Living sustainably can be easier than you think!
There are both big and small changes you can make to your everyday life which can have a huge impact on your environmental footprint.
My Smart Garden
The program is managed by three local councils in inner west Melbourne - Moonee Valley, Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong.
Visit the My Smart Garden website for upcoming events and workshops, and resources!
Wildlife Friendly gardening
We encourage you to plant native vegetation in preference to introduced species. Gardens with plants indigenous to Moonee Valley provide many benefits to residents and our environment:
- Adapted to our soils and climate so will grow well without much attention
- Used to our rainfall trends and can usually tolerate dry conditions
- Provide habitat for native animals such as birds, mammals, lizards, insects and frogs
- Create connection to habitat in surrounding areas
- Low maintenance once established, only requiring a bit of pruning and weeding
Read more in our wildlife-friendly gardening guide (pdf, 5.6MB).
Moonee Valley Gardens for Wildlife Group
Gardens for Wildlife Victoria is a state-wide network of community groups and local government partnerships active in more than 25 municipalities across Victoria. Participants support each other to involve local residents, schools and businesses to join them in caring for the native plants and animals of our communities.
In Moonee Valley the aim is to establish a Gardens for Wildlife group of local volunteers. The volunteers will support residents and businesses in providing suitable habitat for encouraging & nurturing locally indigenous or native wildlife in private gardens.
It will involve a program to provide garden assessments from trained volunteers, along with further information and resources, to help locals to set an area aside in their garden for planting locally indigenous or selected Australian native plants.
Garden size is not important. Whether it is a suburban backyard, a school or community garden, a rooftop, or a balcony, everyone can help promote urban biodiversity.
By planting natives, gardens can be designed to attract birds, insects, butterflies, lizards and frogs.
You can join the Facebook group here www.facebook.com/GardensforWildlifeMV
Or you can write to let us know if you would like to be involved via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nature Strip Planting
Reducing plastic at home
Single-use plastic is hurting our environment and wildlife. Here's what you can do to reduce plastic at home:
Opt for refillable containers, bulk store products or make your own alternatives
Take reusable bags when you go grocery shopping
Say no to plastic cutlery
Avoid as much plastic packaging as you can when grocery shopping by using produce bags to package loose products
If your hosting an event, review our sustainable Events Toolkit
Take the challenge to reduce your plastic for a month (or more!) during Plastic free July each year.
Shop at the deli counter, butcher or fishmonger for paper wrapped cuts or BYO container
Avoid products with microbeads, visit the Beat the Microbead website for more information
Take a reusable coffee cup. Visits the Responsible Café website for a list of local cafes offering a discount for BYO cups
Blow bubbles not balloons at your next party.
Garden and food waste
Food scraps, coffee grounds and leftovers can now be included in green lid bins throughout Moonee Valley, reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.
They can be placed directly in the bin, or you can wrap them in one sheet of newspaper or paper towelling. The collected garden and food waste will be taken to the organics recycling facility at Bulla. The facility will transform garden and food waste into valuable compost, mulches and soil products. These products can then be used in agriculture and horticulture.
Find out what else can go in your green bin with our handy A-Z recycling guide.
Need to order a green bin? Apply for a 240L green-lid bin for your garden and food waste.
If you’re renting and would like a green-lid bin, please contact your landlord or leasing agent to request for the ratepayer to organise a bin for you
Saving water at home
Melbournians collectively consume an average of 980 million litres of water per day.
Making changes around the house can have a big impact on water supplies.
Here is what you can do to save water around the home:
- install a water efficient shower head
- collect rainwater
- look for the Smart Approved WaterMark
- install a dual flush toilet
Free shower head exchange
You can exchange your old showerhead for a free water efficient model, valued at $34.
To exchange your showerhead, visit Niddrie Library and:
- present your old showerhead and water bill
- complete a survey and permission form
- receive your new showerhead and information.
Customers can exchange one showerhead. Installation services are not provided. Instructions for installation come with the new showerhead.
Note: City West Water advises that people with gravity fed hot water systems should not change to a water efficient showerhead.
Permanent water use rules
The Victorian Government’s water saving rules are aimed at providing efficient, permanent state-wide rules.
These rules are in place at all times. Whenever water restrictions are also in place, the more severe rule or restriction applies.
Are you looking to buy a new rainwater tank? This great online tool will help you choose:
- the right size rainwater tank for where you live
- the best place to put your tank
- what materials you can select
- filtration options
- the best pump for your tank
Visit the tankulator to get started.
Saving energy at home
Some of the top tips for reducing energy consumption:
- switch off lights and appliances when not in use
- switch to energy-saving LED light globes
- line dry your clothing
- insulate your roof
- consider solar PV or hot water systems
Visit the Victorian Energy Saver website for more information.
