If you’re like many Australians out there, and are concerned about the environment but not too sure how you can make a real difference, then you’re not alone.
According to the 2018 Australian Department of Environment and Energy’s emissions report, combustion of fossil fuels to generate electricity was deemed one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions. This really is not that surprising, as fossil fuel combustion is heavily relied on as a source of electricity across Australia and around the world.
So then why is it important for us, as consumers, to start reducing our emissions? And how can we do this without moving to an off-grid farm, 100km from the CBD where you live only off the land, and generate your power through wind and solar?
You might be interested to know that reducing your emissions doesn’t have to change your entire lifestyle, and there are easy things you can start doing today to contribute to fostering a more sustainable future.
Why is it important we reduce our emissions/carbon footprint?
Basically, our emissions affect our world, atmosphere and consequently, our health.
Fossil fuel combustion emits both CO2 and harmful particles which not only contributes to global warming and other environmental effects, but can cause deaths as a result of air pollution. Countries such as China and India count millions of deaths from air pollution yearly, and incur billions of dollars in cost. It may seem obvious, but by reducing our emissions we can not only lower the number unhealthy particles in the atmosphere, but also lower the spread of non-communicable disease, better our water conditions and improve our air quality.
Easy ways you can reduce your carbon footprint
Although we as Australians are continually striving to reduce our carbon emissions, we can do a lot more. By incorporating these minor lifestyle changes into your everyday routines, you can do your bit for the environment and help create a more sustainable world.
1. Drive less
Apart from combustion of fuel to generate electricity, one other major contributors to emissions is transport. Most vehicles will, to a certain degree, have emissions due to fuel usage. So the next time you’re thinking of driving somewhere, try other alternatives such as walking, cycling or even carpool with your friends – especially if you’re only travelling a short distance.
2. Use energy efficient products
Using energy efficient products can significantly reduce your emissions. By switching to compact fluorescent lightbulbs or by using TVs, dishwasher, and washing machines with high energy-ratings, you can dramatically lower your electricity usage and consequently reduce your carbon footprint and emissions.
3. Reduce, reuse and recycle
Landfills and electricity used in the production of products such as plastic bags or plastic cups significantly affect carbon emissions. You can lower emissions by reducing your waste; reusing products such as reusable bags or coffee cups; and recycling or composting. Australia is currently banning plastic bags across all states and are phasing them out, so now is the perfect time to make the change.
4. Plant more trees
You can further help to lower your emission of CO2 in the atmosphere by growing more plants or trees. This not only leads to a cleaner atmosphere (as plants utilise CO2 to grow in a process called photosynthesis) but also creates a more sustainable and healthy environment for the future.
5. Switch to clean energy
Switching to solar energy is one of the best and easiest ways you can reduce your carbon emissions. Solar PV uses sunlight to generate electricity, reducing your reliance on the grid and reducing your carbon footprint. With various grants and government initiatives available across the nation, going solar has never been more affordable. Want to take the first step? Simply speak to one of our energy consultants today about finding the right system to suit your needs.