News & Media

World Environment Day 2014

By: Darlene Pentland

Category: Environment

  1.42 PM 30 May, 2014

Location: General

Views: 25379

Every day, in every way, our actions impact the environment. Whether you are at home, in the office or on station everything you do has an impact on the environment.

World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ global day of awareness and action for the environment. It is the people’s day for doing something positive for the environment, spurring individual actions into a collective power that generates a positive impact on the planet.

CFA is recognised for our role in environment protection. We have a good understanding of the environmental implications of our operations – in vegetation management, dealing with chemical emergencies, and in water use. We are now working toward better understanding our environmental impact through monitoring and reporting energy efficiency performance in our buildings and fleet. We are continually looking for ways to reduce our use of resources and better manage the waste we generate.

So, what can you do for World Environment Day? Take a look through the list below and make a PLEDGE TO DO SOMETHING POSITIVE for the environment this year. At home, in the office and on station you can make a difference. Individually your efforts may seem small, but collectively we can achieve some very real results.  

Make your World Environment Day pledge today at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pledges for home – choose one or choose many:

  • Use less electricity by using natural light at home whenever possible
  • Switch off lights as you leave a room
  • Replace inefficient incandescent and halogen light globes with energy efficient
    globes such as LEDs or compact fluorescent light globes
  • Close blinds, curtains, windows and doors on cold days to keep the heat in, and in
    summer use outside shading to keep the sun off the glass
  • Draught proof your home by installing seals around windows and doors
  • Insulate your home – aim for well-insulated ceilings and walls and windows that keep out
    heat and cold
  • Monitor the temperature gauge – every 1⁰C increase in winter heating or decrease in summer cooling can add up to 10% to the running costs of air conditioning
  • Dress for the weather – in winter wear extra layers inside and keep your air conditioning thermostat to 18⁰ – 20⁰C. In summer, wear lighter clothing and set cooling to 24°C – 26°C
  • Wash your clothes in cold water and use clothes lines or racks to dry clothes
  • Check the temperature of water coming from your hot water tap – higher water temperature = higher energy use and costs. Hot water heaters should be set to no less than 60⁰C
  • Only heat/cool rooms when people are using them – don’t leave the air conditioner on when you are out
  • Switch off electrical appliances at the wall when not in use
  • Check fridge/freezer door seals are intact; ensure there is adequate ventilation space around fridges/freezers and wipe dust from exposed coils
  • Adjust fridge/freezer thermostat to operate at optimal temperature ranges: 3 to 5⁰C (fridge) and -15 to -18⁰C (freezer)
  • Give your second fridge a winter break (or give it away all together). Fridges running 24/7, 365 days a year can be the most expensive pieces of electrical equipment to run – especially if they are old and inefficient
  • Plan your weekly meals before going grocery shopping – only buy what you need, preferably locally grown produce
  • Eat vegetarian meals more often – vegie based meals have a lower carbon
    footprint than a meat-based diet
  • Take reusable shopping bags when you go to the supermarket
  • Purchase white goods (fridges, dishwashers, washing machine etc.) with the highest number of energy rating label stars – more stars = more energy efficient appliance with cheaper ongoing running costs
  • When using a kettle, only boil the amount of water needed for your cup of tea/coffee
  • Install water efficient shower heads (your local Council or water authority may have these free-of-charge) and take shorter showers
  • Opt for electronic instead of paper bills and account statements
  • Place a ‘no junk mail’ sticker on your letterbox
  • Find out when the next ‘Detox your home’ collection service is in your area (this is a free service that enables householders to safely dispose of potentially dangerous household chemicals and selected products such as paint, household batteries, CFLs) 
  • Join a local environmental interest group - in person or online - and get involved in their efforts to promote a more sustainable way of life
  • Participate in a local environmental activity – Ride to Work Day, Earth Hour, National Tree Day, Clean Up Australia Day
  • If there are no local environmental interest groups or activities near you, start one
  • Work out your household ecological footprint with EPA’s online ‘Australian Greenhouse Calculator’

Pledges for the office – let your colleagues know what you’re doing:

