The phrase “carbon footprint” refers to the total quantity of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (such as methane) released into the atmosphere due to our actions. Individual actions like our choice of transportation, the foods we eat and where they are produced, the style of housing we live in and the amount of garbage we generate all contribute to our carbon footprint.
Our homes account for almost a quarter of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, modifying our behaviour at home, work and school may help us cut emissions, minimise our carbon footprint, and, in many circumstances, save us money.
When it comes to electricity, one of the most important things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint is to choose low-emission electricity options.
Most electricity in Australia is generated from burning coal, gas or oil. The amount of carbon dioxide emitted from using electricity depends on the type of power station.
Coal-fired power stations, which account for 75% of Australia’s electricity supply, create the most carbon dioxide per unit of electricity. Natural gas-fired power stations create less carbon dioxide and use less energy to produce the same electricity as coal-fired power stations.
The least carbon dioxide-intensive option is renewable energy, such as wind, solar and hydro-electric. Because these power sources are renewable, the amount of carbon dioxide they emit into the atmosphere is relatively low and sustainable. With the help of your energy retailer, you can select a low-emission electricity plan which generates a low carbon footprint by using renewable energy sources.
You can also cut your carbon footprint when it comes to electricity by lowering your power usage.
Changing your transport habits will also help you reduce your carbon footprint.
Most Australians live and work in the suburbs, with most journeys made by car. The transport sector accounts for about 20% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. When you consider that most cars sit parked for most hours of the day, the amount of emissions attributed to cars is even more significant than this.
If you drive, you can change your transport habits which can save you money and reduce emissions. By taking public transport, riding your bike or walking, you can reduce your impact on the environment. The average person can reduce their transport-related carbon emissions by half by walking or cycling half the time instead of driving. Choosing a fuel-efficient car when purchasing a vehicle will also help reduce your carbon footprint.
Another area where you can help reduce your carbon footprint is changing how you eat.
Around 20% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions come from farming, so changing the type of food you eat can make a real difference. By choosing products that have been produced locally or organically, you can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced when transporting and storing food.
When buying beef, lamb, pork, or chicken, look for grass-fed organic options. These products are more sustainable than those reared on grain-fattening farms. It takes around three kilograms of grain to produce one kilogram of meat. Eating meat from animals that have been fed on grains that have been grown in areas of low rainfall requires much more water than meat from grass-fed animals, which creates a much smaller carbon footprint.
Beyond consuming organic food, you can play an active role in reducing your waste. Composting food scraps is one way to reduce food waste going to landfill.
As individuals, we all play an essential part in reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. By choosing sustainable and carbon-friendly options, we can all reduce our carbon footprint and make our environment a better place to live.
EcoPower Electrical is an electrical contractor company that has been providing domestic electrical services for over 25 years. Our goal has always been to provide the highest quality services to our clients, putting us on top of the commercial electrical services around the country. Get a free quote today, and let us know how we can help manage your lines at home.