Just Watched David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, Let's Talk Being Sustainable!

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet


I have just watched this on Netflix and I have to say that it was worth the watch. It really puts it into perspective on how the world has changed and how we contributed to it, the effects and consequences of our advances.

In such, it has got me thinking on how I can be sustainable and help. I want to know what you are currently or planning to do to also achieve sustainability, no matter how small the action or goal, it is worth speaking about as I do believe that we are going to F' this planet up sooner rather than later.

Things that I will consider to help in the long run;

  • Solar Panels
  • Hybrids or full electric car
  • Growing vegetable garden, produce own at home

Yes I know that the effects of manufacturing can outweigh the benefits, but it will help pave the way for the future and as we advance in technology I believe this could be overcome.

All we require is…



  • +31 votes

    Buy eneloops instead of disposable batteries.

  • +18 votes

    Compost your food waste

  • Buying less clothes
    Avoid plastic packaged fruit and vege
    Use public transport when possible

    • buy less

      • Yea cheers mate. Learning English is hard.

      • Reduce

        So many people think the last option is the bees knees… "It's recyclable!"

        Yes, but recycling is the LAST option in reducing waste. Not generating the waste in the first place is the first option!

        • The issue with Recycling is what do you do with the product. For example soft plastics are cheaper to buy new raw material than recycled. So it does not make financial sense.
          Unless there is some stewardship program to help pay for the cost of recycling it wont happen.
          Look at all the glass that is stored everywhere, and glass is the most recyclable product around.

          • @MechEng:

            For example soft plastics are cheaper to buy new raw material than recycled. So it does not make financial sense.
            Look at all the glass that is stored everywhere, and glass is the most recyclable product around.

            I thought aluminium was the most recycled for the exact reason you stated above - it's cheaper to recycle it than to make new aluminium.

            Edit: hmm… most recycled vs most recyclable.

            • @Chandler: Yes, aluminium and copper are the most recycled materials. This is mostly due to the high cost of refining new material. Lead is also surprisingly high in the list of most recycled.
              These metals have losts of over 20% when recycling.
              Glass on the other hand is almost 99% recycled, so very little is lost. The cost of recycling glass is higher than producing glass from virgin materials.

      • Buy fewer

      • fewer not less

  • I try to repurpose electronics wherever I can.

    7-year old TP-link Archer DSL modem router is being used as a Gigabit switch. It gets so hot you could probably cook eggs on it's chipset.

    10-year-old Radeon HD6850 in my very modern Ryzen 7-3700x PC with 16GB of RAM. It outputs a displayport signal and that's all I need it to do. Catalyst driver is outdated and there's a good chance I need to reboot Windows if the driver crashes repeatedly.

    Nintendo Wii for Wii Sports. How old is this console again? lost count. I upgraded it with a HDMI cable and use Bathaxx method for jailbreaking. It's so old that the rubber feet on it has turned into a liquid and had to be wiped away with paper towels.

    Resisting the urge to upgrade to every new phone and instead upgrading on a 3-year cycle and replacing the battery on the old phone so I can keep it as a burner phone.

    • burner phone

      That raises real questions

      What lovely things are you dabbling in? 😀😀😀

    • Current frustration for me is sustainability vs cybersecurity. Latter used to be just a software issue, but now "old, unsupported hardware" with unpatched firmware vulnerabilities (or even hardware ones - thanks, Intel) are pushing the hardware upgrade cycle.

      The market does a poor job incentivising long term support to address both concerns. Reviewers rarely talk about it and hardly anyone asks about it in deal comments here.

      • Part of it is, it's not very popular even in the IT segment, where progression and "the next big thing" always get the mindshare of professionals. So there's little room for the marketers, and mainstream reviewers to consider it.

        The best way forward would be to have designated recycling that specializes in electronics. And enact new laws that prohibit Planned Obselence. This goes against the free- market, but that itself could (and should) adapt to the new modem conditions.

        Specialized recycling so that some parts can be salvaged directly, others are broken down, melted, made into new. Our current model is a mixture of burying it with garbage, remaking some of it, and shipping tonnes of it to third-world nations.

      • Whilst I agree, there are some options if you buy the right hardware. Have a look at LineageOS which you can install on older hardware, with constant security updates and vastly more private than either Android or iOS.

      • Thing is, that 'old outdated firmware/hardware' is a security risk…. until it gets so vintage no one will have any idea how to crack it. So it's only a matter of time before that outdated hardware becomes a fortress.

