Be The Change
Blenheim climate march co-organiser Penny Wardley shares some ideas for reducing your carbon footprint while saving money and living more healthily.
Stand for election as a councillor or MP. Otherwise lobby for policies promoting low carbon transport, renewable energy and efficient buildings. Ask MPs to help by putting a bigger price on carbon, spending more on public transport instead of roads and making roads cycle and walking friendly. Say you don’t want your tax dollars to subsidise fossil fuels.
Walk, cycle or use public transport where you can. Save driving for long journeys. Buy an electric bike – the prices are coming down and it’s a great way to get fit and healthy.
Share the journey
Check out Chariot, a car-pooling app being testing in Wellington and Palmerston North ahead of public release in autumn. It will cover commuting, one-off short rides and long distance driving. And car-sharing app Roam is now trialling in Wellington.
Unplug your phone charger when it’s not in use, turn off your computer at the end of the day, switch to energy-efficient light bulbs and buy Energy Star appliances. Reduce, re-use, and recycle rubbish and compost food and garden waste.
Cut back on energy use by installing double glazing/insulation/passive solar heating. Convert the sun’s heat to household energy for heating, lighting and hot water. Solar panels are coming down in price and you can even go off the grid if you have a big enough array. There are even opportunities to hire solar panels from companies like Solar City.
Go vegetarian, grow your own fruit and veges and/or buy locally produced foods
Organic or low-input farms use minimal inputs such as chemicals and fertiliser and run lower greenhouse gas emissions plus less damage to soils and waterways.
Contact your local branch of Forest & bird to ask about controlling pests in your area, tree planting, or weeding. All these will help the forests flourish and capture more carbon. If you have land, you may be able to get money for restoring native forest from the Permanent Forest Sinks Initiative.
Go pet free
You’ll save money on pet food while making your backyard safe for native birds and lizards.
Be the change
Calculate your household carbon footprint then track improves via Landcare Research’s CarboNZero Earth Day Newtwork Footprint Calculator.