Making the decision to live more sustainably can be overwhelming. Do you start with your food? Clothes? Banking? Travel? Waste? The list goes on and on. Thankfully, there’s certain actions you can focus on, writes Sam Mullen.

To help you on the journey to lower your environmental footprint, we’ve come up with three tips from energy, transport and waste. Whether you’re just starting your sustainable-living journey, or looking for inspiration for other things you can do to minimise your climate impact have a read of the below and think how you can apply it to your life!


Replacing one car trip a week with active travel such as walking or riding a bike will reduce your carbon emissions from transport and save you on fuel costs. If active travel isn’t an option for you, catching public transport generates significantly less carbon emissions than driving a private combustion-engine vehicle. Replacing just one trip a week, every week, can have a noticeable impact on your carbon footprint. Check the Brisbane City Council bikeways app, to find your nearest route.

Did you know that one third of Brisbane residents live within 300m of a bikeway?


Switching to renewable energy can reduce the average Brisbane household’s carbon emissions from energy, transport and waste by nearly 50%. If you’re not able to install solar panels, calling up your electricity provider and switching to a 100% GreenPower plan is an easy way to transition all your household energy consumption onto renewable energy. If you don’t want to pay the premium for a 100% GreenPower plan, most energy providers also offer 10%, 20% or 50% GreenPower plans. Learn how switching to GreenPower can almost half your carbon footprint from home energy, transport and waste.

Some energy providers also offer carbon offset products, but this is different to GreenPower. Make sure you pay for a GreenPower product to ensure you are reducing your carbon emissions and increasing the demand and supply of renewable energy in Australia.


When organic matter sits in landfill, it emits methane; a greenhouse gas that has 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide. Not only will reducing food waste help lower your environmental footprint, but it can save Brisbane households thousands a year on grocery bills. Also, getting a compost solution or earthworms will help break down your food matter without emitting greenhouse gases, plus, you’ll produce rich nutrients for your garden! And living in apartment building or place with no garden doesn’t need to stop you either – there are great solutions such as the Bokashi bin that works for small spaces or try one of Council’s many community composting hubs.

If the three RE’s aren’t enough try taking the Brisbane Carbon Challenge. Calculate your household emissions using the online calculator tool, then use helpful tips and resources to lower your emissions and save on bills. Retake the calculator in a few months and see how you’ve gone!

The author

Sam Mullen

Sam is a sustainability specialist at Brisbane Sustainability Agency and enjoys helping residents and community groups understand and reduce their climate impact while also promoting a circular economy.

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