    • It gets so hot you could probably cook eggs on it's chipset.

      You're contributing to global warming in your own way…

  • No sex

    The greatest impact on environment is humans, and we have too many.

    It’s that simple.

    • Covid has helped a bit with the pop numbers, but will be cancelled out by all the bonking during lockdown. We are stuffing up this planet

    • Same-sex sex is 99.99% safe for the 🌍.

    • Anyone who believes the planet is overpopulated is free to make the ultimate sacrifice for the rest of us…

      • I'm happy to donate towards your darwin award application.

      • You seriously "believe" the planet isn't overpopulated? You've never travelled overseas have you?

        We can't even properly sustain the current population, a billion people have no access to clean drinking water.

        • Our current problems are more system issues than resource issues. We have plenty of resources for people to live a modest life. Enough for more people than we already have!

          We don't have enough resources for 8 billion people living like Australians or Americans - buying lots of New Stuff and shipping it across the world, driving and flying everywhere, eating meat sometimes multiple times a day.

        • Having no drinking water available isn't because its not there, it's because those that have it (Or money more to the fact) to share it with everyone.

          1st world countries wastes A LOT of clean water.

        • Well Sydney dams are 97% full. Hopefully they will release enough water so the dams are not too close to capacity.

    • It's already too late. Nothing we do will stop it.

      The planet will be fine, sure some existing species will become extinct, but eventually new ones will fill the gaps. The real question (for us), is whether we can survive the inevitable wars over resources. If water and food become scarce, it will be on like donkey kong.

    • +2 votes

      “Roll down the rubber man … roll it down”

    • Or if it's too late, the Prius Solution.

    • The world's population is projected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, 9.7 billion by 2050 and exceed 11 billion in 2100…

    • Agreed, we need to stop manufacturing medicine for the 3rd world.

    • education already does that but lets keep cutting it so more babies

    • This is OzBargain, that isn't a problem here.

    • Vasectomies are cheap and on a cost-per-use basis, practically free over the course of a lifetime.

    • Reuse condoms?

    • You don't have to go that far. Just use withdrawal method.

  • +28 votes

    Things I do:
    - don’t buy fruit and veg wrapped in plastic
    - use reusable cloths instead of wipes for cleaning
    - work from home some of the time (saves commuting)
    - try not to buy unnecessarily imported foods
    - buy at least 50% of clothes from op shop
    - recycle (including soft plastic)
    - compost food scraps
    - don’t buy unnecessarily imported food
    - walk for local travel e.g. to the shops, beach, parks etc

    Things I could/should do but don’t (complete with poor but relatable excuses):
    - reusable nappies (Despite what the converts say, these are a lot of work and the set up cost is high, especially if you make a few purchasing mistakes)
    - share commute with husband (syncing our start and finish times has been tricky)
    - eat more vegetarian meals (used to be vego, then ate 80% vego, now most main meals include meat for the sake of easy, tasty, filling family meals)
    - cycle to work (too hot, dangerous and weather dependent + need to pick kiddo up who is untested as a 30-40min bike passenger)
    - always buy locally produced food (sometimes the overseas version is better e.g. dr oetker pizza, Rana pasta)
    - use public transport (where I live it would double to triple travel times)

    Things I’d like to do:
    - get roof top solar
    - hopefully next car will be electric

    TBH I would have to completely change the way I live to truely improve my impact on the environment. It is definitely a balance between convenience, comfort and sustainability and at the moment I’m not doing the best I could for the planet. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Great job, but your last part is incorrect. A little from a lot makes a big difference. It's not on one person to do it all themselves

      • its actually more about changing industry as all of personal consumption is very minor BUT if we are doing better personally then everyone can cancel culture industry

    • Thanks for avoiding unnecessarily imported food twice!

      • Hahaha, yeah I noticed that after it was too late to edit - must have been on my mind. It does actually bother me quite a bit when it’s things like brioche imported from France. I get that not everything can be done locally, but the fuel used to transport some things baffles me.

    • - try not to buy unnecessarily imported foods
      - buy at least 50% of clothes from op shop
      - recycle (including soft plastic)
      - compost food scraps
      - don’t buy unnecessarily imported food

      So which one is it?

