Small steps can lead to some pretty big changes

I had felt deeply uncomfortable about my contribution to climate change for decades. My electricity and car were powered by fossil fuels. My groceries were trucked and flown in from distant places. My bank invested in coal, oil and gas.

At the same time, I worried about the world my two children would be left with.

My personal decisions were contributing to rising pollution levels and, in turn, worsening extreme weather events like heatwaves that hurt people.

Things had to change. So, I did the most affordable things first. I started growing vegetables, planted fruit trees and bought two chickens (Eggy Azalea and Maggie Noodles).

I switched power companies to access clean energy, bought appliances with a four or five-star energy rating and switched all the lightbulbs in my house to LED to reduce energy usage.

I read everything I could about batteries, solar panels and other innovative ways to cut my power bills, and soon realised this could make the biggest dent yet in my carbon footprint.

Seven months ago, I installed a solar and battery system which effectively turned my home into a mini power station.

My seven-kilowatt battery includes an Australian-made invention from Reposit Power, which allows me to sell the power that I don’t use at home directly to the electricity grid. 

So far, I’ve made $95 from side-stepping big energy companies and their miserly tariffs and trading my own electricity.

Beyond the money, I feel joy that my micro power station is contributing to cleaning up the environment.

It has taken me five years, but now I no longer rely on fossil fuels at home.

And my children, aged 12 and 17, will also reap the benefits.

Dr Kim Loo is a GP working in Glenwood, NSW and a member of Doctors for the Environment