Sustainable New Year

By: Graeme Sutherland

We all secretly know deep down that us affluent first-worlders are living beyond the means of the planet just by living our normal first-world lives, driving a car, and buying and having and using and throwing out lots and lots of stuff.

So, how about making a resolution of two to make your existence more sustainable and your ecological footprint smaller in the new year? Here are some ideas:

Offset CO2 emissions from your car

Burning petrol or gas releases CO2 into the atmosphere. However, by planting enough trees, you can remove an equivalent amount of CO2 from the atmosphere. In Australia, for $30 per year, Greenfleet will plant and maintain 17 native trees that while growing should absorb the CO2 generated by your car in normal use.

Buy sustainably generated (renewable) power

Ask you electricity retailer to sell you renewable power or green power. In Western Australia, Western Power have two Green Energy products to choose from.

Make a committment to using public transport

Stop driving around in a car, and take on public transport instead. You save money and gain time by doing this, and make a more sustainable life for yourself. Also, somebody else is driving for you, so you can concentrate on other things. And you get exercise doing this as well. In Western Australia, see the TravelSmart site for support and details.

Focus on Less

Make a conscious commitment to buying less stuff. We fill our lives with many unnecessary or superfluous things, and then need to maintain and store them. If you never acquire them in the first place, you save money, energy and materials. If you want to get conscious and political about your consumption, have a look at The Media Foundation's Buy Nothing Day site.

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