In a time when we are all conscious of the impact we're having on the environment, it can be hard to understand what we can do to reduce carbon emissions in our everyday lives.
While we continue to advocate for climate action from our leaders, there are changes we can make as individuals that can still make a difference. We've listed 5 practical ways that you can reduce your impact.
1. Day to day transport
According to the Climate Council, transport emissions are the third biggest source of greenhouse gases in Australia and 50% of these come from vehicles. Having said this, there are ways that you can reduce emissions associated with your day to day travel.
- Utilise public transport where you can to get to and from work and your other daily activities
- Look into car-pooling and car sharing options such as Uber or Car Next Door. These can reduce your need to use your car as often or have a car at all. You can also consider listing your own car on Car Next Door
- Walk or cycle when possible, it is good for your health and the environment. Ride to Work Day each year is a great way to encourage yourself and your colleagues to get involved.
Whether it is for work, family or a holiday – travel is an important part of life. When it comes to planning, there are ways that you can make your travel habits more sustainable.
- Consider holidaying locally. This reduces your need to fly and helps support local communities, especially in the wake of the recent bushfires. Empty Esky is an initiative that encourages Australians to visit impacted communities with ‘empty eskies’ to help small business stay afloat in the aftermath of the disaster
- Look into eco-tourism companies and companies that are ‘eco-tourism certified’ that offer greener travel options
- If you are buying souvenirs on your holidays, ensure you are buying locally produced items that will support local enterprises and avoid mass produced items that may end up as waste.
3. Food and waste
We all know the negative impact that waste is having on the environment due to the amount that is ending up in landfill and our oceans each year. According to the Department of the Environment and Energy National Waste Report, Australia put more than 21 metric tonnes of waste into landfill in 2018.
Because of this, we all have a responsibility to reduce waste where we can.
- Buy seasonal and local produce – buying locally also means that you are supporting your community and buying food from suppliers that can reduce the transport emissions needed to get it to you
- Reduce meat and dairy consumption - increasing vegetable intake and reducing the amount of meat and dairy you purchase and consume each week can help lower your carbon footprint
- Reduce plastic consumption – take reusable coffee cups and water bottles with you each day, avoid produce that is wrapped in plastic, swap out kitchen and bathroom products to ones that come in biodegradable packaging
- Compost food scraps – instead of throwing away food into general waste, consider composting it! This is a great source of nutrients for your garden, or pot plants if you live in an apartment.
4. Switch to sustainable providers
One of the most powerful decisions you can make as an individual is making sure that you are financially supporting providers that are choosing ethical and sustainable business models.
- Banking – more than ever there is pressure on banks more than ever to adopt ethical practices, so now is the time to ensure you are banking with providers that do so
- Superannuation – while superannuation is rarely front of mind, consider utilising a company that invests in green energy instead of fossil fuels. Most companies should have transparent information on their website about where your money is being invested
- Energy providers – we all use energy every day and we know that it’s a huge source of emissions, switching to a ‘green’ energy company is a good way to ensure that the power you’re using is not being sourced from fossil fuels
- You can find some comparisons between different banking and superannuation companies here and energy companies here.
5. Offset what you cannot reduce
Finally, offsetting the emissions you can’t avoid can help reduce your impact on the environment.
When you offset with Greenfleet, you are taking practical climate action and supporting the vital reforestation of Australia and New Zealand. It means that enough native trees will be planted to capture the carbon emissions associated with what you choose to offset.
For more information about ways that you can reduce your carbon emissions, you can refer to this page. And if you’re ready to support native reforestation by offsetting your emissions