Environmentally sustainable homes make sense

Environmentally sustainable homes make sense. Who doesn’t want to save money and save the environment?

Open your windows, pull up your blinds, and use your clothesline. These are all sustainable tips you can adopt in your home to make it more sustainable – so, don’t cringe at your next power bill.

You have plenty of other options too – from minor tweaks to major renovations. Rather than continuing to throw money at utility companies, spend your energy on these 5 tips.

  1. Recycle, recycle, recycle

My Green Australia believes going “green” is a way of life. It starts with changing the way we do things – usually bucking habits.

Usually, our first instinct is to throw away junk or trash, rather than to recycle. That should not be the case if we intend to fight the good fight for Mother Earth. So instead of searching for a new dresser in your local furniture store, maybe you already have one inside your home that would do—or at least something that you can transform into one. Perhaps, you have a few pieces of scrap wood tucked away in your attic or you have an old wooden table that you can slice apart for materials to build your dresser. That’s recycling for you.

  1. Work on your windows

Spend more time focusing on your windows.

Windows are effectively big holes in your nicely insulated wall. Too many windows will negate all the effort you’ve put in to insulating your walls. Installing anything less than double glazing in Australia’s climate is not cost effective. But also think about the window frames; standard aluminium frames are hugely conductive and will transfer the hot or cold, in or out.

Better options are timber frames, composite frames that have aluminium externally and PVC or timber internally, full PVC windows or thermally broken aluminium windows. High transmission low-e coatings on glass are a great option in Australia because they have very little impact on the direct radiant heat gain from sun shining through, but still have reduced conductivity so they have greater capacity to keep the warm in, and the cool out, or vice-versa.

Good curtains or blinds, and pelmets are also encouraged and improve the thermal properties of the house significantly.

  1. Don’t always switch on the air con

Take time before you switch on the air con and ask yourself whether a fan will do the job.

Use ceiling fans in rooms where air conditioning is not essential. Consider this… Six ceiling fans can run through summer for around $20 in electricity, compared to potentially hundreds for air conditioning.

  1. Reduce unnecessary electricity use

You don’t have to make huge changes around the home to make it more sustainable, even just creating new habits can make a huge difference, according to Make It Cheaper.

Try to get into the habit of always turning electrical devices off properly rather than leaving them on standby, change to energy saving light bulbs and always turn lights off at the switch when you’re leaving the room. With appliances being left on standby adding up to 10% to energy bills, little habits like this can actually make a huge difference to not only the sustainability of your home but also to your monthly energy bill.

  1. Watch your water

Sydney Sustainable Living promotes sustainable living practices – and water efficiency is one of them.

They suggest to:

  • Keep a bottle of cold water in the fridge instead of waiting for tap water to run cold.
  • Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth, shave or wash vegetables; using a small pool of water is just as effective & uses less water.
  • Where possible, reuse household water in the garden.
  • Maximise the load in your dishwasher/washing machine. The same volume of water is used regardless of the size of the load.
  • Take shorter showers. You will save water & also save on the energy costs associated with heating water.
  • Be efficient by installing water saving taps & shower heads in the home

Going green has never been easier. Follow these five tips from experts already leading a sustainable life at home.