Five Ways to Decrease Your Carbon Footprint at Home!

Put on your sustainability specs and take a deeper look at how big or small your carbon footprint is to see what you could be doing differently to lessen your impact on the earth.

  1. Use an online carbon footprint calculator to estimate your carbon emissions, our favourites for Australian’s can be found here. Depending on the tool you use, the results will compare you to other Australians on average or even how many worlds we would need if everyone lived like you. By using a tool like this you are able to add up all the little actions you do day to day that use energy and emit greenhouse gas emissions, like your eating habits, commute, household activities, holidays and more! Your results may scare you a little, but they are a fantastic motivation tool to get your living more sustainably. 
  2. Prioritise passive cooling like outdoor living, opening windows and doors to create a cross-breeze or using fans. If you must use your air-conditioner, use it smarter! Darwin is very humid this time of year, we get that some houses and apartments can be uncomfortable without the air-con. If you need the air-con, create a ‘cool zone’ by setting the air-con to between 24-27 degrees and only running it in the room you’re using, and sealing all the doors and windows and closing the blinds to keep the cool air inside. If bedrooms need it on at night, close everything up and switch it on half an hour before bed, turn on the fan to circulate the cool air, and set the timer so that it turns off after 2-3 hours.
  3. Swap small car trips for walking or bike riding and you will not only lower your carbon emissions but increase your fitness and decrease petrol costs! Darwin has such great cycle and walking routes into the city, out to the suburbs and along the coastline, and there are bike racks most places. Public transport is another option with the reliable and cheap buses in Darwin and Palmerston. Did you know that even the type of car or fuel you use can be a large factor in how many emissions you create? If you’re only an occasional adventurer, you can make a lifestyle shift from a fuel guzzling 4WD to a smaller, fuel efficient car to save you a lot of money (and emissions).
  4. Reducing your food waste is a really easy and worthwhile action to take when reducing your footprint and it will save you money. OzHarvest estimates that Aussie’s throw out an average of $3,500 worth of groceries each year! Check out these delicious recipes that specialise in the sad foods usually left behind! We don’t have a green bin service in Darwin, so any food scraps that go into your red bin end up in landfill, and when this food in landfill breaks down, it lets off methane, which is a harmful greenhouse gas. By starting a home compost or worm farm you are diverting this waste from landfill and creating a valuable resource for your garden at the same time! Starting a compost is super easy, and if you’re confused you can always visit or join your local community garden, like Lakeside Drive Community Garden for some expert advice!
  5. The downside of living in such a tropical oasis is that food in the supermarket has to travel a looong way to get to the shelves, meaning that each product has pretty high food miles. By shopping at local, family owned stores, growing your own veggies and herbs, buying in bulk, or making from scratch you are able to reduce your food miles – which makes a massive difference to your carbon footprint! And whilst we’re talking about shopping, by re-purposing things you don’t need anymore, swapping or giving away unwanted items and purchasing second hand you are creating less waste and purchasing items with a smaller ecological footprint as they are being reused!