Your home and sustainable living
Environmental sustainability is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. By becoming sustainable, we can reduce our environmental footprint and help preserve the world’s precious natural resources.
There are many ways to save energy and water and reduce waste in and around your home, which may even help you save money. You can make smarter choices for your home, even if you’re renting. If you’re building or renovating, there are even more sustainable options available to you.
Information on sustainable housing and sustainable urban development is available to help you with sustainable design and construction.
Organic or ‘green waste’ makes up about half of the household waste that is sent to landfill. It consists of materials such as food waste (vegetable and fruit scraps) and garden waste (prunings, leaves, grass clippings). When green waste is sent to landfill, it breaks down anaerobically (without oxygen) to produce the greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide. These gases are known to contribute to global warming.
Much of the land used for landfill is also unusable later because toxins and chemicals released during rubbish decomposition contaminate the soil. However, landfill is not the only way to dispose of organic waste. A more environmentally friendly approach to recycling green waste is through composting.
The composting process
Composting involves using either bacteria, fungi or worms in a compost heap or bin, or worms in a worm farm. These break down green waste aerobically (in the presence of oxygen) to produce nutrient-rich soil supplements ideal for the garden. Recycling green waste in this way not only reduces the amount of greenhouse gases released to the environment, it also helps reduce the amount of land lost to landfill and soil contamination.
Composting is a great way to reduce the amount of organic waste sent to landfill. The links below provide useful information about composting, worm farms and managing green waste.