We’re aware that our lifestyles impact the planet we live on, so we’re always on the lookout for ways to minimise our footprint. These are some easy ways to turn your house into an eco-friendly home to be proud of.
Ditch the cleaning chemicals
Many of the cleaning products you buy at the supermarket are filled to the brim with chemicals that cause air pollution, contaminate our waterways, and are no good for our health. The good news is that these are largely unnecessary. There are plenty of all-natural, eco-friendly ways to clean, and most of them are already in your pantry. Check out our blog posts on cleaning with baking soda, vinegar, and citrus to get some ideas.
Use less electricity
Saving electricity will reduce your carbon footprint and lower your energy bills at the same time – win/win!
- Change all your lightbulbs from incandescent to energy efficient, and always turn lights off when you leave the room.
- Hot water is a large use of electricity, so use your washing machine on cold wherever possible. Modern machines do just fine on a cold setting, and it’s better for your clothes.
- Speaking of laundry, when weather permits line dry your washing instead of making use of a dryer.
- Fridges can be major electricity suckers, especially old ones. Upgrade older fridges if possible, and be sure to check the seals around the doors so the cold isn’t escaping. Handy hint: the recommended distance between fridge and wall to encourage air flow is 7.6cm.
- If you only turn off appliances at their off switch they’re actually just on standby mode, and still using electricity. To properly turn them off, do so at the wall.
- Cook with glass, silicone, or ceramic cookware. These energy-efficient materials can reduce the required cooking temperature.
- In summer, beat the heat the old fashioned way – with a ceiling fan. Air conditioning uses a lot of electricity, plus it makes your skin dry and nobody needs that!
Send less to landfill
This step is all about reduce, re-use, recycle. The recycling part is simple – a range of glass, plastic, and metal containers, paper, and cardboard can all go in your recycling bins. If you need a refresher check out City of Sydney’s recycling guide. For the reduce and re-use parts we have some ideas:
- Donate or sell all old furniture, appliances, and clothing, and always try to shop second hand where possible. You can find some beautiful and unique things, it’ll save you money, and it’s one less new thing produced!
- Always remember your shopping bags, don’t use plastic bags to separate fruit and vegetables, and never buy pre-packaged fruit and vegetables.
- To reduce your kitchen waste start composting. Put all your organic food scraps into a bin in your kitchen, which then goes into a backyard compost heap to make nutritious compost for the garden. If you live in an apartment building, why not start one for the whole block to contribute to?
The global supply of fresh water is rapidly depleting – a fact that’s easy to take for granted when we live in a country where it reliably comes out of the tap. We can all do our bit to save this essential resource.
- Take shorter showers, and save those luxurious baths for an occasional treat.
- Install an efficient shower head to make sure all those short showers aren’t for naught!
- Install a low-flow toilet, and use the half flush button as much as possible.
- Don’t ignore your leaky taps and toilets – on top of making annoying noises, leaky taps can waste 182 litres of water a week, while leaky toilets can waste a whopping 757 litres a day!