Ensuring the world is still an amazing place for our children, our grandchildren and our great grandchildren is everyone’s responsibility. As we see climate change and sustainability in the news every day as local, federal and international Governments start to begin the journey you can have your very own positive impact from home.
From the smallest of things to larger projects, there are so many things you can do around the house and with your family to reduce your carbon footprint. Here are three of the top ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and even save some serious cash along the way!
Cut Out Single Use Plastic And Cardboard
It goes without saying single use plastics are bad for the environment. Their creation and in turn, poor recycling has a massive strain and impact on the environment. Australia produces around 2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste every year with around 84% going to landfill. That is 2.1 million tonnes going into landfill every, single, year.
Currently, there is a Nationwide plan after a national meeting of Environment Ministers to have them phased out and banned by 2025 but that doesn’t stop you from ditching them earlier! Who even likes eating with plastic cutlery anyway?
Some good places to start to cut down your single use plastic consumption.
Swap out cling wrap for a green option or reusable beeswax wraps. Beeswax wraps have been on the market for years now and are easy to buy. They are cheap, reusable and have inherent antibacterial qualities. You simply mould the wrap to the container using the warmth of your hands and you are good to go. Bonus, there are even non-plastic cling wraps on the market that you can get from your local supermarket that are fully biodegradable (quickly).
Get a reusable coffee cup! Australians love coffee. It is estimated we use 1 Billion disposable coffee cups a year. Yep. 1,000,000,000. Wild. There are so many reusable coffee cup companies now, getting one that suits you is so easy. For every cup you have with your reusable coffee cup is one less single use cup in the world!
Ditch the plastic bags! Not only are reusable bags functionally better, they last forever, look better they won’t end up in our landfills or ocean. Best part is, you won’t have a bag blown out and the shopping comes a cropper before you have made it to the car.
Leverage Renewable Energy
The average home uses around 20kWh (kilowatt hours) of power every single day. Combine that with Australia having some of the highest energy prices in the world and a predominantly coal powered grid, switching to renewable energy can have a big impact on your carbon footprint and your back pocket.
The growth of residential solar power in Australia has been immense. There are now over two million homes with their own roof top solar panels and for good reason.
Firstly, solar works by converting sunlight into electricity. The sun is the most abundant (and free) energy source we have and solar uses just that to help power your home. When the light hits your solar panels it excites the cells in the panels and makes DC power. That power is sent down to your inverter which turns it into AC power for your home to consume.
The environmental and financial savings come in three key forms.
Use the energy you have generated in your home. For every kWh you use in your home is one that doesn’t need to be purchased from the expensive coal powered grid.
Send excess energy back to the grid. You will struggle to use all of the energy your system generates. When your system is working away, you will use what power you need and any excess will be sent back to the grid for others to use. This not only means there is clean energy going in to support the grid, it also means you will get paid per kWh sent back. These are called ‘feed in tariffs’ and you will see them credited on your bills.
Finally, you can also consider a battery. When you have a battery your excess generation won’t go back into the grid, it will go into your very own supersized battery. Then, when the sun goes down and your solar system isn’t capable of generating electricity you can use your own energy from your battery.
Have A Car Free Day
We drive a lot. The average Australian drives 13,301kms a year. That is around 36kms per day. If every week you can go without your car, that is 1,873kms every single year that you will save.
To put it into further context, for every km you drive you will produce around 80.9 grams of carbon dioxide. Meaning 1 day a week, car free will save over 150kgs of carbon dioxide emissions every year. That is a lot for just one day! There are currently 8.3 million households so you can only imagine how much carbon dioxide would be saved from our air if every car owning household had a car free day!
Take a day to relax at home, catch public transportation or get the families out on the bikes, there are so many ways you can enjoy a day without the car!
There are so many great ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and save money along the way! There is nothing better than knowing that you are doing your bit to keep the world clean and green for future generations and pretty cool you can save some cash all at the same time!
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