From the wildfires in Australia to the recent flooding in Western Europe, the impact of the climate crisis is hard to ignore.
While real action is needed on a global scale, there’s plenty we can do as individuals.
By adopting a low carbon lifestyle, you can reduce your impact on the planet and help in the fight against climate change.
Here are 8 practical ways that can make a difference.
1. Unplug your devices
We all love our devices, but they drain power, even when they’re powered down.
To reduce your carbon footprint, unplug your electronics when they’re not in use. You’ll save on utility bills and protect your property from sudden power surges.
2. Eat Local
Did you know that the produce from your local supermarket travels around 1,500 miles to reach your plate? This long-distance transportation consumes large quantities of fossil fuels and leads to high carbon emissions.
Buying local in-season produce will cut down your carbon footprint and enrich your diet with more flavour and nutrients.
3. Replace your light bulbs
Changing to LED lighting is one of the quickest ways to shrink your carbon footprint. LED bulbs provide the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs but use 80% less energy and last up to 50 times longer!
4. Drive less
Consider walking or biking on short trips. It’s a great way to reduce your transport emissions and squeeze in some exercise on your busy schedule.
Carpooling and public transportation can reduce your carbon emissions much further and save on fuel costs.
5. Fly less
Air travel is one of the most polluting means of transport, next to cars. If you can, take a train or a bus and vacation closer to home. However, if flying is essential, donate to a carbon offset programme when you book your next flight.
6. Green your laundry
Our laundry habits create more carbon emissions than we realize. It’s estimated that washing and drying a load produces 440kg of CO2 emissions per household every two days.
To make your washing routine more eco-friendly, do your laundry in full loads, use cold water as much as possible and line-dry your clothes. If you need to use a dryer, add dryer balls to reduce drying time and save energy.
7. Get thrifty
The fast fashion industry is not only a huge carbon emitter, it also engages in exploitative labour practices. Buying secondhand clothing will decrease your carbon footprint and give you access to unique pieces at low prices!
8. Reduce food waste
Kiwi households throw away 4kg of food each week! This food waste releases methane when it reaches landfills - a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.
To cut down on food waste:
- Plan your meals
- Use grocery lists
- Check the use-by dates
- Store your food properly
- Cook only what you need
- Find creative ways to use your leftovers
- Compost your kitchen waste
A low-carbon lifestyle can be fulfilling, fun and economical! By making these small changes in your day-to-day life, you can play your part in saving the planet.