Reducing the Cost of Living: The Landcare NSW Way: A Community Journey to Sustainability and Savings

As soaring energy bills, grocery prices, and the general cost of living become pressing concerns, many seek ways to alleviate these financial pressures.

What if we told you that being part of Landcare NSW can enrich your life and provide a vehicle to help reduce your living expenses?

As the cost of living continues to rise, we all search for sustainable ways to make our incomes stretch that little bit further.

What if you could do that while also contributing to a healthier planet and a more vibrant community?

That is the magic of being a part of Landcare.

Landcare has traditionally been associated with sustainable agriculture, horticulture, NRM, and environmental and biodiversity management. However, there are numerous examples of Landcare groups and individuals engaging in broader sustainability activities that not only save money but also fit well within the Landcare ethos.

Below are several activities, projects, and programs to consider running through your Landcare group.

Food Costs:

  • Fruit And Vegetable Growing: It is interesting how many people took up fruit and vegetable gardening during COVID-19. Growing and composting your food waste can save significant money, especially if you learn how to preserve excess produce.
  • Community Gardens: Participation in communal gardening initiatives helps you to grow your own fruits and vegetables, save money on shopping, and can be a great community-building exercise and learning experience. Coordinating and swapping with others can help you avoid an oversupply of certain veggies and lets you concentrate on growing what you are good at.
  • Food Swaps: Food swaps are exploding across the country. These are great ways to get rid of your excess produce while picking up those things you cannot or do not grow yourself, creating an opportunity for socialising and providing an opportunity for those without increasing space or ability to bring homemade jams, chutneys, and cakes to swap.
  • Bulk Buying: Group purchases of food, seeds, fertilisers, or other garden supplies can be more cost-effective.


Energy and Water:

  • Energy-Saving Workshops: Your Landcare group or network can arrange face-to-face or video workshops to learn tips and techniques for reducing energy and water consumption, water harvesting at home or renewable energy options, and lowering bills.
  • Through your Landcare group or network, you can coordinate the various subsidies the State government provides for replacing energy and water-inefficient devices and electrifying your home.


Tool and Implement Sharing:

  • Tool Libraries: Setting up tool libraries for gardening and home maintenance tools may be more accessible in rural centres and cities, but it is an excellent way to save everywhere. Many examples of Landcare groups also share items such as Yeomans ploughs, wildlife camera traps, minor bird traps and rabbit warren rippers.


Local Procurement:

  • Shopping Local: Using local businesses and contractors keeps more money in the local community and helps local economies, resulting in more local jobs.


Health and Wellbeing:

  • Outdoor Activities: Participating in Landcare activities is good for the planet and could help you save money on gym memberships and healthcare in the long term. A 2021 study published by Landcare Australia showed an avoided healthcare cost of over $400 per Landcare participant per year.


Children, Family and Community Building:

  • Kids’ Activities: Many Landcare groups offer educational outings and activities that are not only free but can be a low-cost way to entertain the family.
  • Children’s Education: The activities and workshops can be educational for children, providing valuable life lessons and potentially reducing the need for other, costlier extracurricular activities.
  • Networking: The community aspect can also open doors professionally, offering opportunities for job placements, partnerships, or collaborations.


From the rich soils of our community gardens to the knowledge shared in our workshops, the benefits of Landcare membership permeate far beyond environmental stewardship. As outlined above, being an active Landcare member can help ease your cost-of-living pressures in diverse and impactful ways.


Whether it is through slashing your grocery bills by growing your food, learning valuable DIY skills to save on home maintenance, or harnessing the power of community for bulk purchases and shared resources, Landcare offers a treasure trove of financial advantages.


The most important benefit: By participating in Landcare initiatives, you are part of something far more significant than individual cost-saving. You are investing in a future where local communities and environments flourish, which is a priceless return on investment.


Join us in making a difference—for your budget, community, and the Earth.


In Landcare, every member is not just a participant but a crucial contributor to a greener, healthier, and more financially sustainable future for us all.


We would love to hear from Landcare groups about your initiatives that help your members save money, especially in “non-traditional” areas of Landcare activity. We can then share your ideas and examples with other groups across the State.


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