Reducing My CO2 Emissions
The average Australian household produces approximately 14 tonnes of greenhouse gas each year. Car use (34%) and water heating (16%) account for the largest percentage of household emissions. Luckily, you don’t need to make major sacrifices or outlay large amounts of money to reduce your personal carbon footprint. When considering reducing your emissions, the following sources of emissions should be considered:
- Car related carbon emissions
- Carbon emissions from water heating
- Government rebates for hot water system upgrade
- Carbon emissions from electricity & appliances, and
- Other ways to save carbon emissions.
Car related carbon emissions:
- Whenever possible, take public transport, ride a bike or walk
- Choose a lower emissions car. A fuel-efficient car can save up to 20 tonnes of greenhouse gas and up to $10,000 in fuel over its lifetime. New diesel and LPG fuelled cars are generally more efficient than petrol cars
- Drive efficiently and avoid peak hour traffic
- Check your tyre pressure. An under inflated tyre creates more rolling resistance and therefore results in more fuel consumption
- Remove unnecessary weight, optional features which create air drag and roof racks when they are not being used
- Carpool whenever possible
- Get your car air conditioner serviced regularly and keep the filters clean and use it only when it is necessary
- Offset the unavoidable carbon emissions from your motor vehicle use.
Carbon emissions from water heating:
- Install an energy efficient showerhead. It can save your household up to $100 per year in water and energy costs. Contact us if you want a quote for water saving showerheads
- Buy a solar or gas energy efficient water heater. Make sure you check the energy star ratings
- Take shorter showers and avoid having baths
- Avoid using running hot water
- Switch off your hot water system when you’re going away for more than a few days
- Fix leaking taps, and
- Ensure exposed hot water pipes are insulated.
Government rebates for hot water system upgrades:
- Replace your electric hot water system with a solar system and potentially receive a rebate from the federal government. Check your eligibility, and
- The NSW government is also offering a solar hot water rebate. Find out if you are eligible.
How to reduce carbon emissions and running costs from electricity & appliance use:
- Switch appliances off at the power point when they are not in use
- Use low wattage TVs and switch them off when they are not being watched
- Switch computers and IT equipment off at the end of each day and use the power save function when you leave your desk during the day, even if it is only for a few minutes. Also, by reducing the brightness of your computer screen you can cut greenhouse emissions by a further 25%
- Replace outdated appliances and white goods and choose energy efficient models when buying new ones. Leaking fridges and inefficient washing machines should be prioritized for replacement
- Do not rinse dishes under hot water before putting them into the dishwasher. Modern dishwashers can handle the mess and rinsing actually uses more hot water that the dishwasher itself
- Wash clothes in cold water, whenever possible
- Ensure you set the load size/water level for your washing machine
- Only run the dishwasher when it is full
- Wherever possible avoid electric powered cooking and use gas and microwave cooking
- Try cooking in bulk to freeze meals and re-heat them later in the microwave
- Install energy efficient lighting at home, and
- Switch to green energy. It helps drive demand for renewable energy and reduces your footprint drastically. You can choose to offset your entire electricity bill. NoCO2 Power fully offsets the emissions from your electricity use by purchasing carbon offsets from projects in the developing world. If you want to know more about NoCO2 Power then please contact us. Another alternative is GreenPower which is available through your electricity provider. An online comparison tool for gas and electricity plans in Australia, including green power, can be found on the Artog website.
Other ways to save carbon emissions:
- Where possible, cut consumption of those products which generate high levels of greenhouse gases such as water, metal, paper, glass and plastic
- Minimise and recycle waste. Use reusable bags when you go shopping
- Consider setting up a worm farm – it also produces excellent fertilizer
- Buy local, organic products
- Plan your holidays close to home
- Insulate your home, and
- Purchase carbon credits to neutralise your impact on climate change.
Climate change is the biggest man made threat the planet has ever had to confront. By reducing your personal carbon footprint and offsetting your unavoidable emissions you can rest assured that the climate change impact of your lifestyle has been negated and that you have contributed in a positive way to the solution of man-made global warming. Where possible buy low carbon and carbon neutral products such as NoCO2 Power to offset emissions embodied in the products and services you consume. Look to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicle use, electricity use and recycle your waste. Review our tips for individuals to do your bit for the environment. Together we can solve this problem!
Start at home
Act on climate change!
Being environmentally conscious and proactive at home will help reduce your carbon footprint. Set an example for your family, friends and neighbours. Reduce your emissions, where possible, and offset those emissions that are unavoidable. Read through our tips section on how to lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
As opposed to dirty, polluting power generated from coal, green power is generated from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. Talk to your energy supplier about switching over to green power.
You could also consider installing solar panels on your roof. More information about solar power is provided on our Solar page and information about solar water heating can be found on this page under the section entitled, Carbon emissions from water heating.
Travelling green is a great way to stay fit and healthy and do your bit for the environment. Use public transport as much as possible. If you don’t have to travel too far, consider walking or riding your bike! Not only will the environment benefit but so will your hip pocket.
If you do have to drive, you can offset the carbon emissions from your car usage which is a great option to minimise your impact on global warming.