It is great to jump into the the new year with a goal and a plan. I like to think about what I can realistically achieve, what I can do differently to make a better future. 2020 is going to be My Year of Sustainability. I want to step up and do more and show my children that we can all make a difference.
As we begin a new decade it is important to reflect on the year that has pasted. Australia has experienced heatwaves, bushfire, droughts and floods. According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) 2019 was the hottest and driest year on record.
In 2019 my family made 2 big road trips crossing 5 states. I saw first hand the impact of the droughts across regional New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. In July we saw the receding floodwaters in Queensland where the town of Birdsville was recovering after being cut off by floods twice. The devastation of the bushfires on the NSW South Coast was incredible as we drove down the Princes Highway in late December. Even more so because the worst was yet to come. We stayed at Lakes Entrance and drove through East Gippsland as the fire crisis was beginning. I’ve had an overwhelming sense of doom after being engulfed by bushfire smoke for so long and watching these natural disasters.
Everything I have seen throughout 2019 has motivated me to make 2020 My Year of Sustainability. So where will I start?
What can I do to make a difference?
I am going to start with the things I can control. I’m avoiding single use items and making sure I always have a spare reusable bag with me. Sydney tap water is some of the best in the world, so we should all say no to buying water in plastic bottles. Just refill your own water bottle, save the environment and save money too.
I will spend more time in the garden; build a haven for local wildlife, grow more fresh food and create a space to enjoy and relax. I miss my chickens and will fix up their hutch and get a couple of hens. Chickens are great for fresh eggs, reduce your amount of waste and keep the garden healthy. I’m also keen to get a native bee hive this year.
I will avoid using chemical in the garden to control pests and try some of these ideas:
- Apply soapy water directly Bugs (sap sucking insects).
- Place a saucers of beer in the garden to discourage snails or sprinkle sawdust some near the base of plants.
- Sprinkle half eggshells throughout your veggie garden to deter cabbage moths.
- Pour boiling water directly onto weeds to kill them.
- Spray milk directly onto affected leaves to get rid of powdery mildew or mix 4 litres of water, 4 teaspoons of baking soda and half a cup of white oil as a spray.
The drought is continuing and we all need to be Waterwise. In 2019 we installed a pump to use the grey water from our showers and baths in the garden, we fixed our leaking toilet and got a pump and hose for our rainwater tank.
We can all reduce our water footprint with the following tips:
- Take shorter showers.
- Check for dripping taps and leaking
- Only run the dishwasher and washing machine went it is full
- Don’t put rubbish or chemicals down the drain.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean paths and driveways
I will continue to reduce, reuse and recycle and go beyond
Think about what changes you can make to the way you live and work to become more sustainable? What changes are we prepared to make as a community and nation that will help us achieve this goal?
I came across these World Wildlife Fund infographics on Sustainable Shopping and Food Waste that I wanted to share. They both provide simple and tangible actions that I can achieve.