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What is sustainability? Sustainability Hill Image

If an activity is sustainable it should be able to continue forever. Wingecarribee Shire Council uses the following definition of sustainability in their strategic plan: "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". (Brundtland Report: Our Common Future, 1987).


In practical terms, it relates to the way we look after the land and waterways, how much we put in the rubbish, what we eat and how we use our energy resources.


Living sustainably in the Wingecarribee


The great thing about starting down the path of sustainable living is that your first step can be as big or as little as you like.


Some make a big effort: growing their own food, composting, recycling, harvesting water and buying local, in-season produce.


Others, such as some schools, try to avoid all packaging, which also tends to lead to healthier eating as the food is fresh.


And there is one other benefit that comes from sustainable living – cost savings. Reducing, re-using and recycling means you need to buy less and pay less for waste disposal.


How to get started


The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) offers these tips to start on the track towards sustainable living in your home:


  • Save water – install water efficient showerheads and taps and save approximately 16,000 litres of water per year (and keep more money in your pocket). Promptly fix or report any leaks or drips – did you know a leaking tap can waste 200 litres of water a day? Little things can make a huge difference too: turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth, and only using the dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load.
  • Save energy – and reduce your energy bill by choosing appliances with a high Energy Star Rating – the more stars, the less energy consumed
  • Shop wisely – avoid waste by buying only what you need, select products with packaging you can recycle at home, ask for products made from recycled materials or those that can be recycled
  • Leave the car at home – walking and cycling for short trips or taking public transport will help create cleaner air
  • Plant a local native plant in your garden – and compost your food and garden waste


For more information:


Sustainable table (www.sustainabletable.org.au) provides tips such as including meat free days in your household, creating a compost bin and avoiding packaging

Environmental Trust Living Thing website: www.livingthing.net.au – sustainable living for work, home and play

Both individuals and businesses can learn how to buy, cook and save food more efficiently at OEH's lovefoodhatewaste website

CANWin – Wingecarribee’s own sustainability group who can advise on energy efficiency and sustainability principles