Saving the planet can sound, well, just a little daunting…. So if you're figuring out where to start or want to know if there's something you hadn't thought of, here's 5 ways you can make a genuine impact, without much effort.
1. Switch to an ethical super fund
It's great to know that as you work, your life savings are building to support your choice of retirement. Although your money isn't just supporting your future self, this chunk of your salary is also supporting the super fund it is going into.
Some Aussies are now switching to what are known as 'ethical super funds.' These folks are taking steps to make the planet a better place, by investing in initiatives such as renewable energy, recycling, and animal welfare. Choosing a company that gives you that 'feel good' feeling is now easier than ever.
Some of these super funds also conduct what are known as 'positive screens.' A positive screen involves actively searching for companies that have a beneficial impact on the environment and society as a whole.
So how much nicer would it be to know that your super fund takes the extra step to support Australia's green future? You can find a list of Australian super fund options here.
2. Eat more plants
Now, we don't mean to sound like your doctor here (or your mum) but getting in your fruits and veggies has never been more important! Besides the obvious potential health benefits, swapping out some of your meals for plant-based alternatives is one of the best things you can do for the environment.
It helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water, and land usage, ocean acidification, eutrophication…you get the picture. And the best news is, you don't need to take an all-or-nothing approach. Meat-free Mondays, oat milk, and dairy-free Ben and Jerry's are all popular for a reason. They are all fun ways to incorporate plant-based foods into your diet without going cold turkey (no pun intended).
As a bonus, plant-based diets have also been shown to increase one's general wellbeing and performance. Venus Williams' switched to a vegan diet to improve athletic performance, and not to mention Arnold Schwarzenegger's dramatic move to going plant-based. With athletes making the total switch, swapping out a meal a week almost seems too easy.
3. Switch to a green energy provider
These days, switching energy providers is as simple as picking up your smartphone. The hard part can be deciding which one to choose! More energy providers are working hard towards creating a cleaner, greener Australia. So, where to start?
One way to support renewables is by taking up a 100% GreenPower accredited plan. In simple terms, these plans support renewable energy generators to build more renewable infrastructure, guaranteeing that you offset the carbon footprint associated with your energy use.
Another option is to choose an energy retailer that backs renewables, regardless of the plan you chose! This way, you can be sure your monthly bills support the creation of renewable energy projects in Australia.
Please forgive us for the shameless self-promo here. But we do also happen to be owned by one of Australia's leading renewable energy generators, Pacific Hydro Australia. So, you can rest assured with Tango, your money will help to get Australia closer to its green energy future. An added sweet bonus is that you might even save some coin too.
4. Drive less
Depending on where you live, there can often be an array of public transport options at your disposal, such as trams, buses, and trains. If public transport doesn't float your ferry, you can consider carpooling with a family member or friend to reduce your carbon footprint.
Cycling is also on the rise, which is a great way to get around with a low carbon impact on our planet, not to mention the potential health benefits.
Another factor to consider is the effect COVID-19 has had on our lifestyles (and 'workstyles'). With so many companies worldwide making the shift to mainly working from home, it may be time to ask yourself: do I still really need to own a car?
5. Buy ethical fashion
The good news here is, you can help the environment by doing…nothing! Just by re-wearing the clothes you already have, you are helping to reduce the wasteful cycle of treating clothes as a one-time use.
Although buying less clothing is one option, there are plenty of other choices. Thankfully, more and more fashion labels are creating new lines using eco-friendly materials like hemp, organic cotton, linen, and of course, recycled materials! So, the next time you need a new item, keep an eye out for the labels promoting the brand's sustainable lines.
If you care for the environment (which I’m sure you do if you reached the end of this article!) then check out how Tango Energy are doing their part.
Please also keep in mind that is general information only and you should consult professional guidance before making any significant financial, health or lifestyle changes.