Sustainable Living Tips

Campaigning for systems change is essential to create the world we envision, your individual change demonstrates that it is possible, and starts reducing human impact immediately. Every time we turn on a light, take a shower, drive a car, or buy a product, we are having an impact on the natural environment. There are many things we can all do to reduce these impacts to make sure we look after the planet for generations to come.

Some simple steps to living a lower impact life are:

Minimise waste

  • Buy less unnecessary stuff and shop ethically
  • Avoid packaging and recycle whatever you can
  • Go plastic bag free – take your own bag
  • Compost your organic waste


The Story of Stuff – a short animation about where the ‘stuff’ that we buy comes from and what happens to it when we throw it away

Ethical Consumer Guide – a great guide to purchasing ethically

Local Harvest website for locating locally grown foods near you

Think Outside the Bag – far north Queensland plastic bag campaign

What can be recycled?

Enviromart – local business selling compost bins, natural cleaning products, reusable bags and more

Community Foods – local community-owned food co-operative selling a range of organic bulk foods

Solar panelsReduce greenhouse gas emissions

  • Be energy efficient in the home and use renewable energy
  • Ride or walk to work and leave the car at home
  • Fly less – air travel emits a lot of carbon dioxide
  • Design or retrofit your home for sustainability


Calculate your carbon footprint

Retrofitting for Sustainability – A Guide for Far North Queensland

Cairns Bicycle User Group

Cairns Regional Council cycling maps and information

Energy saving tips from Cairns Regional Council

Tropical Green Building Network

Rainwater tankBe water wise

  • Use water efficiently in the home and garden
  • Collect and use rainwater and/or greywater


Cairns Regional Council – Saving Water

Retrofitting for Sustainability – A Guide for Far North Queensland



Polenta, Community FoodsCare for our soil and waterways

  • Buy locally grown, organic or pesticide free foods
  • Use non-toxic, phosphate free, biodegradable detergents and cleaning products
  • Grow some of your own food


What is organic? A great booklet explaining organic farming and the benefits of organic produce

Eating up the world – a great booklet looking at the true costs of food

RealFood Network – provide weekly fruit and vegetable boxes (all local produce) to households

Community Foods – sells a range of organic and biodynamic foods, safe detergents and cleaning products

Permaculture Cairns – local group which meets regularly to share knowledge on Permaculture gardening

Boyd's Forest DragonRestore natural areas and protect biodiversity

  • Plant your garden with native species to provide habitat
  • Keep your cat indoors at night to protect native animals
  • Help out with community tree planting of litter clean up days


Treeforce Cairns – organises regular tree planting events in Cairns

Cairns Urban Landcare

Tangaroa Blue Ocean Care Society – organises beach clean up days around Port Douglas