Sustainable living Click to enlarge image
images created for publication regarding the Museum 2 you project Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

You can help to conserve Australia's biodiversity. Through living in a sustainable way at home and at work and by joining community groups every individual can make a difference.

Sustainable living

Many of the Earth's resources are being depleted faster than they can be renewed.

This means that we are living in an ecologically unsustainable way. In order to deal with this situation, the practice of sustainable living must be adopted worldwide.

Sustainable living is about:

  • adopting practices that keep us operating within the Earth's carrying capacity;
  • using only what we need to survive and leaving the rest;
  • being smarter about the way we exploit and affect the natural world;
  • finding the right balance between what we take from the earth and what we give back.

To make sustainable living work, we will have to embrace new and sometimes quite radical management practices of Earth's resources. 'We' includes governments, industries, corporations, communities . . . and you.

What changes can we make to the way we live and work that would help achieve ecological sustainability? What changes are we prepared to make to the way we live and work that would help achieve ecological sustainability?

Remember: every little action counts. Help reduce greenhouse gas emissions - leave the car at home and catch a bus, ride a bike or walk instead. Help put biodiversity on the political agenda - before voting, investigate party views on sustainability. Help put biodiversity on the economic agenda - before buying, look into the policies and operations of the companies that make food, clothes, cars and other consumables.

Biodiversity at home

You can make a difference in and around you home.

In the backyard

You can make a difference in your own backyard. Start by:

  • planting your own bush garden;
  • growing plants that occur naturally in your area to create a backyard environment for local vegetation and animal life;
  • contacting your council for a list of local native plants to grow and noxious weeds to remove;
  • not having cats;
  • making and using compost rather than fertilisers;
  • relaxing in and enjoying your garden.

In the kitchen

You can make a difference in your own kitchen. Start by:

  • keeping a compost bin handy for all your food scraps
  • using the drain for water only - not oils or solid matter
  • sorting your rubbish - recycle bottles, cans, plastics, milk cartons and paper
  • using string shopping bags instead of plastic ones;
  • making sure all of your taps turn off fully, to save water wastage;
  • using a fly swat instead of fly spray, to avoid harming other insects
  • turning off lights and electrical appliances when they are not being used: to save power

While these are small steps, they still have an impact on biodiversity.

Community biodiversity

You can get involved... you can make a difference.

The environment is the most crucial issue of our time. Community concern has led to a rapid rise in the number and size of community-based environmental groups who are working towards the sustainability of Australia's natural resources. Governments now consult these groups when developing and implementing biodiversity management strategies.

You can get involved in biodiversity conservation in community organisations such as bush regeneration and landcare groups.