Old home, new build, apartment or mansion, no matter what home you live in, being green will not only help save the environment, be great for your bank balance, and even be better for your health.
Here are some simple and effective ways of reducing your home’s footprint.
The big turn off
• Lights- Don’t use what you don’t need. When you leave a room – turn it off. Install sensor lights to come only when activated if you or your family tend to be a little forgetful. Changing your light bulbs to light emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) will also save you money.
• Appliances – did you know that appliances use almost as much energy when in standby mode? Make a habit of turning TV’s, music systems, and computers off at the wall when not in use.
• Take a load off – The laundry. Only wash a full load, and when the weather is dry, hang outside.
• Heating- Try and heat only the rooms you are using and always turn them off when you leave the home. It may be a little cool when you first arrive back, but it doesn’t take too long to take the chill off.
• Use the sun – Solar heating is the most energy efficient of home heating options. If you’re looking at installing a reverse cycle air conditioning system it’s good to know they are the most energy efficient electric heater. The most efficient 5–6 star units may be cheaper to run and generate lower greenhouse gas emissions than gas heaters. Reverse cycle can also be zoned so you only need to heat or cool where you need to.
Get the hang of it
Black out curtains are a brilliant way of keeping heat in, or out, depending on the season, so get hanging. The added bonus is having a dark room to sleep, or to watch your favourite movie with no glare, no matter what time of the day!
The magic carpet
You could save up to 6% on your energy bill by covering wooden floors with a rug.
Keep it closed
Decide what you want from the fridge before you open, and try not to continuously check on your pot roast no matter how hungry you may be. Every time the oven door is opened for 30 seconds, the temperature can drop by 65%.
Don’t be a drip
Water wastage is a huge money drain.
Fix leaking taps, install a low flow showerhead, turn the tap off when brushing your teeth and shaving, and maybe just keep the bath for that romantic night in. Taking a shower (under five minutes) can use just 14% of water that would be normally be used for soaking in the tub.
Look to the stars
Go for as many stars as possible when selecting your major appliances. The more stars, the better the energy consumption.
Green thumb it
Salad greens and herbs are great to grow whether you have space in your back yard for a full vege garden patch, or just some pots on your apartment balcony. A garden can help reduce soil erosion and reduce air pollution as well as put (part) of a meal on your table.
Compost kitchen scraps
Reduce landfill by composting pretty much any organic matter such as, eggshells, tea leaves, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peelings. Bokashi is a super easy way of getting started; visit www.bokashi.com.au.
Always water in the coolest part of the day as the water will evaporate more slowly. Look at using your grey water, water that’s been used in sinks, bathtubs, showers or the washing machine. For more information on grey water systems visit; https://www.choice.com.au/home-improvement/water/saving-water/articles/guide-to-greywater-systems
Winter is the best time to throw a party, or just have some friends over. Each person can generate the same amount of heat as a 100 watt heater.
Have fun, stay warm – what’s not to love about that?!
So turn off those lights, and get greening.
No matter what, or how many of these tips you decide to do, just start.
Make your home as green as can be.