    • Can you please elaborate on how imported food can cause harm to the environment


      • Emissions from the fuel/energy used to transport it more info here: https://www.theconsciouschallenge.org/ecologicalfootprintbib...
        I’m not by any means advocating for no international food trade, but I think when something can be produced locally it seems odd to transport across the globe. The types of things that bother me are things like imported cherries from the US instead of just having what is in season or things that could be made locally and are probably being sold below production/transport costs due subsidies in their country of origin e.g. premade croissants from France.
        I do buy imported food, but wish there were some better Aussie options so I’d be less inclined to or would buy less.

        • Not that important compared to changing your diet:

          "In a study published in Environmental Science & Technology, Christopher Weber and Scott Matthews (2008) investigated the relative climate impact of food miles and food choices in households in the US.[5] Their analysis showed that substituting less than one day per week’s worth of calories from beef and dairy products to chicken, fish, eggs, or a plant-based alternative reduces GHG emissions more than buying all your food from local sources."

    • reusable nappies

      How do you clean them? What do you do with your washing machine grey (now brown) water? Or do you pre-soak? How do you dispose of your poo/pre-soak combo?

      Disposable nappies are mostly paper with a little plastic. Yes they take energy to make and transport, but it is about the same as washing reusables.

      Reusable vs disposable basically comes down to would you rather pollute land with poo and plastic or water with cleaning chemicals (the poo should be treated from washing at the sewerage plant).

      • There’s a massive following for reusable nappies. There’s all kinds of wash routines, here’s some general info https://www.babycenter.com.au/a1052701/how-to-wash-cloth-nap...

        We decided it was too much for us on top of having a new baby. There’s actually a fair bit of judgement out there for us disposable nappy users, although I think we are the majority. I’d say on the whole though reusable nappies are better for the environment, especially if you consider the resources that go into manufacturing the disposables that only get used once.

        • Read that link.

          "60 degree washes."

          "Outside laundry service is more efficient than home washing."

          "Dump waste into sewerage, including hot water, detergent, bicarb soda and vinegar."

          "Wash separately, a maximum of 24 at a time."

          "Dry with a dryer to prevent stiffness."

          None of those tips are environmentally friendly. The impact is approximately the same unless you cold wash and line dry. But that is half an hour away from your new born every day…

          Most mom's want to do what is best for their children. Some will clutch at straws and make their life hell by using reusable nappies. Others prefer to spend that time with their kids.

          • @This Guy: Yeah, I tend to agree that there’s a lot of negatives to reusable, time being the major one. Hence we’re on disposables. I do cold wash and line dry for everything else, and it does get baby poop off clothes, so I’m guessing it would work for nappies. the eco-credentials as you say are borderline. Most brands have hard plastic snaps, which won’t biodegrade when the nappy eventually wears out etc. I do have a reusable swim nappy for bub which I was given and it’s an epic battle getting the snaps done up on a squirmy baby compared to the sticky tabs on the disposables. I don’t know if you’re a parent but there’s a bunch of people who shame you for using disposables. I do think a lot of the cloth nappy people are into it for non eco reasons too, e.g. collecting the cute prints, hanging out in cloth nappy Facebook groups bagging ‘sposi’ users as they call us. I guess my point was there is a bunch of things I could do which would be more eco, but for a number of reasons, like these I don’t.

            • @morse: It's a hard period of life. But on the bright side, the reusable warriors are toxic gate keepers. It helps narrow down which people in your circle are reliable support people and which are unreliable narcissists.

              Don't get me wrong, their are plenty of parents who use reusable nappies who are fine. I am only talking about the vocal, insensitive karens, who have usually gone though child birth and should know better than to dump their baggage on their so called friends while they are trying to acclimatise to the changes children bring.

              • @This Guy:

                the reusable warriors are toxic gate keepers

                Looks like you're into some mild gatekeeping as well

                Some will clutch at straws and make their life hell by using reusable nappies. Others prefer to spend that time with their kids.

                • @dinna89: Have you been pressured by 'friends' to use reusable nappies? It is more time with baby poo. It is more time away from bubs. And if you wash in cold water with no fabric softener and line dry you risk irritating your babies behind. If you don't there is minimal environmental benefit. If you follow the advice linked above it is significantly environmentally worse.

                  The few mothers who I have known to go full reusable suffered from postnatal depression. It was clearly not the cause, but being bullied into wasting half an hour each day they could have used looking after themselves can't have helped.

          • @This Guy: We used cloth nappies for our first born, even that it was an effort on me ( coz she had baby blue,it was tough … ). We always and have been line dry, it is a culture thing I guess. Then with our 2nd baby we go with disposable nappies.

            Most mom's want to do what is best for their children …. Others prefer to spend that time with their kids.

