This is a Greenprint that identifies strategies, actions and approaches for moving towards a sustainable future.
NOTE: Links on this page are being updated.
- Drive a green car
- Catch a train rather then fly
- Build very fast trains to reduce reliance on air and car travel
- Ride a bicycle
- Use public transport
- Introduce a congestion tax to reduce vehicle usage and pollution in urban areas
Housing and buildings
- Build using a passive solar design
- Use or retrofit appropriate insulation
- Install double glazing or thermal glass
- Install LED low energy lighting
- Use blinds and/or sails for shading windows from the sun when it is hot
- Draughtproof your doors and windows
- Build using recycled products
- Use forest friendly timber
- Install solar power
- Buy accredited greenpower
- Check carbon emissions of various energy sources to inform decisions about which to use and which to avoid.
- Buy energy efficient appliances
- Buy a **Green computing|green computer
- Buy an energy efficient fridge
- Install a smart power meter
- Use solar hot water
- Capture rainwater in tanks and use it
- Install and use a Greywater system
- Use fans for cooling
- Use electricity for cooking (e.g. an induction cooktop) rather than gas
- Recycle your waste
- use an evaporative cooler
- build a house with bricks on the outside – put them on inside walls with insulated cladding on the outside – this is the best location for thermal mass
- put in a swimming pool
- use incandescent, quartz halogen or compact fluorescent lighting
- use an electric clothes drier; use a washing line instead when possible
- Create a water wise garden
- Grow a permaculture garden with herbs, vegetables and fruit and nut trees
- Keep chickens
- Put scrap food on a **compost heap, in a **worm farm or a bokashi bucket
- Grow a lawn that requires watering or regular mowing
- Grow plants that require a lot of watering
The following actions are the province of governments. If yours is dragging the chain, let you local, state and national political representatives know your views, and ask them what they will do to represent your views and suggestions.
Policy relating to greenhouse gas emissions and energy
- Set a global target of zero carbon emissions by 2030
- Put a ”’price on carbon”’ and introduce [carbon rationing].
- ”'[Carbon environmental assessments]”’ should be mandatory of all major government projects, activities and policies.
- Remove government subsidies for fossil fuel use in Australia”’.
- Establish safe upper limit of 300ppm CO2 or less in the atmosphere
- Introduce mandatory appliance energy efficiency standards
- Implement rigorous building energy efficiency standards and apply them to domestic and business building construction and renovation.
- Implement a feed in tariff which provides payment for clean energy of 5 times the retail rate (e.g. to those with solar panels that feed power into a grid). This has been very successful in Germany.
- Mandate that new buildings to produce 20 per cent of their energy requirements in building energy efficiency standards. This encourages both energy efficient design and installation of solar panels and/or wind power. This legislation has been successfully introduced in Germany.
- Implement a revolving energy fund (REF) to provide a financial incentive for councils or other levels of government to implement energy efficiency measures and practices.
- Introduce legislation to charge coal fired power stations the full cost of the very large amount of water they use.
- Shift existing coal fired power stations to usage of recycled water rather than drinking water.
- Introduce legislation to promote the use of sustainable biofuels such as crop residues and waste organic matter.
- Remove subsidies that encourage the use of fossil fuels , such as the commercial diesel fuel rebate in Australia
- Price fossil fuels according to their environmental impact and scarcity. For example, a larger amount of diesel is obtained from a given volume of crude oil compared to petrol, and diesel engines are more efficient than petrol engines. Diesel could therefore be cheaper than petrol.
- Remove tax concessions that encourage the use of fossil fuels – such as the tax deductible car leases that mandate a minimum distance the vehicle must travel per year.
- Transition existing street lights low energy street lights
- Fund research and development for distributed energy storage to make wind and solar power more effective and economic.
- Develop low or zero emissions geothermal energy
- Price vehicle registration according to carbon emissions (this is done in Switzerland)
- Invest public money in the high risk ventures such as so called clean coal. It is not proven, it may not be commercially or scientifically viable, and it will take 10 to 15 years to implement (if it can be made to work).
- Use nuclear power as an energy source as it is not sustainable, the nuclear waste problem is intractable, and new nuclear power stations will take 10 to 15 years to build so it will be too late.
- Promote the use of unsustainable **biofuels such as burning woodchips from native forests, making ethanol from corn or sugarcane, or palm oil.
- Allocate more funding to rail transport, public transport and green cars rather than building more roads and freeways.
- Include measurement of carbon emissions in all major project decision making and planning.
- Transition government car fleets to low or zero emission vehicles
- Mandate for dedicated commuter quality bicycle paths to be constructed along railway lines, new roads, and to form a grid network that adequately services your town, city or region.
Other environmental matters
- Use reusable shopping bags (and ban or tax plastic bags)
- Introduce laws to make suppliers of goods responsible for disposing of the packaging rather than passing on this cost to consumers and/or local councils.
Activism and politics
- Join a climate change action group or environment group
- Write a letter to local, state and federal parliamentary members to communicate your views on sustainability and tackling climate change and ask them what they are doing about this
- Write a letter to the editor of your local, state and/or national newspapers
- Write your own blog articles and social media to express your thoughts and observations on sustainable living. You also publish the letters you write to politicians and newspapers.
- Vote for political candidates who espouse green living and sustainable policies.
- Plant trees
- Protect all old growth forests and stop logging Melbourne water catchments
- Protect habitat and biodiversity
- Form a *Green team in your workplace to promote and undertake environmental and sustainability initiatives.
- Commute using public transport, cycling, or telecommute.
- Reduce water usage.
- Recycle water
- Restore environmental flows to rivers that need them
- Ensure there is a plan for sustainable water usage and management
- Turn your swimming pool into a rainwater tank, a cellar, a trampoline pit, or reclaim your outdoor living area
- Build desalination plants
- Drink bottled water
Food and diet
- Eat less meat, or become vegetarian or vegan
- Buy organic food
- Use reusable shopping bags
- Buy locally grown food from shops and farmers markets
- Drink [[Green coffee|sustainable coffee and tea]]
- Buy or eat GM food
- Buy foods with excessive packaging
- Use plastic shopping bags
- Use bottled water
Investment and finance
- Put money and superannuation into ethical investments.
- Invest in companies engaged in destruction of native forest or uranium mining
Recreation and travel
- *Travel green and offset carbon emissions associated with travel.
- Choose *green sports and recreation
- Make paper telephone directories optional. Provide households that request them with telephone/address book data on CD roms and cheap CD/LCD display units for households that request them. Allow households to opt out from all directory distribution – some may choose to just use the Internet.
- Energy saving tips
- *Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan
- Low Carbon Incentive Scheme – based on 2% consumption tax, paid to low carbon producers and consumers, to break the funding focus on clean coal, and give renewable energy an equal chance at funding (Submission to Garnaut Australian Climate Change Review).