“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”
Robert Swan OBE
What is living sustainably?
Living sustainably helps the environment and makes sure future generations will have the natural resources they need. It can also be good for your health and save you money!
Built into our Community Strategic Plan are economic, environmental and community sustainability measures to maintain and improve quality of life in our city.
Environmental sustainability principles underpin our activities and decisions. We’re leading the way in managing Albury’s use of air, land and water resources. We have a wide range of initiatives on energy and water use, waste management, vegetation management, biodiversity, and community health.
Borrow a Save Power Kit from the Library keyboard_arrow_right
Are you curious about how much power you use in your home and would you like to be able to measure it?
Borrow a 'Save Power Kit" from the LibraryMuseum or Lavington Library and identify the biggest users of electricity in your home. The kit provides simple actions for saving power, saving money and reducing your impact on the environment.
Each kit contains:
- a power meter to measure your energy consumption and tell you the running costs of your appliances
- an infrared thermometer to measure your fridge, freezer and hot water temperatures
- a compass to work out the orientation of your home for identifying passive solar heating and cooling opportunities
- a stopwatch to measure your shower and tap flow rates
- instructions on using the equipment and worksheets to calculate your home energy efficiency
- a Home Energy Action Plan to record the actions you can take to save energy and reduce your energy bills
Build or renovate a sustainable house keyboard_arrow_right
The smaller a home’s footprint, the easier it is to achieve high energy efficiency.
Building or renovating your home is a chance to make your life significantly more sustainable right from the outset – aspect, insulation, windows and building materials can all have a substantial impact on your home’s environmental footprint. Designing these features well will set you up for a life with lower energy bills and more comfortable living spaces. And, as always, the smaller a home’s footprint, the easier it is to achieve high energy efficiency.
There’s nothing better than a sun-drenched living room on a cold winter’s day. Ensuring your main living areas face north will be a major factor in reducing your home heating in winter. Clever design using simple horizontal devices such as eaves can ensure your northern orientation excludes the summer sun, while still letting in the winter sun. You can also use deciduous trees in front of your windows for the same purpose – they’ll shade your home in the summer and let in glorious sunshine during winter.
Ensuring your walls, floors and ceilings are thoroughly insulated will reduce the amount of heat passing into and out of your home, saving you up to 40 per cent on your energy bills. In winter, it will mean that, once heated, a space will maintain its temperature for longer.
Windows are another common place for heat loss and gain in a house. Where your windows will be situated is one of the first things you should think about when building or renovating. In Albury, north-facing windows should account for about 75 per cent of the wall area, as they let in more winter heat during the day than they lose at night. Conversely, avoid having large windows on the southern side of your house. Double-glazing can also dramatically reduce heat loss, as can thermally efficient windows or blinds.
You can be as careful as possible with the above factors, but choosing building materials with high embodied energies can diminish, or even cancel out, much of their impact. Embodied energy is the energy used over a material’s lifecycle, from processing to delivery at your door. Generally, the more processing a material requires, the higher its embodied energy. Try to choose durable building materials that are easy to recycle and locally sourced.
Organic material collected in your green lidded bin gets turned into quality compost. This is a valuable resource for the agriculture, horticulture and viticulture industry.
When organic materials are not composted and buried in traditional landfill it adds pressure on already-limited landfill space.
The Kitchen Caddy
Kitchen Caddies (bench top ‘mini-bins’) are available to all households. These are a clean and easy way to collect organics, especially indoors. They come with an annual supply of Council approved Halve Waste compostable liners that can be tied up when full and placed directly into the green lidded bin.
Compostable can be defined as materials that break down and return to the environment, however, they also provide the environment with nutrients once completely decomposed.
All residents in Albury, Federation, Wodonga and Indigo Shire Councils are provided with a year’s supply of compostable liners annually. Please remember that the compostable liners supplied by your local council are the only liners you can use. Sadly, biodegradable, degradable or normal plastic bags or bin liners DO NOT DECOMPOSE and can actually contaminate the contents of the
green lidded organic bin.
If you run out of liners, you can line your kitchen caddy with paper towel, newspapers or empty organic materials straight into your organics bins. Small rolls (25 liners) are also available, free of charge, from your local council.
Energy from waste keyboard_arrow_right
The Albury Renewable Energy Hub
Landfill gas is a potent greenhouse gas which is 25 times more harmful to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. From power generation activities alone the facility will reduce nearly 54,000 tonnes of carbon (CO2e) from being emitted each year.
In 2019 the addition of a 1.1MW (AC) solar PV system, consisting of approximately 4,000 solar panels, brought the total installed capacity of the site to 2.2MW.
The solar panels alone generate emissions-free energy to power about 400 homes.They also power an electric vehicle super charger allowing the community to charge their electric cars with clean energy.
The Albury Renewable Energy Hub will be capable of generating approximately 11,200MWh of renewable electricity each year, which is enough to power more than 1,900 homes and over 5,000 electricity users in the local community. This is the equivalent to charging 225,000 electrical vehicles each year.
When compared to a traditional coal-fired power station generating the same amount of electricity, the Albury Renewable Energy Hub will also save nearly 25 million litres of water each year.
We are excited to partner with LMS Energy and Joule Energy on this project.