Actions for Earth
Everything we do from the food we eat to the products we buy to the way we travel, releases greenhouse gases like giant, hot farts that impact our planet in a not-so-awesome way.
We all can play a role in farting—we mean fighting!—climate change by reducing our carbon footprint, and you can totally take simple steps right now! Rad.
You can sign up to take these actions in March (or anytime in fact!) to reduce your footprint.
So, lights, camera, take action!
• Plastic ain’t fantastic: Go without plastic for the month. Plastic is made from oil, takes thousands of years to break down, and is a hazard to wildlife if it gets into the ecosystem.
• Break it down: Compost offcuts from veggies and other foods whilst cooking, and any table scraps. In landfill, food rots and releases methane, a greenhouse gas 11x more potent than CO2.
• Surf the new crimson wave: If you’re a person with a period, reduce period pollution by choosing reusable options like period underwear, cloth pads and menstrual cups, or seek out biodegradable options.
• Bin there, done that: Seek recycling options for anything you’d ordinarily put in the bin- there are services available for soft plastics, blister packs, contact lens containers, old hosiery, bread tags, beauty and hygiene tubes, and more, you just gotta look!
• Milk an oat: Switch to non-dairy milk alternatives, like oat, soy, almond, coconut and rice. Oat milk has the lowest CO2 emissions, but they’re all far lower than your traditional dairy.
• Don’t have a cow man: Be a legend and cut back (or out) meat consumption from your diet. Globally, meat production has double the GHG emissions of plant-based foods.
• Eat it. Just eat it: Eat ALL your leftovers, and plan meals around what you have at home to minimise waste (and save money!).
• Grow a pear: Test out your green thumb and give growing your own fruit, veg and herbs a go. Not only is home grown more satisfying and fresher, but walking into your backyard to harvest has zero transport emissions!
• Go-go organic: Where possible, buy organic, seasonal food options for the month. Look for organic certification labels on supermarket food, or go to the source at the local farmers market. Pesticides and herbicides can deplete soil, pollute waterways, and harm wildlife.
• Food flight: Check the labels and choose Australian grown, made and packaged foods. Imported foods have huge carbon footprints, especially if they’re flown as most perishables will be.
• Don’t throw in the towel: You can considerably reduce energy and water consumption by always doing full loads and washing in cold water.
• Power down: Make a habit of turning appliances off at the wall, and switching off lights when you aren’t in a room or the sun is doing the work. It’ll save you money too!
• Solar sense: Consider installing solar panels in your home. There are lots of initiatives around to help you out, but if it’s not an option for you, consider changing to an energy provider who sources only from renewables.
• It’s getting hot in here: Get thermostat smart and adjust the aircon temperature by one degree (up if cooling, down if heating). That one degree reduces emissions by about 10%, saving CO2 and money!
• Shower power: 21% of your power bill goes to heating water, so skip the full karaoke set in the shower and either have a two minute shower or just go cold – apparently it’s good for you?
• Invest like an eco-genius: Check if your super fund and bank have investments in or loan to fossil fuels. If so, consider switching to more ethical institutions and don’t forget to tell them why you moved!
• Check your screen time: Nominate a reduced amount of leisure screen time (e.g TV and Netflix) and rediscover reading, walking, talking, gardening, birdwatching and so much more! Even if you’re using renewables, the mega servers needed to run the internet and streaming services are very power hungry.
• Get on your bike: Pedal-power is not only a rad mode of transport; it has ultra-low Co2 emissions. This month, commit to riding a certain distance each week instead of driving.
• Walk it off: Where you can, replace any short drives with walks. Commit to a number of kms each week!
• Share the ride: Public transport or carpooling can drastically reduce your carbon footprint whilst saving you cash on fuel and parking. This month, phone a friend and carpool or bus all your regular drives (that you’re not walking or bike riding of course!).
• Bye bye buying: Did you know fashion is the second biggest polluting industry after oil? Don’t buy any new clothing this month. If you really need a fashion fix, hit up your local op-shops and vintage stores.
• Meant to rent: Got a special occasion coming up and you really NEED to wear something new? Give renting a go! There are loads of clothing rental companies popping up, and you can hire something fancy you may not otherwise be able to afford.
• Material world: Get creative and brush up on your sewing skills at the same time by mending, altering and customising any of your clothes. It’ll feel like a totally new piece!
• Fake news: Check out the ‘sustainability’ section of your favourite fashion brands to see what their stance is, but don’t be fooled by fake news! Greenwashing can be pretty hard to spot, and sites like Good On You have done the legwork for you and rated fashion brands on their ethical practices. While you’re there, check out their articles on different fabrics.
• Show you care and re-wear: Many of your clothes don’t need to be washed after each wear. Instead, try airing items to freshen them up, and spot clean marks. This also helps to reduce microplastics released from polyester garments during washing, which find their way into our oceans and waterways.
• Get your hands dirty: Improve biodiversity by planting native plants, trees and shrubs in your garden (or someone else’s!), or volunteer to plant trees or eradicate weeds to help restore natural landscapes. Trees draw carbon out of the air, and when you plant native you’re helping out the wildlife who love them best.
• Swipe recycled: Fancy cutting down trees and flushing them straight down the toilet! That’s exactly what you’ll be doing with many toilet paper brands on the shelf… Instead, choose toilet paper made from recycled paper.
• A load of rubbish: Spend some time at the beach, forest, park or wherever your wanders take you, bring a bag along and pick up any rubbish you come across. Your animal friends will thank you for it!
• Palm it off: Check the labels on your food and bathroom products like soap and say no to products that use palm oil. The more people saying ‘hell no!’ to the rainforest-destroying harvest of palm oil, the more we’ll be protecting biodiversity and critically endangered species, like our cousin the orang-utan.