Be an example to othersRather than telling others what they should be doing, just lead the way gently and joyfully through your own actions. Be the one that quietly rustles through the rubbish to separate the recyclables, gathers up the wrapping paper, smooths and neatly folds to use next time, puts out a tub to collect the food scraps for the compost or worms, contribute an awesome salad.
Talk to family and friends about the climate crisisTry to remember firstly that the overwhelming majority of people in Australia believe in global warming - 73% in fact. So you are not alone, it is just that we have been conditioned to be afraid of causing controversy by talking about it! Most people would love to hear some factual reinforcement of why we need to act and act fast. Addressing some of the myths? One of the most common arguments is that Australia's contribution is so little it will make no difference what we do. Yes, Australia emits less than 1.24 per cent of global emissions, but so do most countries. In fact, more than 170 countries emit less than Australia and when you combine together all countries that emit less than 2 percent, it accounts for 40 percent of all emissions! So unless all the relatively little contributors including Australia reduce our emissions, it will mean the world as a whole can not achieve its targets. You could ask the person "If we followed the rationale that our little contribution will do nothing, is that not like you and I deciding not to pay taxes because our contribution is so little?" The fact is that every person or country needs to do their bit for the bigger societal goals to be achieved. This article provides some great reading to prepare for such a discussion > https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-06/how-climate-change-has-impacted-your-life/11766018 As does this > https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/australia-one-of-the-countries-most-exposed-to-climate-change-bank-warns-20180322-p4z5n8.html And of course, don't forget the number rule of civilised debate, argue the point, not the person!
Reduce emissions by using your car less, catching public transport or cycling
Buy localPurchase food that has had to travel less kilometres to get to you. Choose dishes made with food that is local and in season, buy from your local farmers markets, a local food co-op, or buy straight from the farm if you can. Visit your local baker, fruit and veggie shop and other specialty, independent food stores for groceries instead of the major chains. Shopping for gifts? Choose something made by a local craftsperson or artist, find something from your region on Etsy, visit local markets or maybe even make something yourself! Celebrating with friends and family? Choose to support a local establishment, park or beach instead of travelling somewhere further away.
Biome Bee House, Made in Brisbane
- If there is a breeze, open the windows and enjoy the fresh air.
- Choose to relax in the coolest part of the house. If that area changes throughout the day, move with it.
- If using the aircon, set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature that doesn't require it to work too hard - 24 degrees celsius is ideal.
- Turn your aircon on for long enough to cool your bedroom down and then turn it off before going to bed. You could also use a timer so the aircon turns off in a few hours and doesn't run all night.
- Keep the hot air and the sun rays out of the house by closing blinds, curtains and awnings. In the long term, or perhaps a holiday project idea, consider planting more trees, vines or shrubs around your house to act as a natural barrier .
- Turn off appliances that emit a lot of heat, like televisions, computers and printers.
- Try to prepare more food that doesn't require the oven or stovetop. Enjoy fresh salads and cold dishes. You could also consider preparing meals on the BBQ outside in the breeze.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
- Reduce the amount of plastic products you purchase, and opt for package free where possible.
- Avoid excessive packaging and processed foods as much as possible. Make dishes from scratch using fresh, whole foods, fruit and veggies.
- Reduce the amount of tinsel and glittery decorations you use, which can litter the environment with micro-plastics. Instead, choose sustainable Christmas decorations Australia that you can find right here at Biome.
- Reduce your reliance on single use plastic food storage (cling wrap, ziplock bags, takeaway containers) by choosing reusable alternatives instead. Think reusable ziplock bags, beeswax wraps, plate and bowl covers, reusable containers with lids.
- Reuse an outfit you already have, instead of buying something new.
- Choose something reusable to wrap gifts in, such as a wrapping cloth or a gift bag, and keep it aside to use next time.
- Recycle cards, wrapping paper and anything else that can be recycled.
Tabitha Eve Cotton Wrapping Cloth
Support organisations that work against forest lossHere are some organisations you can support that work to plant trees, protect forests and preserve habitat for endangered animals. A donation to one of these (or another not for profit) on someone's behalf makes a great gift idea!
- Protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people by supporting the Nature Conservancy
- Preserve orangutan habitat by supporting the Borneo Nature Foundation
- Join a Landcare Australia group and plant trees
- Save the Daintree rainforest by supporting Rainforest Rescue
- Reconnect and restore health to fragmented landscapes in Australia by supporting Bush Heritage Australia