10 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

17 January 2018

What's my carbon footprint?

Your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide produced by your daily activities and use of material goods.  

This quick form from Landcare Research gives you a good idea of your current carbon footprint.  Plug in the numbers and see how you're doing against the average!


What's the average carbon footprint?

The average person's annual carbon footprint varies depending on where they live:

  • An average American's is 20 metric tonnes
  • The average for people in industrial nations (including Kiwis) is 11 metric tonnes
  • The worldwide average is 4 metric tonnes

10 Commonsense ways to kick the carbon habit

1.  Become conscious of your rubbish, electricity and fuel usage.  By simply being aware of your habits with these three big contributors you've taken the important first step toward reducing them.

2.  Fighting winter is the main electricity drain for most people.  Remember that pumping heating into a poorly insulated house is like pouring water into a bucket with holes in it.  Get ready for a warm economical house by spending some time this summer focusing on insulating and draft plugging.  Contact the Sustainability Trust for a free home visit and personalised advice.

3.  Holiday closer to home.  Air travel is an extraordinary user of fossil fuels and taking any trip from our island nation comes at a large carbon cost.  Instead, consider catching a train somewhere new and discovering some Kiwi magic.

4.  Being based in Wellington and Auckland, we know about traffic.  Tell your local government reps that you want more support for public transport, and turn your morning commute from a frustrating petrol-eating drive to a relaxing journey on a bus or train listening to your music, watching videos, reading books, surfing the web, and whatever else you can do on a phone nowadays!

5.  Eat seasonal, organic and local fruit and vegetables - the growing of food out of season and the use of chemicals to artificially manage soil and crops require large amounts of energy input, and transporting non-local food racks up the carbon miles. Why not go super-local and check out our seedlings to grow your own? 


Seasonal Guide clean page 001 
Download our seasonal guide, or grab a hard-copy for free from any of our stores

6.  Compost and recycle to the max!  It's amazing how little your rubbish bin will fill up if you make a concerted effort to recycle and compost everything you can.  If you want to set up a compost bin at your place get expert tips from the Sustainability Trust (Wellington), or the Compost Collective (Auckland).  If you're in an apartment with no composting possibilities ask a green-thumbed friend or local community garden if they'd appreciate contributions to their compost making, or engage a green waste collection company to take it away for commercial composting.

7.  Eat less meat and dairy: it contributes nearly half of New Zealand’s carbon emissions. If you do want meat and dairy, eat organic – organic farming methods emit less. 

8.  Question your consumer habits: do you need it brand new?  Can you get it second hand?  Can you make it yourself?  Can you invest in a durable version so it doesn't have to be replaced next year?  Can you share with a friend?  Do you really need it at all?

9.  Say "no!" to single-use.  Single-use petrochemical (plastic) products are everywhere now, but you can outsmart them: carry a funky water bottle with you; take your own mugs for takeaway coffee or soup; carry a handy cloth bag for shopping like the feather-weight Envirosax; buy from our bulk sections using your own containers (always welcome!).  This is also a great way to save money!  We offer grains, flours, nuts, dried fruits, seeds, coffee, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, and cleaners in bulk.


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Invest in storage which can be used for years and is healthier
for you, like these BPA-free Wean Grean containers.


10.  Think about what happens behind the till.  A huge amount of our footprint comes from the businesses we support, so where do you want your money going?  It'll be used by those businesses to continue their work so check into whether or not they're responsible and considerate of the environment.  


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