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Health products in the heart of Wodonga
Anything Solar consultant Bobbi McKibbin with a selection of solar-powered bikes.
A GENUINE passion to encourage more
people to think 'sustainable' in their living
habits is what drives Bobbi McKibbin and the
team at Anything Solar.
Since buying into the business in 2009 Brett
Emo and Bobbi McKibbin, along with original
owners Stephen and Angela McDonald,
have made it a high priority to share their
knowledge about solar energy and educate the
next generation about sustainable practices.
"We like to be aware of how we can give back
to our community as we take pride in it," Ms
"We've always jumped at the opportunity
to do educational programs and we've
spent a lot of time visiting schools as part of
environmental sustainability programs."
For several years Anything Solar participated
in the Sustainable Education and
Environmental Day which was held once a
term in various towns around the region and
hosted around 200 students each time.
"I could see from the first time we did it to the
last time we did it how the knowledge of solar
had increased and out of that audience how
many had moved to have solar in their homes -
and the kids were proud," Ms McKibbin said.
And the generosity doesn't stop there. They
sponsored Wilson's Transformers Solar Car
Challenge, through the provision of panels,
technical support and mentoring.
"Last year we mentored two schools as part of
this program," she said.
"One or two of our staff will work in
conjunction with the schools to help them
design their car and talk them through all the
different things they need to consider."
They also supported the Cooinda Family
Support Group through the donation of a
1.5kw solar power system and for the last four
years have given their solar powered trailer
and set up the lighting for the Earth Hour
concert at the Yackandandah Folk Festival.
However, while sharing their knowledge,
supporting different groups and educating
students is very rewarding, Ms McKibbin
admits in-kind support can be very time
consuming and takes the owners away from
"Unfortunately we are in business and we
can't say yes to everyone," Ms McKibbin said.
"That's actually something we've really,
really struggled with -- is saying no."
They are hoping a new program they are
currently looking at will mean they won't
have to say no to anyone.
"It should help us support even more
community organisations," she said.
Towards the end of this year Ms McKibbin
and a group of other interested people
are planning to hold a forum in Albury-
Wodonga to gauge interest and support
for community owned renewable energy
systems - a concept that is now starting to
appear in communities across the country.
Anything Solar certainly lives up to its
name and can help with all your energy
needs from solar systems, garden lighting,
water pumping, camping requirements,
solar bicycles and other energy saving
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