© Carbon Neutral NZ Trust

What do I need to do?

Why become carbon neutral?

Becoming carbon neutral means taking responsibility for the greenhouse gas pollution that we create in our home, at work and through recreational and community activities.

Carbon neutrality involves creating an inventory of one’s emissions, reducing those emissions wherever possible, and if need be, purchasing offsets to mitigate any emissions that remain. The emphasis should always be on reducing emissions in the first place whilst any remaining emissions are best offset using renewable energy sources, public transport or electrical vehicles (EVs) or by local tree planting or carbon abatement projects.

The carbon calculations are intended to be a guide for you rather than attempting to be an exact number. The objective of the exercise is to highlight the areas where you can achieve improvements in your carbon emissions or sequestering.

Calculate your carbon footprint

We have built a carbon calculator specifically for New Zealanders. It groups your emissions into five key consumption areas and also calculates the carbon offset value of trees and shrubs on your property as well as the impact of composting or worm farms. Check out the calculator. If you would prefer to complete a survey offline you can download it here and send the completed form to us - we will send you your calculated carbon data. You can also use the offline form as a guide for the information that you will need before you use the online calculator. 

We are volunteer lay people, not scientists. The calculator is intended to be a reasonable guide of your emissions rather than an accurate measure. We needed to be pragmatic and design a calculator that had enough detail but was not a usability nightmare and an obstacle to participation.

Add your data to the community data pool

By registering, your data will be saved and will be aggregated with the data from other households in your local area. Doing this allows you to gauge how your emission totals and sequestration compares with the community averages and with national data. You can track the changes over time.

We will ask you to review and update your data annually and this will start to generate trend data which you can view.

Identify areas where you can improve

Your carbon summary will graphically show those areas that are having the most impact on your carbon footprint. 

Using the actions section of this site, together with our planning tool, you can explore ways that you can make improvements. Such improvements are entirely at the discretion of each individual household. They could be as simple as switching off lights when they are not needed or walking rather than driving on the occasional errand through to considering more fuel or energy efficient options next time you make an expensive decision around a new house or car.

An aspirational goal for each household would be to reduce their net carbon emissions by 10% per year.

Use our resource to help you on the journey to carbon neutrality

We have a team of volunteers who are dedicated to exploring the ways in which we can transition to a lower carbon lifestyle. They will be sharing their knowledge through case studies, advice, links to other sites and news items that can help us all. Check out our resources - these are growing all the time!

Get independent local advice when making your choices

If you have questions or need help in deciding if a particular action is for your, ask one of our team. They are local and if they have not already done what you are thinking of they will know who has. Ask a question.

Buy local carbon offsets

We are hoping to finance carbon reduction initiatives by offering offset payments for such things as International travel. These would be used to fund community actions like buying solar panels, e-bikes, waste recycling, and many more ideas that will help us to become carbon neutral.

What is in it for me?

Apart from knowing that you are making a positive contribution towards avoiding an existential catastrophe, you can expect to enjoy other benefits such as:

 

Savings

More efficient use of resources generally translates to lower costs – electricity, food, fuel, less waste, lower medical bills, etc.

 

A healthier you

Apart from creating a healthier environment in our communities, you will find that many of the actions that you take could lead to a healthier personal lifestyle. For example walking or cycling on some errands rather than driving or, changes to your diet will be beneficial to your health.