The latest IPCC report told us that we may be running out of time to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The State of Environment Report was a stark assessment of Australia's landscapes and environment. But we must not let news like this make us feel that the negative impacts of climate change can’t be fought now and into the future.
While we must be realistic about the work ahead to improve the state of our planet, there are steps big and small that we can all make today that will make a difference for decades and generations to come.
1. Reduce, reduce, reduce
An important way to minimise our environmental impact is to make simple changes to our every day lives. Think about options like eating less meat, purchasing sustainable fashion and reducing the waste your household produces. Every step we take in making our footprint smaller is step in the right direction for our climate and environment.
2. Walk, run, ride or swim
For those that are able, swapping your car trips for a low emissions mode of transport is an effective way to immediately lower your personal carbon footprint. In 2020, Australia’s emissions dropped by 5%1 as a result of lockdowns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic so there is a lot to be said for the emissions associated with travel and commuting.
3. Share the load and spread the word
While it can feel overwhelming to think about the state of the climate, one thing is true; we are all in this together. Talk to your networks about the importance of climate action, get involved in community groups or volunteer with organisations focused on a greener future.
4. Use your voice
Find out the climate related policies and intentions of the Member of Parliaments in your electorate and vote with your values. Outside of election times, you can write to your local MPs highlighting the need for climate action. Signing petitions and using your voice in your community also sends the message that you want climate to be a priority in your electorate. Resources such as theyvoteforyou.org.au can help you identify the policies of your local members.
5. Swap suppliers
Where possible, try to use suppliers that also have strong sustainability goals built into their practices. Use power companies that utilise renewal energy, invest your super away from fossil fuels and where possible minimise the use of power sources such as gas in the home.
6. Offset what you can’t avoid
For the emissions you can’t avoid or reduce completely, there is the option to offset these emissions through native reforestation. This means, that native trees will be planted to capture your emissions over your lifetime. You can offset household, travel or vehicle emissions and you can even offset your whole year for just $1 a day.
7. Plant native trees
There is no doubt that forests and trees are vital for our environment. They remove carbon from the atmosphere, provide habitat for our wildlife, help mitigate issues such as erosion, decrease salinity and help improve the quality of air and waters. Since 1997, Greenfleet has planted over 10 million native trees in legally protected forests across Australia and New Zealand and you can help us plant more right here.