Read our tips and useful resources to help empower you to adopt simple, sustainable lifestyle changes that help you save energy and water, reduce waste and make a positive impact now and for the future.
We can all do our part to reduce our impacts on the environment and live more sustainably, from making changes in our homes and workplaces, to our transport options, diets and other daily activities.
What we eat and how our food is supplied has a large impact on the environment. Food uses a significant amount of natural resources, while its wastage can produce a large amount of greenhouse gases that worsen climate change.
Launceston holds the proud title of being a UNESCO City of Gastronomy and this accolade includes the criteria of "Respect for the environment and promotion of sustainable local products".
We can all make responsible food choices to help reduce our environmental impact.
Some things you might consider include:
- Grow your own food at home or at one of Launceston's community gardens. Community gardens are great places to learn how to grow your own.
- Support local markets and small to medium sized farmers to reduce your "food miles" and carbon footprint
- Buy seasonal fruit and vegetables - this can assist in reducing the distance your food travels
- Consider your diet, reducing your meat and dairy intake can help to reduce your emissions footprint
- Reduce waste choose products with no or less packaging and utilise Launceston's FOGO service or compost at home
- Use your reusables, from bringing your own bags when you go shopping to using old food containers around the house, you can significantly reduce your household impact
Sustainable Living Tasmania has a website with great tips and resources on how to eat more sustainable.
Making good choices on your food packaging, locality, refrigeration needs and wastage embraces a food system that supports sustainability from the paddock to the plate.
Conventional modes of transport that run on fossil fuels such as diesel and unleaded petrol emit large amounts of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, as well as air pollution that is detrimental to our health. In-fact, Transport is one of Tasmania's most significant greenhouse gas emissions.
By driving your car more efficiently and choosing, when practical, switching to more sustainable modes of transport, you can cut your personal emissions and save money. Here are some solutions below:
Walk or go by bike
Walking and cycling reduces stress, improves fitness and helps the environment.
Take public transport
Our city's public transport includes an extensive public and private bus service operating in and around the city and suburbs. Head to Metro, Launceston's major city and suburban public transport provider for timetables to plan your journey.
For longer trips throughout the state, Tassielink Regional Coaches and Redline Coaches operate an extensive timetable to most major Tasmanian towns.
Electric vehicles and e-scooters
By choosing to drive an electric vehicle such as an e-scooter or electric car you are helping to reduce harmful air pollution from exhaust emissions.
-Make use of one of Launceston's 'hire and ride' e-scooters, find more information about the e-scooter trial here.
- Consider an electric vehicle when travelling, hiring or buying
-City of Launceston has commissioned a range of electric vehicle charging stations, aligned with the Tasmanian Government's support of a state-wide electric vehicle charging network.
Carpooling and Rideshares
Consider carpooling with your community, sharing the ride reduces vehicle emissions, traffic congestion, petrol and parking costs.
For a full list of tips on making your transport options more sustainable, head to the Tasmanian Government website on reducing emissions from transport and travel.
More about sustainable transport in Launceston
Currently, most of Launceston’s residents drive or travel as a car passenger to work, with 91 per cent choosing this mode. Active transport (walking and cycling) and public transport combined account for less than 9 per cent of journey to work trips.
Launceston needs to continue diversifying travel mode share to enjoy the well-established economic, social and environmental benefits that result from streets which are more accessible, welcoming and safe for all road users.
Read more about how City of Launceston's Transport Strategy 2020-2040 plans to achieve this here and keep up to date with City of Launceston's Roads and Transport information on our website.
Sustainable design can be applied throughout all stages of a building's lifecycle to minimise the carbon footprint of the industry
Why choose to build sustainably?
The construction industry contributes enormously to our carbon footprint due to the large amount of natural resources required to construct and operate buildings.
Sustainable builds improve resource efficiency, utilising ethical and durable materials to reduce social and environmental impacts. This can reduce ongoing costs due to lower energy bills and reduced maintenance costs.
There are many ways to improve building efficiency, through sustainable construction, resource efficiency, waste reduction and energy and water optimisation.
Whether you're commencing a new build or looking to improve efficiency in your business or household use the resources below on your journey to a sustainable building:
Your Home Guide
An independent guide to creating sustainable homes. It is a good idea to do your homework before you buy, build or renovate a home, to make sure the result will suit your climate, budget, and lifestyle, both now and in the future.