Take a look at your electricity bills ans see how many kWh per day you are using. Compare this with the below figures.
Number of people living in your house daily electricity use range (Low range > High range)
- 1 person - 4kWh > 9kWh
- 2 people - 7kWh > 17kWh
- 3 people - 10kWh > 23kWh
- 4 people - 13kWh > 29kWh
- 5 people - 15kWh > 33kWh
- 6 people - 17kWh > 36kWh
Are you a high user of electricity? Check out our Household Electricity Consumption Fact Sheet to find out simple ways to save electricity at home.
Your home's energy rating
Thinking about solar?
Now is the perfect time to save money with solar. The Clean Energy Council offer advice for consumers including an accredited solar supplier list.
The Victorian Government is currently supporting residents reduce their energy bills through the Solar Homes package.
Watch Council’s solar and batteries webinar hosted by Renew HERE.
Home environment kit
Find out how your home is performing with our Home Environment Kit.
The Home Environment Kit contains the following equipment to help you find ways of saving energy and water around your home.:
- Energy smart thermometer - measures hot water temperature, room temperature, and fridge and freezer temperatures. You may have things hotter or colder than they need to be.
- Infra-red thermometer - measures surface temperatures such as walls and windows. You may be losing or gaining heat which can be fixed with insulation or shade.
- Energy monitor - measures energy consumption of your appliances to see which ones need to be used sparingly, and where standby power is being drawn needlessly.
- Light meter - to help apply the ideal light conditions in your home and using energy wisely.
- Water flow measure cup - to assess how much water your shower and taps use and to see whether you should reduce the flow rates.
To see how to use this kit, view this instruction video guide.
To book the kit, call your local library or place a request via the library catalogue.
Wanting to get around sustainably?
We encourage local residents and businesses to consider car sharing as a sustainable transport option.
Interested in buying an electric vehicle? Watch Council’s recent EV webinar HERE.
Flexicar provides four share cars in Moonee Valley.
Car Next Door operates a neighbour-to-neighbour car sharing network.
Sign up to the program as either an owner willing to share your car or as a borrower on the Car Next Door website or call .
Become a Sustainability Champion
Are you keen on sustainability and making a difference in your neighbourhood?
If you live, work or study in Moonee Valley, our Sustainability Champions program can give you the skills you need to help shape a clean, green and beautiful city.
It’s also a great opportunity to connect with other people interested in the environment.
So if you’re interested in climate change, community gardening, clean energy, green travel, sharing economy, waterway health, reducing plastics, ecology, upcycling and more, why not take this chance to further your skills and make new friends?
Our previous champions were responsible for some amazing projects including:
- Moonee Valley Repair Café
- Earth Crusaders – Children’s eco incursions and workshops
- Clean Green Sharing Machine – an online bulk buy group for Moonee Valley.
- Moonee Valley Gardens for Wildlife
- Environment Book Club
- Waste Wise Canteens
- Bushland Initiative
- Coffee Grounds Collective
- My Local Village
- Nature Strip Gardening Initiative
What do champions get?
You’ll get 10 weeks of training, expert presentations, community activities and project support.
During this time you’ll learn about sustainability issues, leadership, communications, project delivery and advocacy.
Plus, you’ll meet a great network of other community and environmentally-minded people.
Throughout training, you’ll be encouraged to develop local project ideas of your own or as a team with the support of the program facilitator.
There will also be a graduation ceremony to celebrate your achievements.
What participants from 2020 are saying
“It has exceeded my expectations. Very well facilitated with a good selection of topics. I also like how a lot of the content and speakers are local, which makes things very real and relevant.”
“Wonderful program that was the springboard for so many ideas and conversations. Would highly recommend champs to anyone with an interest in sustainability”
“Thank you so much! The whole program had such a warm, fun and supportive atmosphere, and I learned a lot.”
“My Highlight of 2020! If living sustainably is a passion of yours & climate change is a concern of yours, then I highly recommend this course!”
Draft program for 2021
May – June: Training Weeks 1-5
- Weekly after-hours sessions (Thursdays, 6:15 pm – 8:15 pm).
July: Mid program break
- Time for independent or group work to develop your own projects ideas Support from program facilitator and Council officer.
July – August: Training Weeks 6-10
- Weekly after-hours sessions (Thursdays, 6:15 pm – 8:15 pm).
- Celebration Ceremony.
How do I apply?
Applications for the 2021 program are now open.
Register your expression of interest HERE by Friday 26 February 2021.
If you have any enquiries please email us at email@example.com