I’ve put together a little to do list which I am actioning to start my year (2017) off with simple actions that I think are the most effective and easy ways to reduce my carbon footprint and to help protect our amazing planet and our kid’s futures:
- Consider where I can make some changes to my personal carbon foot print.
- One way to do this is to calculate my personal carbon footprint: (I used the Victorian EPA’s one) – I want to use this to decide where I can make little changes to have the biggest impact reducing my footprint. I plan in a future post to share my results and investigate them further. 🙂 (Task completed: January 2017)
- Another way to do this is to look at some good research that highlights areas to make change. A great resources is the drawdown book and website. Check out this global to do list! 🙂
- Switch my super:
- I rang my old super company and asked them whether they were invested in fossil fuels. Yes, they were, even when I was invested in the most ethical option they have. So I switched my super so that I am not investing in fossil fuels with it. The one I went with was Australian Ethical Super. Another I know of in Australia is Future Super. (Task completed: January 2017)
- Green up my home energy:
- Before we bought our house and were able to get solar panels on our roof, as a first step I made sure we had 100 percent green power at our apartment through our electricity provider. We are with AGL who have their green power options in biomass here in Queensland. I’d rather solar or wind from them but its a start! You can find out more by calling your provider or check out the Australian Green Energy guide. (Task completed: January 2017).
- News just in! PowerShop, are the top rated, greenest company in the Australian Green Energy Guide (that I just mentioned) and they are backed by 100% renewable energy generation. The good news is that they have just this month become available in Southeast Queensland, where I live. So I am going to check them out, thanks to my friends Alex and Jessie for letting me know about this news!
- Get solar panels! They aren’t that expensive these days! We recently got a 6.38 kW system on our roof through a Queensland based company, otiPower. This system is the largest you can get on a residential property with a single phase power setting. It cost around $5000. We typically use 10 kW a day of electricity and today our solar panels pumped out 18 kW! Eventually we hope to get batteries to also cover our night time usage, but this is a great start, probably covering all of our daytime power usage. For some more ideas for energy freedom in the home I recommend checking out Beyond Zero Emission’s Energy Freedom Home book. So we have joined the crew of Queenslanders with rooftop solar who effectively make up Queensland’s biggest power generator! 🙂 (Task completed: June 2017).
- Increase the number of vegetarian meals we eat each week: I used to be strictly vegetarian but its hard to keep up with balancing vegetarian diets and raising a family of people with different tastes and likes. So I have been starting to just increase the number of meals I have each week that are vegetarian, and incorporating as much vegetarian food as possible into my little girls’ diets. Significantly reducing the amount of meat we all eat can greatly help reduce carbon emissions. While I know I could do more on this front, I feel like I am educating myself and my kids about healthier choices and trying to head in the right direction.
- Join a movement. We cannot just act as individuals to save our planet. We have to be greater than the sum of our parts. We HAVE to work together. As Bill McKibben says. Here’s some Australian suggestions for groups to support to get you started: Climate Emergency Mobilisation, Beyond Zero Emissions, The Long Future Foundation, 350.org Australia.
Check out this article for how urgent it all is – we have 10 years to get things sorted! But if all of us who care can make changes to help support the right technology, and as many of us as possible can call on our governments to make the necessary changes, then we can save our amazing planet!
Back to: climate K.I.S.S.
Image credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters