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.

Learn More Take Action
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.

See where the banks stand on fossil fuels
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? Take a look at our friends at the Australian Energy Foundation and see if you’re eligible for rebates through the Victorian Government’s Solar Homes program.

Learn more about solar See if you're eligible for government rebates
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 for FREE
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.

Check solar options from our friends at Earthworker in Morwell.

Learn More Check it out

Victoria has a dirty secret … more than 60 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 most of its electricity from the wind and sun!

So how can we catch up? As householders, we can switch to a cleaner energy company 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.

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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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This Sustainability Hub was generously supported with a grant from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation (white text, trans bg)

Visions of a sustainable future

Imagine it’s the year 2050 and you’re living in the new Victoria. We made all the right choices in time and we are now living in a truly sustainable society. What is daily life like?

We asked Victorians this question, and their responses were inspirational.

5 things you can do right now