energy efficient appliances: Check the
energy rating label when buying new or second hand electrical appliances. More
stars mean less greenhouse gases and more energy bill savings for you.
your electrical appliances wisely: Save
money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by:
out about refrigerators and air conditioning systems:
A lot of these, including car air conditioners, still use the ozone depleting
refrigerants chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Newer air conditioning systems often
contain the global warming substance, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). You should have
all of this equipment repaired and regularly serviced by a certified technician.
One of the major
threats to our environment is the amount of waste we produce.
Despite considerable recycling efforts by governments, there is still an awful lot of waste sent to landfill each year.
There are many things
that we can do to reduce waste.
your garbage: Putting items in the correct
bins, separate your garbage into paper and board, bottles and cans and cartons,
and general waste. For information contact your local council.
separate bins at your school or workplace:
In classrooms, offices and in the kitchen put three separate recycling bins. One
bin is for paper, another for organic waste, and the third is for cans and
bottles. Make and display a poster explaining what goes in each bin to ensure
that everyone understands how to use the system properly.
packaging: One third of our domestic waste
that produce is made up of packaging materials, so think carefully about what
you are buying.
your kitchen and garden waste: Contact your
local council to find out the best way to do this in your area.
worm farmer: Worm farming is an alternative
to composting. You might even consider feeding your organisation's organic waste
to worms and then giving the castings to staff for their gardens. Contact your
local council to find out more.
paper wisely: Think about whether you need
all the paper you use. Look at using recycled paper and printing or copying on
both sides of the sheet. Perhaps documents can be distributed by e-mail or on
the internet instead of being printed. Editing can be done using the word
processor on the screen.
the environment when you buy products:
Consider the following when next making a purchase for your organization or the
Try to :
Reuse and Recycling as much is possible.
Biodiversity is the variety of all life forms. It
includes humans, plants, animals,
fungi and microorganisms, and the genes that they contain.
But biodiversity is more than the life in the bush
or the oceans and rivers. It has many important functions: it gives us food and
medicine, produces oxygen, breaks down our garbage, and cleans up our
sewage…to name a few! There are many things we can do to conserve biodiversity
for the future.
Create habitat for native animals: Plant
local native species in your garden and add logs and rocks to create habitat for
Leave dead wood in the bush: Get
your firewood from a timber yard, and remember to ask for plantation timber.
Birds and animals live in dead trees and logs. Collecting firewood from the bush
robs them of their homes.
Use pesticides and herbicides sparingly: If
you must use pesticides in the garden, opt for those made from natural
ingredients, such as pyrethrum. Birds, frogs and reptiles can become sick or die
if they feed on insects sprayed with pesticides.
Remember to put the cat in:
Keep your domestic cats inside at night, put bells on their collars, and have
them desexed. Native animals do most of their feeding at night and can easily
become extra food for pets.
Join a community group in your local area:
Be a Volunteer, to save the Endangered / Threatened Species. Get involved in
tree planting, seed collection and weed control.
Volunteer your time to do on-ground, office or coordination work to help
re-vegetate your local area.
Learn about your environment:
Visit national parks, botanical gardens or a zoo in your area and learn more
about your environment. Take your friends with you.
Watch out for native animals when driving at dusk and dawn.
Try to use plantation timber:
Buy plantation timber instead of native forest or woodland timber, if you are
building or renovating. This will help conserve the forests and woodlands.
Dispose of garden waste carefully:
Weeds, prunings and grass clippings dumped in the bush can introduce or spread
Take note when travelling overseas:
Be careful about what you buy overseas and bring into the country as you may be
buying into illegal trade in wildlife.
Cars and sprawling cities affect our air quality.
In fact, motor vehicles are the single greatest source of air pollution in
cities, which means that we can make a big difference simply by changing a few
of our driving habits.
Some gases, such as carbon dioxide, are called
'greenhouse gases' because they absorb infrared radiation emitted by the earth's
surface and so keep the planet warmer than it would otherwise be. This is called
the 'greenhouse effect', which keeps the earth at a temperature capable of
sustaining life. The concentration of greenhouse gases has increased
significantly during the past 200 years as a result of human activity, such as
burning fossil fuels and land clearing. This has led to the 'enhanced greenhouse
Some greenhouse gases, such as chlorofluorocarbons
(CFCs) and halons, are also 'ozone depleting substances'. These substances break
down and thin the ozone layer. Since the ozone layer absorbs a lot of the sun's
UV radiation, thinning of the ozone layer means that more UV radiation can reach
the earth, which leads to a higher incidence of skin cancer.
The greenhouse effect and ozone depletion are
global issues, but there are lots of things we can do to help solve these
problems at the source.
Use your car efficiently:
Reduce air pollution and save petrol money:
Choose a less polluting car:
Read the Fuel Consumption Guide before buying a new or second hand car.
Switch to unleaded petrol or alternative fuels: If
you have a pre 1986 car you might be able to use unleaded petrol. Alternative
fuels such as LPG and CNG are generally cheaper, as well as being better for the
environment. Seek advice from your motor mechanic, vehicle manufacturer or
Use alternatives to cars: Walk,
ride a bike, or catch public transport instead of driving. Think about whether
you can use the telephone instead of going out in the car or organise to car
pool with neighbours or friends.
Create an alternative transport friendly
workplace: Set up a car pool register and
ask management to install facilities for cyclists.
Leave your car at home:
Leave the car at home one day every week-if everyone did this it could make a
Rethink your work travel choices:
Consider alternatives such as video and telephone conferencing, use of
email/internet, facsimile and telephone to cut your organisation's travel bill
and make huge greenhouse gas savings.
Follow some car air conditioner tips: If
your car was manufactured before 1994 it will probably have a refrigerant in its
air conditioning system which is harmful to the ozone layer. Make sure your
vehicle's air conditioner is serviced by a certified technician. Ask if
refrigerants will be recovered and recycled during servicing; have all leaks
repaired; run your air conditioner weekly in winter to keep the seals
lubricated; and consider converting your vehicle's air conditioner to a
non-ozone depleting substitute.