Reduction tips

How can you reduce your carbon footprint?

Greening Australia’s Future Carbon program enables individuals and businesses to also find out ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

The added bonus of following these reduction tips is:

  • Money saved (either from electricity/gas bills or reducing your weekly shop)
  • A positive effect on business reputations and their wider community impact
  • Help for the local and wider environment, economy and community

So what can you do at home and in your business?

Home

  • Vehicle

    • Improve your driving technique to avoid heavy breaking, speeding and rapid acceleration
    • Only put heavy items like golf clubs or baby strollers in the boot when you need them
    • To improve fuel economy further, remove bike and roof racks when they are not in use
    • Check your vehicle’s oil, coolant, brake fluid and battery every two weeks and repair any leaks or changes as soon as possible
    • Check for the uneven wear of tyres, and their pressure, once a month
    • Keep a record of fuel consumption and make note of changes in your normal routine
    • Recycle old oil, tyres, batteries and other car parts by researching drop-off services or the recycling policies of your local mechanic

  • Other Travel

    • Try to use public transport or cycle
    • Book electronic tickets as they reduce paper – you won’t lose them!
    • Stop newspaper, milk or other deliveries to avoid waste
    • Turn off hotel room lights, bathroom fans and lower the thermostat when not in use
    • Leave behind unopened complimentary toiletries and avoid room service
    • Re-use towels and request that bed linen be changed after check-out
    • Where possible, check and use tap water to refill bottles – avoid buying imported bottled water

  • Energy

    • Insulate attic spaces and cavity walls
    • Switch incandescent light bulbs to compact florescent or energy-saving light bulbs
    • Ensure that heaters and air-con are well maintained and set to ‘vacation’ or ‘away’ mode while on holiday
    • Unplug or switch off electronic devices – especially ones that are often on stand-by
    • Fill your dishwasher and washing machine with a full load and use cooler cycles and ‘Eco’ settings whenever possible
    • Replace your old fridge/freezer (if it is over 15 years old), with a new one with energy efficiency rating of “A”
    • Replace your old boiler with a new energy efficient condensing boiler

  • Other

    • Buy organic, fair trade, seasonal and local produce
    • Avoid plastic packaging and bags – these can be easily replaced with paper or reusable cloth bags
    • Buy reusable bottles rather than buying plastic bottled water
    • Introduce native plants to your garden and use organic soil
    • Try to reduce impulse buying by window shopping; every product and item has a carbon footprint!
    • Invest in water-butts for water conservation in the garden and domestic water treatment equipment for the home. Mend, re-use and recycle whenever possible – make the most of take-away boxes, food waste and fabric scraps

Business

  • Vehicle

    • Before you buy a new vehicle, consider different engines that match your practical requirements
    • Car-pool whenever possible to reduce emissions of people travelling the same route
    • Choose the shortest route and plan your journey to avoid congestion and stopping
    • On hot days, use air conditioning with the windows up while travelling at higher speeds and turn off air-con and roll windows down while driving slowly or in traffic
    • Keep your vehicle well maintained to optimise fuel consumption and extend the life of your car
    • Explore diesel, hybrid and electric options for company vehicles and encourage colleagues to be mindful of their purchase options
    • Choose a caryard that offers CO2 offset or select a vehicle that is made domestically or using recycled materials

  • Other Travel

    • Explore the latest options for remote video-conferencing to avoid unnecessary travel for meetings
    • If you need to fly, try to take a direct flight and use less baggage
    • Encourage employees to car share, use public transport or ride bicycles
    • Reduce commuting emissions by working from home
    • Choose hotel accommodations and tours that carry environmental friendly certifications or memberships in green industry associations
    • Plan your trip and the location of your hotel around close public transport or the places you are going to visit, or rent a hybrid or fuel efficient car
    • Use rechargeable batteries in appliances and charge your laptop and phone only when necessary – switch it off whenever possible

  • Energy

    • Ensure the maintenance of window seals, insulation in storage spaces and heating and cooling systems – this will save energy as well as money
    • Set an average temperature for your heating and cooling systems that suits everybody to avoid energy-eating changes
    • Unplug or switch off electronic devices – especially ones that are often on stand-by
    • Choose office appliances that have low energy usage and low carbon footprints in their manufacture – from light bulbs to your computer and even your kitchen kettle
    • You can set up printers, scanners and photocopiers to switch themselves off automatically
    • Use a laptop rather than a desktop – laptops use far less energy
    • Switch off water heaters, air conditioning and lights every night, during holidays and over the weekend

  • Other

    • Provide recycling facilities for paper, tin, glass and especially plastic
    • Encourage employees to buy reusable plastic bottles and provide drinking water taps
    • Use native plants in any business landscape area and try to use organic soil
    • Take advantage of environment volunteering days to build teamwork – golf clubs, saunas, health clubs and go-karting have large carbon footprints!
    • Go paperless by using social media, websites and email
    • Your business could encourage other companies to reduce their carbon footprint too by asking them not to print out your email Use stationary from recycled or sustainable sources