in projects that have been donated to us from industry or community donations that would otherwise end up in landfill.
Fittings and hardware. We use items such as screws, nails, bolts, brackets and various hardware items that have been donated to us, often from deceased estates. We are aware that some of these materials would have ended up as garbage if we did not accept them.
Tools. A variety of tools that have been donated to us are either added to our workshops or have been handed on to the needy in our community.
Members are invited to leave disused batteries at our Men’s Shed. These are collected and disposed of sustainably.
They carries out numerous repairs to furniture items that would otherwise be discarded and ending up in landfill. They repair broken toys from the local toy libraries.
3. Vegetable Garden
Vegetables grown in our vegetable garden are regularly used in weekly lunches. Any surplus vegetables can be taken by PPMSA members or given to the needy.
All compostable vegetable matter we generate is composted. Members and the community can also add to our compost system.
4. Little free Libraries
There are now 14 book exchange units (Little Free Libraries) they have made that are located throughout our municipality. These book exchanges are proving popular as people can either leave unwanted books or borrow books from them.
5. Christmas trees
Wooden Christmas trees are made and sold at the South Melbourne Market each December. These trees are made from scrap timber and laminated form contrasting patterns. Get in quick they’re very popular!