In the first few months of 2020, we’ve endured bushfires, floods and a global health pandemic, and the one common factor between the three is the way Mother Nature has rejuvenated itself through each event.
As the embers cleared, new sprouts of the bush appeared, the drought was lifted in some states thanks to the rain; and fauna frolicked through the streets as humans stayed home.
A lot of Aussies are now taking stock of the daily impact we have on the environment and are starting to look at the bigger picture when it comes to climate change. We’re listening to the science and the experts, taking a bit more care with each other and creating a future that is not only cleaner, but brighter.
So how can you join this green movement if you’re not really keen on taking the time to adjust your life completely, live ‘off the grid’ or don’t have the space to start growing your own vegetables?
We’ve talked to the experts in green living to come up with three easy, and effective ways you can join the team and make your new normal, a more sustainable one.
#1 Start at home
Have a think about how you live your daily life, from the products you purchase to what you consume and throw away.
Read the labels and take some time to understand how buying products that are sourced sustainably and via fair trade positively affect not only your local environment, but the rest of the world.
How about hanging the washing out instead of using the dryer when the sun is shining? Do you really need the heater on, or will a jumper and an extra blanket do the trick? And remember, switch off your appliances when you aren’t using them – you’d be surprised at how much energy you’ll save, and not only will you be consuming less energy, you’ll save some of your hard-earned cash as well.
You can even take it up a notch and consider installing energy saving lightbulbs and solar panels on your home, if you’re lucky enough to own one, as energy efficient homes are the perfect starting point for improving your global footprint and progressing your contribution to a more sustainable future.
#2 Partner with people who care
The organisations that you decide to purchase from should have the same sustainable values as you, and that’s not just what you put on the dinner table, it should be for all aspects of your life.
From your household cleaning products, to the food you eat and the energy your home uses, there’s always a cleaner, or greener, option.
Take Nectr for example. Offering electricity plans for residential customers in NSW and QLD across the Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy, Essential Energy and Energex networks, they were created out of the need to provide a sustainable energy solution to all Australians for the future. They are dedicated to making a difference and their owner Hanwha Energy also invest in renewable energy.
Their affordable Nectr Friends Clean plan, for example, is 100% Carbon Offset. This means they offset all carbon emissions generated from a customer’s energy usage through buying carbon offset certificates/units from local and overseas projects that can include tree planting, land management or investment in renewable power developments in developing countries. 1 carbon offset certificate = 1 tonne of CO2-e.
It’s easy to find out more about their Green and Clean plans, and it’s even easier to sign up for a more sustainable energy future – just complete their easy and fast online application.
#3 Re-use, re-cycle, re-store
Nothing should be single use. Start remembering your reusable bags when you head for the weekly groceries (they’re always in the car right?), start using re-usable water bottles and metal straws which are way better than the plastic ones anyway.
Not surprisingly, up-cycling furniture has been popular for centuries, but we are only just now seeing the benefits of that same thinking to our 21st century appliances. Selecting energy efficient and smart appliances is a great way to reduce your impact.
Items you don’t use can also get a fresh new life, by re-selling or donating things you don’t need and increasing their life-cycle. Charity organisations (for people and animals) will appreciate receiving good quality items that can be re-used in new ways.
With these easy tips you are taking action, coming off the bench and joining the green team now, and every little step you take is closer to preventing worse environmental outcomes for the future.
So, which steps are you going to take today?