Sustainable Living

Sustainable living is about each of us doing our part to build the kind of world – economically, environmentally and socially – that we all want to live in, and that we one day want our children and grandchildren to inherit. There are many simple actions that we can all take to ensure our planet is a healthy, happy place to live for generations to come. A great way to get an idea of how much of an impact your lifestyle has on the planet is to use an Ecological Footprint calculator. Visit the WWF Footprint Calculator to find out your ecological footprint, and ways to reduce your impact on the planet.

Green Living

WHAT IS GREEN LIVING?
Green living involves making a conscious decision to carry out your life in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner that will have a reduced impact on the earth and its resources. There are many ways in which we can all live more sustainably without changing our lifestyles drastically. Whether it is by refusing plastic bags, installing water saving shower heads, buying products with less packaging, using public transport instead of driving, recycling as much as possible, starting a worm farm or compost bin, switching off the lights when we leave a room or by purchasing water and energy efficient appliances.

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These are only some of the many simple and easy changes we can choose to make in our lives that will ensure our world is a healthy and happy place for our children and grandchildren to live and grow in.

Make your commitment to helping the planet today by following some of the simple steps outlined on the following web pages:

  • Saving Water
  • Saving Energy
  • Eating Sustainably
  • Sustainability workshops
  • Saying No to Junk Mail
  • E-Waste
  • Waste Reuse Options
  • Mobile Phone Recycling

Climate Change

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing our planet, but the good news is that everyone can do something about it. From switching off the lights when we leave a room to recycling, and from using public transport to not replacing things that aren’t broken, there are many steps we can all take to help safeguard the future of the planet.

WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE?
Climate change can be attributed to the greenhouse effect which is a naturally occurring process where the earth’s atmosphere traps the sun’s energy and in turn warms the earth and enables life. However there is now very strong evidence that significant and rapid global warming in the last 100 years cannot be explained by natural causes alone. Humans are changing the climate through our actions, especially through the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas), agriculture and land clearing.

Buying more energy efficient appliances and using them wisely, getting solar hot water heating and reducing the use of heaters and air conditioners can make a big dint in your household emissions! Visit the Smarter Choices website for more information on purchasing energy efficient appliances.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF CLIMATE CHANGE?
It is difficult to predict the consequences of climate change – but some potential impacts include rising sea levels, reduced food production, drought, species extinction, heat waves and more severe storms and flooding.

WHAT CAN WE DO?
There are many simple actions we can take to help reduce the threat of climate change. For starters, try following some of the hints on the following pages:

  • Saving Energy
  • Saving Water
  • Green Living
  • Environmental Workshops
  • Composting & Worm farming

Saving Energy

With the cost of energy increasing it makes sense to be energy efficient. Reducing energy use not only saves on your bills but also helps the planet too.

There are many simple ways you can be more energy efficient at home, reducing your power bills and helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Easy ways you can reduce your energy use at home:

  • Install energy efficient lighting and always turn off lights when you leave a room;
  • Switch off appliances at the power point instead of leaving them on standby;
  • Purchase appliances with a high energy star rating as they use less energy;
  • Wash your clothes in cold water and hang your clothes out to dry instead of using the dryer;
  • Use the energy efficient setting on your dishwasher and only run it when it is full;
  • Set your air conditioning/ heating units appropriately a couple of degrees higher in summer and a couple of degrees lower in winter i.e. summer 23- 26ºC and winter 18-21 ºC;
  • When replacing an electric hot water service install a high efficiency gas or solar unit; and
  • Ride a bike, walk or use public transport instead of driving where possible.

Saving Water

By making a few simple changes to the way we do things we can all reduce our water use AND save money on household energy and water bills!

5 SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO IN YOUR HOME 
1. Don’t leave the tap running while you brush your teeth or shave
2. Use a plug when washing & rinsing dishes in the sink (this is good idea for rinsing fruit and veggies as well!)
3. Wait until you have a full load before you run your washing machine or dishwasher
4. Install water efficient showerheads and tap aerators in your kitchen and bathroom.
5. Take shorter showers. Reducing your showering time by just 1 minute will save between 9-12 litres of water, which equates to up to 5,500 litres of water a year! Shave more minutes off your showering for even bigger savings.

5 SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO IN YOUR GARDEN 
1. Compost and mulch your gardens to help prevent water loss.
2. Install a rainwater tank and use the water on your garden or to flush your toilet.
3. Plant local native varieties and other water wise plants, which require less maintenance and watering.
4. Wash your car on the lawn. This not only saves water but also helps to prevent detergents from entering our rivers.
5. Water your garden in the early morning or late evening to reduce water loss through evaporation

MORE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO SAVE WATER IN YOUR HOUSE AND GARDEN 
1. Install water efficient showerheads, they save you around 10 litres of water per minute
2. Take shorter showers.
3. Keep a container of water in the fridge so that you won’t need to run the water down the sink until it is cool enough to drink.
4. Check for leaks in taps, pipes and dishwasher hoses. Just one leaking tap can waste more than 2,000 litres of water per month.
5. Install a dual flush toilet and reduce your water use by 6 litres per flush or install flush restrictors on your existing toilet.
6. Water the roots and soil around plants rather than spraying the flowers and leaves. This is better for the plants and will reduce water wasted through evaporation.
7. Purchase whitegoods that have higher energy and water saving ratings.
8. Automatic dishwashers can use up to 40 litres of water per load.
9. Install a drip or micro-irrigation system. They cut wastage by making sure the water goes only where you need it.
10. When planting new garden beds, group plants with similar watering needs together.
11. Water using a watering can or trigger nozzle on your hose. This helps you to control where the water is going and that your plants are getting the right amount.
12. Instead of hosing paths and driveways, use a broom. You’ll be able to save up to 18 litres of water per minute.
13. Consider installing a grey water reuse system to irrigate your garden
14. Incorporate Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) features into your home and garden.

Last Updated: September 13, 2014

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