Families Go Green

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					Sustainable Living
in the Valley

Families Go Green
We get it. You’re bringing up the kids, going to work and     So far, we’ve run the program in Frankston, Ballarat,
paying the bills. It’s pretty hard to find the time to think   Colac, Bannockburn and Haddon and the families
about safeguarding the environment… especially if you’re      tell us they’ve learnt “heaps of helpful ways to save
renting or don’t have much money or time to spare.            water and energy”. (The kids think the herb pots they
                                                              took home were pretty cool, too.)
Environment Victoria’s Families Go Green program works
with families like yours, demonstrating cheap and easy        We’re planning to run several workshop series
things that everyone can do at home. We help families         in Moe and Morwell in 2009 and 2010. When
not only reduce their environmental impact, but also save     we run Families Go Green we partner with local
money off their bills. And we do it while entertaining the    organisations to ensure the workshops are tailored
kids with fun and educational environmental activities.       to the needs and interests of the local community.
                                                              We’re finalising our partners for Families Go Green
The project consists of a series of two free workshops,       in the Latrobe Valley, which means we haven’t set
where participants learn about sustainability and what        dates yet, but you can expect to see these soon.
they can do, receive materials to help them look at their
own home’s environmental impact, and take home a set
of water and energy saving devices for free. We use local
volunteers to help us run the workshops, which helps
them build confidence and skills, and learn a lot about
sustainability along the way.

  If you are interested in finding out more about Families Go Green, or are interested in
  being a participant, volunteer, or even a partner organisation, contact Kate Senko
  on 5136 3504 or
  or visit
A taster of Families Go Green – Fridges!
Besides learning about sustainability in workshops, Families Go Green participants receive an audit
booklet, which helps them do a sustainability audit of their homes. To get a feel for how this works, here
is one of the audit questions about fridges. See which of the descriptions below best describes your
fridge use. If it’s in the ‘Not So Good’ column, check out some of the suggestions on how you could run
your fridge more efficiently and save energy.

                                Which of these columns best describes
         Questions                                                                         Suggestions
                                             your fridge?

  What is the temperature        NOT SO GOOD            GOOD                     • Turn your fridge down to 4˚ C
  setting on your fridge?      • Running at less      • Set at 4˚C                 (the recommended operating
                                 than 3˚C.                                         temperature for a fridge).
  How is it placed? Do the                            • Placed with good
                               • Located in a           ventilation              • Ensure the coils (at the back of
  doors seal effectively?
                                 small space                                       the fridge) are well ventilated so
                                                      • Effective door seals.      heat can dissipate, increasing
                                 with little air
                                 circulation.         • No direct sunlight on      efficiency.
                                                        fridge.                  • Ensure the coils are free from
                               • Poor door seals.
                                                      • Food allowed to            dust, webs and kitchen grease.
                               • Sun shining on         cool before being          (IMPORTANT: Turn the fridge off
                                 the fridge.            refrigerated.              at the wall before cleaning the
                               • Hot foods placed                                  coils.)
                                 in fridge.                                      • Maintain the door seals so cool

                                                                                                                        Printed on 100% recycled paper
                                                                                   air cannot escape. Wipe them
                                                                                   regularly, replace them if worn.
                                                                                 • Make sure fridge doors are
                                                                                   always sealed shut.
                                                                                 • Always let hot food cool before
                                                                                   placing it in the fridge.

Taking on these suggestions will make a good dint in
your greenhouse gas emissions… and help you save
money on your energy bills.

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