Help save the Great Barrier Reef from home

Small changes could have a big impact for Queensland’s reef.

While most people recognise the Great Barrier Reef as one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems, many people don’t know what they can individually do to make a difference to save the it.

A study by QUT researchers found most Australians did not make a connection between climate change and reef health.

Senior Research Fellow Dr Angela Dean said climate change was a proven cause of reef decline.

“While there are many threats to reef health, including poor water quality stemming from land-based runoff, cyclones and crown-of-thorns starfish, climate change represents the greatest threat to our Great Barrier Reef,” Dr Dean said.

“Record-breaking marine heatwaves over the past 10 years have seen an increasing frequency and severity of mass coral bleaching events.

“Yet while many Australians express appreciation and concern for the Great Barrier Reef, they don’t necessarily know how to take the next steps to help the reef.”

HOW SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS WORK

QUT Institute for Future Environments Director Professor Kerrie Wilson said few people considered actions they could take as individuals.

“Just 4% mentioned a climate action and 12% wanted to help but couldn’t think of anything they could do on a personal level,” Prof. Wilson said. 

“Only a handful of people considered that they could make a difference by doing things like driving less, reducing their use of air-conditioning and sourcing electricity from renewable retailers.”

Dr Dean said everyone in Australia could support action on climate change to help the reef, no matter where they lived.

“Some people might choose to focus on actions at home, reducing electricity use or changing to renewable energy sources,” she said.

“But perhaps more important is sharing our support for protecting the reef and encouraging governments step up to show leadership and action on climate change.”

Take climate action at home to save the reef

  • Reduce air-conditioning usage.
  • Install insulation in roof, walls and floors.
  • Switch to renewable or green energy providers.
  • Choose active transport (walking, cycling) or public transport instead if driving.
  • Turn lights and appliances off at the power point when not in use.
  • Choose energy efficient appliances.
  • Eat less red meat.
  • Reduce food waste by only buying what you need.
  • Contact your local representative about climate action.
  • Select a bank or superannuation fund that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels.
  • Donate money or time to groups that advocate for climate action.

Speak to your energy provider about your options or look into how you can save on your energy bills with the RACQ member offers, thanks to GEM Energy, at racq.com/solar.