Sustainable living

SUNSHINE Coast Council’s new found energy in the green waste recovery area reminded me of a column I wrote back in 2008 about sustainable living.

Back then, the council had just launched its catchcry of wanting to be the most sustainable region in Australia.

Not too sure how that’s going overall but the path towards establishing a FOGO (food organics and garden organics) bin collection service is a good step in the right direction.

Green waste recycling is such a basic way we can all reduce our footprint on the planet and move down the pathway to being more sustainable.

Whether we do that ourselves by composting at home, having a worm farm or recycling garden waste back onto our gardens as mulch, or whether we outsource that via the council’s green waste collection service … it’s all heading in the right direction.

The more we do to improve our local environmental conditions, the more liveable our local region will be for us and for those to come.

The saying “think globally, act locally” is still a powerful message.

Don’t get too wrapped up in what is or isn’t happening elsewhere (unless you want to). Just think about what you can do to improve yourself, your home, your backyard and your local area. That way, you make a difference where it counts – where you live.

Let’s face it, humans are by and large a pretty selfish lot and we like to see what’s in it for us before thinking what’s in it for others.

In that 2008 column, I mentioned a great new website from a group called HOPE, which stands for Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment.

Wonderfully, the group is still going strong and their website ( is a trove of fantastic information and resources on how you, as a local, can be more sustainable in your local area, the broader region and globally.

Their patron is the well-respected ABC Gardening presenter Jerry Coleby-Williams.

HOPE recently started releasing podcasts called After the Virus – in S.E. Queensland.

The podcasts discuss how South East Queensland can have a green economic recovery following the current pandemic.

To hear these, just go to

HOPE is also working on releasing two special reports on food security and water security.

These reports are focused on highlighting food and water insecurity issues in Australia, while discussing some local solutions Queenslanders can implement to increase resource security and sustainability.

Photo: Jerry Coleby-Williams