Five ways you can reduce your home’s carbon emissions

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.

Progress Your Home
8 min read
There’s no denying that the use of electricity and gas contribute to our world’s carbon emissions. Australia, like many countries around the world, has committed to reducing emissions to help stop climate change. Individuals and households have a role to play.

You might think there’s little a single household can do, but collectively small changes can make a big difference.

You can control your home’s carbon footprint, but that doesn’t necessarily mean drastic changes to the way you live. Reducing your consumption as well as carbon offsetting is how we can achieve this.

Carbon offsetting explained

When we talk about our impact on the environment, you’ll often hear the term carbon ‘footprint’. Your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon that you or your household emits. Every time you use an appliance, drive a car or catch a flight, carbon from burnt fossil fuels ends up in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, a type of greenhouse gas.

How carbon offsetting works

To leave less of a footprint, you can reduce the amount of energy you use and therefore reduce your emissions.

You can also offset your home’s emissions associated with electricity by choosing to purchase products that help invest in ‘carbon offsets’. Carbon offsets are units that represent reductions or removals of greenhouse gas emissions from certain projects.

What can I do to reduce my carbon footprint?

Here are five easy ways you can make changes to the way you live and reduce your footprint.

1. Be more energy efficient

People often overlook the impact of lighting, heating and cooling. These functions can account for up to half of the energy use in an average Australian home. Something as simple as choosing LED lighting can reduce a significant amount of power used. Standby power can be a real drain too, so if you’re not using something, just turn it off at the wall.

You can also look at the energy star ratings when you’re choosing appliances. What was rated ‘five stars’ ten years ago might be ‘one star’ today. It’s important to compare and make a note of the number of stars on each of your home appliances.

Or, even better, choose emission-free lifestyle choices like walking or riding a bike to the supermarket instead of driving a car. If you’ve got kids, walk to the local park for playtime if the weather permits, rather than watching TV. All those little actions can add up.

2. Eat local and in-season

Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to buy food that’s in season and grown locally. This helps to support our Australian farmers and suppliers, it’s generally cheaper for you because it’s in peak supply and takes fewer resources to store and distribute. Air transport generates 177 times more greenhouse gases than shipping, so try to avoid imported foods where possible.

If you’ve got the space and see yourself as a bit of a green thumb, consider growing your fruit and vegetables. Not only could this save you money in the long run, but you could also have access to fresh, tasty and seasonal produce all year ’round.

3. Buy sustainable or second-hand products

The next time you have the urge to buy something new, ask yourself whether that’s your only option. Online stores like eBayFacebook Marketplace and Gumtree often have near-new items for sale. There are also plenty of local charity stores where you can browse pre-loved fashion, homewares, books and more. And if you decide to buy new, where possible, consider eco-friendly options or search for local businesses that have ethically and sustainably created or sourced their products.

4. Solar energy and home batteries

Invest in energy solutions that minimise your reliance on the electricity grid and how much electricity you use. Solar panels absorb energy from the sun to power your home – and these days, a system is much more affordable.

Girl dancing in the sun with solar pnels on roof of house

You might also consider a home battery, which works together with your solar system to store energy for when you need it the most, which can also help to reduce demand on the grid.

5. Go carbon neutral

As an AGL customer, you now have the choice to opt-in to carbon-neutral electricity certified by Climate Active. This means you can choose to power your home with carbon-neutral certified electricity for $1 per week. Feel good that you’re helping to fund eligible carbon offset projects as part of your home electricity plan.

What’s the benefit of carbon offsetting?

Individuals, communities and governments all over the world are embracing sustainability. The Paris Agreement and other climate change initiatives are building a global awareness of the impact carbon emissions have on our planet’s climate and environment.

Not only is there a real feel-good factor involved with doing the right thing for the environment and protecting future generations, but you can also benefit here and now from initiatives like AGL’s Carbon Neutral program.

AGL will reduce and offset the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the generation and delivery of Carbon Neutral electricity to your home. We’ll do this by purchasing and retiring eligible offset credits from eligible projects in Australia and around the world. So, the electricity that you do use helps support projects that provide environmental and community benefits.

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Want to learn more about carbon offsetting?

Carbon Neutral is helping Aussie households minimise their carbon footprint, by reducing and offsetting emissions associated with their electricity for $1 per week.

Learn more