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
Take care of your local area
Be a responsible pet owner
(The following pet tips will help keep Australia's wildlife safe!)
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'!