3 simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint

3 simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint

There’s no doubt about it, we all need to do our bit to reduce the strain we place on the environment. Here are some simple things you can do around your home which can make a big difference to your carbon footprint.

Plastics

According to a study conducted by Greenpeace, Australians use over 9.7 billion single-use plastic bags annually. Further research shows that if we continue on this trajectory, there will be 12 million kilograms of waste in landfills or the natural environment by 2050.

You can help reduce this statistic in one easy, seemingly small way. You may already take reusable shopping bags to the supermarket (especially following last year’s introduction of laws to curtail the provision of single-use bags by major retailers) but have you thought of using small reusable bags in lieu of clear plastic bags to hold your fruit and vegetables at the shops? These cloth bags by Australian eco-friendly company Onya are compact so you can keep them in your bag ready for the next grocery run.

Reusable shopping bag

Energy-use

Australia ranks among the highest carbon polluting countries in the world, and more than one-third of these emissions come from electricity consumption. Here are some small ways in which you can increase energy-efficiency in your home, thereby reducing your carbon footprint.

Switching off unused appliances left on standby can save up to 20% of your household electricity consumption. Alternately, you can purchase master switches which act as remote kill switches. These handy devices, like the Clipsal Ecomind Electricity Monitor, sense when a device is in standby mode and automatically switch it off. This can reduce your energy bill by up to 10%. In addition to this, you can install motion-sensor lights that switch themselves off, or switch to low-energy LED lighting where possible to further lower your home’s energy output.

Water

Only 3% of Earth’s water is fresh water, and only 0.5% is available as drinking water — which means we spend a lot of time and resources to filter it and deliver it to our homes.

Only run your dishwasher when it’s full, turn the tap off when washing your hands or brushing your teeth and, perhaps the biggest saving, stick to the old 3-minute shower rule.

Waste

Reduce the amount of waste you produce in your home by planning your meals better, so that you buy less takeout. If you’ve ever ordered Uber Eats, you’ll know that takeaway can come with added sides of a brown paper bag, plastic utensils, way more napkins than you’ll use and plastic tubs placed in plastic bags. If you organise your meal plans, you can avoid the temptation to order food in, and save money while you’re at it.