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Summer

Travel

Summer can be the perfect time to take off and escape for a while from your normal routine. Some modes of transport are responsible for significant carbon outputs, but there are ways you can minimise your travel impact and save on energy use while you're away

A young girl in a tent

©iStockphoto.com

If you're flying to your holiday destination, you can opt to pay a little extra to offset your air travel's carbon emissions with most Australian airlines. This means the money you pay is directed towards projects which reduce carbon emissions. You can find out about the carbon offset projects from different airlines from their websites. They may include energy efficiency projects, wind or hydro energy projects, either in Australia or overseas. The National Carbon Offset Standard trademark indicates that a business is committed to achieving genuine carbon emission reductions. See our guide to carbon offsets and abatement for more information.

If you take to the road in summer, make sure your vehicle is well-maintained and that the tyres are inflated to the correct air pressure. Driving efficiently can make a big difference to the fuel consumption of your vehicle. For a medium-sized car, good maintenance could save money and up to 1,500kg of carbon dioxide per year, compared with a poorly maintained vehicle. If you're renting a vehicle, choose the smallest one that suits your needs to minimise fuel consumption.

If you decide to take in the great outdoors and go camping and bushwalking consider using the 'leave no trace' philosophy and don't leave behind any rubbish, and use bio-degradable soap (or none at all) for cleaning up. The same applies at the beach — be considerate of other users, marine life and animals, and help keep our beaches clean.

Check that electrical appliances like microwaves, kettles, televisions, home entertainment systems and gaming consoles are turned off at the wall so they're not drawing electricity while on standby. For example, if left on 24 hours a day in active or idle mode, the least efficient game console can use as much electricity as two new fridges.

If you're going away for an extended period and want to save energy by turning off your storage hot water heater (electric, gas or solar), ensure you follow important safety steps when you turn it back on.

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