The City of Sydney is now entirely powered using 100% renewable electricity generated from wind and solar farms in regional areas of NSW.
Starting on July 1, all street lights, pools, sports fields, depots and around 115 buildings, including the Sydney Town Hall, began running on locally-sourced green energy in a commendable move to save tons of emissions.
The monumental switch is predicted to reduce C02 emissions by an estimated 20,000 tons annually (the equivalent power consumption of more than 6,000 households), while simultaneously saving the city up to $500,000 a year over the next decade.
Three renewable energy farms located in Glen Innes, Wagga Wagga and the Shoalhaven region — two solar and one wind — will power the city from hereon. Lord Mayor Clover Moore says the “ground-breaking” $60 million deal will also generate jobs and offer support for communities impacted by drought and COVID-19.
“We are in the middle of a climate emergency. If we are to reduce emissions and grow the green power sector, all levels of government must urgently transition to renewable energy,” Moore said in a statement.
“Cities are responsible for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, so it is critical that we take effective and evidence-based climate actions.”
This new clean energy deal will help the city reach its goal to reduce emissions by 70% a whole six years earlier than originally intended.
Its great news for the city many Australians call home, or at least, visit frequently for work or weekend activities, but of course, there is still more work to be done to reduce the impacts of climate change.
At home, there are many changes — both large and small — that will help reduce your own footprint and create a more climate positive lifestyle. From composting to abandoning single-use plastics, here are a handful of ways to can reduce your environmental impact at home.
Say no to single-use plastics
During Plastic-Free July, we’re challenging ourselves, our friends and families, and our households to refuse single-use plastics and be part of the solution to plastic pollution around the world.
The global movement encourages us at home to reevaluate the products we buy, many of which have plastic-free alternatives now or at the very least, are made from recycled plastics or other more sustainable materials. Swap cling film for beeswax wraps, plastic straws for bamboo straws, and plastic bags for reusable totes at the supermarket.
Compost your food waste
Composting is not a concept for the ‘too-hard basket’ but rather a necessity to reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to a greener earth. If you have a house with an outdoor area, head over to your local Bunnings and look into your composting options.
Apartment dwellers: you are not exempt. Even without a balcony or outdoor area, composting is easily done at home with just a small benchtop composer and a ShareWaste account. The platform allows you to connect with composters and worm-farmers in your area and arrange a contactless donation of your scraps. Read more in our guide to composting at home.
Switch energy providers
You could be doing everything right: collecting water from your showers for indoor plants, composting, exclusively using your keep cup; but if your energy provider at home is still fueled by burning coal, then you’re missing a crucial step to building a green home.
Making the switch to green energy at home is easy, and there are a number of providers like Powershop that provide 100% carbon neutral power for your home and workplace, though you can use platforms like Huglo to compare clean energy providers and find a supplier that matches perfectly to the needs of your home.
Further to this, you could consider installing solar panels at home or petitioning for your workplace or apartment building to install their own.