The scale of the Climate Change problem can make you feel slightly helpless, so we’ve come up with our own tips to enable you to make a difference to your personal carbon footprint.
Here are top tips from Sustainability Trust:
Sign up for “Meat-free Mondays” or become a ‘flexitarian’ – a flexible vegetarian – so you can still enjoy your mum’s chicken roast, while making a difference every other day of the week!
Get educated and energised
Learn about climate change. Bring in speakers to your school, workplace, church, community. Check out Sustainability Trust free online resources or pop into browse their library. Stay inspired – it ain’t over til it’s over!
Get active on your way to work
Walk or bike to work once a week. Or if that’s too far, try parking further away (save money on parking too!) and walk or bike for the last – and most congested – part of your journey. If you’re nervous about cycling, try to find a ‘Bike Buddy’, contact Pedal Ready or Sport Manawatu for on-road bike training. Calculate your savings using the Journey Planner.
Four R’s – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (and compost)
Reduce your consumption, and think about how you might dispose of purchases once they reach the end of their lives. Check out Freecycle, or Sustainability Trust’s eWaste and Curtain Bankservices to donate/dispose of used goods responsibly.
Book a ‘staycation’ these holidays, and if you can’t avoid flying, offset your emissions locally.
Check out the Conscious Consumers app to help you find local shops that are doing good stuff, visit your local weekend market to buy cheap fresh fruit and vege, or visit the Sustainability Trust shop which has a range of planet-friendly gift ideas and energy efficient products.
Sort out your place
Make some small changes to your habits- put up stickers to remind you to turn off unused appliances, only fill the jug as much as you need, time your showers and try to reduce them by a minute each week, and open windows for 30 minutes each day to ventilate and let in fresh, dry air, which is easier to heat (or keep cool).
Get to work at work
Encourage your workplace to provide bike racks, showers, LED lighting, solar power, electric vehicles, carpool noticeboards, efficient heating, recycling, composting, etc. Or organise a waste audit, energy assessment or sustainability workshop for your workplace.
Sign up to Let’s Carpool for your regular commute, or for a one-off trip. Talk to your neighbors, parents from your kid’s school or work colleagues about joining them for part of their journey.
Offset the emissions you can’t avoid Calculate your household emissions and how much you can reduce them using this tool from MOTU and ChewyData. Or check out organisations such as ekos.org.nzwhich have certified NZ and Pacific offsets from rainforest carbon.
Get political and lobby your favourite corporates
Lobby, vote, march, talk it up with friends, family, and our leaders. Sign up to newsletters from Generation Zero, WWF and 350.org or join their facebook pages. Write letters to major greenhouse gas emitters – let them know you care.
Back at your place – start saving
Insulate, heat efficiently, put a wrap on your hot water cylinder, install LED’s or replace lights with ecobulbs, get a solar panel on your roof, install high-efficiency shower heads, draught proofing, etc. Sustainability Trust can advise you on how to make the biggest improvements, with a free home energy assessment. Contact Sustainability Trust to find out if you qualify for subsidised insulation or a rates loan from your local council.