            True, when our second child got home. I tried to asked my wife to use the cloth to maximize to value, that didnt went down too well lol

            • @frewer:

              True, when our second child got home. I tried to asked my wife to use the cloth to maximize to value, that didnt went down too well lol

              The private school fight is the best. Send the kids to one of the best schools in the state and never see them because you're both always working or have family time.

    • Invest in this one https://gosun.co/products/fusion, I have one work likes a champ. Im not into the whole narrative of global warming though. But that oven will cut my gas bill down a lot

    • reusable nappies

      We used disposable nappies and toilet trained early. Daughter only needed infant nappies and son some of the ones after.

      And except for initial months it was just to catch pee so we saved them for disposable mops - a second use!

      • I’m quite interested in early toilet training but I think I left it a little late (14months). Any tips?

        • +2 votes

          This is what we did; other kids might be used to doing it in nappies so YMMV. I don't have any experience toilet training older kids.

          Get the kids to use this $5 Ikea potty as early as possible - ours started after a month or so and their feet couldn't reach table that the potty was on. They'll get into a routine with No. 2's (e.g. my youngest always does his when he wakes up, and rarely an extra one during the day).

          Observe the child's peeing process by letting them go nappy free for a couple of days - e.g. on a rug, to understand. It was an eye opener for my first when she did a small pee 20 minutes after I gave her one in the morning before she was 6 months. A lady on here told me kids don't pee when they sleep - that was the case with my first; but they pee if they wake up in the middle of the night (second). Accidents happen, especially when they are engrossed in play when young. Use used nappies to mop up the pee.

          We had an odd philosophy/approach compared to most parents, but it worked for us. Except the first week we never carried nappies outside when they were young and never changed them in a change room. It was much easier to get them to pee behind trees, and in the change room, etc. (when young you've got to hold them by the thighs with their backs leaning against your chest for both boys and girls). Even when they were wearing nappies in the initial months, if I had time I'd whip it off and let them pee and that's how they got used to it. It's much quicker to do this than to constantly change nappies, wipe, etc.

          We also only used a pram for the first week of the oldest; did in-arm carrying and let them sleep in Ergobaby carrier all other times. This might have made it easier - so everything we did reinforced everything else.

      • Even better: Pee into your veggie garden to get turbo food!

        • Yes, on the compost heap or dried leaves to provide the nitrogen; veg can't stand consistent peeing on - needs dilution; trees okay.

    • You should get an ebike! Or convert your current bike to an ebike. Makes a 30 min bike commute a breeze and on it's honestly such a great way to start and finish the day, compared to driving.

      Great input in your comment tho.

  • Start the Veggie Tuesday movement. Then to Veggie Wednesday. You can still have meat lovers take out Friday.

    I think if it's easy to do or an incentive, your more likely to do these save the planet ideas. Vic aren't getting a cash for cans scheme for another 3 years. Joke. How hard is it.

  • +13 votes

    Looks the above comments have some good ideas but if you really want to make an immediate impact change your super to an ethical investment option and stop investing in fossil fuels and big 4 banks (as they do too). Also take care with your vote, Afterall scomo brought coal into parliament…

    • stop investing in fossil fuels

      What fuel do you suggest we use to run our smelters?

      • What's that got to do with investment of your money/super?… Move the money away and people will come up with alternatives.

        • That doesn't make any sense.

          How are investors supposed diversify to different fuel types when there are no financially sustainable alternatives?

          • @whooah1979: You don't need to create financially viable alternatives. It's about what can you do, not what the globe can do. If a relatively small % of Australians just moved their super it could make a meaningful impact.


            • @Tatt5: The purpose of investing is to accumulate gains. Dumping money in financial instruments that lose money is a sure way to see one's portfolio go to zero.

              • +12 votes

                @whooah1979: The purpose of this thread is about what we can do individually to move to a more sustainable world. And who's to say you can't have financial gains too, look at beta ETHI for this year https://www.marketindex.com.au/asx/ethi. My original point is you can do more overall positivity towards the world by changing your investments then planting carrots in your backyard.

                • @Tatt5: AAPL is at the top of ETHI. They are not going to change the world by not providing headphones and chargers.

                  They will keep selling their goods that require both aluminium and cobalt. One is extracted using massive smelters fuelled by the good old coal and the other is mined using child slavery.

                  Investors won't find that information in the prospectus.

              • @whooah1979: There are ethical funds and ETFs that make money though, they might not make as much money as funds that do what you want, but the question is around reducing your environmental impact not maximizing your future money.

