Eco-friendly homes help save the planet, maximise your comfort and cut your energy bills dramatically. A sustainable home does not necessarily require drastic or expensive changes. In fact, most changes can be simple yet provide a lasting positive impact upon your bills and the environment.
Minor changes including installing a light switch timer, planting a veggie garden and purchasing energy-efficient appliances can help make your household sustainable and eco-friendly. Read on to find six other ways you can help the environment through common household choices!
1. Invest in double-glazed glass
Double glazing helps to keep the temperature of your home constant all year round, without the need for environmentally-harmful appliances. Appliances that heat or cool are the biggest energy consumers. When installed in your home, double-glazing can cut your temperature loss by half.
Investing in insulation in conjunction with double-glazed glass provides a barrier for your home. This prevents heat from passing in and out of the house. Half of the energy we use to heat or cool our homes can simply leak out without proper insulation. When installed correctly, insulation and double-glazed glass will:
- reduce your energy use and lower greenhouse gas emissions
- save money on your energy bills
- improve your comfort at home
- reduce reliance on heating and cooling systems
2. Purchase light-switch timers
Timer controls can help reduce energy waste and improve home efficiency. When installed in a home or yard they help save energy and money by regulating the amount of time that the lights are on.
Switching to energy efficient light bulb choices can also have a dramatic effect on the amount of electricity your household uses. LED bulbs use 75% less energy than their standard counterparts and can help your family reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Install solar panels
Solar energy is both a sustainable and renewable source of energy for households.
It is estimated that solar energy could produce up to 60 per cent of Australia’s energy needs, dramatically reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuels. Major benefits to households when utilizing solar panels include:
- Surplus energy from the panels can be resold back to the electricity company
- Limited ongoing maintenance
- Government incentives to help finance installation
- Cheaper electricity bills
- Improved battery technology- you can now store power produced by solar panels
4. Use a rainwater tank
Installing a rainwater tank is an important step to take to make your household environmentally sustainable and self-reliant. Rainwater tanks collect stormwater runoff from surfaces such as roofs, reducing the amount that enters our waterways and is, therefore, wasted. As long as your tank has water in it, you can also bypass any current water restrictions.
Water is the most important earth resource we have. Becoming more aware of water usage is therefore an important part of running an eco-friendly household.
5. Switch to online statements
Registering for online statements reduces the amount of paper your household will receive and consume. Contributing less to rubbish and paper consumption helps your family serve the environment and can make your record-keeping much more efficient.
6. Ensure your household appliances are energy efficient
Before purchasing any household appliances, it is important to do your homework.
Ensuring your household appliances are energy efficient can contribute to lower household utility bills, while simultaneously cutting down on energy consumption.
It is now mandatory that certain electrical appliances such as fridges, dryers, and washing machines come with an energy rating. This makes finding and purchasing energy efficient choices much easier.
Now that we realize the relationship between energy use and climate change, energy consumption has become an urgent priority for all homes. The ideal ‘green home’ will be energy efficient and use alternative energy sources if appropriate. Making these small changes to become more environmentally conscious, will help ensure a better future for us all.
ABOUT THE EXPERT
Laura Costello is in her final year of a Bachelor of Law/International Relations at Latrobe University. She is passionate about the law, the power of social media, and the ability to translate her knowledge of both common and complex topics to readers across a variety of mediums, in a way that is easy to understand.