We have to take action on climate change. Our country’s political inaction is outrageous, frustrating, terrifying. I realise that the actions of individuals and small businesses really can’t make any dint at all, and that what we desperately need is a swift systemic overhaul. But I can’t not do anything, and my actual hope in taking these minuscule actions is that I’m contributing to a no-longer-ignorable amount of pressure on government to bloody well do something.
Here are some of the things I do to reduce my carbon footprint and/or support the environment (some of these things are business oriented, others are things I do both as an individual and as a business owner - it’s all pretty entwined for me as a sole trader doing the majority of my work from home):
I do my business and personal banking with Bank Australia; they don’t invest in fossil fuels, or other shit things.
I buy electricity and gas from Powershop, who provide carbon neutral electricity by offsetting carbon emissions via renewable energy assets. Unfortunately this still means I’m using fossil fuels; the plan is to install solar panels asap, as well as getting rid of gas from our property altogether.
I only photograph weddings in Victoria - I don’t take return flights for a day’s work.
I drive a small fuel-efficient car, and I maintain it well so it will last a long time.
I make monthly donations to Seed, Australia’s Indigenous youth climate network, and the Climate Council, to support communication about climate change.
I vote. I protest.
I don’t buy plastic packaging where possible. I reuse plastic, paper and cardboard packaging when I can. My mailing bags and labels are compostable, my delivery boxes are made from recycled cardboard, I use a paper alternative to bubblewrap, and the gifts I include for couples are locally-bought and environmentally-focused. My thank you cards are printed on recycled card using environmentally-friendly processes by PrintTogether. My USBs are made from bamboo.
I try to buy quality locally-made clothes to wear on wedding days, and the rest of the time I wear mostly second hand clothes. The majority of my home and studio furniture is also second hand.
I love gardening, and plant loads of indigenous trees, shrubs and flowers local to our area. Recent cohabitants include kookaburras, rosellas, magpies, a pair of tawny frogmouths, heaps of blue banded bees, a blue tongue lizard, and an echidna.
This year, I’ll be switching to a Super fund that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels.
In mid-2019, I’m planning on doing a carbon audit of my business so I can learn more about my specific emissions and how to target them. This will include looking into carbon offsets for any areas I can’t reduce effectively.
This is a work in progress, and I’ll update the above list as I go. If you have any ideas about how I can improve, email me - I’m all ears!