25 Ways you can make a difference to the environment
1. Make your next car one with a smaller/more efficient engine – do some research.
2. Pass on your findings and your example to others.
3. Do you REALLY need to make that journey? Share cars to work. Share your boat with your mates when you go fishing too! Plan out your errands to combine journeys instead of multiple journeys to the same place for different things. Call the shop to make sure an item is in stock so the journey isn’t wasted.
4. Turn off your engine at traffic lights, avoid heavy braking and hard acceleration.
5. Turn down the aircon.
6. Watch tyre pressures don’t drop too low, and keep the engine regularly serviced.
7. Use a bike or walk sometimes.
8. Start a compost heap for organic household/garden waste.
9. Use the council recycle bins more enthusiastically. Use the op-shop more often to recycle things.
10. Use LED lightbulbs, and turn the winter heating down – wear an extra later of clothes!
11. If you are having a house built, increase the insulation specs beyond what is legally needed. Add solar tubes or skylights for free light. Fit loft insulation and draught seal your windows and doors.
12. Use a log burner (one that meets emission specs!)
13. Fit a solar hot water/photovoltaic panels, and shower instead of bathing.
14. Turn the electric water heater down a few degrees.
18. Wait till the dishwasher/washing machine is full before using. Use tumble dryers only when the weather is to wet to dry clothes on a washing line.
19. Keep computers, DVD’s and TV’s etc off rather than on standby when not in use.
20. Consider neutering your cat or not replacing it when they die, or have it neutered.
Being a consumer
21. Buy/consume ethically. Try eating less meat as it has an enormous carbon footprint, eat less tinned/fresh tuna or deep sea fish like orange roughie, avoid palm oil products, avoid products where sources of ingredients are not clearly described, or environmentally friendly. Research it and tell friends!
22. Make do with last years Smartphone or computer for a while longer, then when you do upgrade, pass the old one on to someone else to use.
23. When you go fishing, return the really big snapper you catch to the sea to breed again, as they have a much bigger breeding potential than the medium sized fish. Take a photo of it for bragging rights, and tell others why you let it go free again! The medium sized ones taste better too!
Lastly – Citzenship!
24. Be interested/involved in government decisions regarding environmental issues – lobby ministers and get the church involved in letter writing to highlight issues. Vote for the right MP/councilor at election times. Things to lobby politicians about might include getting the food industry to be more explicit in the labeling of food ingredients, pressuring supermarkets to make just-out-of-date food available to charities caring for the homeless etc.
25. Volunteer your time. Do some guiding/maintenance work out on Tiri Island or Shakespear Park, do a beach cleanup, educate others, fix bikes, start a repair cafe, plant trees. There are many ways you can create and promote a better environment by volunteering.