There are many things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and prepare for a changing climate.
Making your home more energy efficient will mean you use less energy (electricity or gas) to produce the same, or a higher, level of comfort. This can significantly reduce the amount of money you spend on power and will also reduce your carbon footprint. If you own your home, investing in energy saving and efficiency measures can also increase the resale value of your property. Some things you can consider in your home:
- Turn off electrical appliances at the power point when not in use.
- Purchase appliances with high star ratings.
- Change your light bulbs to energy efficient LED bulbs.
- Block draughts around windows and doors.
- Install or top up the insulation in the ceiling, underfloor and in the walls.
- Insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes.
- Install a water-saving showerhead to reduce your hot water use.
- Wait until you have a full load before using your washing machine, dryer or dishwasher and save on water and power.
- Instead of using the clothes dryer, hang your clothes to dry on a clothesline or clothes rack/airer.
- Install double-glazed windows, or a window film that mimics double-glazing.
- Use thick curtains or blinds with pelmets above them to reduce the amount of heat lost through your windows.
- Consider installing solar panels and a solar hot water system to help reduce your household energy costs.
Recycling and waste reduction
The best way to reduce waste is to avoid buying things you don’t need.
- Plan your shopping carefully and choose items with low or no packaging.
- Reduce your household waste by composting your green waste and kitchen scraps.
- Reduce your single-use plastic by taking your reusable bags to the supermarket, taking a reusable cup to get your takeaway coffee, and refusing plastic straws.
- Choose non-disposable items wherever you can, such as cloth instead of paper towels, reusable razors instead of disposable ones, or handkerchiefs instead of tissues.
- Recycle as much as possible to turn materials that are left over into new products.
- Choose to use what you have, borrow, swap, or make, before you buy something new.
Create a climate- ready home
If you are renovating or building a new home, think about how you can adapt your home to minimise climate change impacts such as heatwave, flood and bushfire. Visit the Australian Government's Your Home website for more information about environmentally sustainable homes.
Transport and travel
Greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector are a major contributor to Tasmania’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
- Buying locally-made products not only supports the local economy, but also reduces the emissions generated by transporting goods from where they are produced to where they are consumed.
- Instead of driving, take a walk or ride a bike to the shops and you can reduce your carbon footprint, save money on petrol, and the physical activity is good for your health.
- Use public transport.
- Choose the smallest, most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets your everyday needs.
- Give friends or co-workers a lift. Car-pooling saves fuel, money and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. It can also ease congestion by reducing the number of cars on the road.
- Drive smarter – keep your car serviced to make sure it’s running efficiently, drive smoothly, remove roof racks when not in use, and reduce excess weight by emptying out the things you don’t need.
- Make an energy saving plan, detailing things like turning lights off when not needed and regularly checking heating control settings.
- Install climate-friendly landscaping by choosing drought-tolerant plants.
- Consider a kitchen garden to teach students where food comes from.
- Use water wisely by installing water tanks and dual-flush toilets.
- Audit your school rubbish disposal to ensure your recyclables are being separated.
- Start a waste-free lunchbox campaign.
- Install solar panels.
- Encourage students to participate in energy saving and environmental activities.
Working together can make it easier to achieve your goals. You could consider:
- bulk purchasing solar panels or solar hot water for a group discount;
- establishing a community garden to provide low-cost, healthy food; and
- organising sustainable transport, like carpooling or a ‘walking bus’, to take children to school.
You can cut your business operating costs by reducing energy use and using resources more efficiently.
- Think about setting targets to reduce energy, which could be as simple as turning off lights, computers and screens at the end of the day, or installing energy efficient light bulbs.
- Save water by installing flow restrictors on taps and shower heads.
- Reduce waste by reusing waste paper or packaging and using mugs, glasses and crockery instead of plastic or paper.
There are many ways to adapt your business and prepare for the projected changes in Tasmania’s climate.
- Be informed by connecting with peak industry bodies and checking climate change projections for your area.
- Be prepared by making a plan for bushfire or flooding and make sure you have adequate insurance and a disaster recovery plan.
- Take action by diversifying your products or crops and considering an alternate power source or temporary locations in case one is cut off in a disaster.
Visit the Tasmanian Climate Change Office website for more information on what you can do, and to sign up to our newsletter. You can also find us on Facebook @TasClimateChangeOffice.