Reducing your impact on the environment
There are many ways to reduce your impact on the environment.
Start with a couple of the suggestions below and talk to your family, friends and colleagues about how you can individually and collectively contribute to creating a cleaner and healthier environment.
Low or no cost actions
- Lights should be turned off if you will be out of the room for 5 minutes or more – even compact fluorescent light bulbs
- Buy Green Power - when you subscribe to Green Power scheme you are supporting the national switch to clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydro power stations
- If possible, plant small trees on the western side of your house to shade it in summer. Consider planting deciduous trees which let the sun through in winter. Use native trees where possible.
- Use your composted food scraps to fertilise your trees
- Install ceiling fans instead of an air conditioner - they use less energy
- Walk, cycle or catch public transport - you will significantly reduce your greatest source of personal greenhouse gases (eg. cars)
- Buy local organic produce - support local farmers, reduce transportation pollution and use of synthetic fertilisers
- Be a wise shopper - use your dollar as a voting tool and choose Australian products that can be recycled, reused or can be repaired
Actions over $500
- Purchase energy efficient appliances (fridges, TV’s air conditioners). If you are currently looking to replace items around your home, look for the highest energy efficiency star rating or ask the retailer for information on energy-efficiency.
- Water heating can account for up to 40% of your home's total energy use. Install solar hot water, heat pump hot water or high efficient gas hot water system, and reduce your energy bills significantly
- When renovating, face most windows to the north and position others to get good cross ventilation
- When replacing your car, include fuel consumption as a criteria in your decision. As an approximate cost, a Corolla costs $173.00/week to keep on the road, while a large 4WD such as a Pajero costs $280.00/week – that adds up to a difference of $6000.00 per year. It is cheaper to buy a smaller car and hire a four wheel drive for a month over a year than it is to own a 4wd.
Related documents & links