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Energy Saving Tips
Published February 14th, 2017 by Kirsty WaterfordTweet
Embracing the beauty of the earth and leading a low carbon footprint life is good for the soul. The joy of collecting your own eggs and growing your own food is immensurable.
Walking, cycling and public transport instead of using your car makes a huge difference. Keeping your tyres inflated and how you drive can reduce your petrol consumption.
Insulating and sealing your house, planting trees and placing water tanks in strategic positions cuts down your energy use for heating and cooling your house.
Changing your lighting to LEDs can halve your electricity bill.
Unfortunately, a significant portion of the population does not recognise that they can make a difference by changing their behaviour. This could be because people do not accept the evidence or overwhelmed by the enormity of the data and feel powerless. I have been told by friends they accept climate change, but that it is not impacting on them now.
We are all impacted now.
What we are facing in 2017 is documented in The Climate report from the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO 2016. With some comments from me.
Australia has ratified the Paris agreement to minimise global warming to less than 2 degrees.
Human consumption of fossil fuel is the primary driver of climate change. 80 per cent of the energy supplied to NSW and Victoria is from coal. We have the technology to be fossil free for energy now. All we are missing is the political will.
Other things that you can do to reduce your carbon footprint, that are easily doable
The big four banks Commonwealth, ANZ, Westpac, National Australia Bank all invest in fossil fuels. Choose a bank that does not invest in fossil fuels. Send a clear message to our financial institutions that divesting from fossil fuels is a viable option.
Your choice of food and where is comes from impacts on the climate.
Refrigeration, transport and storage add to the carbon foot print. Eat local fresh and manufactured food. This supports our own growers and industry. Go to your local farmers market.
A low carbon foot print diet is a healthy diet. Eat less red meat and processed meat. Eat the lower carbon choice of fish or chicken. Make sure that your fish is locally sourced from a sustainable supply when possible.
Eat more non-meat protein. Eat more plant based foods.
I have several patients and colleagues who are vegetarian to reduce their carbon foot print.
Move to solar panels and batteries, if you can afford to. It is predicted that the cost will fall in the next 12 months and the energy cost from fossils fuels are likely to rise. I am still producing more energy than I needs each day from my solar panels and this is exported to the grid. I have earned $136 from selling power to the grid, with the help of Reposit Power in the past 6 months. My final bill for this period was $201
If you can’t afford batteries, most energy retailers have a green option on the electricity bill and you can choose the proportion of this. Or move to a retailer that deals only with energy from renewables.
Our day to day choices make a profound difference to our carbon footprint.
We all care about the planet and the future of our children regardless of our political persuasion. We need to create the political will for our elected representatives to act on climate change.
If you are keen to do more and you have the time and energy. You will find that there are many within your own community who want effective policies from government for a sustainable future. Let your voice be heard and mobilise the people around you to advocate for a liveable future for our children.
Without a healthy planet, we can’t have healthy people.
Dr Kim Loo, General Practitioner
Member of Doctors for the Environment