  • Bring a reusable water bottle to work and choose tap water wherever possible
  • Bring rubbish-free lunches to work – no plastic wrap, in a reusable lunchbox
  • Keep a "takeaway kit" at your work desk to minimize your use of disposable plastic – it could contain cutlery, a ‘Keep cup’ and lunchbox
  • Find out what can be recycled at your office/workplace – e.g.  paper/cardboard, plastic packaging & bottles, batteries, mobile phones, printer cartridges, polystyrene, e-waste etc.
  • Set up recycling programs if they are not already established
  • Do not print – read documents and emails on your computer or tablet
    whenever possible
  • Set printer to automatically print double sided and in black only
  • Proof read and ‘print preview’ before printing to reduce waste
  • Leave your car at home whenever you can – take public transport, car
    pool, ride a bike or walk to work instead
  • Car pool with colleagues when travelling between workplaces
  • Use ‘energy saver’ or ‘standby’ modes on photocopiers and printers
  • Lighting can contribute up to 65% of energy use in offices – make sure lights are turned off when the room is not in use
  • Install motion-sensor lighting at less utilized areas – store rooms,toilets, meeting rooms
  • Arrange teleconference or video conference calls, Skype and Citrix ‘Go To’ meetings wherever possible
  • Computers and office equipment typically use up to 55% of energy use in offices – ensure your office equipment are ENERGY STAR enabled to ‘go to sleep’ when not in use
  • Set PCs/laptops to energy-saving mode after a couple of minutes of inactivity (note: using a screen saver does not reduce energy use)
  • Remember to switch off computer monitor(s) at the end of the workday
  • Check your ZIP boiling unit is not set to boil water 24/7 – enable the unit to switch off out-of-hours. 
  • Set up a compost system for kitchen food-scraps at work
  • Create a ‘green team’ at work
  • Tell your story – if you are doing something good for the environment, let everyone know about it. Submit articles online to CFA News & Media

On station pledges – collective efforts will get better results:

  • Ensure there are no lights left on 24/7 – switch all lights off as the last person leaves
  • Maximize the use of natural light by keeping blinds and curtains open whenever possible
  • Set all electronic office equipment to energy saving mode
  • Put up ‘switch off’ reminders on appliances and light switches
  • Unplug chargers (mobile phone/laptop etc.) when not in use
  • Keep external doors/windows closed during high and low temperatures – keep engine bay doors closed as much as possible
  • Monitor the air conditioner temperature – set winter heating to 18⁰ – 20⁰C and summer cooling to 24°C – 26°C
  • When purchasing office supplies and equipment look for independently certified, environmentally preferred options  
  • Encourage members to use electronic forms of communication – email, paging, Facebook page etc.
  • Link fax machines to email to reduce the printing of documents
  • Only print when necessary – print double sided to save on paper consumption; and print in black only to consume less ink
  • Carry out a fridge audit on station – do you use all your fridges? Do they all need to be left witched on during winter? Are they set to optimal temperature ranges and are the seals intact?
  • Establish a ‘comingled’ recycling program, if one does not already exist – local Councils usually collect bottles, cans, cardboard & plastic containers free-of-charge
  • Install signage on rubbish and recycling bins - educate members to ‘do the right thing, use the right bin’
  • Collect and recycle other materials where possible – check” Recycling Near You” website for where to recycle old office equipment, whitegoods, batteries, printer toner cartridges, packaging etc. in your area
  • Bring a reusable KeepCup for takeaway coffee; use mugs and washable plates and cutlery rather than disposable plastic or polystyrene ones
  • If your station has a rainwater tank, use tank water when possible – watering gardens, for training exercises and vehicle cleaning – investigate if tank water can be used for any other purpose such as toilet flushing
  • Increase biodiversity around the station – access “Landscaping for bushfire” on CFA intranet – select fire wise, local plants for garden beds
  • Include environmental or cultural heritage considerations in pre-planning exercises
  • Encourage carpooling to training and events at other stations
  • Establish an environment leader position on BMT
  • Tell your story – if your Brigade is doing something good for the
    environment, let everyone know about it. Submit articles online to CFA News
    & Media

Don’t forget to tell people about your positive actions for the environment and make your World Environment Day pledge at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Last Updated: 03 June 2014