I’ve done a diagnostic on my household budget. I do this annually for all the usual reasons and some unusual ones like gaining an understanding of the environmental and social impact of the household consumption and spending. After looking at the ACF’s Australian Consumption Atlas, I just wanted to understand more about the impacts of our behaviour. The household budget doesn’t include my personal expenditure – just our joint expenses as a two person household. So to give you an idea of how the utilities and other budget items plays out:
24.4% on groceries (vegetarian)
9.8% on communications
12.2% on the car including petrol and servicing
7.3% on energy (green plans mean no carbon emissions)
4.9% on water
Of course, measuring consumption in terms of expenditure isn’t an indicator of impact. However, our water and energy bills always show consumption below the local area average. This of course doesn’t take into consideration the energy and water embedded in the goods we consume i.e. food represents a quarter of our household expenditure. As Brendan Gleeson explains, food, including dining out, and other goods we consume have a significant impact on ecological footprint.