Against the giant scary monster that is climate change, it’s easy to feel pretty small. But there are plenty of things you can do that really make a difference in combatting the beast. It starts with regular, everyday choices - and pretty soon the small changes start adding up. Once you’ve got into the swing of it, it’s dead easy and (dare we say it) fun too. Here are 6 little changes you can make from the comfort of your very own home.
Switch to LED
LEDs are ultra low-energy bulbs, available in every shape and size, at a cheaper cost than when introduced.
Start out by swapping the bulb you use most for an LED - perhaps your bedroom or kitchen. It uses a tiny fraction of the energy a regular bulb uses, so you’ll save approximately $20 per year, per light bulb.
Eat Pizza (Yup, You Heard Us)
Tackling climate change can be delicious. Try adding one low-carbon recipe to your regular weekday meals. The key is quick, simple recipes that don't need lots of meat. Think stir fries, soups, omelettes, and (hooray) pizzas!
Get creative with leftovers too. Curries, pies and stews are great for using up leftover meat or that lone carrot in the back of the fridge. You’ll cut your food waste, and save a few cents on your weekly shop.
Block Those Draughts
63% of energy in New Zealand homes is used on heating. Being smarter about how we use it helps the planet and slims energy bills too.
Everyone can do a bit of basic draught-busting. It’s cheap, effective, and shouldn't get you into trouble with your landlord! Start with the easy wins. If you can see daylight through it, and it’s not a window, it’s probably worth plugging. Try a novelty draught excluder for your front door, and weather strips to seal gaps around your windows.
Be a Better Driver
The stuff you’ve heard about ‘fuel economy’ is probably also the key to planet-friendly driving. Speeding up and slowing down gradually, getting in the right gear and sticking to the speed limits all help use fuel most efficiently.
Keeping your car in good nick helps too - get the engine serviced and check the pressure of your tyres regularly. And to really make the most of your car, try car pooling.
Dust off your Bike
Why not ditch one regular car journey for a bike? Even for a 5 kilometer journey, the carbon savings really start to mount up if you’re doing it a few times a week. If your bike has seen better days, here’s a quick guide to keeping your bike happy.
If cycling isn’t your thing, some decent headphones and an audio book can really jazz up a walk to the supermarket or train station.
Talk About It
Bringing up climate change in conversation can be a minefield. Which is probably why we often avoid the topic.
But simply chatting about climate change - what we’re most hopeful or scared about, what we’re doing to tackle climate change ourselves, or why we love wind farms - is one of the most important things you can do. If you need help getting started, here are some tips on why your climate conversations go wrong, and how to make them better.