Global Climate Change Week: How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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Global Climate Change Week: How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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In support of Global Climate Change Week this week, industry changemakers have combined to put together an actionable list of simple things we can all do to help reduce our carbon footprint. 

“Climate action has been at the top of everyone’s mind this last year,” said Nicky Sparshott, CEO of Unilever Australia and New Zealand.

Nicky stressed that the importance of Global Climate Change Week is so that everyone is empowered to take a few, eminently doable and easy steps to lower their carbon footprint. “It’s a collective effort between government, business and consumers, and there’s no better time to make your move than now,” she said.

The Australian Ethical, Climate Council, IKEA, Unilever and WWF have all helped put together the below list to give you tips to reduce your carbon footprint.

How to reduce your carbon footprint

1.     Close the loop on plastics

plastic

Buy better: look out for bottles that are made with local-sourced recycled plastic, such as Dove, TRESemmé and OMO, that give life to old plastic and divert it from landfill. Consider refill pack formats or concentrated solutions that give you more bang for your buck at the checkout, with less plastic. 

Bin better: Up your recycling efforts with the Australasian Recycling Label, stamped on some of your favourite bottles, to help you dispose of your plastic correctly. (Unilever)

2.     Clean up your act – in the laundry

Secondhand Shops Berlin
Image by Shanna Camilleri, via Unsplash

Most people don’t realise that many cleaning products include ingredients that are derived from fossil fuels. Look for plant-based ingredients in your laundry products, such as OMO liquids, which have naturally derived stain removers. Make your impact go further and try to wash less often and in cold water. (Unilever)

3.     Flick the switch on LED

parrtjima northern territories light festival Australia
Light Installation. Image via Parrtjima/NTMEC

If you own your own home, look for ways to be more energy-efficient, from installing LED lighting and insulation to finding ways to stop draughts. If you’re in the mood for DIY, take the opportunity to look at ways to move away from gas – induction stoves are great to cook with and heat pumps are cost effective. (WWF)

4.     Look at your circle of influence

Pacific Ocean

How can you support your community to take action on climate change? Encourage your local childcare centre, school, or sports club to go solar, or even host a film screening on climate change. Check out David Attenborough’s latest documentary, A Life on Our Planet, as an example. (WWF)

5.     Go green for your power 

windmill

Think about switching to renewable energy. You can do this by either purchasing accredited green-power, ideal for those who are renting, or by investing in rooftop solar. Not only do solar panels slash your carbon footprint, they will also slash your electricity bill – with some houses generating more energy than they consume. It’s a win-win! (Australian Climate Council)

6.     Make the switch on appliances

createherstock-2019-NewYear19-Neosha-Gardner-13
Image via createherstock

Appliances make up around 25 per cent of the energy used in the average home. Where you can, look to buy energy-efficient appliances – the more stars, the better. What’s more, some of our everyday devices such as laptops and computers consume a lot of energy, as they are often left running throughout the day and overnight. Switching off these power-hungry appliances at the power point can save a lot of energy too. (Australian Climate Council)

7.     Switch to rechargeable batteries

Consumers that frequently use batteries should consider making the switch to rechargeable batteries, which over time will save money and reduce waste at home. IKEA has made a commitment to remove all non-rechargeable alkaline batteries from their home furnishing range globally by October 2021. (IKEA)

8.     Recycle your old furniture

japanese deisgn shelley ferguson
Image of Japanese design by Shelley Ferguson

If you’re looking for a way to sustainably dispose of your old furniture, think of ways to upcycle your goods instead of throwing them away. The IKEA furniture Buy Back service allows customers to return their old, IKEA furniture, in return for a voucher that can be redeemed in-store. In a year, more than 10,000 items have been returned nationwide, potentially diverting more than 100 tons of furniture from landfill. (IKEA)

9.     Go ethical with your super fund 

With billions of dollars invested in compulsory superannuation supporting fossil fuels and other harmful industries, many Australians are unwittingly funding the very thing they are concerned about. Switching your super to an ethical investment fund like Australian Ethical is one of the easiest and most impactful ways you can amplify your positive impact in the world. (Australian Ethical)

Kimberly Bolton and Carapac team
Sustainable start-up Carapac including Kimberly Bolton

10.  Spread the word! 

A lot of people don’t know where their super is invested, even fewer still know that ethical investing is even a thing. By telling your friends and family about ethical investing, you can help accelerate the collective action the world needs. The climate crisis can seem like a daunting problem to solve. Yet individual action is what leads to collective action. (Australian Ethical)

Just look at what Greta Thunberg did by starting a conversation.

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