Reduce your carbon footprint

You can help save the planet from runaway climate change. Here's how.

Wellington bus to illustrate the news that WWF commissioned research finds the majority of Kiwis ... / ©: Cristy Cameron
The majority of Kiwis want Government investment in public transport or rail infrastructure to head off rises in oil prices, finds WWF-commissioned research in August 2010 .
© Cristy Cameron
Ever wondered how much difference your small actions really make? If every New Zealand household took these three simple actions, it could have a big impact.

1. Go car-free one day a week

Transport is a major contributor to New Zealand's emissions (20%). If everyone in New Zealand who currently drives to work were to walk, cycle or take public transport on just one day per week, it would save up to 114,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year

2. Switch your bulbs

If every household swapped their remaining old-style light bulbs for new energy efficient ones, this could save up to 0.6 billion kWh of electricity or 106,800 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year.

3. Turn un-needed appliances off at the wall

When not in use things like heated towls rails and appliances on standby account for almost 1 billion kWh of electricity per year or 165,700 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. If every houshold simply turned these off, we could make a big saving.

It all adds up

The combined impact of these actions would be an emissions reduction of 386,500 tonnes CO2 equivalent per year. This is equivalent to over 839,000 car journeys from Kaitaia to Invercargill.

Figures are based on work by Landcare Research’s carboNZero Programme in December 2008 commissioned by WWF-New Zealand.

Consider your lifestyle

Now you see it, soon you won't. Tuna-less sushi served at the NZ film premiere of The End of the ... / ©: Louise Hatton
No more fish? Holy mackeral! Tuna-less sushi served at the NZ film premiere of The End of the Line, the world's first major feature documentary about overfishing.
© Louise Hatton
Carbon emissions are created by stuff - the more stuff you buy, use, consume and throw away the more you are contributing to climate change
Take a look at what you really need. Can you cut down on anything?

By eating meat and animal products your carbon footprint will be higher than on a vege diet. Can you eat less meat?

Garbage emits methane  - a greenhouse gas - as it breaks down. Can you reduce your waste?

Clothes, furniture, electrical goods - everything really - takes resources to produce and contributes to greehous gas emissions as it is moved around the planet. Can you buy less stuff? Can you buy local stuff instead?