How to Become a Sustainable Household
We can all take simple actions around our homes to live more sustainably and save money:
Our Top 15 Tips for Sustainable Action
- Use LED or compact fluoro lights
- Take shorter showers
- Replace old appliances with more efficient models
- Install a rooftop solar system or solar hot water
- Use a keep cup for your takeaway coffee
- Buy second-hand goods
- Compost kitchen scraps
- Grow a vegie garden
- Shop for local produce
- Walk or ride a bike for short trips
- Turn off your electronics when not in use
- Use less disposable items
- Collect and save water
- Receive and pay your bills electronically
- Reduce purchases
We recommend these websites that have lots of practical advice on sustainability:
Sustainability Victoria - Live Sustainably
Australia Government - Your Home
Get it Right on Bin Night
Sustainable gardening is about choosing, what to grow and how to grow it in a way that saves resources and reduces our impact on the natural environment. Sustainable gardens should fulfil your needs and desires while also providing a positive benefit to our environment. They can be introduced gradually or designed from scratch.
The Sustainable Gardening Guide (4MB) was produced by Wellington and East Gippsland Shire Councils and provides local information and practical advice for sustainable gardening. It helps you with:
- Making your home more comfortable to live in
- Designing a themed garden
- Creating a wildlife garden
- Growing vegetables
- Avoiding environmental weeds
- Saving water
You may pick up a copy at our Sale Service Centre or Yarram Service Centre. The Sustainable Gardening Australia website can also provide general information.
Worm Farms, Compost and Chickens
We can recycle food waste from the kitchen and green waste from the garden into compost. Making compost can be on a small or large scale, and there are a variety of methods to choose from to suit your situation. Compost is rich in nutrients and humus which keeps soil healthy, retains moisture and feeds plants.
Chickens in your backyard is another way to dispose of your kitchen scraps. Keeping backyard chickens requires an appropriate space for the chickens to live, and ongoing care is required. The bonus is a supply of fresh eggs, and the chickens can help with pest control in the backyard. Our Keeping Animals page informs on how many chickens you can keep.
Council's Sustainability Education Officer can provide further information and advice on Composting and Worm farming.
Growing your own veggies at home or a community garden is a rewarding experience. Growing veggies can suit any lifestyle from potted herbs on your windowsill to creating your own self-sufficient haven, and anywhere in between. Creating a veggie garden will allow you to produce fresh and tasty food for your family, and allow you to enjoy the health benefits of gardening.
Getting started is easy...
- Chat with a friend or neighbour who has a veggie garden
- Visit your local Neighbourhood House or community garden
- Search for information online - For example Gardening Australia
- Watch gardening shows on television
- Borrow books and magazines from your Local Library
- Seek advice from your local plant nursery
- Check out Open Gardens to pick up ideas (Council holds an annual veggie garden tour)
- Contact our Sustainability Education Officer who can offer advice and information of gardening, tours and local groups.
Reduce Reuse Recycle
The real cost of buying stuff
Everything we buy has an environmental cost. It takes a lot of energy, water and labour to grow or extract, process, manufacture and distribute the products we buy, and each step impacts our environment. For example, food and fibre are grown on farms or harvested from nature; non-recycled paper, cardboard and timber are made from trees; plastics and synthetic textiles are derived from petrochemicals; and metals, glass, concrete and bricks are made from materials mined from the land. Landfills cost millions of dollars to build, operate and rehabilitate to meet safety and environmental standards, and they have a limited lifespan. When a product goes to landfill, the resources and embodied energy used to make them is lost.
Before you buy or throw it out… Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle.
We can all do something. There are easy steps to reduce the amount of waste created and resources used, and live more sustainably.
Rethink - Do you really need more 'stuff' in your life? See The Story of Stuff Project website
Refuse - Say no to excessive packaging.
Reduce - Shop with a list and store food wisely to reduce the food waste in your house. The Love Food Hate Waste and Sustainability Victoria - Food Shopping websites gives practical food waste reducing information.
Reuse and Repurpose - We can limit the amount of waste ending up in landfill by:
- Buying and selling second-hand items at vintage, antique or opportunity shops, garage sales, demolition yards, clearing sales or online.
- Transforming unwanted items into something useful by being creative and practical.
- Donating usable goods to charity. Check with your local opportunity shop or charity to see what goods they will take. For a list of Op Shops in Wellington Shire, contact the Sustainability team on 1300 366 244.
Recycling - Visit our Recycling page for further information.