Sustainable Living
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Sustainable Living

Cook Shire is treasured for its beautiful natural environment and the opportunities this provides to those who live and holiday here. To maintain the Shire’s assets for future generations, the community and visitors alike are moving toward a way of living sustainably and mindful of the environment.

The following areas provide information on Cook Shire Council’s commitment to environmental sustainability. 


The Clean Growth Choices Consortium was established to help the Queensland Department of Environment and Science to deliver the Communities in Transition program.  This program assists selected Queensland communities to investigate and develop pathways to a more resilient future.The Clean Growth Choices consortium is working with community leaders in Cook Shire, Charters Towers, Rockhampton, Goondiwindi, Barcaldine and others to:

  • Explore future scenarios for Queensland and for their regions
  • Be exposed to a structured approach to managing change via a series of workshops where they will discover new tools and techniques to develop an economic and social roadmap for the future
  • Use these new tools and techniques to work collaboratively to develop their own uniquely tailored transition roadmaps
  • Build networks to help break barriers and enable positive transitions
  • Begin implementing their roadmaps and inspire others to ensure we can all thrive in the face of global changes
Click here for more information on Clean Growth Choices.

Queensland communities can take advantage of the following government programs

Delivered by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland, ecoBiz is a free program, funded by the Queensland Government, that helps businesses save money and reduce impacts of their energy, water and waste. TEG members are business coaches for this program. See

Farmers and businesses that use over 100 MWh per year of electricity can take advantage of free energy audits and rebates to implement findings via the Queensland Farmers Federation Energy Savers Program. See

Advance Queensland is the state government's vision for the future through investment in a stronger Queensland economy. Funding of $650 million is available for supporting programs that drive innovation, build on Queensland's natural advantages and help raise our profile as an attractive investment destination. See


The Reef Guardian Council program is designed to recognise and promote the important role of local government in protecting the Great Barrier Reef. It is a vehicle for engendering community change to promote Great Barrier Reef protection through
education, information sharing and involvement in on-the-ground actions. Cook Shire Council became a Reef Guardian Council in 2007 and in 2016 Council signed a three year MOU with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA).

Click here for more information on Reef Guardian Councils.


Waste minimisation is a sustainable practice that all residents of Cook Shire can assist with that will make a difference to the management of natural resources in our region.

Simple principles of waste minimisation are: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose, Refuse.  These can be achieved by:

  • Joining the compost revolution and recycle your food waste
  • Learn how to make mulch for your garden
  • Learn about safe green cleaning methods
  • Purchase a council worm farm
  • Recycle
  • Say no to plastic bags
Council offers heavily discounted worm farms and compost bins, and recycled green waste compost and mulch.

Read more about our waste and recycling services.


Cook Shire Council works to reduce plastic pollution in the Shire by;

  • Discontinuing the use of single-use plastic products, all plastic bags and balloons at all Council facilities.
  • Discontinuing the use of single-use plastic products, all plastic bags and balloons at all Council run events.
  • Phasing out single use plastics on Council controlled properties.
  • Encouraging community members and local businesses to also reduce their own single-use plastic usage, by leading by example.


Establishing permanent water conservation measures promotes responsible and efficient use of town water and can result in considerable water savings for all.

Sustainable water practices include:

Check your meter

  • Ensure you are not wasting water and being overcharged because of a leak. Turn off your meter, note the reading, leave it off for 10 minutes and return to check if the number is still the same. Council has a fact sheet about checking water meters.

In the kitchen

  • Look for dishwashers that have a WELS Label. The best water rating achieved by dishwashers is 6 stars.
  • Only use the dishwasher when you have a full load.
  • Use the rinse-hold setting on the dishwasher, if it has one, rather than rinsing dishes under the tap.
  • Catch running water whilst waiting for it to warm up. Use it to water plants, rinse dishes, or wash fruit and vegetables.

In the laundry

  • Look for washing machines that have a four or more star rating (WELS label).
  • Adjust the water level to suit the size of the wash load.
  • Wash with a full load and you will save 10 litres of water each wash.

In the bathroom

  • Replace shower head with one designed for saving water.
  • Take shorter showers. Limit time spent in the shower to soap up, wash down, and rinse off. Shorter showers save on energy costs associated with heating water.
  • Use a shower timer and try to stick to four (4) minutes.
  • Use a bucket to collect water while waiting for the shower to get hot.
  • Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth. Wet your brush and use a glass for rinsing.
  • Don’t rinse your razor under a running tap. Filling the basin with a little warm water is just as effective and less wasteful.

In the garden

  • Water only in the cool of the day when the plants will receive the most benefit from the water before it evaporates.
  • Consider grouping plants that require more intensive watering together so you do not have to water such a large area.

Leaking taps can usually be fixed with a new washer, this is easy to do. Just remember to turn the water off at the mains before you start.

ABN: 45 425 085 688

10 Furneaux Street Cooktown, Qld 4895

Mail: PO Box 3 Cooktown, Qld 4895


Phone: (07) 4082 0500

Fax: (07) 4082 0588

Hours: 8.45am-4.45pm Monday to Friday