Skip to main content

Small changes to reduce my carbon footprint

There are a few simple things you can do to help make a big difference in reducing the impact of your household’s carbon emissions.

If you want to play your part in reducing carbon emissions, start in the comfort of your own home. From carbon offsetting to energy saving solutions and buying pre-loved instead of new – here are a few ways you can join the change and make a difference.

What is carbon footprint?

The term carbon footprint is used to describe the amount of carbon you or your household emits. Every time you use an appliance, drive a car, get something delivered or board a plane, it results in carbon from burnt fossil fuels ending up in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. This impacts the environment on both a local and global scale.

By being more mindful of your choices and trying to reduce your emissions, you can leave less of a footprint. So what changes can you make today? Here are some ideas to get started.

1. Switch it up and off 

Lighting, heating and cooling account for up to half the energy use in an average Australian home. If any of your lights need an upgrade, replacing them with LED lighting can reduce the power used. Standby power can be a drain too, so if you’re not using something, turn it off at the wall.

Try switching activities that create emissions for ones that don’t, instead of driving, walking or cycling to the shops, train station or work. Do a puzzle or play a board game instead of watching TV. All those little actions can add up and help you change your habits to convert to a lower emissions lifestyle.

Carbon offsetting illustration explainer

2. Find energy-efficient appliances

If you’re buying new appliances, look at the energy star rating. What was rated ‘five stars’ ten years ago might not rate so highly today. You can use the stars to compare when shopping for new appliances or to get an idea of how efficient your appliances are now.

Little things like only running full loads of your dishwasher and washing machine make a difference. As well as using your clothesline when the sun is out and saving the dryer for a rainy day.

3. Eat local and in-season

Shopping for food grown locally and in season is great for you, the environment, and local producers – big wins all ‘round! Buying in season means the food is in peak supply, so it will probably be more affordable, fresher and takes fewer resources to store and distribute. Imported fresh produce arrives by air or sea freight, which greatly impacts the environment – do you really need asparagus for dinner if it’s coming all the way from Mexico? Get creative and find a seasonal alternative.

You can even have a go at growing your own fruit and veggies at home! From a little balcony herb garden to a backyard veggie patch, taking your own produce from garden to plate is tasty, sustainable, and highly satisfying.

Father and daughter washing dishes together

3. Buy sustainable or pre-loved products

Brand new isn’t always the way when it comes to things we need – and with online marketplaces like eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree, it couldn’t be easier to buy and sell pre-loved products. Have fun digging through local charity shops for fabulous fashion, retro homewares, books, records and more.

But if it has to be new, have ethical and sustainability front and centre when creating or sourcing their products – so you can shop in line with your values.

4. Solar energy and home batteries

We’re seeing an uptake in rooftop solar panels and batteries that minimise a household’s reliance on the electricity grid for the power they need. Soaking up energy from the sun to power your home, these systems are now more affordable than ever and can help reduce your energy bills.

To reduce your demand on the grid even further, look into a home battery system, which works with your solar system to store energy for when you need it the most.

5. Go carbon neutral

If you’re renting and can’t change lights, appliances or install solar panels, carbon offsetting or going carbon neutral for your electricity and gas is one way you can still play a part. And if you own your own home, this is a great option too!

Our customers can opt-in for carbon-neutral electricity and gas certified by Climate Active. You can add Carbon Neutral to your home electricity plan for $1 a week (GST incl.) and to your home gas plan for $0.50 a week (GST incl.), and we'll take action to purchase carbon credits certified by Climate Active to offset the emissions associated with the supply of your electricity and gas. For internet, mobile, and batteries, carbon neutral is already included.

We'll offset the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the supply of Carbon Neutral products by purchasing and retiring offset credits from carbon offset projects in Australia and worldwide. So, a small opt-in for your power will help support projects that provide environmental benefits.

These are just six simple ways you can change the way your household thinks about sustainability and your carbon footprint.  By making more conscious decisions and keeping sustainability in mind, you’ll notice more opportunities to save energy and tread a bit more lightly on the planet.

Want to carbon offset your energy usage?

AGL offers carbon neutral options certified by Climate Active on our energy plans, so you can play your part in offsetting your home's carbon emissions.

Related articles