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QUICK TIPS THAT MAY REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

We’ve worked with our partner Cogo to provide insights into the simple things every Australian could do at home, work, and play that may reduce carbon emissions for a greener, cleaner, more sustainable future.

 

 

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1.  Should you consider riding a bike to work?

The benefits

It may help save on the costs associated with running a car, or using public transport, not to mention the positive effects it could have on your fitness. There could also be social benefits, potentially meeting other like-minded cyclists through clubs and online forums.

 

Riding a bike creates ten times less CO2e emissions than a typical car per kilometre.*

What could you do to make the switch? Suggestions from our partner Cogo:

Got a bike?

If you don't already have a bike, consider borrowing one, trialling a ride-share bike if they're available in your city or getting a second-hand one. No matter the bike you choose to use, check it's safe and roadworthy. At the minimum, check chains, brakes, and tyres. An overall service by your local bike store is a good idea.

Safety gear

You've got the bike and had it checked. Now, to the gear. A helmet is a must, followed by a light and reflectors for night rides, sturdy shoes, rain, or wind protection, and even eyewear.

The route

Will you ride on the road or on designated cycling paths? Are there lots of hills? How long's the trip? Ensure you consider whether riding a bike would be the best option for you.

Rules and regulations

No matter what, always check what rules apply in your state or local area. Cycling forums or enthusiast clubs could be a source of helpful information.

 

Measure your carbon footprint with the Westpac App

The progressive rollout of our new Carbon Footprint Tracker feature has begun. Watch out for it on the home screen of your Westpac App.

Small changes may have big impacts on your carbon footprint over time. Understanding where and how you spend if you want to make decisions that could help reduce your carbon footprint.

 

2.  Why choose public transport?

The costs

Road congestion costs the Australian economy an estimated $16 billion each year, with the transport sector being the second-largest emitter and fastest-growing polluter*. Cars are responsible for about half of these emissions, with the average car producing 330g of CO2e per person per kilometre driven compared to just 4g for an electric bus and 42g for a metro train over the same distance*. When you weigh up the costs, using public transport instead of driving a car to get to the same destination, where possible, could result in a significantly lower carbon footprint for that trip.

 

Nearly 8 out of 10 Australians travel to work, school, or university by car.*

What could you do to make the switch? Suggestions from our partner Cogo:

Take public transport

If there are good public transport networks close by, leaving the car at home, even on a few of your travel days, will have an impact on the amount of personal carbon emissions you’d produce for that trip, compared to using your car.

Research and plan

Convenience is everything when commuting. An online journey planner or app will help you find the fastest route and the frequency of services. A well-planned public transport route may mean avoiding the hassles of driving in peak-hour traffic or fighting for a parking spot.

Extra free time

When travelling on public transport, it could be a great opportunity to read a book, catch up on emails, check your social media, or even take a power nap.

Share your journey

If public transport is not viable, carpooling, carsharing and ridesharing could be other options. You'll get extra cars off the road, reducing carbon emissions and your travel costs. And there’s the social side, meeting people who live, work or study in your area.

 

Electric car loan

Want a new or used electric or hybrid car to reduce emissions and running costs? You might consider a Westpac Car Loan, as special rates apply to all eligible electric or hybrid vehicles.

 

3.  Could repairing your clothes reduce your carbon footprint?

The benefits

Extending the life of an item of clothing by an extra nine months could reduce its carbon, waste, and water footprint by around 20-30%*. If you’re not handy with a needle and thread or a repair is beyond your skill set, you could use one of around 700 Australian businesses that specialise in clothing and footwear repairs.*

 

You could repair clothes that are worn out, have developed faults, or which no longer fit.

What could you do to make the switch? Suggestions from our partner Cogo:

Repair, recycle or sell

Sorting through your wardrobe as the seasons change is a great way to work out what still fits, what you could repair, what you could recycle by donating items to family, friends, or charity, or what you could resell.

DIY or professional

Decide what clothes you'll be able to fix at home and those you'll need to get professionally repaired. Someone in your social network may have the skills to help with repairs or could recommend local tailors or alteration specialists in the area.

Sustainable brands

Some brands seek to improve their green credentials by offering repair services or instructions on repairing them yourself. They may offer a way for you to resell items in good condition that you no longer need.

Buy vintage

Shopping in thrift stores or buying preloved items is also a great way to extend the life of an article of clothing.

 

Westpac Carbon Footprint Tracker

The progressive rollout of our new Carbon Footprint Tracker feature has begun. Watch out for it on the home screen of your Westpac App.

Our Carbon Footprint Tracker in the Westpac App could help you understand and keep track of your spending habits and estimated carbon footprint.

 

4.  How every minute counts when taking a shower

The costs

Older-style shower heads can use about 15-20 litres of water a minute, while the average bath uses about 150 litres*. In times of drought and water rationing, that could have a considerable impact on our economy and the environment as energy and resources are required to produce a clean and reliable water source*.

