At home, work and school

The Great Barrier Reef really is closer than you think. What you do at home, work and at school can affect the Reef.

Together, we can all make a difference by looking after the Reef and helping protect the animals and plants that call it home and the heritage and lifestyle that is important to us.

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

At home

  • Recycle what you can - for example, plastics, paper, batteries and mobile phones
  • Buy food and products with minimal or no packaging, or packaging that can be recycled
  • 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
  • Wash your car on the lawn, not on the driveway or road, to minimise detergent runoff into drains
  • Operate your dishwasher and washing machine only when you have a full load
  • Use environmentally-friendly cleaners and fertilisers
  • Keep gutters, sinks and drains free of chemicals and rubbish as what washes down sinks and drains could end up on the Reef
  • Minimise water runoff by planting trees, garden beds and ground cover around your home
  • Use re-useable shopping bags rather than plastic bags
  • Participate in community clean-up days
  • Open windows and catch the breeze rather than using an air conditioner
  • Clean filters in your air conditioner and dishwasher regularly so they run efficiently
  • Install energy efficient lighting and appliances such as induction cook tops
  • Donate quality second hand furniture, household items and clothing to charity organisations, rather than sending it to landfill
  • Share these messages and your knowledge about the Great Barrier Reef with others.

At work

  • Encourage recycling in the office environment
  • Only order the stationery you need
  • Think about what documents you print and utilise 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
  • Reduce energy consumption by switching off lights when you are not in your office
  • Turn your computer monitor off when not in use
  • Have your air conditioner maintained regularly.

At school

  • Encourage recycling and re-vegetation program
  • Reduce plastic use in your school / conduct a waste audit
  • Conserve and manage water and energy use in school buildings
  • Hold a clean-up day at your school, park, creek, beach or oval
  • Form an environmental committee in your school to try and make your school sustainable
  • Join the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Reef Guardian Schools program (if your school is in the catchment region).
  • Use the 'at home' messages at your school - get everyone involved.

Out and about

  • Take your rubbish home with you
  • If you see rubbish, pick it up and recycle or dispose of it thoughtfully.