I'm a fan of keeping it simple. We have list, upon list of ways in which you can lower your carbon footprint and cut waste from your life. But if you want to start small, and start today then I'd recommend these three actions.
Cut the cow
It's estimated that the average meat eater's diet has twice the carbon footprint of her vegetarian counterpart, and depending on your source, this number is often quoted as higher.
Opting for a meatless meal once a week is a nice starting point, but being that we eat the equivalent of three portions of animal-based protein a day, meatless Monday should just be the tip of the iceberg. Get serious and cut out meat at breakfast and lunch. It's easier than going cold turkey and if you're considering transitioning to a plant-based diet it's the perfect soft launch.
If you're a meat eater that really, really loves meat then I'd recommend starting here.
Go straight to the bank
If you ask anyone on the street the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint you might get answers like use public transportation, decrease household energy consumption, or buy locally grown produce. It seems a bit outside of the box to consider your finances as a means of reducing your carbon footprint, but one that is equally important.
When your money sits in a bank or super fund that supports the fossil fuel industry you are inadvertently funding big oil, coal, gas and mining companies.
For Australians, Marketforces has multiple reports and tools that you can use to determine if any of your financial institutions invest in fossil fuels. If they do then it's time to get out of there! 1 Million Women chooses to bank with Bank Australia and our super sits in Australian Ethical , but if either of those don't work for you then there are other ethical options out there, just do your homework!
Nail your energy efficiency
We all know to turn off the lights when we leave the room, but simply getting better at the way we use energy could have a huge impact. If every Australian reduced their energy consumption by 20% it would shut down two coal-fired power plants.
Keep doing the usual: switch off at the wall, use energy efficient globes, line dry, and opt for a fan instead of air con.
Just like your bank and super fund, not all power providers are equal. Last year I made the switch to a power provider that uses 100% renewable energy and offsets all their emissions. In Australia there are a few different providers that offer renewable energy, you can use ethical switch to find one that will suit you.