Sustainability is key to protecting our environment. The Australian Government’s Department of the Environment and Energy has a plan for a cleaner and stronger Australia. The plan includes cleaner air, cleaner land and cleaner water.
The Australian Government plans to reach its emissions reduction target through the Direct Action Plan. The Direct Action Plan efficiently sources low cost emissions reductions that will help improve Australia’s environment. By 2020 the Emissions Reduction Fund plan to reduce emissions by five percent. Also, effective in 2014, the Australian Government removed the carbon tax. Additionally, a program called Solar Towns will help bring renewable energy to surrounding environments.
Through the Green Army, National Landcare and Twenty Million Trees, the Australian Government will deliver practical change. The Green Army provides sustainable solutions to combat land degradation and conserve the environment. National Landcare produces programs based on simple, local and long-term environmentally friendly options. Lastly, the Australian Government is currently in the process of planting and growing 20 million trees over the next three years.
Through the Murray-Darling Plan, water security and Reef 2050 the Australian Government’s Clean water plan is focused on the community. The Reef 2050 Plan is a strategic approach that addresses threats made to the Great Barrier Reef. Water security will help secure water supplies for Australia while providing benefits to the Australian environment.
Remember that greener, sustainable living can be done everywhere you go, such as, at home, in your community, one the road, while shopping, at work, and more!
Greener living at home can include:
- Clean energy – reduce the environmental impacts of your energy use by using renewable energy sources when possible
- Composting – backyard or indoor composting at home helps keep materials out of our landfills where they release methane and pollute the air and environment
- Water use – the average family uses more than 600 Litres of water per day and currently there is less than 1 percent of water available for human use. Taking shorter showers and not leaving the water running while brushing your teeth will not only help save water, but will help you save money and ensure there are reliable water supplies left for future generations.
Greener living in your community can include:
- Take action – get involved in local community initiatives that help educate others about sustainable living
- Teach your community – use resources that measure water use, plastic use, etc. so the community is aware of how wasteful they are being
- Greener living on the road can include:
- Fuel economy – if it’s possible, purchase an eco-friendly/hybrid car that will provide better fuel economy for you, while saving you money and being environmentally friendly. What you drive, how you drive and the fuel you use all impact you and the environment in some way.
- Bike to work – that’s right, if you live close enough bike to work! It is great exercise, saves you money and is great for the environment. Biking to work just two days per week can reduce carbon pollution by an average of two tons per year!
- Greener living while shopping can include:
- Purchase safer products – look for chemicals that are safe for the environment, products designed for the environment, and products with the Safer Choice label
- Look for the ENERGY STAR label – redoing your kitchen? Purchase ENERGY STAR products that are good for the environment and your pocket – you will save significant amounts of money with these products!
Greener living at work can include:
- ENERGY STAR – if your workplace has a full kitchen, encourage your workplace to use ENERGY STAR appliances
- Sustainable energy meetings – start a Green Committee or host monthly seminars on how employees can contribute to sustainable living
- Go green at work – take the first step in being “green” at work by reducing the amount of paper you print, recycling your cans/bottles and using paperclips over staples
As you can see, there are many ways to live a sustainable life. It takes one person to start the trend of sustainable living and we encourage you to be that person! Sustainable living is a way of life, not just when we feel like it. Join us on our journey to a cleaner life and environment.