Did you know?

Batteries often use potentially toxic chemicals such as nickel and cadmium to create electricity. It is estimated that around 94 per cent of dead batteries end up in landfill, which could lead to water pollution and damage soil microorganisms.

The National Solar Energy Centre (NSEC) in Newcastle is the only multi-collector facility of its type in Australia and home to the largest high-concentration solar array in the Southern Hemisphere.

Be aware of your water footprint. It can take as much as 16 000 litres of fresh water to produce one kilogram of beef.

Of all of the rubbish that makes it to the ocean, 15 per cent floats on the surface, 15 per cent remains near the shore and the rest sinks to the floor.

Of the 8000 animal-related insurance claims made to NRMA in NSW during 2008, over 6000 were caused by kangaroos. Motorists should drive carefully in country areas at dusk and dawn to reduce these casualties.

Shredded tyres contain metal and can not be reused as rubber without substantial expense. This problem is a key reason for the low percentage of tyres currently used for rubber recovery, despite worldwide demand.

One in four Australians buys a new television each year. If current trends continue, by 2020 the energy used by televisions in this country will double that used by refrigerators.

Places on the Earth’s crust that conduct heat from below are called ‘hot rocks’. Australia has some of the richest sources of hot rocks in the world, in the form of high-heat producing granites. These could prove to be useful energy sources in the future.

Buy recycled paper. Every tonne of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 32 000 litres of water and enough electricity to heat a house for six months.

There is clear evidence that feral cats have had a heavy impact on the fauna of many Australian islands, and have probably contributed to the extinction of a number of native species.

Kangaroos use 5000 kilojoules per day while sheep require 15000 kilojoules. Lower energy requirements mean that kangaroos have less environmental impact and therefore may be better for human and pet food.

Some insect populations in central Europe have been observed squeezing an extra generation into their breeding season thanks to longer, warmer summers.

The most significant threat to the Great Barrier Reef is our planet’s changing climate, with significant bleaching events having been observed following increases in ocean temperatures in 1998, 2002 and 2006.

The Australia Institute found that in 2004 over $10.5 billion worth of food and other goods was discarded from Australian households without being used. Ask yourself before your purchase your next meal – are you really going to eat all of that?

Spreading mulch over your garden bed can reduce the need to water by up to 70 per cent.

In some council areas of New South Wales, households are recycling nearly 46 per cent of their waste. How well do you think your neighbourhood is doing?

Australians are among the best newspapers recyclers in the world, recycling 74.5% of newspapers in 2005.

The average shopping basket of groceries in Australia has required over 70 000 km of travel for the ingredients to make it from the producer to your fridge. Buying local can reduce it by nearly 50 000 km.

In recognition of the species’ popularity among recreational anglers, fishing for longtail tuna was declared ‘recreational-only’ by the federal government in 2006. A small commercial bycatch of 70 tonnes a year is allowed for Commonwealth fisheries.

According to the Department of Climate Change, New South Wales power company Macquarie Generation is Australia’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, with reported total direct emissions of 25.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses, or about four per cent of Australia’s total.

Bush Blitz is a multimillion dollar project that aims to document the flora and fauna across Australia’s National Reserve System over the next three years.

The area within the Murray-Darling Basin has over 30 000 wetlands. A wetland is an area that is covered by water, either permanently or temporarily.

The south-west of Western Australia is one of the world?s 34 internationally recognised terrestrial hotspots for biodiversity and the only one recognised in Australia.