Our Sustainability

Moonlit Sanctuary is committed to sustainability throughout its operations. Our sustainability is managed through our Environmental Plan by our recently appointed Environmental Officer.

Saving and monitoring water usage

It is difficult to monitor water usage as we share our water connection with the Amphibian Research Centre, which uses use most of the water coming through the meter. Nevertheless we do our best to save water and have undertaken the following to reduce water consumption:

ActionOutcome
Installed new design water pots in enclosures for browseExtends life of leafy browse, reducing amount of browse that has to be cut and volume of waste that has to be disposed of
Reticulate water to all enclosures Eliminates water portage to enclosures saving spillage, & fuel for transport
Landscape with indigenous plantsDo not require supplementary watering, provide food for local wildlife
Installed efficient dishwasherUses only 2.5 litres of water per cycle
Installed dual flush toiletsSaves up to 9 litres of water per flush
Installed new filtration system in turtle pondReduces water change in pond from weekly in summer to fortnightly, saving 942 litres per change
Store rainwater on propertyRainwater collected in wetlands or in water tanks
Installed waterless urinalsSaving around 360,000 litres per annum

Our kitchen has a policy of using small plastic tubs in sinks, and not using running water to thaw frozen food. A regular maintenance program ensures immediate replacement of leaking taps, valves and pipes, we do not wash down large areas and use dry surface cleaning methods where possible.

Saving and monitoring energy usage

Our Visitor Centre was constructed with energy efficiency in mind, from ecologically sustainable timber, thus capturing the CO2 embedded in the timber. It is positioned to maximise south facing viewing areas for minimal heat gain in summer.

The northern facade has 800mm eaves to minimise summer heat gain and maximise winter heat gain, and the building is fully insulated. Cross flow ventilation to maximise cooling and air quality with operable windows throughout is supplemented by 5-star air-conditioning units. Actions we have taken include:

Waterless Urinal Design

Action Outcome
Install high-efficiency, low energy JetOz air hand dryers."Treehugger" website reports that average air dryer produces 1/3 less CO2 than equivalent required paper towels; produce no solid waste for disposal
Install skylights in visitor centreIntroduce natural light into visitor centre, reducing need for artificial light
Fluorescent and LED lighting installed throughout Saves 88% - 95% energy to run compared to incandescent light bulbs
Use 4-stroke and electric motors in small equipment.Reduced energy use/emissions compared to conventional 2-stroke motors
Staff allocated laptop computers where possibleLaptop computers are 83% more energy efficient than desktop computers
Ongoing maintenance program Keeps equipment operating at most efficient level to minimise energy use
Establish and appoint Environment Officer Responsible for monitoring energy usage, seeking long term improvements, and raising staff awareness
Wood pellet heaterUses waste sawdust, is CO2 neutral, and minimal emissions

We purchase electricity from renewable sources but have a long term objective to be carbon neutral by expanding our own small scale renewable energy production, maintaining and increasing native vegetation on the property as a carbon sink and becoming more energy efficient in our operations.

Our energy use for the facility is an average of 122kWh per day. Using the Australian Carbon Neutral Calculator, our annualised yearly emissions are 58.84 tonnes of carbon dioxide or equivalent greenhouse gas (CO2-e). This does fluctuate with the weather, reaching a peak in the January heatwave (graph on right).

Our relative CO2 emissions based on the above are 0.161 tonnes CO2 per day. We mitigate this with a Solar PV system (1.5kW) which was installed in 2008 and has so far produced 16.506MW, saving 21.79 tonnes of CO2-e in the 6 year period; as well as our regenerated bushland and koala browse plantation which absorbs an estimated 10 tonnes of CO2-e / annum. 


 
Waste Minimization and Recovery

Waste is minimized via our supply chain. We seek minimal packaging in our products, and use local, fresh produce where possible in our commercial kitchen. We have staff take food waste from functions home for their chooks and dogs, and have worm farm recycling for vegetable scraps.  We also have co-mingled recycling for bottles and cans, and a cardboard skip for packaging. Very little waste goes to landfill from our operation.

We assist local businesses with the productive disposal of waste food. One provides us with excess rooster carcasses for our devils and quolls, another with free-range eggs unsuitable for sale. These arrangements mean no packaging, a sustainable and ethical food source, and very low food miles.