After bushfires crept dangerously near their Wamboin property in 2020, Syd and Camille Goodman made a promise to change the way in which they lived.
Confronted by the impacts of local weather change on the atmosphere, they determined to radically scale back their carbon footprint.
“We form of felt a bit helpless,” Syd mentioned.
“We knew the issue was local weather change and we thought, ‘effectively, what sensible issues can we do to take management?'”
However Camille mentioned in making an attempt to calculate an acceptable quantity of emissions they need to be producing, it truly led them to determine to attempt for a zero-carbon life-style.
“The extra we seemed into it we realised there is no correct quantity,” she mentioned.
“We simply thought, ‘we’ve got to shoot for zero, like as near zero as attainable’.”
Now, they have put in photo voltaic panels at their property and are primarily residing “off the grid”, because of an uncommon supply — recycled laptop computer batteries.
“[I] purchased outdated laptop computer batteries by the kilo … then it was a case of disassembling all of them, testing all of the batteries and eliminating all of the dangerous cells,” he mentioned.
“Laptop computer batteries have possibly six cells in them, you might need one failed cell however the remaining shall be good, or typically they’re all good.”
Syd mentioned 800 laptop computer batteries now successfully acted as one giant battery unit for a rooftop photo voltaic system.
“[It’s] 44kWh, principally the identical as three Tesla Powerwalls,” he mentioned.
“It is positively not the best solution to do it, however [it is] the most affordable solution to do it.”
The couple information their private carbon emissions annually however Syd mentioned the most important change in his private carbon footprint had come from swapping over to electrical autos.
“I’ve all the time been environmentally aware, however it’d by no means entered my head that there was an issue doing [long car trips] in any respect,” Syd mentioned.
In 2019, Syd mentioned his carbon emissions have been simply over 10 tonnes, with three-quarters of that from his autos alone.
“The subsequent yr I might bought it right down to 4.78 tonnes and diminished the car emissions right down to 1.8 tonnes,” he mentioned.
“This yr I’ve bought it right down to 2.26 tonnes, and my car emissions are 0.85 tonnes.”
‘We have finished all the straightforward bits’
Making an attempt to go carbon zero has created some challenges for the couple, particularly as they get nearer to their aim.
Whereas they managed to scale back their carbon emissions considerably over the previous yr, they mentioned now they’d finished the fundamental issues it could change into more and more difficult to scale back their emissions additional.
“It is exhausting as a result of we have finished all the straightforward bits,” Camille mentioned.
“We have finished the automotive, we’re on photo voltaic right here, all our home equipment are electrical. We do not fly anymore. We have reduce down lamb and beef and dairy.”
Camille additionally began a job in Wollongong, just a few hours’ drive from Wamboin, which meant the couple needed to rapidly improve their newly bought electrical autos for one with the vary to journey over the longer distance.
However she mentioned that total, making the pricey modifications within the brief time period had improved their lives longer-term.
“None of this has made our high quality of life worse, we might say it is positively improved it,” she mentioned.
When requested if she had any ideas for others hoping to chop their emissions, Camille mentioned crucial factor was merely to goal for what was manageable.
“We’re doing every little thing we are able to, and what everybody can do is totally different,” she mentioned.
“Simply do what you’ll be able to.”