 

The average Australian uses about 340 litres of water every day.*

What could you do to make the switch? Suggestions from our partner Cogo:

Water efficiency

Switching to appliances or programs that use less water per cycle or fitting a flow restrictor to your taps may help reduce the carbon emissions associated with providing a clean water supply, and as an added benefit, lower utility bills. A 5-minute shower with a water-efficient shower head typically only uses 40 litres, which not only conserves water, but could save up to 50% of the total carbon emissions associated with treating, supplying and heating the water.*

Water wise habits

Not leaving the tap running whilst brushing teeth or shaving, using the toilet half flush, or filling up the sink to wash up might seem insignificant, but over a day, you'd be surprised how much water you could save. And if you combine that with a cooler water temperature, you could lower your footprint and be kinder to your skin.

Shower vs bath

You can't go past a bath for relaxation, but you could make changes by reducing the water temperature or running the bath level a bit shallower. For everyday showering, keeping track of time can be tricky, so why not set a timer or play a song that's around 5 minutes long?

 
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5.  What to consider when cooling and heating your home

The benefits

Insulating your home, using energy-efficient windows and doors as well as window and floor coverings, in conjunction with energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, could produce significant savings for your energy bills. For every one degree you increase your heating or decrease your cooling, your energy use will increase by approximately 5-10%*, meaning small temperature changes could potentially save you money on your heating or cooling bills.

 

Can you keep cool in summer and warm in the cooler months without using unnecessary energy?

What could you do to make the switch? Suggestions from our partner Cogo:

Ideal temperatures

You could set your household temperature to 25-27°C to keep warm in winter and between 18-20°C to keep cool in summer. By closing blinds, curtains, and doors, you’ll be able to reach your ideal temperature faster, by using less energy. And by installing a smart thermostat, you could potentially shave 10-15% off your heating and cooling costs.*

Setting timers

Efficiency and saving energy are all about working smarter. Setting your air conditioning or heating to switch off automatically overnight or when you know you’ll be away from home means you’ll only be consuming energy when you need it, cutting costs and emissions.

Energy efficiency

Maintaining or servicing your system may help your heating or cooling to run more efficiently. Cleaning filters regularly and checking for leaks in ducting or insulation means you’ll maximise efficiency and save money by extending the life of your existing system.

 

Solar personal loan

Going solar could reduce your energy bills. You could apply for a personal loan for up to $50,000, with no security needed and rates that are personalised to your needs and credit rating.

 

6.  Is composting the answer to reducing food wastage?

The cost

Food waste sent to landfill decomposes poorly due to a lack of oxygen, releasing harmful gases into the atmosphere, with global food waste producing 8% of total greenhouse emissions*. If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter, so a practical solution to reduce food waste might be to make a weekly meal plan so you only buy what you need. Then any food scraps you could turn into compost. Compost is not only great for the plants in your garden by helping to improve the soil and lock in moisture, but it decomposes aerobically, which produces mainly CO2, and not the more harmful methane*. Additionally, but also importantly, this reduces the volume of waste going to landfills, reducing transport emissions.*.

 

Approximately 7.6 million tonnes of food is wasted in Australia every year – the equivalent of 300kg per person.*

What could you do to make the switch? Suggestions from our partner Cogo:

Where to start?

A great place to start is in your kitchen. We're all used to recycling, so composting and taking out the food scraps we usually throw away would mean another container for most of us. After that, you'll need to consider what you want to do with the scraps.

Composting

You could buy a specially designed compost bin from a hardware supplier or make your own. Depending on what you want to do with your compost, from adding it as mulch or bokashi (a super-fertile compost) to your garden, or using it to start a worm farm, will dictate what food scraps you should save. Learn what you could compost, from fruit and vegetable scraps to coffee grounds and eggshells and, importantly, what you could add to your compost, including meat scraps, dairy, fats and oils.+

Other alternatives

If composting's not your thing, consider some of the more ingenious uses, such as retaining seeds, pits, and cuttings from your veggies to grow more of them, using scraps to create sauces, jams, and broths, using cucumber peelings to deter ants, or making breadcrumbs from stale bread.

Things you should know

Read the Westpac Online Banking Terms and Conditions (PDF 417KB) at westpac.com.au before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you.


Last updated 1 Nov 2023.

 

*The information provided relates to environment, social and governance (ESG) topics, including but not limited to climate change, targets, projections, scenarios, and other proxy data. All facts on our Sustainable Living Ideas website and CO2e values are estimates. The science, methodologies and data quality and availability relating to ESG topics are rapidly evolving and maturing, including the available data and variations in approaches and common standards in estimating and calculating emissions. There are inherent limitations in the current scientific understanding of climate change and its impact. Carbon footprint estimates are calculated based on industry averages only and are not specific to individual purchases or merchants. The calculations compare transactions conducted via eligible Westpac accounts against industry data provided by Connecting Good Australia Pty Limited (Cogo). Transactions categorised as pending or transfers aren’t included. All facts and CO2e values are estimates provided by and published with the permission of Cogo. The information is based on research at an industry level, will be updated as more information becomes available, and Cogo is responsible for its accuracy and completeness. Westpac gives no representation, warranty or guarantee (including as to the quality, accuracy or completeness) of this information. Climate and sustainability related forward-looking statements are not guarantees or prediction of future performance. Actual outcomes may differ from those expressed or implied and are not guarantees or predictions of future performance.

 

This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

 

+Better Homes & Gardens content (How to Make Compost to Feed Your Plants and Reduce Waste (bhg.com))

 

For more information on Cogo, visit their website www.cogo.co.

 

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