At Home and the Office

The Great Barrier Reef really is closer than you think. What you do at home and in the office can affect the Reef and its resilience into the future.

Together, we can all make a difference by looking after the Reef and helping protect the animals and plants that call it home.

You can do your bit to keep it great by doing these simple things.

Responsible Reef Practices

Water and chemicals

  • Minimise your use of fertilisers and avoid wherever possible the use of herbicides and pesticides. Declining water quality from catchment runoff is one of the biggest risks facing the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Keep gutters, sinks and drains free of chemicals and rubbish as what washes down sinks and drains could end up on the Reef.
  • Wash your car on the lawn, not on the driveway or road, to minimise detergent runoff into drains.
  • Minimise water runoff by planting trees, garden beds and ground cover around your home.
  • Use environmentally-friendly cleaners.

Reducing, reusing and recycling

  • Recycle what you can - for example, plastics, paper, batteries and mobile phones. Avoid using bottled water, where possible. Buy food and products with minimal or no packaging, or packaging that can be recycled.
  • Use re-useable shopping bags rather than plastic bags.
  • Set up a worm farm and use the castings to fertilise your garden.
  • Compost fruit and vegetable scraps, shredded paper, grass clippings, leaves and cuttings (except noxious weeds and diseased cuttings), vacuum cleaner dust, used vegetable oil, tea leaves and bags, coffee grounds and egg shells.
  • Only order the stationery you need.
  • Think about what documents you print and use electronic publishing.
  • Take your own coffee mug instead of using polystyrene cups.
  • Re-use office paper – use recycled paper and promote double sided printing and copying.

Saving energy and reducing emissions

  • Choose energy efficient products, when you buy.
  • Use energy efficient lights and turn off lights and electrical devices, such as computers, when you can – at the switch is best.
  • Heat and cool your home and office naturally using ventilation and insulation.
  • Have your air conditioners maintained regularly.
  • Clean filters in your air conditioner and dishwasher regularly so they run efficiently.
  • Operate your dishwasher and washing machine only when you have a full load.
  • Dry clothes the natural way.
  • Drive less – car pool, use public transport, walk, ride or cycle and when flying purchase carbon offsets.
  • Plant trees – they take up carbon dioxide as they grow.
  • Reduce emissions by:
    • Increasing the temperature set on your air conditioners
    • Minimising your electricity consumption in buildings and infrastructure
    • Sourcing energy from renewable sources
    • Using electronic media or recyclable materials for marketing and promotion.

Community action

  • When out and about, if you see rubbish, pick it up and recycle or dispose of it thoughtfully.
  • Participate in community clean-up days.
  • Share these messages and your knowledge about the Great Barrier Reef with others.


  • Free Zoning Maps

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    If you're heading out on the water, don't forget your free Zoning Map so you know where you can go and what you can do.

  • Important milestone

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  • Report marine strandings

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