Tāmaki Makaurau – One of the best ways Kiwis can contribute to climate change is to consider a sustainable house when they want to buy a new home.
Houses that harness natural energy sources to generate and capture heat which reduces the need for bought-in energy.
The approach can help the building industry reduce carbon emissions and meet climate change targets. Cities remain a major contributor to climate change.
It may seem impossible for the average person to reduce the country’s carbon footprint. But every person on the planet is part of the solution.
Fortunately, there are some easy things to adopt into routines that will make a big difference. Have a look at just a few of the many things we should do to make a positive impact.
Things you can do from the couch
- Save electricity by plugging appliances into a power strip and turning them off completely when not in use, including your computer.
- Stop paper bank statements and pay your bills online or via mobile.
- Turn off the lights. Your TV or computer screen provides a cosy glow, so turn off other lights if you don’t need them.
- Do a bit of online research and buy only from companies that you know have sustainable practices and don’t harm the environment.
- Calculate your carbon footprint and purchase climate credits from Climate Neutral Now, to help reduce global emissions faster.
Things you can do in your neighbourhood
- Shop local. Supporting neighbourhood businesses keeps people employed and helps prevent trucks from driving far distances.
- Let your favourite businesses know that ocean friendly and abundant seafood is on your shopping list.
- Shop only for sustainable seafood. There are now many apps that will tell you what is safe to consume.
- Bike, walk or take public transport. Save the car trips for when you’ve got a big group.
- Use a refillable water bottle and coffee cup. Cut down on waste and maybe even save money at the coffee shop.
- Take your own bag when you shop
- Shop vintage. Brand-new isn’t necessarily best. See what you can repurpose from second-hand shops.
- Donate what you don’t use. Local charities will give your gently used clothes, books and furniture a new life.
Things you can do at work
- Give fruits or snacks that you don’t want to someone who needs and is asking for help.
- Make sure your company uses energy efficient heating and cooling technology.
- Bike, walk or take public transport to work. Save the car trips for when you’ve got a big group.
- Talk to and encourage work colleagues to be more sustainable too. Change wasteful practices at work.
Things you can do from home
- Air dry. Let your hair and clothes dry naturally instead of running a machine. If you do wash your clothes, make sure the load is full. Use the most sustainable and nearest locally-made washing liquid.
- Take short showers. Baths require much more water than a five to 10 minute shower.
- Eat plant-based food. More resources are used to provide meat than plants
- Compost food scraps which can reduce climate impact while also recycling nutrients.
- Recycle paper, plastic, glass and aluminium to stop landfills from filling up.
- Buy minimally packaged goods.
- Plug air leaks in windows and doors to increase energy efficiency.
- Replace old appliances with energy efficient models and light bulbs.