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9 Simple Ways you can Reduce your Carbon Footprint at Home

9 Simple Ways you can Reduce your Carbon Footprint at Home

It's actually quite easy to reduce the amount of carbon you are responsible for emitting once you are more aware

I am Sarah Fussell from The Artisan's Bazaar and I want to share my favourite emissions reductions tips. There are many things you can do to reduce your carbon emissions, but these are the simplest and very easy to implement. 

What is CO2?

First, let’s take a look at what CO2 is, and why it’s important to our environment. CO2 is carbon dioxide. On Earth, carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring gas that is all around us in our atmosphere. It is a vital gas which absorbs heat, trapping the energy from the sun in our atmosphere to regulate the temperature on Earth. Some heat from the sun is deflected back into space and the amount our Earth needs to remain at a habitable temperature is trapped in the atmosphere.


Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release the oxygen we breathe in a process called photosynthesis (remember this word from science class?) Trees also store surplus CO2 to help them grow. Human activity such as burning of fossil fuels means too much CO2 is entering the Earth’s atmosphere and deforestation means less CO2 is being absorbed, along with the release of the trees stored CO2. Too much CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, warms the planet’s surface, and here we have global warming.

Is global warming and climate change the same thing?

You’ve probably noticed these terms used in the same sentence many times. This is what they mean: Global Warming refers to the warming of the planet from burning fossil fuels, contributing to the average surface temperate. Climate Change are the effects of global warming, including increased temperature trends, loss of sea ice, melting of the ice sheet and glaciers, extreme weather events and ocean acidification. Traditionally, change in climate cycles have been attributed to very small variations in the Earth's orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.

Fast forward to now and the current warming trend is of particular significance because 95% is said to be a result of human activity. Scientists date the start of this current climate trend to the beginning of the industrial revolution and it is proceeding at an unprecedented rate.

What can I do as an individual?

Here are 9 ways you can reduce carbon emissions in your own home: 

  1. Make climate-conscious political decisions. The big decision makers are in parliament – voice your concerns to your local parliament and demand action be taken. Vote. Research and vote. If this fails, rise up to the challenge and let’s tackle this issue as a community! 
  2. Switch to Green Electricity. Power plants burn carbon fuels to produce your electricity. Switching can be installing your own solar panels to your home, or add a Green Choice through your electricity provider. This doesn’t mean the electricity going direct to your home will be “green”, your provider will source electricity equal to or a percentage of your household consumption from Renewable Energy Sources. 
  3. Make your home energy efficient. This can include unplugging your appliances when not in use, choose appliances with a good energy rating, insulate your roof, switch to energy saving LED light bulbs, manage your heating and cooling. 
  4. Conserve Waster Usage - Click here for 10 Simple Ways to Reduce Water Consumption in your Home 
  5. Eat less red meat. This may be a hard pill to swallow for some, including myself, however meat production requires fossil fuel usage, deforestation for planting crops or grazing livestock and the methane gas produced from cows. Although methane is more potent that CO2, it is shorter lived as a trapped greenhouse gas. This is just a tip in reducing consumption of meat, not cutting it out completely. I heard plant-based diets are pretty cool too, but hey, whatever floats your boat. 
  6. Walk, ride, car share or catch public transport. Australia has one of the highest per capita emissions of carbon dioxide in the world. Imagine if each person could halve their emissions from transport vehicles, by ride sharing or planning your trip so you are not going back and forth while your run errands. 
  7. Work from home or teleconference. Using the emissions calculator, an approximate 60km round trip from home to work, from the suburbs to the city, in a standard vehicle emits approximately 12,000 grams of CO2. Although when working from home we still use our devices and electricity etc, cutting out that car trip dramatically reduces our carbon footprint. The order from highest to lowest carbon emissions when working from home are: sending 1 email, 1 minute of talking on the phone, 1 text message. Do you really need to travel interstate to attend that work meeting? Video teleconferencing will reduce your carbon footprint sustantially compared to the emissions from a passenger plane. 
  8. Buy local produce. Buying locally grown produce means the food is fresher and tastes better, the money you spend stays within your local community, you are not driving as far to shop, the produce has not done as many kilometres in transport vehicles and many local producers choose organic or natural pest repellents. 
  9. Learn and live the 5 R’s - Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle. Incorporating the 5 R’s into your daily life means less products are being produced and less going to landfill which are major contributors to carbon emissions. 

The information regarding the effects of global warming goes deep into many case scenarios but all come to the same conclusion. It is up to humans (you, me, organisations, governments) to reduce CO2 emissions. We need to heal the eco-systems that supports our life on Earth. Will you be a part of the change? #bethechange

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