Everyone has a responsibility to contribute towards a sustainable future. The world is shifting away from fossil fuels and working together to reduce harmful greenhouse emissions to combat climate change. This is everyone’s job, and there are many simple things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint closer to zero.
Change the way you travel
According to the Climate Council, transport emissions are the third-largest source of greenhouse gases in Australia, so this is the obvious first place to start. Try to carpool or use public transport as much as possible; walk or cycle as much as you can. International travel is currently restricted (at the time of publishing this piece) but try to holiday locally.
Reduce, re-use and recycle
A big part of reducing our carbon footprint is limiting the amount of waste that reaches landfill. This process works in two primary ways:
- you limit the volume of new materials produced
- you reduce landfill.
These two factors are important, as they are both leading causes of emissions.
Insulate your home
This process goes beyond properly insulating your ceiling. By including insulation in your walls and floorboards and double-glazing your windows, you will be able to control the climate in your home effectively. Doing so means you rely less on air-conditioning or electric/gas heating.
Change your diet
You don’t have to become vegan or vegetarian, but it is a fact that we overeat red meat. A single cow releases up to 129kg of methane into the atmosphere annually.
Around 1.5 billion cows are consumed every year. As the population grows, we will need to produce more cows to feed the increasing population. With figures set to rise by 1 billion people every 13 years, methane will also increase. We need to factor these trends in as we continue to consume larger amounts of cattle.
Consider Meat-Free Monday and other ways to reduce your red meat intake. For meals where limiting meat is too much of a challenge, consider other methods to offset your consumption.
Avoid consumable plastics
Plastic causes enormous environmental damage to waterways and oceans; it takes a considerable amount of time to break down. Not only that, but plastic is made from oil or gas, and the manufacturing process means the industry produces twice as many emissions as the aviation industry.
To play a positive role in minimising harmful plastics, consider these simple tricks:
- use fabric or recyclable bags when shopping
- avoid all plastic packaging where possible
- purchase reusable water bottles and coffee cups
- shun disposable cutlery, plates and straws.
Consider installing solar power
Suppose solar PV systems are outside of your budget. In that case, there may be other options available – including smaller panels for patios, gazebos, etc. You can also switch to greener lighting and other outdoor solutions that include panels and battery storage.
Offset emissions you can’t eliminate
It’s almost impossible to be carbon-neutral in today’s world. If eliminating emissions isn’t viable, use our carbon calculator to determine your footprint. You can pay to offset the remainder. This funding goes towards environmental projects like trackable tree planting, helping to make a real difference in the world.
Source: CarbonClick 2021