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coloured pencils source:digitalphotos.net

Back to school time and I am trying to make a few adjustments to our families’ lifestyle, so that we are not continuing the Canberra trend of having the biggest ecological footprint[1] of anywhere in Australia!

Here are a few of my ideas:

1)      More walking and riding to school. Difficult to achieve as a working Mum, but the days when I am not working we will aim to walk/ride. Plus last year discovered the joys of the walking school bus and this fits with work, so aim to have that as a once a week event.

2)      Less pre-wrapped food. Although I do appreciate the convenience of being able to throw a muesli bar or similar into the lunchbox. A couple more minutes putting something together should not be a big deal!

3)      Helping out with the school garden/composting. We’ll see how I go – a noble idea!

This is probably enough to get started on, will try being consistent and then expand to other things…. if we have achieved these.


[1] The average Canberran’s ecological footprint is above the national average and nearly three and a half times the global average. The Canberra Times, 14 Dec 2010.

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computer and mouse
Source: Freedigitalphotos.net

1.Turn off your computer when you have finished for the day….including the monitor

Why? Reduces costs and energy use. For more information see:
Energy Efficiency in the Office: cost savings
When to Turn Off Personal Computers

close up of coffee mug

2. Avoid disposable coffee cups, something I struggle with! If you can, bring your own coffee/tea or alternatively bring a travel coffee mug for refills at your local coffee shop, with the added bonus that you may be able to get discounted coffee at some outlets by bringing your own mug.

Why? Apparently after 24 uses, a stainless steel mug breaks even with paper cups in terms of environmental impact. For more information see:
The basic problem with coffee cups – Sustainability is Sexy

3. Reduce, reuse and recyle your paper – double-side all print jobs, reuse paper that isn’t double sided and recycle anything that you are not going to file or reuse!

cyclist on bridge

4. Walk, ride or catch public transport to work

Why?     Active transport can improve your health and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. For more information on walking and cycling see:
Let’s Clear the Air – NSW Government

5. Bring lunch from home in reusable containers

Why? Less rubbish, less landfill, less waste. Try Nude Food Movers.