Its easy being green at Christmas

Green Santa launching the Sustainable Christmas project on Sunday in Ballina.

If youre driving around and notice little Green Santas adorning letterboxes, you know the owner of that home has agreed to take part in a new Sustainable Christmas project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A number of households in the Lismore, Ballina and Byron Council areas have been invited to participate, with their local council offering each home a free energy audit, Rous Water home tune-up, and a free bag of Christmas energy saving goodies. In return, home owners are asked for a commitment towards saving water, waste and energy around the home over the Christmas period and beyond with simple practical methods.

This year is a trial for the Sustainable Christmas project, and if successful, it may be offered to the wider community next year.

This is a new concept in environmental education, and one street in each local government area has been invited to participate, said Lismore City Councils environmental health officer, Sharyn Hunnisett. We hope that householders will really embrace the project and take on board our light-hearted energy-saving tips, which include measures as simple as recycling Christmas paper, switching to compact fluorescent bulbs, having shorter showers, and using timers on appliances and lights. Not only can they reduce greenhouse gas emissions but they can save money on energy bills too.

The rest of the community can become involved by following the tips in the Sustainable Christmas booklet available from the participating councils. Also, look out for competitions in coming weeks to spot the Green Santa in your council area, as you can win a free water and energy audit, and an energy savings goody bag.

Santa is going green in Trinity Drive, Lismore; Lakeview Circuit in Ballina; and in part of Baywood Chase, Suffolk Park.

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