a few easy ways to do your bit for climate change
We asked a bunch of lovely folks how they're taking action to help the environment.
After January's devastating bushfires, we were inspired to think about even more ways we could help the environment - but it's not always easy to know what to do, especially when the problem seems so big and scary. So, we reached out to a few of our pals to see how they're doing their bit for climate change. We hope they'll inspire you to think about cool new things you can do to take action.
screenwriter, journalist and author
I fly constantly for work, so at the end of every financial year, I calculate how many kilometres I flew and offset the lot through initiatives like Greenfleet. I also donate to the Environmental Defenders Office, which takes big fossil-fuel polluters to court and wins. I’ve been mobilising Australian writers – authors, playwrights and screenwriters – to invest in a Queensland solar farm together, in the same way Australian musicians did recently through a program called FEAT. And finally, I vote for parties with effective climate strategies and encourage friends, family and colleagues to do the same.
founder of Who Gives a Crap
My family has been trying a bunch of things at home to reduce our impact on the environment – things we’ve actually enjoyed. We started composting, which minimises our landfill waste and is great for the garden. I love it, because it feels like a science project where you get to see all the stages of organic stuff breaking down: it gets mouldy, then heats up, slowly goes black, and eventually turns into compost. We’ve also made a conscious effort to eat lots of plant-based meals at home. It's been surprisingly easy to cut out dairy (vegan feta is actually delicious!), and we only eat meat once or twice a week.
My focus lately has been on the way I’m consuming: the types of products, where I’m buying them, and how much I’m using. As a society, we’ve become so wasteful! I’ve been swapping out single-use products for reusable ones where possible, like washable cotton make-up wipes, beeswax wraps, tea strainers and safety razors. I also recently discovered programs like Returnr and Trashless Takeaway that let you borrow or BYO reusable container to a restaurant for takeaway food – no more crappy single-use plastic needed. Stores like The Source are great for reducing waste, as well, because you can buy dry goods in bulk with your own container, or bring in an empty bottle to top up cooking oils, dish detergent or washing powder.
founder of Obus
I carry Obus’s ‘loving local' mindset to much of my life outside of work. My family lives within walking distance of work and school, and on holidays, we rarely get on a plane. We'll borrow a friend’s van for a roadtrip and go camping when we can. Growing as much of our food as possible is a biggie for us, and we’re trying super-hard to cut down on anything packaged. Last year, we had a goal to ditch plastic bottles. We did well with that, and it’s pretty achievable, so this year we’re aiming to take our jars and containers to the shop. It’s amazing how quickly habits can change.
As a climate campaigner, I’ve learnt that to create the scale of change that’s needed, we’ve got to bring all our power to the table – and that includes our money. We all know businesses listen to money, so why aren’t more of us using ours to drive change? I try as much as possible to avoid companies that are bad for the environment and contribute to the climate crisis. How we use our money, the banks and superannuation companies we choose, and the companies we engage with all help determine the kind of world we live in. I’ve switched my service providers, superannuation and banking to companies that don’t fund the fossil fuel industry (and then I wrote to them all, including the board, to tell them why).
writer and host of the Hey Aunty! podcast
I’m taking a look at a different area of my life each month to see how I can pick greener options – kind of a green ‘KonMari’ situation. I’ve checked out my finances, and just moved my super to an ethical fund. Breaking it down into monthly themes has helped me avoid getting overwhelmed, and it’s actually been fun to chat it over with friends and share intel on better, greener options. It might seem small, but it’s something tangible and accessible. Supporting the growth of organisations that do things the right way builds them up and sends a strong message to the market. I’m still donating to campaigns to demand change at a governmental level, but it feels good to be taking charge of my own stuff and getting in better alignment with my values.
farmer and author at Grown and Gathered
My partner Matt and I continually advocate for organic conversion of farms, and living and growing seasonally. We’re also dedicated to learning what it means to sustainably support your community. Small actions can make such a difference, like sharing or trading anything you have in abundance (a certain skill, for example, or even too many zucchinis), which means you don’t have to buy or waste things, and you get to have open conversation to share ideas. This is what we feel we can do; what feels right as our contribution to making a difference.
This lovely article on climate action was brought to you by Bank Australia – a customer-owned bank creating a positive impact for people and the planet by investing in not-for-profits and renewable energy projects. Find out more about the ‘clean money’ movement at bankaust.com.au/cleanmoney.
If you and your loved ones want to take action right this minute, pop over here for a list of Australian organisations doing their bit for the climate movement.