We investigate the ultraviolet and optical properties and environment of low-redshift galaxies detected in the Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (H-ATLAS) science demonstration data. We use the Sloan Digital Sky Survey seventh release and the Galaxy And Mass Assembly data base to select galaxies with mag in the redshift range 0.02 a??za?? 0.2 and look for their submillimetre counterparts in H-ATLAS. Our results show that at low redshift, H-ATLAS detects mainly blue/star-forming galaxies with a minor contribution from red systems which are highly obscured by dust. In addition we find that the colour of a galaxy rather than the local density of its environment determines whether it is detectable by H-ATLAS. The average dust temperature of galaxies that are simultaneously detected by both PACS and SPIRE is 25 A? 4K, independent of environment. This analysis provides a glimpse of the potential of the H-ATLAS data to investigate the submillimetre properties of galaxies in the local universe.