Tasmanian Government Resources For Your Home
Providing a range of guides and toolkits covering home energy audits tools, save energy save money guides along with home and garden tips.
Key principles include:
- Passive design principles, design that works with the local climate to maintain a comfortable temperature in the home and that reduces or eliminates the need for additional heating or cooling. For example, building orientation, thermal mass, insulation, glazing and ventilation
- Sustainable materials with low embodied energy (a calculation of all the energy used in the production of a building)
- Waste minimisation (reduce, reuse, recycle) - Building waste makes up approximately 44% of Australia’s waste
Conserving water can make a huge difference to our environmental impact, in ways you may not know.
Why save water?
- Reduce your water usage, reduce energy usage. Filtering, pumping and heating water uses a significant amount of energy, conserving water doesn't just mean reducing water wastage, it also reduces energy usage.
- Divert water from our waterways. Conserving water means diverting wastewater from our waterways which keeps our ecosystems healthy.
- Conserve water to secure our future water supply. Water is a finite resource and drier than normal conditions may occur in the future, so conserve water even in rainy conditions.
- Conserve water, save money. If your business or property has a water meter, saving water can lead to lower water bills.
Some key tips for reducing your water usage include:
- Take 4 minute showers
- Brush your teeth with the tap off
- When you can, choose the half flush button when you use your toilet
- Don't pre-rinse your dishes before using the dishwasher (it doubles your water usage)
- Save 50 litres of water when you reduce your washing by one load a week
- Front loading washing machines are more water efficient than top loaders
- Fix leaking taps, toilets and pipes to save water
- Use a broom or blower, don't hose your pavement
- Don't overwater your garden, mulch the garden to keep the moisture in
Rain gardens are another way to save water by concentrating rainwater into the garden bed, slowing runoff, increasing infiltration of water into soils while also reducing the runoff of pollutants into our storm-water system and waterways.
TasWater is responsible for the Launceston municipality's water supply, and has some great tips and resources on how to save water at home on their Water Wise webpage.
Reducing waste is all about doing more with less and ultimately saving raw materials, natural resources, energy, carbon emissions, labour, landfilling impacts, landfill space and money.
We support the waste hierarchy approach to reducing waste:
1. Avoid using items that create waste in the first place, where possible
2. Reduce your material consumption and waste generation by keeping the amount to a minimum
3. Reuse items many times (buy products that last longer) and repair items where possible
4. Recycle items according to the City of Launceston recycling guide
5. Dispose of items appropriately, as the last resort
The aim of using the waste hierarchy is to transition the standard practice of our City from a linear approach (take-make-waste) to a circular economy approach (see Transitioning to a Circular Economy figure).
Some tips for avoiding and reduce your material consumption and waste generation include:
- Take your own containers and bags to the shops
- Buy less food by planning meals in advance and shopping with a list
- Choose products and produce with little or no packaging
- Borrow or hire instead of buying – think book, toy, and tool libraries
- Make the time to sit in to eat rather than choosing takeaway
- Bring along your own reusable straw or simply go without
- Switch to soap and shampoo bars instead of plastic bottles
- Choose electronic bills, statements, and receipts where possible
- Display a ‘no junk mail’ sign on your letterbox
- Join online ‘buy nothing’ groups for inspiration and tips
- Buy items in bulk and transfer into reusable containers at home (including single portion containers for lunch boxes and snacks)
- Buy food that’s in season and store produce correctly so it stays fresh longer
- Switch to products that are easier to recycle or compost – think bamboo toothbrushes, natural loofahs, natural fibre cleaning cloths
- Choose rechargeable batteries over single-use ones
- Set your printer to ‘double sided’ printing as the default, if available
- Choose reusable travel mugs and refill your water bottle
- Switch to reusable food storage, such as beeswax wraps, jars and bottles with lids, silicone ziplock bags, reusable containers
- Cook up your next meal from leftovers
- Compost any food and green waste
- Shop at (and donate to) your local charity shop or tip shop, or host a garage sale
- Choose reusable nappies, wipes, period products, beauty products, and cleaning cloths
- Swap clothes and toys with friends and family
- Repair rather than replace damaged clothes, toys, furniture, and appliances
- Get creative and upcycle items into new uses
- Support businesses doing the right thing by choosing products and items made from recycled materials
- Use your kerbside recycle bin for household glass, steel, aluminium, hard plastic bottles and tubs, paper, and cardboard
- Contaminated recyclables are rejected at the sorting facility and sent to landfill, so be a Good Sort and learn what to recycle and how to reduce contamination
- Additional recycling services are available for batteries, electronic waste, light globes, paint, chemical containers, mobile phones, tyres, and much more
See the City of Launceston's Waste and Recycling page for further information on recycling. We also recommend that you visit the ReThink Waste Tasmania website for great resources and tips on avoiding reducing, reusing and recycling at home, at work, at school at and out & about.
