How to reduce my carbon footprint

Gardening in a raised bed

The term carbon footprint is used to refer to the total amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions (such as methane) generated from our actions.

As an individual, some actions that can contribute to our carbon footprint include what modes of transport we use, the foods we eat and where they are sourced from, the type of house we live in, and how much waste we create.

About a quarter of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions come from our homes. So, changes to our activities at home, work and school can reduce emissions, lower our carbon footprint and, in many cases, save us money.

How do I reduce my carbon footprint?

Everyone can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the air which impact our environment. 

Around the home

  • Compost food scraps or put them in your food and garden waste bin
  • Reduce your shower time – aim for 4 minutes or less
  • Install a water-efficient shower head and fix dripping taps
  • During the colder months, wear more clothing layers to keep warm before turning on the heater
  • Set your air conditioner to 25 to 27°C for cooling in summer
  • Set your heater to 18 to 20°C for warming in winter
  • Keep appliances that need constant power connected to one plug. Turn off other appliances at the wall when not in use
  • Remove one globe from multi-globe fittings and turn off lights when you leave the room

Other options that can have a greater impact, but may require investment in time or money:

  • Install solar panels - check out the Solar Savers program
  • Look for appliances that are energy efficient (the more stars, the better)
  • Insulate your home and install double-glazed windows with curtains
  • Replace old gas and electric water heaters with a heat pump hot water system
  • Insulate your hot water unit and turn it off when you’re away
  • Create a sustainable garden - grow your own vegetables and plant native species
  • Learn how to use your home appliances more efficiently with tips from Sustainability Victoria: Save energy in your home

You can find more information on how to reduce your footprint at home below:

When shopping

  • Buy second-hand clothes from op shops
  • Repair damaged clothing and items before buying new ones
  • Buy local goods
  • Buy less processed food
  • Avoid excessive packaging
  • Make a shopping list and only buy things you really need

When travelling

While car journeys may seem the simplest way to get around, there are other travel options that will help reduce your carbon footprint.

For shorter trips, consider walking, riding or using public transport. Car-pooling is also a great option if you are travelling to the same place as others. 

Plan your public transport journey using Public Transport Victoria or Google Maps for trains, trams and buses.

Find the best cycling route for you using the Google Maps bicycling feature. The map feature will highlight trails, dedicated lanes and bicycle-friendly roads.

Find out more here about bike paths and walking trails in Monash at Parks & Recreation.

More Information

There are also things you can do in your workplace or at school to help reduce your footprint. For more information, please see: Towards zero carbon in Monash(PDF, 4MB)