Reducing your impact on the environment doesn’t have to be hard. Yes, some things take getting used to, but there are small switches that you can implement without a) leaving your couch and b) spending your week’s salary at a zero-waste store. Pretty great, huh? All you need to do is get nice and comfy, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy some kick-ass environmental action:
1) Set up Ecosia as your default search engine
Ecosia.org is a web search engine that plants trees while you look for stuff on the internet. No joke! So far, they have planted a whopping 46 million trees around the world. The income is generated through ads (that you will see at the top of your search), but unlike other engines, your data won’t be sold to third party agencies. No more
2) Check your energy provider
Don’t worry, I won’t urge you to give up on your electric blanket just yet. On the contrary, turn on your computer and search for your energy provider on the Green Electricity Guide. This is a handy ranking of Australia electricity companies based on their commitment to providing sustainable and renewable energy. The electricity sector is notoriously “dirty” – it is the largest source of greenhouse emissions in the country. If you are a customer of Diamond Energy or Powershop, you should have another glass of wine because you are a green energy rockstar (I’m having one right now)! If your provider is ranking low than it’s time to ditch them and get behind the good guys – it only takes a couple of minutes to switch online.
3) Find out what your superfund is investing into
Okay, superannuation can be intimidating and it is often something we all think we can sort out later (shout out to my three super accounts!). Well, it’s bad enough already that some of us don’t pay too much attention to our retirement planning, but it also means that our super might be invested into not so sustainable practices such as fossil fuels, native forest logging
If you don’t know where your super is invested, don’t worry – super funds don’t actively share this information unless you search for it. If you are like me and haven’t checked your super since your employer opened it for you, you will need to login to your account to find out how your contributions are invested. Not happy with what you saw? You have a couple of options – you can check if your fund offers ethical investment options or look into switching to an eco-friendly fund like Australian Ethical or Future Super.
4) Download ShareWaste app
This one is for you, my fellow composting stars. ShareWaste app quite literally puts you on the composting map and allows you to receive organic matter from people in your community. This is a fantastic initiative that helps divert tonnes of scraps from going to landfill. All you need to do is set up your host account, specify what type of waste you accept and wait for scraps donors to get in touch. Once you found your composting match, scrap donor will organise a time to deliver waste straight to your doorstep.
For those of you who don’t have a composting bin or still warming up to the idea – you can sign up to be a scraps donor and find a community garden or a compost bin host near you.
5) Offset your carbon emissions
We all do our best to bike, use public transport and walk as much as possible,
Don’t worry, I am not going to urge you to plant a tree every time you go for a drive because a) it’s unrealistic and b) there is an awesome Australian charity that will happily do it for you. Greenfleet plants permanent, biodiverse, native forests to offset carbon emissions for businesses and individuals. It will only cost you $1-2 per week depending on the size of your car AND you can claim it on your tax. Win-win!