At Science Space Wollongong we view sustainability across three dimensions: economy, society and the environment. It is defined as; avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance; “the pursuit of global environmental sustainability.”
Because we love our world, we want to start doing what we can to reduce our waste and we thought we would share what we found with you! Below is our quick, cheat sheet that we provided to our staff to act as an initial guide to getting involved. We hope this inspires some action as even the smallest action helps towards building a more sustainable future for our environment.
Sustainability Facts In Short
Did you know, most disposable coffee cups are not recyclable? In Australia alone, we throw away over 1 billion coffee cups every year. We use over 10 million straws every day. That is 3.5 BILLION in a year! To compound the issue, it takes 500 years for straws to decompose.
So things are feeling pretty grim when it comes to disposables, but they get worse. It’s recently been discovered that more than 100,000 mammals and over 1,000,000 sea birds die every year after eating or becoming entangled in plastic.
What about water usage? Many of us take our water for granted. However, with the recent drought across NSW, water conservation is more important now than ever. Yet, a standard showerhead can use up to 25L per minute of water. Leaky taps can be just as bad. A tap leaking at the rate of 1 drip per second can waster more than 12,000L water per year!
What Science Space is Doing
While there will always be more we can be doing, we are starting somewhere. Below are a few of the conscious efforts we have started taking within our organisation to actively reduce our waste.
- No disposable cups in our kiosk
- No straws in our kiosk
- Paper bags only in our shop
- Reusable plates in our kiosk
- Composting – we compost our food waste in the office and kiosk as food in our worm farm
- Recycle – we actively recycle across our office and the entire exhibition space
- Reuse/recycle/ upcycle old toys, items and trash for STEM activities
What you can do NOW
Sometimes, the topic of waste and sustainability can become overwhelming. Because it is such a BIG problem, big actions do need to be taken and that can feel outside of our control. However, we all are capable of making a difference one coffee cup at a time…so we encourage you to check out some of our ideas of how to get involved NOW.
Have some more for us to add? Please do! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can add it.
- Bring your own coffee mug to your local coffee shop, or utilise a reusable coffee cup service like Green Caffeen
- Get a water efficient shower head that can use less than 7L of water per minute.
- Rethink your gift wrapping by using different materials
- old newspaper
- scarves from Op Shops
- things that your crafty friends can reuse
- Plant more native plants
- Did you know, native birds are attracted to native plants…and this is great for the environment!
- Wollongong botanic gardens have dates you can purchase local native plants and councils often have native plant nurseries.
- Boomerang Bags
- By now, you should know the impact plastic bags have had on our environment. So let’s change that! Boomerang Bags is a community initiative where locals in communities across Australia sew low cost – free bags for residents to use. They simply use them and return them. By using or purchasing a boomerang bags we are reducing the amount of disposable bags in the environment.
- Use bamboo toothbrushes. By using a toothbrush that lasts longer, you generate less waste..winning!
Green Apps to get on!
- Good on you App – This app evaluates clothing brands based on 3 categories: labour, environment and animals and the impact it has on all three.
- RecycleSmart App – This app tells you what items can be put in the bin, recycling and green waste. It also gives you facts about items too
- Good Guide App/Website – Allows you to search categories and provides ratings on products
- Oroeco App – Shows you your carbon footprint