In an effort to protect Aussie icons, Coles is partnering with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to help conserve this important ecosystem. And in good news, we can all play a part: here are seven ways how.
Coles is partnering with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation
1. Waste-not shopping
How does a trip to the supermarket help the reef? Studies have shown Australians waste up to $2500 on food per household a year*. Food waste rotting in landfill produces greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn contribute to devastating climate-change events on the reef, such as coral bleaching. By planning your meals and writing a list – then sticking to it – you’re less likely to buy more than you need.
2. Try imperfect picks
While you’re shopping, think about choosing imperfect – but still tasty – fruit and veggies, such as the Coles I’m Perfect range. These initiatives help ensure slightly misshaped produce doesn’t contribute to food waste, while also saving you money.
3. Be water wise
According to the GBRF, cutting your shower from 8 minutes to 4 minutes saves up to 13,140 litres of water and 350 kilograms of carbon dioxide every year. To reduce your water-meter reading further, the GBRF offers these suggestions: install water-saving shower heads, turn off the water when brushing your teeth and consider investing in a rainwater tank.
4. Slash single-use plastics
Coles has already removed single-use plastic picnicware and tableware from its shelves, and is focusing on other products including the removal of plastic scoops in Coles Laundry Powder. While initiatives are underway to combat our reliance on plastic at an industry level, there are small changes we can each make to do our bit. Get in the habit of bringing your own shopping and produce bags with you, take your own cutlery to work and say no to plastic straws – instead use reusable options such as Coles Reusable Metal Straws. You can also collect soft plastics and drop them off at REDcycle bins at Coles supermarkets – go to redcycle.net.au for more info.
5. Power down
Reduce your carbon footprint even further by making some of these simple switches at home. Consider purchasing energy-efficient appliances – think fridges and washing machines – and use them efficiently, making sure your dishwasher or washing machine are full before you run a cycle. When the weather’s good, dry your washing on the line in the sunshine – if you have to use a dryer, lower the heat settings when suitable. Another way you can save energy is by switching appliances off at the powerpoint when not in use.
6. See for yourself
Always wanted to visit the Great Barrier Reef? Ecotourism is another way to boost the economy that supports this vital ecosystem. Enjoy a tour with an accredited operator, stay at an eco-resort or deep-dive into a citizen-science project, such as CoralWatch or Eye on the Reef. Learn more at barrierreef.org.
7. Celebrate World Oceans Day
June 8 is World Oceans Day, an annual event aimed at raising global awareness about the benefits of oceans and the impacts we have on them. You can participate any way you’d like: go on a virtual underwater reef tour with Google Earth (earth.google.com), pick up rubbish along a local waterway, plant a tree, or hold an event at your school or business to raise funds to support research and preservation projects. Go to barrierreef.org/you-can-help for ideas.
How Coles is supporting the reef
Coles has signed a 10-year partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF). The GBRF funds a wide range of projects targeting reef restoration and resilience. Right now the Foundation is working with scientists and researchers to breed heat tolerant corals, cryopreserve coral species, protect biodiversity, improve water quality and control Crown of Thorns starfish outbreaks. It’s the largest effort of its kind in the world to help an ecosystem adapt to climate change. Go to barrierreef.org for more information.