With the population soaring, each household has a responsibility to lower their greenhouse gas emissions. Here are 10 simple ways to get started!
1. Turn off appliances that aren't in use or are on standby
Reduce your household carbon footprint and be aware of electronic equipment left on when not in use, whether it is phone chargers, gaming consoles, televisions, or lights. It's simple, yet easy to forget and will make a big difference to your electricity bill.
Read about Sydney's LED street lighting project
2. Take shorter showers
Keeping your showers to a maximum of four minutes is another simple and effective way to reduce your energy consumption. Fresh water is getting harder to come by. It's important not to take it for granted, especially when so many people don't have access to clean, drinkable water. Perhaps install an egg timer in your shower to ensure that you're not washing away too much time.
What you can do
Install water-saving heads and take 4 minute showers
3. Install solar panels
Generating your own electricity from the perpetual energy from the sun will not only save you money, particularly in the hot Australian climate, but will significantly reduce your carbon footprint. As more people around the world are installing solar panels, a real difference is being made to greenhouse gas output. It also puts more pressure on fossil fuel companies as more of us opt for renewable energy sources.
4. Hang your clothes on a clothesline instead of using the dryer and wash only full loads of laundry
It's easy to choose a clothes dryer over a clothes line in our busy schedules, but perhaps that's why taking a few moments to be outside and hang your clothes is so important. It may not seem like much, but when you consider that washing your clothes in cold water and hanging them on the line saves 400kg each year for each person, the numbers begin to add up!
Read more: Tips and tricks for line drying your laundry
5. Collect rainwater for the garden
Rain doesn't always fall into every nook and cranny of the garden, so installing a tank to collect rainwater is a great water-saving option for your household. You can save water from winter to use during dry spells in the summer.
6. Leaky tap? Keep a bucket underneath and use the water for the garden
By keeping a container or bucket under a leaking tap or shower head, you can collect water and use it for another purpose, whether watering your garden, rinsing dishes, or filling a bathtub!
You can even use water to keep your fruit and vegetables fresh without plastic
7. Find out where your energy comes from – is it generated by diesel? Coal? Wind?
Knowledge is power! Discovering how your house is powered may be motivational push needed to make the switch to renewable energy sources. Inquire at your local council and start learning.
8. Keep a blanket on your couch when it's cold
Don't rush to the heater on cold winter days and snuggle into a blanket or beside a pet instead. By keeping a blanket in close proximity, you'll be less tempted to turn to the heater during your Netflix marathon. Extra points if you knit your own blanket!
Read more: Our top 6 DIY items to knit this winter
9. Insulate your house naturally
A few tricks here and there will make a big difference to the temperature of your house, both during heatwaves and cold spells. Heaters and air conditioners may provide instant relief, but don't come without a cost to both your bank balance and the environment.
Check out these low-energy tips on how to stay cool during Australia's notorious heatwaves
If it's winter where you're reading this, these tips will keep you warm without harming the environment
What you can do
Turn heaters and air conditioners down to reduce energy use
10. Install low energy lights
Solely the use of the lights in our homes can cause more than 1 tonne of carbon pollution each year. By switching to low energy lights, such as L.E.D. lights, you'll reduce pollution from lights by 80% compared to incandescent globes. L.E.D. lighting is inexpensive and lasts for around 10 years.
Click here to watch the Eiffel Tower light up for 100% renewable energy
What you can do
Install low-energy lights wherever you can in your home