Guide to going carbon neutral

There are steps you can take to reduce your environmental footprint.
 
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  • Updated:3 Nov 2007
 

04.Step 1: Measure

This quiz helps calculate the greenhouse pollution your household is directly responsible for, from heating, cooling and transport. That’s about 20 percent of your total carbon footprint — the rest is from the products you buy.

See Indirect carbon emissions for more about what activities produce carbon emissions.

Source: Global Warming Cool It 2007, Australian Greenhouse Office.

 

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To use this interactive quiz, you’ll need:
  • Some recent electricity bills — ideally for the last four quarters, to get an accurate picture of your annual use. Electricity consumption is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). In some states, bills show the greenhouse gas emissions arising from electricity use. If you buy 100% GreenPower, you can enter 0 for electricity emissions in your home. If you buy 50% GreenPower, reduce your electricity emissions figure by half, etc.
  • A gas bill. As above, but measured in megajoules (except in WA, where consumption is expressed in units).
  • An estimate of your annual petrol expenditure.
  • An estimate of your annual air travel. Websites like Mapcrow can help you estimate the distance between cities. To include the full effects of flying, use the calculator at Climate Clever.

The average Australian household generates about 14 tonnes of GHG emissions each year from energy consumption and transport. How did you compare? You don’t need a precise figure — this quiz is a starting point. Divide the number of kilograms by 1000 to get tonnes, to compare with the household average of 14 tonnes.

More detailed calculators and information is available from organisations like the ACF and the AGO.

Alternatively, you could pay for a home energy audit (typically $100 to $300).