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Launceston in summer according to Elliott

In six weeks, one and a half tonnes of coffee grounds that otherwise would have ended up in landfill have been composted, thanks to a new environmental enterprise called Golden Brown Tas, born at Prince's Square Bar and now operating from a small shared office on leafy Charles Street in Launceston's CBD.

"We're diverting the grounds away from landfill and taking back to people like community gardeners, backyard gardeners, farmers - anyone who wants them, really," says Elliott Gee, co-founder of Golden Brown Tas.

"Our belief is that all these nutrients that some people throw in the bin should be going back into our soils and we should be composting and dealing with our waste at the source rather than burying it in the ground," he says.

Elliott and his partner, Kimberley, returned to Tassie in early 2020 after about a decade in Victoria, with the main intention to raise their daughter on the island where they'd both been born and bred. But soon after returning, the couple, in partnership with owner of PSB, Damien, spotted the need for a more sustainable approach to waste in the hospitality industry and so, Golden Brown Tas was born.

Elliott has so far made deliveries to community gardens in Ravenswood and Heritage Forest, to local primary schools plus backyards across the city and even to a worm farmer in the Meander Valley.

"There are so many people in and around Launnie and further out that are growing amazing produce but need nutrients put back in to their soil once they've harvested."

As Launceston bathes in the glow of recently being named a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, Elliott has hopes of a continued shift to better waste practice.

"It's a great time to start focussing on sustainability and to get on top of it, given our thriving food scene. I hope we can make it part of the culture."

Sipping a coffee on a balmy morning near the office, Elliott chats about how content he and his family feel right now in Launnie, a city moving to its own pace. Elliott reflects on the place's architecture, accessibility and above all, community.

Having trained in acting and theatre practice, with experience performing at various festivals in Melbourne and running his own dark comedy performance group, Elliott's particularly praising of Launceston's creative circles, which have welcomed him back with open arms.

"When I was in Melbourne, when people asked, do you think you'll ever go back to Tassie, I said yes I would…there's been a lot of change but then the undercurrents are still the same."

"One of the best things about having a family in Launceston is that you can be more of a homebody, you can spend more time in the home, outside in the backyard, resting and enjoying each other's company but then you can choose those moments you go out and experience restaurants, cafes, festivals - little treats that are a great reason to get out."

Now the warm weather has arrived, Elliott is planning day trips to the beach, pastries from Sweet Brew in City Park and lunch at Timbre in Legana. He'll be strolling a city loop from East Launceston along the North Esk River to Seaport. All with comfy shoes, a hat and coffee, of course.

"You're really not too far from anything in Launceston. There are many routes you can find, that all take a similar time."

"This summer it's also about gardening - we have chickens and a veggie patch so I can't leave them for too long!"

It's a great time to start focussing on sustainability and to get on top of it, given our thriving food scene. I hope we can make it part of the culture.