Climate change is believed by many to be a serious issue facing the entire world. It has come into the spotlight in particular over the recent Christmas period, when hundreds of people were directly impacted by fires across NSW and Victoria. Locally, Mosman Council is taking the issue seriously.
The council has recently made a climate emergency commitment to, at the very least, live up to the Paris Agreement. Take a look at what the council is doing to create a ‘greener’ Mosman and what you can do to help.
What Mosman council is doing to counter climate change
Some of what the Mosman Council has already started putting into effect includes the following, according to information shared in December 2019:
- Converting all residential street lighting to power-saving LED by late 2020, with an aim to do the same to the main street
- Changing council buildings and carparks to LED lighting. Monitoring local water use to ascertain future improvements
- Upgrading solar panels at the Marie Bashir Sports Centre and planning for Civic Centre installation
- Helping local schools to go solar with the Solar My School Program
- Adding an additional 22km to Mosman bicycle network and instituting a new Active Transport Plan
- Continuing the successful public education programs that have been helping to reduce landfill
- Implementing recycling initiatives
- Ensuring that 38ha of bushland and other vegetation are protected to help improve carbon absorption as well as protect native flora and fauna
- Backing the Mackie Lane Community Garden and its composting initiative
- Over 300 trees planted since April this year
As shared on the Mosman Council website, “Council resolved to continue its advocacy with State and Federal governments seeking action on climate change, and to develop a Climate Change Action Plan that will look at options to further reduce Council’s CO2 emissions and build environmental resilience in six key areas: energy use, biodiversity and trees, water cycle, waste, transport, built environment, and engaging and educating the community.”
Greening Mosman: What you can do
Beyond the obvious recycling, there are a few other ways that you can help in creating a more environmentally friendly Mosman and a better planet.
To start with, try to reduce the need for recycling by avoiding plastics and single-use items wherever possible.
Other ideas where you can make changes include:
- Indulge your love of coffee with a reusable cup
- Grab a takeaway from a Mosman cafe but bring your own reusable cutlery
- Buy fresh produce from a local vendor
- Reduce food waste, which is a significant contributor to carbon output
Another way to reduce your impact on the planet is by considering your travel habits. Unfortunately, flying contributes substantially to fossil fuel use. Try to schedule Facetime or Skype appointments where possible to keep your travel to a minimum. Where flying is unavoidable, contribute to the airline’s carbon offset program. If you are travelling locally, request an electric vehicle for your rental or car service.
If you drive regularly or your business has a fleet of vehicles, consider a carbon offset. Greenfleet is one provider which can help you do this.
Around your home, encourage your gardener to set up and use a compost heap. Food scraps can be added to compost and will not only help your garden stay beautiful but will also help reduce waste. Put scraps in a container and leave it outside the door for you or the gardener to add to the compost as part of the routine.
You can also have the insulation and windows checked around the house to make sure that your heating and air conditioning are working efficiently. This will save you money as an added bonus.
Replace your lights at home with more environmentally friendly LED versions. They are greener, last longer and cost less in the long run. And, of course, you can consider going solar. Again, the benefits can be financial as well as environmental thanks to reduce energy costs.
Finally, consider reducing your meat consumption. You need not go full vegetarian or vegan but reducing red meat consumption by just a few meals a week means fewer global resources are used to create your meal.
There are a number of events and initiatives that the council is providing Mosman households with over the coming months.
This includes free e-waste drop-offs, which are a great way to get rid of old phones, laptops, and printers.
There will also be various events and workshops held in Mosman. Keep an eye out during 2020 for toy swaps and workshops on decluttering, eco-gardening or living with less.