Want to make a difference but don’t know where to start?
Here’s the lazy person’s guide to making a difference … requiring minimum effort.
From your sofa
- Save electricity. Turn off the lights when you don’t need them and plug appliances into a power strip. By turning appliances off (including your computer) when not in use will also save you money
- Follow local news and share. If you see an interesting social media post about climate change, share it so others in your network see it too
- Don’t print; use a digital notepad and spare the paper
- Stop paper bills and statements. Paying your bills online or via mobile results in no paper, so no forest destruction
- Shop smart. Plan meals and avoid impulsive buys. Buy from companies that you know have sustainable practices
From your home
- Use energy efficiently. If using a washing machine, make sure the load is full and if you use a dishwasher, don’t rinse your plates before running the machine
- Plug air leaks in windows and doors to increase energy efficiency
- Take showers. Baths require gallons more water than a 5-10 minute shower
- Eat more fruit and veg. More resources are used to provide meat than plants!
- Freeze fresh produce and leftovers. If you’ve not had the chance to eat them before the best before date. You will save food and money
- Compost food scraps. Composting can reduce climate impact while providing nutrients for the soil
- Reduce. Re-use. Recycle. Reduce waste. Re-use, no single use items. Recycle paper, plastic, glass and aluminium to keep landfills from growing
- Avoid preheating the oven. Unless you need a precise baking temperature, start heating your food right when you turn on the oven
- Replace old appliances with energy efficient models and light bulbs
- If you have the option, install solar panels in your house. This will also reduce your electricity bill!
- Use a rug. Carpets and rugs keep your house warm and your thermostat low
- Choose re-usable nappies. With a variety of options available, these are a big money saver and often healthier alternative to disposables
And out and about
- Shop locally. Supporting local businesses keeps people employed and prevents unnecessary travel
- Bike, walk or take public transport. Save the car for trips when you’ve got a big group
- Buy wonky fruit and veg; they are often thrown out because of their size, shape, or colour not being “right”. Buying this perfectly good food at the farmer’s market etc., utilises food that might otherwise go to waste
- Shop for locally sourced produce and sustainable seafood. When shopping or when visiting restaurants ask for the source. Let your favourite businesses know that local farming and ocean-friendly seafood is on your shopping list
- Use a reusable water bottle and coffee cup. Cut down on waste and maybe save money at the coffee shop!
- Take fewer napkins. You don’t need a handful of napkins to eat your takeaway. Take only what you need
- Up-cycle. Shopping new isn’t necessarily best. See what you can re-make from second-hand shops
- Maintain your car. A well-tuned car will emit fewer emissions
- Donate. Local charities will give your used clothes, books and furniture a new life