This includes making environmentally better choices every day in what we do, what we buy, what we use and what we throw away.
Our Top 15 Tips for Sustainable Action
We recommend these websites that have lots of practical advice on sustainability:
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 was produced by Wellington and East Gippsland Shire Councils and provides local information and practical advice for sustainable gardening. It helps you with:
The booklet is available for download on the link below. The Sustainable Gardening Australia website can also provide general information.
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...
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:
Recycling - Visit our Recycling page for further information.
We are taking large and small actions within Council and out in the community, to work towards a sustainable future and the environment has been recognised as a key strategic area to achieve our visions for the Wellington Shire.
Council first adopted a local Environmental Sustainability Strategy Priority Statement in March 2010 as a requirement of signing up to the Victorian Local Sustainability Accord in 2009 and followed with a targeted strategy in 2011.
In March 2020 we endorsed the Sustainability Strategy 2020-24 which sets out our priorities and proposed actions for the next four years. It is centered around 5 key themes:
We are accelerating our actions and for the first time have included an emissions reductions target and a program to improve climate adaptation of our infrastructure and services.
Highlights from the Sustainability Strategy:
Click below to download a copy of The Strategy:
We look forward to publishing an annual report of results in August 2021.
Partners and Alliances
We have strategic partnerships that assist with our sustainable directions. These include:
Sustainability has strong links to the natural environment. For people living in urban environments, it is easy to overlook the importance of the natural world around us - we take it for granted that the environment will continue to function as it always has. We need to remember that humans (just like all plants and animals) are in constant state of exchange with nature (the air we breathe, the water we drink).
But our connection with nature is deeper than that. Humans depend on the natural world for natural resources, supply of medicines and other products, and knowledge about the natural world contributes to human innovation. Many people need to maintain a connection to nature to sustain their cultural and spiritual identity. Additionally, getting out and interacting with nature has been shown to have positive long-term physical and mental health benefits for everyone.
Getting outdoors and experiencing nature is great to make you feel alive - this could be in your backyard, at a neighbourhood park, or visiting a scenic landscape.
Need some fresh ideas? Try these:
Outdoor Activities (For kids)
Outdoor Activities (For adults or kids)
We recommend the following websites for more ideas:
The Economic Development area of Wellington Shire Council can assist business owners with advice, potential grants or programs, and information via their Business Newsletter.
The business section of the Sustainability Victoria website has information for business owners about water, waste and energy efficiency programs and financial support information.
The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme can save your organisation money when you make energy efficiency improvements to your business / organisation. These improvements must be installed by accredited businesses for selected products such as lighting, water heating, some appliances (fridges, dryers, pool pumps, etc), motors, spray nozzles; or project-based activities.
Schools and Early Years Education Program
Your school or kindergarten can participate in our education program with class visits to show you how to reduce waste, recycle and turn food scraps into valuable compost for growing a vegie garden. Guided excursions at our Kilmany Resource Recovery Centre and Landfill are also available. To register your interest please phone 1300 366 244.
Our Education Program supports the ResourceSmart Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative which provides practical support to schools and their communities to learn to live and work more sustainably.
Other programs we support that schools can access
Our sustainability team run and/or support a range of community activities including:
We can provide advice on holding a sustainable event and supply bin caps to help with separating rubbish from recycling (which can be taken to your local transfer station for free). We may be able to support your event with our Sustainable Living Education Trailer or provide resource materials for you to use. Please contact us to discuss your needs.
Council also provides funding for community events through a Community Assistance Grants Program.
Sustainable Living Education Trailer
The Sustainable Living Education Trailer is a mobile and interactive display of sustainable actions. The trailer visits schools and community events in Wellington Shire as a part of our education program. The trailer includes:
To enquire or book the Sustainability Living Education Trailer for your school or community event please contact Council.
The new EcoNews is Wellington Shire Council's quarterly sustainability e-newsletter.
It contains information on events, activities and initiatives.
We encourage you to take a look and find out what you can do to be more sustainable!