Summer PAWS Newsletter

Summer PAWS 2013

Working Together for Conservation

This issue of PAWS features projects that the Foundation for National Parks funded in 2013. The common theme linking them all is their essentially collaborative nature, in which diverse communities and groups work together to achieve a more significant impact collectively than any could hope to achieve alone.

Read your PAWS here

Tips for a Clean, Green, Wildlife Friendly Australia

E-mail Print PDF

 

There's a lot you can do to keep Australia Clean, Green and Wildlife Friendly, particularly on World Water Day, March 22nd

Australians are among the highest producers of waste, per person, in the world. 

Cigarette butts, plastic bags, drink bottles, plastic chip bags, bottle caps and alcoholic beverage bottles are some of the most common waste items to end up polluting our environment and waterways. 

A single plastic bag can last for up to 450 years in salt water, and cause many marine fatalities before it is eventually broken up.

What simple things can every Australian can do to

make Australia clean, green and wildlife friendly?

 

Keep the waterways just for water!

  • Sweep up leaves, dirt and rubbish from driveways and gutters before the next storm sends them into the drain.
  • Make sure your garden has good borders so soil and fertilizer doesn't wash away into the drains.
  • Start a compost heap or use leaves as garden mulch rather than letting the rain carry them away.
  • When building or renovating, make sure stockpiles don't cover street gutters, and secure them under tarpaulins.
  • When building or renovating, schedule grading and excavation projects during dry weather.

Dispose of household and garden chemicals appropriately

  • Chemicals such as paints, fertilizers, pesticides or oils should not enter waterways and stormwater syems as they can flow into rivers and oceans. These chemicals can poison marine animals and plants.
  • Chemicals and oil should never go down the drain.
  • Your local council website will have information on how to correctly dispose of waste items such as chemicals and oils.

Maintain your car wisely

  • Wash your car on the grass rather than on a hard surface where the detergents will wash off into the stormwater system.
  • Service your car regularly so that it does not leak oil or petrol.

Rubbish lives in the rubbish bin

  • Pick up rubbish you find outdoors. If every Australian did this, there would be over 22 million less pieces of rubbish around!
  • Never put rubbish in an overflowing bin - keep it until you find another bin to put it in, or it will likely blow off and end up on the ground.
  • Carry a bag in your car or jacket pocket to place rubbish in that you find when you go for a walk.
  • Take your rubbish home from parks, beaches or gardens and dispose of it or recycle it appropriately at home.
  • Cover your bin so that litter doesn't blow free.
  • Cover your load securely when you're taking rubbish to the tip.

Keep cigarette butts off the streets

  • Stub out your butts and put them in a bin. Cigarette butts are harmful to wildlife on land and in waterways, and are one of the biggest litter items found in Australia.

Minimise waste

  • Avoid buying 'overpackaged' products - such as individually wrapped packets or items within several layers of plastic.
  • Re-use plastic shopping bags or take cloth ones to the shop regularly.
  • Pack a waste-free lunch in reusable containers, and avoiding individual packets, plastic bags or cling wrap.
  • Recycle as much as possible.
  • Start a compost heap, as much of what goes into landfill could be biodegraded in your own garden to benefit your soil and plants.
  • Re-use items that you might otherwise throw away, such as plastic containers from dips or take-away food etc.
  • Re-use drink bottles or buy a long-life reusable one. Remember to take your own drink with you, rather than buying a new plastic bottle of water or drink regularly.

Take care of your local area

Be a responsible pet owner

  • Pick up your pets dropping and dispose of them in the bin.

(The following pet tips will help keep Australia's wildlife safe!)

  • Keep cats and dogs indoors as much as possible, especially at night so they don't disturb native animals and birds.
  • Train dogs not to chase birds.
  • Keep dogs on a leash when walking.
  • Keep dogs within securely fenced in areas at home, if not indoors.
  • If you can no longer keep your pet, please do not release it into the wild.
  • De-sex your pets. 
  • Invest in an outdoor cat run or cat enclosure (click to find out more) if you have an outdoor cat. Some places you can purchase a cat enclosure include: Aussie Cat Enclosures, Secure a Kat, CATMAX, and Catnets.

Make your garden a habitat for native animals

  • Plant locally native species - ask at your nearest nursery which plants are local natives.
  • Plant trees, shrubs, bushes and groundcover that grow at several different heights and levels to provide a home to many different types of native species.
  • Put out some clean water for birds or other native animals to drink or bathe in.
  • Avoid feeding native species - they are great food finders and use their natural instincts to find food. If we feed them they can become dependent on people and come into closer contact with us and our associated threats, such as traffic. Plant native species in your garden that will give them food instead and you can still enjoy watching them at your place. 
  • Get rid of weeds and invasive species.
  • Start your own compost bin so that compostible material doesn't end up in landfill.

Be an informed seafood eater

  • Don't eat threatened fish species.
  • Consider the effect of 'by-catch' when choosing which species of seafood to eat. 

Taking care of Australia, our environment and waterways is everyone's responsibility. And not just on 'World Water Day' or 'Clean Up Australia Day'!

 
Share