In the wake of recent budget cuts to renewable energy sources, many Australians may wonder just what they can do to lower their individual carbon footprints.

Here are a few steps you could take in your journey to sustainability.

1. Electricity

This is one of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters in the country, with 36 per cent of Australia’s carbon emissions coming from electricity use, according to Carbon Neutral.

It is believed that the worst effects of climate change are avoidable if care is taken to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to more acceptable levels, according to the Department of the Environment.

One way to do this is to reduce the amount of electricity you use.

There are several steps you can take to do this, such as switching off appliances when not in use, only running full loads in the washing machine and selecting energy efficient machines.

In winter, rather than switching on the heater, see if you can warm up with a blanket or a hot water bottle. In summer, you could open the windows and use a fan rather than relying on an air conditioning unit.

Another way to benefit the environment is to rely on renewable energy sources that are kinder to the planet than traditional energy supplies. Currently, around 90 per cent of Australia’s energy is generated from fossil fuels, according to the City of Whittlesea government.

There are a few options available to individual Australian households, from solar PV panels to solar hot water systems.

Solar PV panels are a way to generate your own electricity using the sun’s rays rather than relying on gas or coal.

These systems will have an impact on the average household budget, too, with Green Homes spokesperson Jessica McKay saying Australian households should look at measures they can take to save money.

“Australian households spend an average of $39 per week on energy sources such as electricity and gas and these everyday living costs are unfortunately forecasted to increase”.

Another great option is solar hot water systems. Water heating can be responsible for up to a quarter of some household energy usage, according to the Department of Industry, so it is important to make gains in this area.

Evacuated tube solar heating systems are the most efficient on the market and can help you to lower your energy costs as well as your environmental impact.

2. Transport

While electricity is the leading carbon dioxide emitter in the country, transport comes in second, responsible for 14 per cent of the carbon dioxide emissions in the country.

To minimise this, consider alternative forms of transport, such as walking or taking a bus or train rather than driving a short distance. Every step counts and this is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.

You could even see if you could carpool to work. This is not only more environmentally friendly, but is a great way to be social and prevents you from getting stressed in heavy traffic, too!

3. Water

This liquid is essential for life as well as the maintenance of a healthy environment. This makes it important to see how you can save water and better protect the environment.

It could be installing a water-saving shower head, using the washing machine and dishwasher only when full, using water efficient appliances and turning the tap off when you brush your teeth.

Any steps you can take to reduce your water consumption will benefit you and the country, as use of this resource becomes increasingly important to monitor.

Installing a solar hot water system is another great way to make gains in this area, as it can reduce your carbon footprint.

For more information about these systems and help choosing the best one for your needs, give the friendly team at Apricus a call. Or watch our video to learn more about how a solar hot water system works.

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