In our day to day lives we all use resources, generate waste and carry out other activities that can impact on the environment.
There are lots of ways you can reduce your power, fuel and water bills and help protect the environment including:
- Cut greenhouse gas emissions
- Save energy and reduce your power bills
- Travel smart and save fuel
- Use water wisely
- Reduce waste and improve recycling
- Build a home that’s comfortable and cheap to run.
For information on things the Shire is doing to reduce its environmental impacts click here
Cut greenhouse gas emissions
Climate change could result in severe, long-term environmental impacts. You can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and contribution to climate change by:
- Using less electricity – a $350 power bill represents about one tonne of CO2 emissions from coal and gas fired power stations
- Using less fuel – for each 100 litres of fuel you use about 250kg of CO2 are emitted
- Recycling food and garden wastes using the third organics bin rather than putting them in your general waste bin– 1kg of organic waste deposited in landfill can generate up to 1.4kg of CO2
- Recycling paper and cardboard instead of putting it in your general waste bin – 1kg of paper deposited in landfill can generate up to 2.5kg of CO2
- Planting trees or contributing to tree planting programs – over its lifetime a tree can absorb about 250kg of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Save energy and reduce your power bills
You can reduce your power bills by:
- Switching off appliances and lights when they’re not required, including chargers and appliances on standby
- Installing ceiling insulation, draught proofing your home and drawing curtains across windows to reduce heating and cooling requirements
- Shading windows in summer to stop direct sunlight and reduce air-conditioning loads
- Buying energy efficient lights and appliances (with a high energy star rating)
- Avoid running multiple fridges and freezers if you can
- Installing a solar, heat pump or high efficiency gas hot water system
- Installing a solar PV power system.
The Your Energy Savings website developed by the Australian Government also provides information on ways to save energy and use renewable energy.
You can save fuel and money by:
- Watching your speed – above about 60-70kmh, each 10kmh faster you drive increases fuel use by about 0.5 litres per 100km
- Avoiding heavy acceleration and braking
- Taking your roof rack off when you don’t need it
- Organising trips to achieve multiple tasks
- Buying a more fuel efficient car
- Using public transport or cycling or walking instead of driving.
The Your Energy Savings website include a range of resources and information to help you travel smarter.
If you’re planning to buy a new or used car, you can check its fuel economy figures on the Green Vehicle Guide website.
Use water wisely
Water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource in WA. There are lots of ways to reduce water use in your home and garden:
- Install a water efficient shower head, dual flush toilet and water efficient appliances (with a high WELS star rating)
- Fix any leaking taps or appliances
- Limit your showers to 4 minutes
- Run your dishwasher or washing machine with a full load
- Choose water-wise plants and limit grassed areas
- Make sure your irrigation system is operating correctly and turned off over winter
- Apply soil improvers, a wetting agent and mulch on your garden
- Install a rain water tank.
More information is available in the Shire’s Water Saving Ideas brochure.
The Shire’s Nature Verge booklet describes how to create an attractive, water-wise garden on your verge. The booklet includes a list of local native plants that you can use and provides information on ensuring your verge is safe for pedestrians and motorists.
The Water Corporation provides a number of guides on how to reduce water consumption and runs various programs to help households and businesses become more water efficient.
Shire residents can also help to improve water quality in local creeks, rivers, wetlands and in Geographe Bay. Geocatch provides a range of information on ways you can prevent contamination from your property from entering local water bodies.
Reduce waste and improve recycling
You can reduce waste by:
- Choosing products with less packaging including buying in bulk
- Selecting longer lasting products
- Buying products made from recycled materials
- Buying or re-using products that have been used before
- Recycling paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, aluminium, steel cans and organics through the weekly or fortnightly collection services – click here for information on what you can recycle and your recycling days
- Donate unwanted clothes, furniture, books and other items to charities that resell them
- Recycle other products and materials wherever possible.
The Shire’s Waste Transfer Station provides recycling facilities for green waste, building rubble, wood waste, scrap metal, whitegoods, batteries, electronic waste, paper and cardboard, household co-mingled recycling, waste oil and drummuster chemical drums
The Your Energy Savings website provides a range of information on ways to reduce waste.
Things to consider when building or renovating
Building or renovating a home provides an ideal opportunity to incorporate sustainability features.
You can design your home to reduce heating and cooling requirements, incorporate energy and water efficient appliances, have a water wise garden and even use construction materials that have lower environmental impacts.
The Your Home Guide provides comprehensive information on how to design and build a more comfortable home that has less impact on the environment and is cheaper to run.
Even if your building design is already finalised you can still do things to reduce energy and water use in and around your new home – read the Shire’s Make Your New Home Even Greener brochure to find out how.