The latest UN Report for climate action has positioned Australia last of 193 member states for it's climate action efforts. Due chiefly to our persistent use of fossil fuels, and the high levels of emissions embodied within the things we import and export as a country.
You, like us might find this depressing, and while you probably can't singlehandedly change the course of our energy sector, there are things we can all do on a personal level to find a better way. Surprisingly, they are relatively simple and effective.
Our carbon and lifecycle experts have navigated the noise and chaos of climate change information to come up with three simple, low stress ways to make a big reduction to your personal carbon footprint...
1. Switch to renewable
In this digital age, we are all plugged in most of the time. Energy defines us, who are you when your phone goes flat? The point is, whilst we are unlikely to stop consuming it, we should always try and use less and what we do consume should be zero emissions. Zero emission energy is here today, in most Australian cities you as a consumer (even if you are renting) you can choose Greenpower. For more information on Greenpower visit: https://www.greenpower.gov.au/. Where you (or your bank) own property, you can install your own renewable power station on your roof, as 21% of Australian households already have, amounting to 3 million households. To source a reputable provider take a look at the Clean Energy Council's website for more information: https://bit.ly/3xsgi9n
Figure 1: Share of total emissions, by sector, for the year to December 2020
2. Active commuting
Introducing an active commute into your routine can improve mental wellbeing, physical health and saves you money on fuel costs. Cycling, running or even roller blading to work, (just one day a week) also significantly lowers your carbon footprint. In fact we could be saving as much as a quarter of personal carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
At Perspektiv we have recently introduced an initiative to achieve 50% active transport commutes by 2022. Staff members record their commuting data each week, which is then collected and assessed as a whole and we have monthly check ups to ensure that we are staying on track. We are also in the process of acquiring some electric bikes for the company, in the hope that this will encourage the team even further.
3. Be flexible
Our diets have a huge influence on climate change, air and water pollution, biodiversity and our health. It is understandable if you’re not quite ready to ditch the burgers and sushi, but just by reducing your meat consumption and choosing a more sustainable diet you can significantly reduce your environmental impact. A flexitarian diet involves choosing mostly plant-based foods while allowing yourself to eat animal products in moderation.
Forrest Green Rovers in the UK have become the world’s first vegan football club, but that hasn't stopped them selling burgers and pies. They have won over their fans with their vegan delights. https://www.fgr.co.uk/vegan-food
However, we shouldn't focus solely on our eating habits through food groups. Choosing local products and opting for sustainably resourced and bio degradable products also plays a huge role.
Figure 2: Shows the impact that our food has on the environment.
If you would like to learn more about how to realise better outcomes and sustainability ratings, get in touch for a chat with our experts in Carbon and lifecycle impacts and Resilience and Adaptation. We always enjoy contemplating new challenges and opportunities, and are always happy to share ideas. Together we will find a better way!
William Westaway - Sustainability Consultant - LCA,
Gargi Mukkamala - Sustainability Consultant
Patrick Jeannerat - Principal Sustainability Consultant.