Why’s it important to understand my estimated carbon footprint?
Understanding your estimated carbon footprint could help you identify the activities in your life that may contribute to your overall carbon emissions. Since we can’t see the specific items, you purchase or any of your lifestyle choices, such as your diet (e.g., if you’re vegetarian) or energy consumption choices (e.g., if you’ve selected ‘green energy’ from your provider), we apply an average Australian emissions factor to your purchases to give you an estimated carbon footprint associated with that transaction.
As an individual, your carbon emissions come from various activities and sources in your personal life. You could work to reduce your carbon footprint by making changes to, or being more conscious of, your activities in certain areas. Examples of sources of carbon emissions for individuals include:
Your mode of transportation and how often you travel may significantly impact your carbon emissions. Driving a car, flying on a plane, and even taking public transport contribute to your carbon footprint. To put it in perspective, cycling 10km instead of driving an average passenger car over the same distance, on average equals an estimated 1.5kg CO2e saved.
Energy consumption at home
The energy you use to power your home, such as electricity and natural gas, produces carbon emissions. Using heating, cooling, lighting, and appliances contribute to your carbon footprint.
The foods you eat also contribute to your carbon footprint. The production and transportation of animal products, such as meat and dairy products, typically generate higher emissions than plant-based alternatives. Removing an average of two days’ worth of meat purchases that you’d normally add to your weekly grocery shop may reduce the estimated carbon emissions from your grocery bill by approximately 4.3kg CO2e.
Consumption of goods
The goods you buy, including clothing, electronics, and other consumer products, are often produced, and transported using carbon-intensive processes. Global fashion supply chains may be emission intensive, especially in the production of new fashion items, which involve resource extraction, transportation, and manufacturing activities. Spending $50 on a second-hand clothing item instead of purchasing a new item is estimated to save approximately 20kg CO2e for that specific purchase.
How you dispose of waste, including food waste, paper products, and plastic, can also contribute to your carbon footprint. When organic waste decomposes in a landfill, it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. It is estimated that composting 10kg of household food waste instead of sending it to a landfill may save approximately 20kg CO2e.