Lowering the carbon emissions that are impacting climate change seems like a huge global problem - one that's too hard for us to make a difference. But there are some everyday things each of us can do to play our part. Put together, our efforts do get results.
Our new Carbon Capture™ Paks are one way to lower the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, because they're made from sugarcane. As sugarcane grows it captures CO2 from the atmosphere, that is then stored in the plastic. They're also 100% recyclable. Of course, there are many other ways to lower your carbon footprint - here are 10 ways to help:
It's hard to tear ourselves away from our cars, but sharing a ride with others and taking public transport makes a big difference in terms of lowering emissions. If you can walk or bike to work, even better. If not, keep your vehicle up to scratch by getting it serviced regularly so emissions are controlled. And before you buy your next car, check how fuel efficient it is. When you do have to drive, there are ways to reduce pollution. Trying to keep your speed regular, making sure your fuel tank is always topped up and the tyres are inflated are good places to start.
If you’re a frequent air traveller, see if you can combine your trips into a larger route rather than taking lots of short return trips. If a non-stop flight is available, try to go the distance rather than making stopovers. When we do get much needed time off work, we’re often tempted to fly to far away lands, but a holiday closer to home could be just as good and won’t clock up so many air miles.
If you're considering a new home, think about sustainability when you're picking materials and furnishings. If you're already a home owner, cold, draughty houses are as much a health hazard to the planet as they are to you. Make sure your home is well insulated. Closing curtains when it's light helps trap the warmth of the day and means you use less electricity-generated heating. Get a thermostat or a timer for heaters and use draught stoppers for each door, and consider thermal lined curtains and double-glazed windows. Closing any gaps around doors and windows is also important for energy efficiency. And try other simple things around the house like turning your water heating down a degree or two, making sure you always do a full load of washing and only filling the kettle as much as you need to.
Whether it's the TV, computer, monitor, heated towel rail, or phone charger, we all have appliances and gadgets which are easy to leave plugged in and switched on. Unplugging and switching them off at the wall can contribute to big savings in electricity use and equivalent tonnes of CO2. You can also keep an eye on the appliances you buy and make sure they're as energy efficient as possible. If you’re in New Zealand, use the Energy Star rating system to check this.
While we're on the subject of electricity, try swapping out old style lightbulbs around your home for energy efficient ones like LEDs. They cost more in the short term, but the long term return on investment is so much greater.
Shopping at your neighbourhood farmers market is a great way to cut down on foods brought to you through big air miles, and to get what's in season. Items you buy there typically have less packaging, which also cuts down on waste. If you're more green thumbed, you might want to start a vege garden at home and even a worm farm to create your own fertiliser and minimise food waste.
Managing your power use applies as much at work as it does at home. Switch off your computer before you leave and if you’re the last one out, turn the lights off. Also, think about how many emails and documents you print – working with these electronically cuts down on paper and energy use. Workers who bring lunch or walk to get it are doing their bit by not using their car. If you’re the boss, why not set CO2 emission reduction targets for staff to try to achieve?
Reduce, Reuse & Reycle. The processes involved in making and delivering the items we buy every day, like obtaining resources, manufacturing items in factories, shipping them between cities, then recycling them at the end of their life, contributes significantly to carbon emissions. So not buying so many things, finding new uses for what we already have (also known as Up-Cycling), and recycling items when we’re done with them are really important.
It sounds simple, but we take for granted the fact that trees are all around us. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, so if you plant one you’ll be taking CO2 out of the environment. You’ll give humans oxygen, shade and shelter in the process.
Another simple thing is to buy our new Carbon Capture™ Paks, which are made from renewable sugar cane plastic and have captured CO2 out of the atmosphere – look for them on your supermarket shelf!