Let’s help make the future more sustainable by reducing our carbon footprint!

The planet needs some tender loving care, and there’s no better way to help than by tackling carbon emissions. Which is why Greenfleet, Australia’s first carbon offsetting platform, has graciously shared five practical ways to help reduce our carbon footprint.

While it’s important to continue the drive for climate action from our leaders, there are simple things we can do as individuals which can make all the difference. So let’s start bringing beauty back to planet earth, starting with these five tips:

1. Altering your day-to-day commute

According to the Climate Council, transport emissions are the third biggest source of greenhouse gases in Australia and 50 per cent of these come from our vehicles. Having said this, there are ways that you can reduce emissions associated with your day-to-day travels:

  • Utilise public transport when you can — Whether for work or activities, using public transport lowers your carbon footprint.
  • Consider carpooling and car sharing — Carpooling and car sharing via Uber, OLA or even Car Next Door can reduce your need to use your own car as often or make having a car unnecessary. Plus, you can also consider listing your own car on Car Next Door too.
  • Walk or cycle where possible — Not only is this great for your health, but it is as equally beneficial for the environment. Better yet, Ride to Work Day is a great way to encourage yourself and your colleagues to get involved if you need the extra motivation.

2. Holiday sustainably

Whether it’s for work, family or a leisure – travelling is an important part of life. And when it comes to planning, there are ways that you can lower your carbon footprint and still have a wonderful getaway:

  • Consider holidaying locally — Not only will you save the skies from carbon emissions, but it also helps support local communities especially in the wake of the recent Australian bushfires. Empty Esky is an initiative that encourages Australians to visit impacted communities with ‘empty eskies’ to help the small business stay afloat in the aftermath of the disaster.
  • Research ecotourism companies — Try and find companies that are eco-tourism certified that offer greener travel options and are already working to offset their carbon emissions for you!
  • Be picky with souvenirs — If you are buying souvenirs on your holidays, ensure you are buying locally-produced items that will support local enterprises and avoid mass-produced items that may end up as waste.

3. Tackle your food and waste

According to the Department of the Environment and Energy’s National Waste Report, Australia put more than 21 mega tonnes (or 21 million metric tonnes!) of waste into landfill in 2018. And while food packaging is by far the most insidious type of waste, you can also reduce your carbon footprint in other ways too:

  • Buy seasonal and local produce — Buying locally means that you are supporting your community, but it also means you’re buying food from suppliers that can reduce the transport emissions that was needed for it to get to you.
  • Reduce meat and dairy consumption — increasing vegetable intake and reducing the amount of meat and dairy you purchase and consume each week can help lower your carbon footprint.
  • Reduce plastic consumption — take reusable coffee cups and water bottles with you each day, avoid produce that is wrapped in plastic and phase out kitchen and bathroom products that aren’t using biodegradable or recyclable packaging.
  • Compost your food scraps — Instead of throwing away food into general waste, why not compost it? This is a great source of nutrients for your garden or pot plants.

4. Switch to sustainable providers

One of the most powerful decisions you can make as an individual is choosing to financially support providers that are using actively reducing their carbon footprint. Controlling who you give money to will send a strong message to businesses to change their own priorities:

  • Banking — More than ever, there is pressure on banks to adopt ethical practices, so now is the time to ensure you are banking with providers that do so.
  • Superannuation — While superannuation is rarely on our minds, we should consider finding one that invests in green energy instead of fossil fuels. Superannuation companies should have transparent information on their website about where your money is being invested.
  • Energy providers — We all use energy every day and we know that it’s a huge source of carbon emissions, so switching to a ‘green’ energy company is a good way to ensure that the power you’re using is not being sourced from fossil fuels.

You can find some comparisons between different banking and superannuation companies here and energy companies here.

5. Offset what you cannot reduce

Finally, offsetting the emissions you can’t avoid can help reduce your impact on the environment. ‘Offset’ essentially means to counteract the emissions you create with something good. Like planting a tree to help curb carbon dioxide levels.

When you offset with Greenfleet, you are taking practical climate action and supporting the vital reforestation of Australia and New Zealand. It means that enough native trees will be planted to capture the carbon emissions associated with what you choose to offset.

You can offset your car, household, air travel or even the next 12 months of your life with CarbonCover 365 and have peace of mind that you are taking steps to do your part and tread more lightly.

Another area where you can lower your carbon footprint is with the furniture you buy. Check out these Aussie “couch crusaders” fighting against fast furniture! Looking to be more sustainable in your day-to-day life? We’ve found 7 Easy Tips for Waste-Free Living thanks to The Source Bulk Foods.

Feature image: Photographed by Courtney Cook. Image via Unsplash.