I despair at the future, especially for the kids of the world, in this moment when we as a country refuse to do anything significant to curb climate change, and in fact bullheadedly do the exact opposite. 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 hope in taking these minuscule actions is that I’m contributing to an at-some-point unignorable amount of pressure on government to finally take action to make the future a bit safer.
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 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.
I encourage my child to engage with nature in meaningful ways, to understand her place within it, in the hope that she won’t other the natural world and see it as something separate and ever-available for humans to use and abuse for their own progress, comfort, greed.
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!