Reduce your carbon footprint in your home:
There are plenty of things you can do to help reduce your carbon
footprint at home, and the best part is by using fewer resources on
the whole, many of these techniques will save you money in the long
- Change from incandescent to compact fluorescent light
bulbs or even LED lighting to save electricity and improve
- Switch to Green Power by calling your electricity
provider today. This will take you off the coal-fired standard grid
and place you on a renewable source such as wind or solar. While
you are at it, offset your gas too.
- Check your insulation. Insufficient thermal insulation
may be massively increasing the costs of heating or cooling your
- Regulate the temperature of your house by hand, shutting
doors, to only heat or cool smaller areas you are using. Use shade
cloths and natural breezes to cool your house if air conditioning
is not essential.
- Hand dry clothes rather than tumble dry. The Australian
backyard rates with the best in the world when it comes to drying
your clothes. Use a bright sunny area and well space your clothes
for an effortless dry. Well hung clothes also reduce your ironing-
so you may be able to save yourself some extra work too!
- Choose energy efficient appliances (good energy ratings
will be well advertised by the manufacturers), this can help save
you money on your energy bills.
- Use mirrors to brighten inner rooms with ambient light.
This means you wont need to switch on lights during the day, and
feng shui aside, well positioned mirrors can have a drastic impact
on the atmosphere and feeling of space in your home.
- Plant native trees to provide shade and attract birds
and animals (free fertiliser). Create a vegetable plot for
delicious, cheap and nutritious additions to dinner.
- Conserve water in any way you can. Switch off taps while
brushing your teeth. Switch off the water mid-shower while you use
soap. If you live in an area with little rainfall, a tank can help
save your garden and you money, but starting with a bucket in the
shower can be just as successful.
Reducing your carbon footprint at your work or study:
Being carbon conscious at your school or workplace can save huge
amounts of resources from being needlessly wasted. It is a great
opportunity for you to make an impact that may soon spread to your
- Make sure hibernation and sleep functions on your computers are
enabled, and when shutting down, turn off monitors too.
- Speak up if the air conditioner is too cold, or heater
too warm as this usually means energy is being wasted. No one wants
to study or work in an uncomfortable environment, but often the
simplest answer is to dress appropriately for the weather.
- Ask if your building uses sensor regulated lighting for
infrequently used hallways, bathrooms, meeting rooms, stores or
outdoor areas. Lighting accounts for up to 40% of electrical
use in commercial buildings. Motion or occupancy sensors can
ensure this is only used when needed.
- Use the off-switch, the most powerful tool in reducing
wasted energy. Use a power-strip to help you efficiently power off
all appliances at your desk in one deft flick.
- Conserve your paper resources. Its not only trees, but
manufacturing and transport resources that are used every time you
open a new packet of paper. Set up a scrap paper pile for test
printings and non-essential printing jobs. Ensure there is an
active recycling scheme at work for your paper rubbish, and chose
to use recycled paper yourself.
Reducing your carbon footprint when you shop:
Consumers have more information than ever before at their disposal
when shopping. Check labels for the origin and content of food
items, and look for products that emphasise their environmental
- If you are an omnivorous sort, cut the proportions of your
meat (its far less energy efficient to produce 1 kg of meat
than 1 kg of vegetables). Switch to Kangaroo rather than
Beef. It produces less damaging methane, has less impact on the
Australian environment, is healthier (only 2% fat), cheaper, and is
- Shop locally, or as you return home from school or work- why
make two trips?
- Bring your own shopping bag. Not just for the
supermarket, but whatever you are shopping for. No-one needs to
simply throw away another plastic bag.
Reducing your carbon footprint as you travel:
Transport is a huge contributor to the greenhouse gases produced in
Australia. Switch to public transport or ride your bike, or if you
really have to take a car, offer to car-pool with friends.
- Walk or ride, especially for short local trips. It’s
great for your health, stress and wallet, and if you live in areas
with heavy traffic you may find you even save time.
- Utilising Public Transport saves stacks of energy and
often money too. Reducing the number of vehicles pumping CO2 into
the air contributes to everyone’s environment.
- Check your tire pressure (flat tyres can waste 2-3% of
your fuel). Ever tried to cycle with flat tyres? It’s not easy,
think of the extra energy your engine wastes if your car tyres are
- Rent close to work or study. No one likes to commute,
but as transport costs hit both your wallet and the environment,
there is even more reason to avoid a long trip.