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  • Rights: Crown Copyright 2020, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
    Published 15 October 2020 Referencing Hub media

    Professor James Renwick provides a few suggestions on how each of us can reduce our carbon footprint.

    Questions for discussion:

    • What are some of the suggestions that you can put into practice?
    • Who might you talk to about climate change?
    • Is there an effective way a group of you might be able to communicate your ideas?
    • Dr Shaun Awatere is shown commuting to work – what mode of transport does he use?
    • Why do you think Shaun commutes this way?



    Anything an individual can do to reduce their carbon footprint makes a difference. So for instance, not driving your car so much, taking public transport – especially if it’s powered renewably – walking and cycling more, flying less, making your clothes last longer. If your home is not well insulated and you can afford to insulate, then do that. If you can afford to buy an electric vehicle, great. Being a little more careful with how we use energy, basically.

    But I think one of the main things everyone can do is just talk about the issue. Talk to your elected representatives, to your MPs, to the local council – all the people who help to run the country, essentially. Make sure they know that you see this as a problem that you want fixed.

    Talk to your own whānau, talk to your workmates, talk to your neighbours. Just getting used to the idea that talking about climate change shouldn’t be seen as weird or you’re not a tree hugger for wanting to stop climate change. It is the biggest problem we face, and the more effort we put into fixing it, the easier it’s going to be.

    Professor James Renwick, Victoria University of Wellington
    Dr Shaun Awatere, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research
    Electric car footage, LEARNZ; solar power station, Benjamin Kenobi; wind turbine, Trust Power NSW, all released under CC BY-NC 3.0
    Sitting New Zealand Parliament, Office of the Clerk/Parliamentary Service, licensed by the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Parliamentary Corporation on behalf of Parliamentary Service for reuse under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
    You control climate change poster, European Commission
    Greta Thunberg for school strike against climate change, April 2019, Per Grunditz, 123RF Ltd
    Hands holding Earth globe, Yarruta, licensed through 123RF Ltd
    ‘You can’t ignore climate change’ protesters, Takvar, licensed under CC BY 2.0


    This resource has been produced with the support of the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ. (c) Crown Copyright.

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