Skip Links
Close Search

Restore and rejuvenate 

Make time for nature this World Environment Day

Rebecca Piper
Marketing Coordinator

As our world has slowed down due to Coronavirus, there is a comforting prospect. Our delicate environment has found space to breathe and recover. This new normal we inhabit offers us time for nature. What if we stop, reflect and reset our behaviours so that we can help our planet flourish? 

Here at the Sydney Opera House, we have been thinking about our sustainability initiatives and what else we can do to contribute to a healthier world. We’d like to share some of these with you – as well as some small actions you can take at home to reinvigorate and revitalise our planet.

Becoming lighter on our feet 

Our carbon footprint is calculated by the amount of carbon dioxide we release through our consumption. By reducing our carbon footprint we can all enjoy our planet’s natural resources for years to come.

At our House: 

The Opera House became carbon neutral in 2018 with the help of major partner EnergyAustralia. We’ll remain carbon neutral by continuing to reduce our energy, water and waste footprint, and by promoting sustainable transport options. 

What can you do at home?

  • In your home: Introduce composting and worm farming and ensure you conserve on energy through switching off lights and taking shorter showers. 

  • In your community: Bike more, drive less and sign up to a local fruit & veg box.

Supporting a renewable future 

Our natural world will thrive for generations to come if we embrace renewable energy.

At our House: 

Here at the Opera House we are striving to become climate positive by 2023, this means switching to renewable energy. The Opera House invests $2.4 million on a wind and solar project in NSW, which means more than 85% of yearly energy consumption will be matched with renewable energy supply for the next seven years. 

 What can you do at home?

  • In your home: Use energy efficient lights (such as LED), purchase green power from your electricity supplier

  • In your community: Use your voice and sign petitions

Say goodbye to single use 

Our natural world is making way for ever growing landfills as single use plastic infringes on our seas and land. By eliminating “throw away” plastic we can protect our environment.

At our House:

We aim to be free of single use plastic by 2023. We’ve eliminated plastic straws (preventing over 2.2 million a year in landfill), and over 30,000 single use plastic cups by using reusable drinkware during Vivid LIVE.

 What can you do at home?

  • In your home: Say farewell to single use and welcome natural materials, such as glass and ceramics. 

Protecting marine life 

Many of us love escaping to the coastline where we can see the fresh ocean, full of colours and home to a broad range of life. By protecting our oceans from overfishing and pollution we can admire this natural beauty for years to come.

At our House:

We have installed 28 modular artificial reef pods around Bennelong Point to increase marine biodiversity in Sydney Harbour. 

 What can you do at home?

  • In your home: Eat sustainably sourced seafood and implement as many microfibre filters as possible, such as a Guppy Friend for your washing machine.

  • In your community: Join your local clean-up and explore coastal walks that connect you with nature.

Making good buying choices and reducing waste

Everything we produce, buy and consume impacts the balance of the planet. By making simple changes to reduce and reuse we can conserve resources for future generations. 

At our House:

We have committed to recycling over 80% of the construction materials generated by our Renewal projects. During upgrades to our Joan Sutherland Theatre, we recycled 380 tonnes of old winches and 200 tonnes of copper!

What can you do at home?

  • In your home: Reduce food waste by freezing leftovers, creating preserves and using recycling bins effectively.
  • In the community: Use schemes such as REDcycle and local charity shops to recycle unused items and find some new gems!


You may also like...

Utzon in Beijing

Utzon in Beijing

A film made by the architect of the Opera House en route to Sydney has, until now, never been publicly seen. Lin Utzon recalls the influence and inspiration her father drew from Chinese architecture.


Keeping the ghost lights shining

“It’s about saying: we haven’t gone forever, we’re coming back and we’re going to leave the lights on to show you that.”