Sustainable Living

We're working towards a way of life that’s better for people and the planet. Take a look at our vision for Victoria – and the steps we can take right now to get there.

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City and Government

Creating a more sustainable way of life isn’t just about making changes at home. Government policies play a huge role. As citizens, it’s our job to make sure elected representatives do the right thing.

When we lead, they follow. (Or get booted out.) So get involved in our latest campaigns for stronger government policy to reduce climate pollution.

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Banks and money

Banks have a big role to play in helping us reach a more sustainable future. After all, without financing, polluting or destructive projects simply couldn’t exist.

That’s why more and more people are taking an ethical stand against banks that fund damaging industries like tobacco, weapons manufacturing and coal. It’s called ‘divestment’, and it’s a rapidly growing global movement.

Get involved by moving your money to a bank that matches your values. If you have a home loan, you can divest through Environment Victoria and Bank Australia right now.

Learn More Divest now
Green spaces

Spending time in nature is good for our health and happiness. It can reduce stress and anxiety, and give us a deeper connection with the world around us.

That’s why, as cities develop, we need to preserve green spaces (like Melbourne’s ‘green wedges’) for a better quality of life.

Victoria is a beautiful place full of many amazing plants and animals. Sadly, too many of them are threatened with extinction. That’s why we need stronger laws to protect the places and wildlife we love.

Solar power

We can now build solar and wind-powered cities, and there’s huge public support. In fact, Australia is already leading the world on rooftop solar.

More than 1.5 million households around the country are now generating their own clean energy from the sun. That’s one in seven households. And because homes with solar don’t need to buy as much electricity from an energy retailer, they’re saving money.

Interested in going solar yourself? Get a good deal through a solar bulk buy scheme with Positive Charge.

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Water Use

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on Earth, but we are also among the biggest water wasters.

It’s not just about the water we use around the house. There’s also water ‘embodied’ in all the food and stuff we buy. A lot of water. In fact, most of the water from our rivers is used for agriculture, especially dairy.

Read more about saving water at home, choosing water-efficient appliances and looking after our precious rivers and creeks.

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Energy efficient lights and appliances

Energy efficiency is often the easiest way to save money and reduce pollution at home.

Appliances, whitegoods, entertainment and lighting make up nearly half (46 percent) of the yearly energy cost for the average Victorian household. If your home isn’t energy efficient, you could be wasting thousands of dollars a year.

An easy way to get started is to upgrade energy-guzzling halogen downlights to efficient LED lights. And thanks to a Victorian government energy efficiency program, it’s free!

Learn More Upgrade to LEDs
Heating and Cooling

Victorian homes have been described as ‘glorified tents’ – sweltering in summer, and freezing in winter.

In fact, heating accounts for about a third of the average Victorian household’s energy bill. Most homes built before 2005 will see a big improvement in heating and cooling costs by spending a few thousand dollars on draught-sealing, insulation and window-shading.

Thanks to energy savings, these improvements can pay for themselves in just a few years!

Learn more about how to heat and cool your home for less.

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Shower and Hot Water

We all love a hot shower, but heating water uses a lot of energy! In fact, it makes up about 16 percent of the average Victorian household’s energy costs.

If you have an old and inefficient hot water system, the figure could be twice that.

Thankfully it’s easy to reduce this impact and save energy. Aside from taking shorter showers, you can upgrade to an efficient solar hot water or heat pump system.

Learn More Get a Heat Pump
Power

Victoria has a dirty secret…more than 80 percent of our electricity comes from burning brown coal, the dirtiest fuel of all. Per person, this makes us one of the most polluting states in one of the most polluting countries in the world.

It doesn’t have to be this way – just across the border, South Australia gets 40 percent of its electricity from the wind and sun!

So how can we catch up? As householders, we can switch to a cleaner energy company like Powershop, and choose 100% GreenPower. And as citizens, we can campaign for the government to replace our oldest and dirtiest coal-burning power stations with clean wind and solar.

Learn more Switch now
Reducing waste

When someone says they are going to throw something away, where is ‘away’?

There is no magical place where our trash just vanishes. Instead, it ends up somewhere else in our environment, where toxins can leak into the water, soil and air.

Yes, we’re recycling and composting more than we used to. But Victorian households still send hundreds of kilograms of rubbish to landfill each year. We can do better.

We can never fully escape the mess we create, which is why the five Rs – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle – are so important.

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Car Sharing

The cheapest and most efficient car to drive? Your neighbour’s.

Owning a car can be convenient, but most of the time it sits idle, losing value year on year.

Even when a car is on the road, the passenger seats are often empty. If each car just has one person – the driver – then more cars are needed to move the population.

And that means more emissions.Transport contributes to about 17 percent of our climate pollution each year, and most of that is from cars.

The solution? Let’s start sharing!

Learn More Car Next Door
Green Babies

As a new parent you want a healthy, safe environment for your children to grow up in. At the same time, the pitter patter of little feet can lead you to super-size your ecological footprint.

Here are some tips to avoid a spike in energy use when a new family member arrives.

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Healthy Transport

Walking and cycling for transport are not only good for our environment, they’re also a convenient way to fight health problems like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Plus, our air would be cleaner – driving is one of the biggest causes of urban air pollution (sometimes called smog), which is also bad for our health.

Learn more about the benefits of active, healthy transport.

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Sign up for the latest news and updates on how you can make a difference.

5 things you can do

1
Choose clean energy

Switching to a cleaner energy company, and choosing 100% GreenPower, is the single easiest way to cut your climate pollution in Victoria.

2
Install insulation

The biggest single energy cost for Victorian households is heating. Don't let the warmth in your house just leak away.

3
Drive less

Choosing more active forms of transport, like walking and cycling, can also make you happier and healthier.

4
Take shorter showers

Every extra minute in the morning shower uses a lot of water - as well as energy to heat it. A shower timer can make a big difference.

5
Make change OUTSIDE the home

There's a lot more to sustainability than swapping light globes. We can't let dirty industries and irresponsible governments pass the buck onto households. Join one of our successful campaigns for change.

One Million Homes

What if we could cut energy bills, reduce pollution and help vulnerable Victorians all at the same time? That's the clever idea behind this campaign to make one million homes more energy and water efficient.

Future Powered Families

This three-year behaviour change program helped low-income households save energy, particularly migrant and refugee families. Reaching more than 6100 people, Future Powered Families was a finalist in the 2016 Premier’s Sustainability Awards.

Divest your home loan

Divest your home loan and move away from banks that loan money to dirty energy!

Join the Power Revolution

Switch to a greener, cheaper power company in five minutes.