Our environmental impact

Are humans causing climate change is not a point worth arguing in our view. Living in Cootamundra, when we look out our window or drive anywhere, we don’t see glass and cement, we see paddocks with pastures and crops. Even living in town, we are still more connected to the environment than most people in the city. We see when the crops are struggling through reduced rainfall, we see dusty paddocks and stressed stock. We don’t know about emissions causing climate change but it makes sense to reduce our emissions where ever we can just because we should. What we do know is that we have not had our regular winter rainfall for nearly 20 years and our summers are just so much hotter. Our dams and rivers are struggling through reduced rainfall so why wouldn’t we reduce our emissions just in case.

Remembering that we are a family owned business, it should be no surprise that our primary philosophy here is "those who die with the most grandchildren, dies richest” and we want to leave those grandchildren an environment as good as, or better than we one we lived in. Bearing this in mind, Billabong Jerky has been making an effort to reduce our emissions for over 20 years. Starting with small changes like converting all heating to natural gas through to installing our own little solar farm. Interestingly enough, the one change that we instigated that has the largest impact, is committing to only purchasing grass fed meat. Animals that are raised in open areas have a significantly smaller environmental footprint than high intensity, feedlot raised animals (not to mention a much more natural and happy life for the animal).

Here is a list of steps we have taken to reduce our impact

  1. Using only free range, grass fed beef and kangaroo

  2. Installing a 180 panel solar system. This actually produces as much as we use but due to our use not being synchronized with our solar production, we still rely on the grid for about 30% of the power we use. Can’t wait for efficient batteries to be developed.

  3. Using a large solar hot water system to pre heat our wash up water, which has to be 85°C, then bringing it up to 85 with a bank of instantaneous natural gas heaters. We use a lot of this very hot water and not having to use gas or electricity energy to store large tanks of it saves an enormous amount of energy.

  4. Super efficient drying tunnels. We have adapted our air drying tunnels to be very efficient so we don’t have to use very much gas to keep it at temperature. We manage to draw off the moist air without losing too much heat.

  5. We are active recyclers. We generate a lot of cardboard from meat cartons but all these are taken straight to our local recycling station. We clean and separate all other waste into its various bins. Recyclable plastics, paper and compost. This leaves very little going into landfill.

  6. We live and produce in the countryside so our meat doesn’t have to travel far and all our workers travel a maximum of 5 minutes to get to work so we don’t cause much petrol or diesel to be used.
     

Future plans

  1. Batteries attached to our solar plant of course. Then we could be totally independent from the grid!

  2. We’re working on some ideas to use the solar hot water to heat our drying tunnels.

 

We alone, won’t make any difference to the world but if enough individuals do change their habits then together, we can make a difference.

We also feel a moral obligation to play our part and do whatever we can, however small it may be.