This includes making environmentally better choices every day in what we do, what we buy, what we use and what we throw away.

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Becoming a Sustainable Household

Our Top 15 Tips for Sustainable Action

  1. Use LED or compact fluoro lights
  2. Take shorter showers
  3. Replace old appliances with more efficient models
  4. Install a rooftop solar system or solar hot water
  5. Use a keep cup for your takeaway coffee
  6. Buy second-hand goods
  7. Compost kitchen scraps
  8. Grow a vegie garden
  9. Shop for local produce
  10. Walk or ride a bike for short trips
  11. Turn off your electronics when not in use
  12. Use less disposable items
  13. Collect and save water
  14. Receive and pay your bills electronically
  15. Reduce purchases

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:

  • Making your home more comfortable to live in
  • Designing a themed garden
  • Creating a wildlife garden
  • Growing vegetables
  • Avoiding environmental weeds
  • Saving water

The booklet is available for download on the link below. 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 Veggies

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.

Council's Sustainability Story

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.

Sustainability Strategy

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:

  • Climate Resilient Communities
  • Low Carbon Economy
  • Protecting Nature
  • Towards a Circular Economy
  • Environmental Stewardship

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:

  • Net zero emission target by 2040
  • Accelerate renewable energy uptake, low carbon building development
  • Develop an Environment Sustainable Design policy for council facilities
  • Charging the regions program to support electric vehicle uptake
  • Helping residents and businesses to take up renewable energy and sustainable practices
  • Develop an urban forest strategy
  • Work to introduce food and green organics and glass separation for kerbside waste services

The Strategy

Click below to download a copy of The Strategy:

Annual Reports

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:

  • Take2 is Victoria's collective pledge initiative to take action on climate change to help Victoria reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Wellington Shire Council took the pledge in 2017.
  • Gippsland Climate Change Network is one of a network of regional greenhouse alliances across Victoria representing Gippsland Councils and other organisations to respond to climate change through ongoing project development.
  • Latrobe Valley Power Hub works with communities and local organisations to identify and test the feasibility of renewable energy. Council works with the hub to deliver the 'Gippy Bulk Buy' program.
  • Sport Environment Alliance is a membership based organisation that seeks to create a sustainable environment where sport can flourish into the future.
  • Sustainable Australia Fund is Australia's leading provider of finance for businesses to upgrade their buildings to achieve savings through energy efficiencies. The Sustainable Australia Fund also leads councils Environmental Upgrade Finance program.

Sustainability and the Natural Environment

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)

  • Plant something and watch it grow. You could plant seeds in small tub on a windowsill, or plant vegetables in pots or garden, or in local landscape with a community group such as Landcare.
  • Create a simple treasure hunt for backyard or neighbourhood. Make-up a list of things to find - for example, a rough-barked tree, clouds, a long leaf, rocks, etc.
  • Make an outdoor cubby house using old sheets, blankets, ropes, poles and trees.
  • Go walking. Take a backpack, water bottle and some food. Walk to a natural area and have a picnic.
  • Go cycling.
  • Sandcastles. Go to the beach or somewhere with a sandpit. Build sandcastles and then use a watering can to make rain and watch the result.
  • Collect some natural materials such as rocks, leaves, gumnuts or bark. Get creative and paint them, glue them to paper, make stencils or create games.

Outdoor Activities (For adults or kids)

  • Go cycling. Plan your trip so it includes riding through a natural area.
  • Join a local community group that has outdoor activities.
  • Go camping or bush walking. If that is too hectic, set up a hammock outdoors and relax.
  • Organise a boating trip. Go sailing or canoeing or enjoy swimming in a natural landscape.
  • Fly a kite, throw a frisbee, or kick a ball.
  • Look at night sky with binoculars or telescope. Learn about astronomy.
  • Take photographs of landscapes or close-ups of objects in natural world.

We recommend the following websites for more ideas:

Sustainability for Business

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.

Sustainable Living Education Program

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

  • The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation helps children around the country to get their hands dirty and learn how to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, seasonal food.
  • Bug Blitz raises awareness about the wonders, mysteries, and importance of the world's biodiversity through hands-on activities in the field.

Community Events

Our sustainability team run and/or support a range of community activities including:

  • Clean Up Australia events
  • Catch a Carp days
  • Ride to Work days
  • Tree planting days
  • Vegie garden and sustainable house tours
  • Sustainability workshops
  • Sustainability festivals
  • Eco pavilion at Maffra Show

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:

  • A solar-power standalone energy system to power the LCD screens and lap tops
  • Interactive displays for different age groups
  • Demonstrations and information films/DVDs
  • Plenty of handout information on all areas of household sustainability

To enquire or book the Sustainability Living Education Trailer for your school or community event please contact Council.

EcoNews Newsletter

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!


This page was last published on:
Thursday, April 8, 2021

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