There are many benefits to having a greener home. From helping the environment to reducing your energy bill, going green can make a big difference to the world – and your wallet!
But where do you start? There are lots of green initiatives – both big and small – that can help you create an eco-friendly home.
Here are some tips on where to begin:
Install solar panels
One of the most effective ways to make your home greener is to install solar panels. Solar panels are a much cleaner source of energy and can generate up to 20 kilowatts of power in one summer’s day, according to the Clean Energy Council. Plus in some states you can receive credits on any power you don’t use that is fed back into the electricity grid.
Swapping incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs is a great way to go green. Not only do fluorescent bulbs use 80 percent less energy, they last 4-10 times longer than standard bulbs! Or go one step further and turn off any lights you don’t need… there’s no better excuse for a romantic candlelit dinner.
There are lots of ways recycling can make your home greener. As well as separating your paper, plastic and glass, explore other ways you can repurpose old items. Try reusing plastic containers for storage, getting crafty with your old jam jars or making lanterns from tins. If you have kids, this is the perfect opportunity to teach them about the importance of recycling (while keeping them entertained!).
Cut down on snail mail
While it’s nice to receive mail, much of what is sent also winds up in the recycling bin. To avoid this, add a “No Junk Mail” sticker to your letterbox. Opting to have your bills and other mail sent via email instead of the post can save paper and make your home that little bit greener. It can also help you keep track of bills as you can search your inbox instead of foraging through a messy pile of papers.
Reduce food wastage
The average Australian household throws out $1,036 worth of food each year. This not only wastes money, it increases the amount of methane released from landfill. Writing a shopping list can help reduce household waste. The idea is to shop and eat more conscientiously. Try to resist take-away if you’ve bought ingredients for dinner, make the most of your leftovers, and for the food you do need to throw away, think about turning organic waste like fruit and veggie scraps into garden compost. To further reduce landfill, make sure you use the right bins!
Buy in bulk
Next time you’re in the supermarket, make an effort to buy items in bulk or that have less packaging. The less wrappers and packets you have to throw away, the less you are contributing to landfill waste. And don’t forget to bring your own shopping bag! Bringing a reusable bag goes a long way in reducing waste and the noxious gases it releases. Plus, these reusable bags are also great for picnics or road trips.
To make your home truly eco-friendly, it’s important to check and fix any household leaks. One dripping tap can lead to litres of wasted water – and wasted dollars! To be extra mindful of your water usage, you can also install low flow showerheads or simply try to shorten your showers.