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By Brendan Rees

Free plants, coffee, and a smoothie if you’re willing to pedal for it are up for grabs at the Cranbourne Park Shopping Centre’s during a three-day Let’s Grow Together Sustainability Festival, which started yesterday.

Casey residents will be able to collect two free native plants for their garden to help create a greener city. All you need to do is present identification that proves you’re a resident of Casey.

The shopping centre launched the festival to educate residents about how to live more sustainable as Cranbourne East was Australia’s fastest growing suburb.

Other freebies include pop up activities, children’s educational activities, a free coffee to those that bring along a reusable cup to Theobroma Chocolate Lounge or The Groove Train, a free regular size smoothie from Boost Juice by pedalling a bike to blend the smoothie, and a free reusable bag.

Kids will also be able to get up close and personal to crocodiles, lizards, bugs and more.

Casey grammar student Madison, 15, who designed the reusable shopping bag logo will be handing out the sustainable bags to shoppers.

She said she aimed to incorporate all things sustainable and ways to save the planet such as recycling.

“I wanted to use bright colours to make it pop and eye catching,” she said. “It has a curved leaf, windmills, the sun, some clouds and other natural objects.

Madison said she was overwhelmed by the public’s response: “It was really surreal; quite amazing people using them.”

There will also be information sessions on what is happening in the community and how to live sustainably, featuring speakers from Casey Council, local sustainable businesses, and speakers who worked and trained under Sustainability campaigner, Al Gore.

The festival runs from May 17-19. 10am -8pm Thursday and Friday. 10am-5pm Saturday. Details: cranbournepark.com.au/whats-on/lets-grow-together-sustainability-festival/

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