Climate change is a big problem that many people feel helpless to solve. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can make a difference. Installing solar panels on your house is a big and expensive project but choosing to walk to the corner shop or adopting Meatless Monday are actions everyone can take.
Even changing the way you get places can make a big difference in your carbon footprint. Instead of driving everywhere, consider walking, riding a bicycle, carpooling or taking public transportation. All of these require less fossil fuel than driving and walking or riding your bicycle is a good way to exercise, too.
Airline transportation produces a large amount of carbon dioxide. Instead of flying away for a holiday, discover the wonders of your local area. By having a local holiday, you help businesses in your community and gain a greater appreciation of the environment, people and activities around you. As many Australian communities are recovering from bushfire and the loss of overseas tourists, local travel is an important way to support each other.
You can avoid greenhouse gas emissions by holidaying in Australia and choosing to walk or take public transport. (J Láscar 2016, Creative Commons)
Changing what you eat can have a big impact because livestock farming is responsible for 14.5% of human greenhouse gas emissions. Cattle and sheep are ruminant herbivores. Their digestion produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Cutting down on red meat or swapping your beef steak for a kangaroo steak is an easy way to reduce your impact. You may like to start with Meatless Monday. Meatless Monday was started during World War I to help the war effort and was revived in 2003 as a public health initiative. People embrace now embrace Meatless Monday as a way to keep the planet healthy.
In addition to eating a diet rich in plants, you can reduce greenhouse gases by minimising food waste. Planning meals and saving leftovers for later helps make food budgets go further and keeps food out of landfill. In landfill, food decomposes without oxygen, producing harmful methane. If you compost food waste, you can prevent methane production and create a useful soil additive for the garden.
Eating less meat minimises your carbon footprint. Fresh fruit and vegetables are healthy for people and the planet.
Australians throw out 6,000 kg of clothing every 10 minutes. The cotton t-shirt that may cost you $4 requires 2,700 litres of water to produce. If thrown in landfill, it produces methane as it slowly decomposes. Staying off the fast fashion treadmill is an important action to help our planet. Taking care of your clothing and getting new items from clothing swaps or op shops is a sustainable alternative to buying new, cheaply made garments.
You also help the environment by thinking about how you wash your clothing. Clothes last longer if they are not frequently laundered. Only wash clothes that need it. Wear them again if they are still clean.
Australians throw out 6,000 kg of clothing every 10 minutes. Taking care of clothes and wearing them for many years saves water and prevents the release of greenhouse gases.
- For some more ideas watch this video.
- Read about the science of sustainable fashion from producing fabric from bacteria to using mathematics to create efficient patterns.
- Activities to see the size of your carbon footprint, reduce your footprint and more - Go Green Activities from EnergyStar.
- The Climate Council explains 5 climate actions you can take from your bedroom.
- Try out some delicious recipes for Meatless Monday from Woolworths or Coles.