          • @whooah1979: Yet. There are no financially sustainable alternatives yet.

    • What do you propose we sell to Toyota for their cars? Would you prefer to log our forests for charcoal? Or would you rather waste far more energy and demand foreign companies use aluminum instead of steel?

      You realise Australian coking coal layers can be 300m deep? Would you rather dig up magnitudes more of our country to extract alternatives?

      Burning coal for energy is stupid. And we should continue to develop alternatives to steel. But we will continue to need steel until we can make replacement materials cost and energy effectively.

    • If you really want to make an immediate impact change, the biggest one you can make is to stop consuming animal products.

    • Exactly, the reality of the situation is that big business has so much more impact on the environment then individuals do. I've seen estimates that Australians have like 2.7 trillion in Super, if a third of us switch our funds that's a trillion into ethical technology. Switching your super will have a much bigger impact than having a shorter shower, or eating less meat.

  • +3 votes

    it is worth speaking about as I do believe that we are going to F' this planet up sooner rather than later

    its inevitable based on the current political climate

    while making individual/consumer choices is a step in the right direction (so your 'how can i help' mentality is good), nothing of substance will change unless its a concerted effort by governments around the world.
    Currently happy kicking the can down the road.
    In the game of political rock paper scissor, economy beats environment generally

  • +15 votes

    4 R's we're doing now:

    • Reduce - Hardly bought any clothes last 5 years. A number of pants have worn out so have only bought 3 chinos & 3 jeans to rotate (and get free shipping with Uniqlo on sale). Donate lots of other pants slightly too big now. Reduced consumption of animal products in family (I'm almost completely whole food plant based). Buy a lot of "Odd Bunch"/"Savemes" from grocers - small, perceived old fruits/veg, which would otherwise be trashed. E.g. yesterday picked up perfect bag of 4 bunches of organic baby broccoli & broc and 1kg mixed tomatoes $3 each for stew just made last night. 15 year old car has done 50km - we walk a lot. Lots of health benefits to boot.

    • Reuse - Picked up lots of free very good quality furniture around our suburb last 5 years. Haven't bought furniture in decades except one Ikea kids wardrobe and drawer. All kitchen scraps go into compost to feed veg garden which is picked daily. Furniture, kids clothes, toys, books (also to street library) donated to Vinnies/Salvos/Red Cross. Sometimes I see such good quality stuff from council clean up when I go for a walk I take it to the op shops because I feel so bad.

    • Recycle - greens & browns (e.g. newspaper - have soy based ink) into garden, plastics & glass & metal, plastic bags to supermarkets. Electronic items stored to take to e-waste centre every now and then.

    • Rubbish - very little left

  • Wtf, 90% of the world pollution are done by companies. Most of world ocean litter? Fishing equipment. The governments need to not only arrest companies doing it but also stop encouraging pollution!!

    Coal for electricity example, heavily subsidised by LiberalLabor governments do way more pollution, maybe more than the potential combined effort of Australians reducing their footprint. Whats planned for future? Gas. Not solar in this sun country. Asinine!

    Leave my steaks alone. (profanity) polluting companies for brainwashing people into blaming themselves.

    • I can't wait to see the cops slap some handcuffs on a Pty Ltd company. Yes!

      • We jest but there is in fact established discussion of the 'corporate death penalty' - where companies committing grave offenses ought to be dissolved. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_dissolution

        Certainly an interesting take and frankly, I think there are instances of corporate malpractice in history that warrant such a response from government.

        Also worth mentioning action now on climate change will actually save money long term by avoiding natural disasters etc. which have huge potential costs. We only have one planet.

    • Most polluted rivers in the world, all in nations with the highest rates of poverty


      As wealthy nations we can ask people to minimize their impact by reusing a shopping bag, but the inconvenience is high while the impact is close to 0 ( maybe even harmful)

      We would be better off donating money to programs that address poverty, rather than worrying about feel good measures that solve nothing like buying expensive "organic" food that uses "organic" fertilizer rather than less toxic "chemical" fertilizer.

      Going vegan is just another feel good measure, how many vegans grow their own food, rather than buying overpriced nuts and vegetables.

      Solutions need to be realistic, not just shaming poor people who have bigger worries than how much water is used by cattle farms, or how much CO2 their $3000 car produces

  • Rethink, reuse, reduce, recycle.

    We can't consume our way to saving the planet. "Dig up stupid!"

    I will now go for a drive powered only by my smug.