Extreme Climate: Five Things You Can Do

It is easy to get disheartened or fearful about extreme climate change. Yet, we can all make a difference by taking positive, sustainable action to change our lifestyle and our behavior. Start simply, get the children involved and find fun ways to reduce your carbon footprint as an individual and in your community. We can all make a difference to climate change. Here are some suggestions for a healthier, more sustainable approach to living in our environment.

Reduce car emissions

  • Leave the car in the garage and walk or cycle for short trips.
  • Use public transport.
  • Keep your car tires inflated to the recommended pressure.
  • Drive slowly and smoothly.
  • Car-pool with colleagues.

Reduce energy expenditure in your home

  • Turn off lights and appliances when not in use.
  • Replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Insulate your home and reduce your heating and cooling bills.
  • Install a water-saving showerhead and take shorter showers.
  • Dry your clothes outside on the line rather than in the clothes dryer.
  • Switch to ‘green energy’ for your electricity needs.

Reduce your ‘carbon footprint’ when you shop

  • Buy local and seasonal food produce to reduce energy use in transport and storage.
  • Buy items with minimal packaging whenever possible.
  • If you buy new items, make sure they are made from sustainable, low-impact materials.
  • Buy secondhand rather than new – from op shops, garage sales or over the Internet.

Recycle waste and reuse ‘pre-loved’ items

  • Recycle as much of your trash as you can.
  • Compost vegetable scraps.
  • ‘Detox your home’ – dispose of unwanted chemicals safely rather than pouring them down the sink or putting them in the trash can.
  • Be creative in finding new uses for ‘found’ or ‘pre-loved’ objects.

Talk with your children about extreme climate

  • Listen to your child and take their concerns and feelings seriously about extreme climate.
  • Explain the issues in a way that is appropriate to the child’s level of understanding, without too much graphic detail. Use language they understand.
  • Check that your child hasn’t jumped to any wrong conclusions. If you try to protect them by keeping information from them, they may fill in the blanks using their imagination.
  • Monitor their exposure to disturbing or sensational media, such as television news or disaster films about the end of the world – is it appropriate to their age?
  • Provide positive, realistic information sources for them learn about climate change – for example, a children’s book, video or educational website.
  • Talk about the issue as a family and plan simple, positive actions that you can take together to make a difference.
Source: Department of Health and Human Services, Australian Government

 

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