Composting and Worm Farms
Food scraps and organics account for about 50% of what the average Australian household throws out.
Once in landfill, this releases large amounts of greenhouse gases, particularly methane, which is 34 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. In contrast, the practice of composting food scraps, instead of sending them to landfill, allows for the carbon to be naturally returned to the soil, preventing excess emissions.
By composting, you will significantly reduce your carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment.
The City of Launceston provides a Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) collection and composting service in some Council areas.
Check to see if your address is in the FOGO collection area by viewing the online interactive collection map.
If you do not have a Council FOGO bin yet, then you could explore other options for reducing or reusing your kitchen and garden waste, no matter the size of your home or residence, including composting, worm farms and Bokashi bins. For comprehensive information about composting, visit the Compost Revolution website.
Plastic Free July
The plastic bottles, bags and takeaway containers that we use just for a few minutes use a material that is designed to last forever, causing long term pollution issues to marine life and the food chain. Plastic Free July is a national initiative which aims to raise awareness of the problems with single-use disposable plastic and challenges people to do something about it.
Click here to register and for tips on how to reduce the use of single use plastics.
A typical three to four bedroom house in Tasmania will use on average about 25 to 30kWh of energy per day and with electricity prices set to increase it is becoming more important for households to minimise the amount of energy they consume.
In the average household about 25 per cent of the power is used by the hot water system, 40 per cent by heating/cooling, 10 per cent by lighting and the remaining 25 per cent by appliances and standby power.
Here are some simple, affordable steps to reduce your power bill:
- Turn off heaters and other electronic equipment when you leave a room
- Save up to 10% for each degree that you decrease the air conditioner’s temperature.
- Close the doors of any unused rooms when heating the house
- Install energy efficient heavy or waffle curtains to keep the heat in and make sure they have a pelmet which stops cold air circulation
- Check for leaks around windows and doors. These let in cold air and can make a huge difference when trying to heat a room
- Replace old lights bulbs with fluorescent lights or LEDs which use much less energy and last longer
- Turn appliances off at the power point overnight and when you’re at work. TV’s, CD players, gaming systems, microwaves, etc left on standby power can comprise about 10 per cent of your energy usage
- Turn off the hot water system when you leave the house for more than five days
- Turn the thermostat on your hot water system down to 60 degrees, any hotter is a waste of power. Insulate the water pipe from your hot water system and fix any dripping hot water taps
- Wash clothes in cold water. Use a clothes horse instead of a dryer
- Use water efficient shower heads. Also try to keep showers down to four minutes and make sure you tell the kids about this.
Make use of Home Energy Audit Toolkits (HEAT).
Home Energy Audit Toolkits (HEAT) can be borrowed free of charge from Council by Launceston's residents. HEAT provides practical tools and information to help householders conduct a simple home audit and discover easy ways to cut their households energy costs.
The kits contain a number of tools including a Power-Mate, which is a small meter that displays energy usage and cost for appliances, an infrared thermometer, room thermometer and a range of other tools.
The tools come with supporting information describing how and where to use the tools for key areas of energy use and cost saving opportunities in the home (such as Fridges/Freezers; Cooking; Entertainment; Home Office and Hot Water etc.).
For enquiries and bookings please contact us. For more information see these HEAT information sheets.
Climate Clever Platform
The ClimateClever Initiative helps homes, schools and businesses to measure and reduce their carbon footprints, plus save money on utility bills.
Enabling users to easily calculate and track their carbon footprint; conduct an audit of their buildings and appliances; and create a personalised action plan. Together, these three steps deliver significant reductions in consumption, costs and carbon emissions across all utilities (electricity, gas, water and waste).
There is a tailored app for businesses, schools and households, if you would like a free platform that assists in saving money and emissions head to ClimateClever to sign up to the platform.