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Environmental Tips

Do something: At home

Choose 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.

Use your electrical appliances wisely: Save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by:

Find 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.

Time to Act: Reduce the Waste You Produce

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.

Do something

Separate 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.

Provide 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.

Buy less packaging: One third of our domestic waste that produce is made up of packaging materials, so think carefully about what you are buying.

Compost your kitchen and garden waste: Contact your local council to find out the best way to do this in your area.

Become a 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.

Use 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.

Consider the environment when you buy products: Consider the following when next making a purchase for your organization or the home:

Try to : Reuse and Recycling as much is possible.

Time to Act: Conserve Our Biodiversity

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.

Do something

Create habitat for native animals: Plant local native species in your garden and add logs and rocks to create habitat for native animals.

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.

Drive carefully: 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 weeds.

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.

Time to Act: Clean Up Our Atmosphere

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 effect'.

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.

Do something: Travel

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 distributor.

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 huge difference.

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.