Your new year will no doubt roll in with the best of intentions. There’ll be bold declarations to switch your devotion from fried chicken to quinoa salads, to leave a lighter footstep (physically and environmentally), and to generally just do better. It all seems a little strenuous. But the good news is that it doesn’t take much to make small changes. We’ve asked Dermot O’Gorman, the CEO of WWF Australia, to give us some pointers. Dermot says that “helping to save the planet doesn’t have to mean giving up the things you love”, which sounds perfect to us, so here are his 10 tips for turning over a new green leaf.

1. Take the bus. Walk, ride or catch public transport to work once a week. not only will this will save you money, but it will improve your health and lower your footprint.

2. Recycle your electronic gadgets. Old mobiles, iPods, TVs, computers and radios contain materials that can be recycled such as gold, copper and coltan. None of this needs to end up as landfill, so recycle responsibly.

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3. Ditch that takeaway coffee cup. This will reduce landfill and the amount of resources used to produce your daily pick-me-up. There are lots of cute reusable cups to buy.

4. Take part in Earth Hour. On Saturday 19 March at 8:30pm, switch off your lights or get outdoors to an Earth Hour event in your area to show your support for action on climate change. Register your support.

5. Quality, not quantity. Buy better produced products – look for eco-labels at the supermarket that help make a difference to the environment.

6. Write a letter. Ask your MP what they’re doing to safeguard your local environment or address climate change – this makes sure your voice is heard and that your representatives understand your concerns.

7. Find a buddy and car pool. Double the efficiency of your car by putting another person in it! This is an easy way to reduce your mobility footprint. Plus makes commutes more fun.

8. Holiday closer to home. If you cut out just one flight this year, you can significantly reduce your mobility footprint. Choosing to holiday closer to home, or avoiding business travel, can make a big difference.

9. Turn it off. Don’t leave things on stand-by power – by turning appliances off at the wall, you’re eliminating both wasted energy and carbon.

10. Go meat-free once a week. Did you know that thousands of litres of water are needed to produce just one kilogram of beef?

Australian Traveller issue 67

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