2: REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
Have you had a go at calculating your carbon footprint? If not you can do it here: https://www.wwf.org.au
Although all carbon/ecological calculators are an estimate, they give an indication of how our consumption and production compares to people in other parts of the world. There are different measures you can use including number of earths required (if we all lived like me), CO2 equivalent measure, or ecological footprint versus bio-capacity.
Australia has the highest per person emissions among developed countries. This is a handy graph from the University of Melbourne showing the leading countries. (Not an award you want to win!)
My personal “earth count” is 3.1 earths, mostly due to the amount of driving I do in a petrol powered car. Interestingly, if I change the inputs to using an electric car it drops to 1.1, so a new car is definitely on the wish list. Australia’s average is 4.1 earths.
As we obviously don’t have any spare earths, and the push to Mars is not a realistic response to the issues faced here, then we need to find a way to reduce our personal and country consumption and greenhouse gas production, especially as the global population is still increasing, with associated demands of energy and goods.
A personal reduction may seem like a small step, but it can have a ripple of effects on friends, family, workplaces and big business. As our decisions become more conscious we will look for the better choice.
52 Climate Actions recommends addressing 5 areas:
Carbon footprints can be split into five areas:
- Personal transport
- Food and drink
- Domestic energy (heat, light, cooking and appliances)
- Shopping (clothes, cars, computers etc.)
- Everything else (mostly construction and public services).
Make a commitment to reduce your personal footprint by just 10%. There will be lots of hints and tips on how to achieve this in the weeks ahead. For now, just make the commitment. Start to observe your own behaviour. Where can some simple swaps make a difference? Start by addressing one area at a time, and make some notes in your journal so you can keep track of any changes.