Hotter, drier days. Heavier rains. Bigger bushfires. Longer droughts and more frequent flooding.
It can’t be ignored that climate change isn’t as far-fetched as some would have us believe – even in Australia. With every passing day, there’s more evidence that the change is upon us right now.
But it’s not too late to turn the tide and do some good for our planet. Aussies are among the highest generators of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, so it’s time to pull our socks up and make the effort to treat our earth well. Because small changes can make a big difference.
Do you drive to work when you could ride to work? Or hop in the car to go to the supermarket when you could walk? Changing the way you get from A to B can have a massive impact on your footprint – and your health. If you must drive, you can drive smarter. Simply slowing down excessive acceleration and braking can decrease your mileage by 15-30%.
Make smart shop swaps
If you choose local produce that’s in season, you’ll help reduce the energy that goes into transport and storage. If you have space in the backyard, it’s a good idea to grow your own veggies and herbs – they’ll be fresh, organic and good for the environment. Otherwise, try to avoid items with excessive (and often unnecessary) packaging.
Use less energy at home
Reducing your energy usage at home is not only good for the environment, it’s also good for your wallet – and it’s as easy as making small, simple changes. Switch off lights when you leave the room or don’t need them. Change your light bulbs out for energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. Change your washing machine setting to cold water over hot – unless clothes are soiled, and hang your washing to dry rather than turning on the dryer.
Make good use of your recycle bin
Try to make a conscious effort to separate your recyclables from your rubbish. If you buy sauces or spreads in glass jars and bottles, try and make new uses for them instead of throwing them out. Shopping at bulk food stores is also a good idea and cuts out the use of packaging (and the cost of packaging). You can also upcycle or donate pre-loved furniture and household objects.
Bid goodbye to plastic bags
Store some eco-friendly bags in your kitchen cabinet, car, and handbag so you’ve always got one handy if you spontaneously pop into the shops. If you’re heading out to the beach or park for the park, use containers or reusable bags to pack your snacks.
Kick smoking to the curb
Aside from the other many reasons to stop smoking, a major one is the impact it has on the earth. Cigarette butts are actually the leading pollutant on our beaches, and they don’t do our waters any favours either. If someone you’re with is smoking in an outdoor space, encourage them to dispose of their butt in a responsible way.
To learn more about what NRMA is doing to help combat climate change, view our action plan here.