If you live or work in an urban area, you’ve probably experienced the Urban Heat Island Effect – even if you didn’t know it.

We blast our aircon day and night, hide out indoors and escape the heat by using our cars even for short journeysAs temperatures rise and droughts intensify, this phenomenon is particularly noticeable in neighbourhoods that lack tree canopy cover and quality green spaces.  

How do we reverse the effectWell, increasing nature in cities is among the most powerful solutions at hand. Planting trees and shrubs can lower the ambient temperature in builtup areas and improve the thermal efficiency of buildings. They also help directly reduce our emissions, since we won’t need to use the aircon as much, and we’re more likely to walk, cycle or use public transport thanks to shaded streets and pathways.  

That’s not all: growing plant life also helps to tackle the excess emissions already in our atmosphere by storing carbon in branches and roots through photosynthesis. And bringing plants back to our urban landscapes creates critical habitat for our treasured local wildlife.  

It’s easy for every Australian to get involved in reducing our collective carbon footprint

Green your community

From next-door neighbours to bigger businesses and workplacesthere are so many ways we can band together to green our communities and cool our ‘hoods.  

Does your neighbourhood or workplace have unused land that could be planted with carbon-capturing vegetation to help reduce emissions, restore our landscapes and tackle climate change? Why not do something a bit different for your next street party or team building day?  

Create a verge garden

Audit your workplace energy

Before you can find ways to save energy, you’ve got to know how it’s currently being used.

Take a tour through your office space or local community buildings and find out where your resources are going with this downloadable energy audit checklist for workplaces. 

From the building itself, to the appliances and people within it, this checklist will help you identify where improvements can be made.  

Download checklist

Nurture your nature strip

Help cool your ‘hood by banding together with neighbours and colleagues to nurture some nature in your local streets and parks. Download our guide to creating verge gardens in your street, and be sure to check with your council about local regulations and planting guidelines.

Most Australians now accept that climate change is real, but few of us know what we can do about it. The three-part series Fight For Planet A: The Climate Challenge delves into where our energy comes from how transport and travel emissions affect our health, and just what is the carbon footprint of the food we eat?

Cooling Your Hood is proud to partner with the ABC series Fight for Planet A: Our Climate Challenge, and is featured in the Community Solutions Plan. Are you interested to learn what you can do in your own community to reduce carbon emissions? Do your own ABC Community Solutions Plan:

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