5 easy ways to lower your household emissions

Wondering what you can do to help lower your impact on climate change? Here are our five top tips to get you started – and they all start at home.
Tom Penny · 12 April 2024 · 3 minute read

1. Embrace the five ‘Rs’ 

  • Reduce 
    Cut down on the single-use and disposable products you buy by choosing reusable products. Whether it’s reusable shopping bags, buying in bulk or using what you already have. 
  • Reuse
    At home, reuse containers and buy refills rather than new products. Wash takeaway containers and use again. Give your wearable unwanted clothes and other household items to family, friends or thrift shops.
  • Repurpose
    Before throwing something away can you or perhaps someone in your community repurpose it for another use.

Getting rid of e-waste  

Recycle your electronic waste (e-waste) responsibly through the MobileMuster program which we proudly support. Your local council might have an e-waste drop off point too. E-waste includes mobile phones, tablets and modems.

How we recycle at Telstra

We proudly support social enterprises, like PonyUp for Good who helped us recycle over 9,000 kilos of e-waste and old uniforms to help serve up nearly 125,000 meals for vulnerable Aussies, through SecondBite.

2. Buy only what you’ll use 

In Australia, we waste more than 30% of the food we buy. We throw out around 3.1 million tonnes of food each year - 2.54 million tonnes comes from our homes. 

When rotting food ends up in landfill, it turns to methane, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Eat less meat

Ever thought about the environmental footprint of your favourite foods? Here's a taste: 

  • It takes 36kg of CO2 emissions to produce 1,000 calories of beef
  • It takes 5kg of CO2 emissions to produce 1,000 calories of chicken 
  • It takes 0.6kg of CO2 emissions to produce 1,000 calories of potatoes 
  • It takes just .07kg of CO2 to produce 1,000 calories of nuts

We’re not suggesting you exist entirely on nuts and potatoes from now on, but if we all subbed out just one meat-based meal each week for a plant-based alternative, it could make a huge difference to greenhouse gas emissions.  

Learn more about food emissions

4. Insulate your home

Your home’s heating and cooling makes up around 40% of its energy use.  

To help lower your bills and greenhouse gas emissions, seal your windows and doors to keep the heat inside during the cooler months - and the heat outside in the warmer months. Door and window weather strips are available at DIY stores.  

How to save money while reducing your carbon footprint

5. Switch to energy efficient lights and appliances

Appliances can contribute up to 30% of your home’s carbon footprint. Each one comes with an energy star rating, so the more stars, the more energy efficient it is.  

Change the lighting in your home to energy-efficient options, like LED which uses around 80% less energy than older globes and lasts four to ten times longer.

How much energy do your appliances use?

6. Walk or cycle more

On short trips, leave your car behind. Cars are least efficient and most polluting at the start of trips - and on trips less than 5 kilometres because the engine can’t reach its peak operating temperature.

If you walk or cycle, you’ll save .25kg of CO2 emissions per km. And we don’t need to tell you about the health benefits!  

When you need to take the car, be sure your tyres are inflated properly. U.S. studies show that under-inflated tyres use more petrol while driving, wasting around 3.2 – 4.8 kilometres per 3.8 litres

Find out more about fuel efficiency


Calculate your carbon footprint

The Global Footprint Network's Ecological Footprint calculator works out how many tonnes of CO2 you’re putting into the air and how many earths we would need if everyone had your lifestyle. 

A carbon footprint calculator from Carbon Footprint Ltd – gives you a CO2 count and visual of your carbon footprint versus what it should be (similar to your household water usage on your water bill.) Carbon Counter shows you much CO2 you could save and ways to reduce your footprint. 


Doing better by the environment

Reducing emissions, investing in renewable energy and collaborating with you to drive positive environmental action means we can all help make a difference. Let's do this.