If you are concerned about climate change but don’t know where to start, here are 4 actions you can take to embark on the global journey towards sustainable living. Reduce your carbon footprint!
Step 1: Calculate your Carbon Footprint
A carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases that you produce from your personal choices and your lifestyle. The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project found that everyone on earth will need to have an average annual carbon footprint of 1.87 tonnes by 2050, in order to hold the global temperature rise to 2˚C or less.
The average Australian is far off achieving this target, with a carbon footprint of 15 tonnes per year. You can find out your carbon footprint by using the ecological footprint calculator from WWF Australia. It generates a date called a ‘Personal Overshoot Day’, when your resource consumption exceeds the planet’s capacity to regenerate those resources.
If your carbon footprint is high, it doesn’t mean that it is too late. By thinking about the impact of your cup of coffee, you are making a step towards protecting Mother Earth.
Step 2: Be an Ethical Coffee Drinker
75% of Australians enjoy a cup of coffee each day, making climate change a vital part of your morning routine. Rising temperatures are projected to reduce the global area suitable for growing coffee by 50% by 2050.
There are many ways to get your daily dose of caffeine, without negatively impacting the planet. By making an effort to buy fair-trade certified coffee, you protect the livelihood of farmers and the environment.
The certification ensures that farmers can grow and sell coffee for a Fairtrade Minimum Price, providing them with income security. The benefits of buying Fairtrade are reflected in the Fairtrade Standards, which promote training farmers in environmentally friendly practices.
Additional income that farmers make through receiving a Fairtrade Premium, enable them to invest in better farming technology. It can also be used to improve their community’s future, by developing strong cooperatives which increase their collective assets.
Ask your local cafe owners if they sell Fairtrade Certified Coffee next time you grab a cup before work. It lets them know that you care about a sustainable coffee supply chain.
Step 3: Walk and Use Public Transport to Travel to Work
After you’ve enjoyed your coffee, think about using public transport to get to work. The 2017 Census revealed that driving remains the dominant way of getting to work, with 69% of the working population commuting by car.
It is worth getting a bit of exercise and walking to work if you live nearby. If you live within a half an hour distance from work, make an effort to take a bus or train. If you are travelling to work from further away, park your car at a train station half an hour away from work.
Find out if your colleagues live nearby and carpool to work if public transport isn’t a viable option. By taking advantage of any of these ideas, you can save money on petrol while making a positive environmental impact.
Doing your bit for Earth doesn’t end with your daily commute to work. You can inspire others to improve their carbon footprint by eating fresh and healthy food at work.
Step 4: Eat Fresh and Healthy Food at Work
Healthy eating can be good for you and the Earth. During your lunch break, eat smaller amounts of food that are high in fat and salt. Think about consuming staple food items instead. You can enjoy a chicken sandwich with brown bread and a side of veggies. AND reduce your carbon footprint!
Eat fruit or nuts instead of a sweet treat as a snack in between meals. Your body and the environment will reward you for making a sustainable choice.
Sustainable Table is a website with a range of tips and options for ethical food consumption beyond work. Forbes has discovered five food apps that make it easy to eat sustainably when you are out and about.
You can become part of Communiteer’s Better Humans Project, to be part of the solution. We provide useful tips and tricks for making better decisions for our planet.
Written by Annie Renouf, Content Writer at Communiteer.