The Rotary Club of Warragul’s Environment Committee are now bringing to club members an environmental mini talk on the second Tuesday of the month.

The February talk was about the Club's pollinator pledge and Tony and Di's bee friendly garden. In March Andrea spoke about what being carbon neutral meant to her (see details below).

In April, Teresa will speak about an app that helps people buy directly from producers thus reducing food miles. Geoff will speak in May about the waste to energy project at Maryvale.

Being Carbon Neutral for Andrea

For me being carbon neutral is being in balance with nature's carbon cycle.

In nature, plants absorb carbon dioxide to grow. They are then eaten or die and decay releasing carbon back into the atmosphere.

The natural balance is being changed by the use of fossil fuels. Carbon locked away millions of years ago is being released back into the air.

I am trying to be carbon neutral by making sure the carbon I am responsible for releasing into the air is reabsorbed in my lifetime.

Four important ways to do this are to:

·      Reduce consumption

·      Use renewable energy

·      Buy carbon offsets to meet the gap

·      Eat lower in the food chain

My husband Darold and I started by improving our home's energy efficiency. We enjoy comfortable living temperatures with less electricity used for heating and cooling. To slow down unwanted heat loss or gain, we:

·      Wrapped the house in insulating materials

·      Sealed gaps 

·      Installed external window blinds to control when the sun's heat enters the house

To neutralise our carbon from fuel for the car we purchased a hybrid vehicle to reduce petrol use and we pay Greenfleet to plant and maintain trees to absorb carbon.

How we eat makes a difference. Buying local reduces food miles and the carbon emitted during transport. Growing some of your own food and eating less meat also helps.

Powered by the sun – zero electricity coming from the grid to run the dishwasher