To put it simply, your carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon emissions – carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases – released into the atmosphere as a result of your actions. These gases trap heat and cause global warming.
By making steps to reduce your carbon footprint, you can choose sustainable living habits and save money simultaneously.
Let's see how you can start.
From switching to energy-efficient products to generating your own renewable energy – there are many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint at home.
For example, air conditioning can be expensive and uses lots of energy. Making simple changes, like weather stripping and sealant around doors and windows can keep the cooled air in, and hot air out – to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Electric utility company Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) shares helpful home energy saving tips on their website to help you save money.
Changing your daily habits can also make a difference and help lower the cost of your energy bill.
Simple steps could help, such as not leaving gadgets on standby, drying your clothes outside instead of using a tumble dryer where possible, and using less water.
It takes energy and resources to process and deliver water to our homes. Try turning off taps when brushing your teeth, having short showers instead of baths, and only boiling the amount of water you need.
TNB's goal is to install 9.1 million Smart Meters by 2026. Installation is free and only takes about 60 minutes to set up. Through the smart meter app, you can monitor your daily usage, set an energy budget, and view an estimated monthly cost. With a smart meter, you can digitally manage your household electricity usage and your energy bills.
Remember: the Smart Meter will only show you your energy usage. It's up to you to curb your consumption to save money!
Only buying things you need can have an immediate impact on your carbon footprint and finances, as can buying recycled or pre-owned wherever possible.
Buying better quality – whether it's clothes or electrical goods – can also save you money in the long run, even if it costs you more to begin with. Higher quality items are likely to last longer, which is also better for the environment.
You could get special deals and offers when you shop, dine and travel with your HSBC Amanah credit card-i or debit card-i. Just because you're shopping mindfully doesn't mean you can't enjoy a few spending perks and cashback, too.
The food we eat can have a significant impact on the environment. For example, food shipped from overseas uses a lot more resources than local produce. Look for markets or organic shops near where you live to find fresh, local produce.
Even better, grow your own. Herbs are an easy place to start. Lemongrass, mint, coriander, sweet basil and chili are all easy to grow at home so you can enjoy all year round.
When we waste food, we also waste the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package it. If it ends up in landfill, it also produces methane – a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.
Malaysians need to drastically reduce their food waste. Landfill operator Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) estimates that almost 17,000 tonnes of food is wasted per day. That's enough to feed 2.2 million people, three times a day[@swcorp].
You can reduce food waste by managing your finances effectively, planning meals and storing your food carefully.
If possible, opt to walk, cycle, or use public transport instead of driving. For slightly longer distances, you could consider an electric scooter, which could also help lower your carbon footprint.
Flying makes up a substantial amount of our carbon footprint; taking trips that don't require a plane journey can significantly reduce your environmental impact.
Consider travelling locally to experience some of the great sights and hidden gems across Malaysia. Each state offers something different.
The HSBC home&Away incentives program gives all HSBC Amanah cardholders valuable shopping, dining and travel benefits around the world. Choose to see offers in Malaysia for your well-deserved staycation.
If you're planning to buy a new car, electric or hybrid ones would be a great choice as they can help you minimise the amount of gas you use and are better for the environment.
If you're sticking with your current ride, there are some things you can do to reduce your fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
Have your car serviced regularly, check the tires every month, and no idling with your car parked. Not only does this last habit waste fuel, it also contributes to increased exhaust fumes and urban air pollution.
Investors are increasingly choosing sustainable funds as a way to help create a better world. If you're looking to invest and lower your carbon footprint – you may want to consider sustainable options that enable you to have a positive impact.