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Climate change is one of Australia’s biggest issues, and it’s ever-increasing. The issue is perpetuated by human behaviours – our consumption and emissions – but the good thing is, we’re becoming more aware of how to change those behaviours.
Adopting more environmentally friendly behaviours is imperative for future health of the planet, and the ability for humans to live off its natural resources.
Dr Trevor Thornton, a senior lecturer in Deakin’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences, says: ‘If we do not start conserving resources and reducing impacts, we will soon have less fresh water, less land to grow food and more and more plants and animals will become extinct.’
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Dr Thornton notes that there are some simple things that everyone can do to reduce their impact on the environment.
Reducing your red meat intake is one of the easiest – and most effective – ways to maintain a green footprint. ‘Apart from the health benefits, reducing meat consumption would reduce greenhouse gas emission significantly as agriculture contributes about 15% of our total greenhouse gas emissions.’
Generally, what you consume – or more specifically, don’t consume – is one of the biggest things we need to change.
‘A large amount of the waste in your bin is food: about 40%. Disposing of this contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, is wasteful and costs each household over $2000 per year in wasted food that should have been consumed,’ Dr Thornton says. ‘Sustainability is about balancing and not wasting – so think about what you waste and what you can reduce consuming.’
He also explains: ‘Using our cars for short drives is a major contributor to greenhouses gas emissions – walking is healthy and free and public transport is also cheaper.’
Acting sustainably isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for your health and your hip-pocket too. ‘If you are not sure how to reduce your environmental impacts then try to find out. Councils, government agencies and universities can all help you gain the information you need,’ Dr Thornton concludes.
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