Below is a list of 12 easy things you can do right now to help fight climate change.
Use efficient lighting
Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFLs). These use four times less energy and they last eight times longer. So you not only cut your electricity bills dramatically, you also save a lot of money on buying bulbs.
Use energy efficient electric appliances
They use two to 10 times less electricity for the same functionality and are mostly higher quality products that last longer than the less efficient ones. In short, efficient appliances save you lots of energy and money.
Use an energy efficient computer
Buy a laptop instead of a desktop. It consumes five times less electricity. If you buy a desktop, get an LCD screen. Enable the power management function on your computer, the screensaver does not save energy. Check if your computer supports the more advanced speedstep power management. Switching off a computer extends its lifetime, contrary to some misconceptions. Minimise printing and print on both sides of the paper. Laser printers use more electricity than inkjet printers.
How much land area does it take to support your current lifestyle? Click here to calculate your own personal ecological footprint. (Link opens in a new window)
Walk, bike, carpool or take public transport. A 2011 study carried out by the European Cycling Federation compared carbon emissions from a bicycle (including manufacturing) to motorised vehicles and found that for every passenger kilometre travelled by bike, 21 grams of carbon were released as opposed to 271 grams for someone riding or driving in a car and 101 grams for people taking the bus.
Check your tyres
Keeping your tyres inflated properly can improve the fuel efficiency of your car. Every litre of petrol saved keeps 2.5 kg of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Using radial tyres will help you save three to seven percent of fuel.
Use water carefully
Don't waste water. Use a mug of water when brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your hands and face. Instead of a shower or tub bath, use a bucket. Try to harvest rainwater to use at home. It takes a lot of energy to heat water, so use less hot water and when you do, use efficient heating appliances.
Want to save water and money too? For a list of easy ways you can reduce your water usage at home, check out our article. (Link opens in a new window)
Say no to plastic
Take a cloth bag with you when shopping. Avoid products with a lot of packaging.
Move your air-conditioning thermostat up two degrees
You could save about 900kg of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment. Set the thermostat of the room air conditioner at 25C to get the most comfort at the least cost.
Use renewable energy
Sunlight can be used in many different ways to save energy. Use a solar water heater instead of an electric geyser. A 100 litre solar water heater can save around 1500 units of electricity every year. For lighting, use batteries that can be charged with sunlight. A solar cooker cooks rice and vegetables without losing their essential nutrients. Just leave the solar cooker outside in the sun to cook your food. If you live in a village, you can use biogas from cow-dung to save energy.
Plant more trees
A single tree will absorb one tonne of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.
Turn off electronic devices
Simply turning off your television, stereo, computer, fans, lights when you are not using them will save thousands of kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions a year.
Reuse & recycle
Recycling and re-using products like paper and bottles will help protect the environment. Use recycled paper. Recycle your office and household waste.