With climate change now becoming the hot topic around the world, it’s clear government is not capable or willing to tackle the issue head on. The responsibility will eventually fall on individuals all around the world to make better more eco-friendly choices and take a stand for the survival of earth. Sounds like a pretty big responsibility doesn’t it? But even small eco-friendly choices in our daily life can contribute to a better tomorrow.
Here’s a checklist of nine simple eco-friendly ideas you can use to improve your household’s carbon footprint.
Composting is a simple and fun way to reduce your own household waste and give your garden some love in the process.
Keep a separate sealable container under your sink or next to your regular bin to collect kitchen scraps. Transfer regularly to your backyard compost heap to begin the ageing process. Rich homemade compost to a formula is the best thing you can give your gardens, they’ll love you for it!
Do you have a few neighbours who also love their gardens? Consider a community compost heap to share the love.
Growing plants indoors can be a great way to clean your household air by acting as a filter for any common pollutants around the home (everything from benzene to trichloroethylene or formaldehyde).
Of course, some plants are used for decor while others may also fill a need. Consider potted herbs in brightly lit corners of your kitchen for use in cooking, cutting down your supermarket waste and food miles.
Grow Your Own
A home vegetable garden is one of the best ways to reduce wastage and decrease your food miles. Do you find yourself planning the weeks worth of meals, shopping for your groceries and then when plans go down the drain so does your vegetables?
Grow your own and eat to your harvest. Got pumpkins ready to go? Make pumpkin soup! Pick from your garden and plan your meals accordingly to minimise waste and save the planet!
Back inside the home and good insulation should help you stay cool in summer and warm in winter – which means less time blasting the air conditioning and blasting that hole in the ozone layer. Less air conditioning usage will result in lower greenhouse gas emissions for your home.
When you think insulation, the first thing that comes to mind is usually wool bats located between your ceiling joists. But don’t forget to insulate under your floor. In the older homes scattered around Australia, leakage commonly occurs through floor boards and under poorly fitted skirting boards, creating draughts and contributing to the ‘cool’ feeling in your home.
Insulative Window Coverings
Investing in black-out curtains will not only help you sleep but also work as a form of insulation helping to reduce heat in your home over summer and heat loss through the winter.
Black-out curtains are available in a range of places and prices, which means they could be a nice quick fix to making your home more environmentally friendly. For a trendier look with similar results, quality plantation type shutters can also help reduce your temperature loss.
Use a fan
When sleeping through the hot summer months, and having the window open isn’t enough, using a ceiling or pedestal fan instead of air conditioning will use far less energy.
Running your fan overnight for 8 hours will contribute on average around $30 a year to your energy bill. Compare that to a small split system air conditioner running for a similar amount of time at around $300. I know which one I would choose! Check out this great resource for more great energy usage information.
Water saving shower head
Water efficient shower heads have come a long way. Gone are the days of not being able to get the shampoo out of your hair. Not only will a lower water bill save you money, but it is also a great way to help the environment. Remember, every drop of water is precious, it is a finite resource after all.
Harvest The Sun
Thanks to our near perfect climate, particularly in SEQ, investing in solar panels is a viable way to reduce your electricity bill and energy emissions.
Depending on where you live and the type of system you install, you may be eligible for government assistance. A few years of solar, and you could be off the grid and self-sufficient in no time.
It’s simple; if you’re not using it, switch it off at the power point. Start making a habit of switching off power points each time you leave the house. It seems like nothing, but you will notice a difference in the long run.
Just think, if everyone switched off how much energy would be saved. This is the premise of Earth Hour, a worldwide movement for the planet organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The event is held worldwide annually encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. towards the end of March, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. Although Earth Hour is not an energy saving event in itself, it is designed to encourage individuals to be more attuned to their energy usage and what it means for the planet.