UN World Environment Day is on Sunday June 5, 2022. Judging by the success of the Greens, Teals and ultimately the ALP in the recent Federal election, it’s clear Australians are calling for more action on climate issues.
As we know, plans to upgrade our electricity grid, achieve net zero emissions, get more EVs on our roads, and make the transition to cleaner, greener energy sources won’t happen overnight. In fact, it will be decades before some of these ambitions are met.
So, while we watch and wait, now is the time to enact change on a smaller scale. We need to turn to our own backyard and the choices we can make to live a cleaner, greener lifestyle in Western Australia. What better time to refocus, than World Environment Day?
How to act, this World Environment Day
The 2022 World Environment Day theme #OnlyOneEarth calls for collective, transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet.
So, what can we do in our own homes, and in our community, to make a difference in restoring and protecting our planet?
We are fortunate to be a futuristic WA company focused on renewable solar energy, and while we want national and global actions on climate and the environment, it’s important that we consider the individual changes we can make today, which will make a difference.
Here are four unique, yet very affordable ways you can create your own global impact, on a local scale.
1. Plant bee-friendly habitats
We depend on bees for our survival. Not only do they provide high-quality food, according to bee experts at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nationals, a third of the world’s food production depends on bees. Climate change and droughts have already impacted the wild bee populations in WA, and we need to maintain and grow that population to pollinate crops.
#WorldBeeDay says we can all help bees by planting nectar-bearing flowers such as marigolds or sunflowers and natives like bottlebrush, gum trees and tea trees. If you must use pesticides, use ones that don’t harm bees, and spray them in windless weather, either early in the morning or late at night, when bees withdraw from blossoms.
2. Grow your own food and take days off from eating meat
According to The Nature Conservancy, food production has altered our planet more than any other human activity. It accounts for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions and 70 per cent of all freshwater usage. Obviously growing your own food will save you money and reduce greenhouse gases through the reduction of transportation and packaging. Growing your own food also helps with your well-being. Right now, the most popular vegies to grow at home during winter are English spinach, broad beans, parsnips, cabbage, carrots, peas and potatoes. Perfect ingredients for a hearty warming soup.
According to the University of Colorado, cutting meat out of your diet for one day a week can save more than 20,000 gallons of water and reduce your personal carbon contribution by more than 400 pounds per year.
3. The sun and batteries
It may seem strange to say this in mid-winter, but now is the best time to power your home from the sun - if you have a battery. Contrary to popular belief, standard solar panels do not store energy, only a battery does. Perth is the sunniest capital city in Australia, even in winter. The only way to take advantage of the sun’s power when it’s shining is to store it for use at night. You may think solar and a battery is not an affordable solution – now it is affordable and accessible.
We also know that our Perth power grid is becoming more unstable, and blackouts will continue. Now is the perfect time to invest in moving our reliance away from this ageing infrastructure.
4. Fashion slow down
Mass produced, imported fashion, is a significant cost to the environment. According to UNECE, 2018, fashion production makes up 10 per cent of humanity’s carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams. What’s more, 85 per cent of all textiles go to the dump each year. Use your clothes for longer and choose to buy clothes that support local manufacturers. Even better, visit your local op shop for a bargain.
While these actions may seem insignificant, we will only ever achieve global impact through the individual choices we make on a daily basis.
We expect more from our Government in making timely decisions. Isn’t it time we also made some personal changes to truly live by our climate change principles? If you're interested in powering your home with renewable energy, chat with a Plico team member to find out whether a solar + battery system could be right for you or estimate your savings with our Solar Saving Calculator.