A bit more about Sustainable Lifestyles
We Victorians have the good life. We have clean air and water. Relative to most of the world, we’re wealthy. We own nice houses and drive nice cars.
But the truth is, we’re using more than our fair share of the planet’s resources. That’s water, energy, food, minerals and other materials, and the stuff we buy. In fact, the impact of our lifestyles on the planet (our ecological footprint) is three times larger than the world average.
If everybody lived the way we do, we’d need more than four planets to support us. We’ve only got the one.
We’re pretty bad pollutors.
Per capita, we’re one of the worst greenhouse gas emitters in the world. And we’re getting worse, despite the drought and recent bushfires that fit well with the predicted impacts of climate change.
Climate change will only get worse unless we do something about it. To lessen its impact, we’re going to need to dramatically reduce our global greenhouse emissions. This means reaching an agreement internationally and changing the way we go about producing and using energy.
It also means changing our lifestyles.
Fortunately, we’re living smarter.
We can still have a good life, without the massive environmental impact. Household emissions can be cut by up to 70 percent just by switching to GreenPower. Why pay for old light globes, when energy saving ones are much cheaper to use? Why pay for heating and cooling that disappears out the window, when we could design our houses better (or just put up some strategic curtains and awnings)?
Our vision is one where all Victorians are living smarter.
Our vision of sustainable living and communities is one where we are living fulfilling lives, within our ecological means. We are using our resources smartly to ensure that our planet can continue to regenerate. And we’re making sure that we don’t emit more pollution and waste than the planet can absorb.
Most people and communities, with a bit of help, can come up with solutions that are going to work for their community and the environment. With a bit of support, everyone has the ability to find their own way to safeguard our environment. And it’s going to take the efforts of everyone to meet the challenges we’re facing.
When we have strong, connected communities, we are strong and more resilient as a result. We can better manage the impacts of climate change, deal with water shortages and other environmental shocks, and find the best solutions to these problems so that our children don’t have to do the same.
Of course, it isn’t always easy.
Which is why we empower people with the knowledge, skills and capacity to find solutions.
We not only do this by providing all Victorians with information and tools, we also work face-to-face with with people in the community who are often overlooked. That includes those from culturally diverse backgrounds, people on a budget, young people and senior citizens, both in the country and the city.
Our award-winning behaviour change programs support people to make easy changes that make a big difference. And they don’t always need a big budget.
We also teach people how to pass on their knowledge and skills to their family, friends and peers within their community. That way, we make sure that everyone has the opportunity to make a difference – from the Sudanese community in Dandenong, to low-income families in Colac.
We know from experience that everyone will be at different points along their journey to becoming more sustainable. But wherever you are, there are actions you can take.
We help those just starting out take their first steps. And we help those wanting a bigger challenge to find ways to make a bigger difference.
One thing we know is that we urgently need to take stock of our impact on the environment and to take responsibility for doing something about it.