If there’s something that recent times have shown us, it’s that weather patterns are starting to change the way we live. Widespread drought, followed by ferocious “mega” bushfires, and then the strange hailstorm last week that ripped through Canberra on its way to the coast… we’ve had it all these past few months.
It’s got me thinking that each and every one of us needs to do our bit to help the environment and “green” our homes. Even though we’ve finally been blessed with rain in some of the drought-stricken areas, it’s so important not to get complacent about water usage. It will be some time yet before we see our dams topped up, and our poor farmers still have a real fight ahead of them to combat years of drought.
So, I just wanted to get the conversation going and share some of the things that I (and my team members & friends) are doing to live that little bit greener. I’d love you to pitch in with the comments at the bottom of this blog and share your thoughts, too.
1. Conserve water wherever & whenever you can
Even with water restrictions in place, you can go that bit further to minimise and recycle the water you use. Some of my team members have buckets in their shower right now, capturing grey water that would ordinarily go straight down the drain. They then use that water to water all their household plants. Yes, it’s a little bit more effort, but every drop of water we all individually save, adds up cumulatively to a lot.
And talking of showers, long ones should be avoided in these critical times. Set yourself a strict time limit, don’t brush your teeth in the shower as that will add another 2 minutes of precious water time. Keep an eye on your kids’ shower time & educate them to have shorter showers. I personally try to restrict my showers to 4 minutes. Together, every drop saved helps.
2. Put green waste to good use
All those vegie scraps don’t need to go in the general waste. Sure, you may not have space or time to maintain a full-blown compost heap in your garden, but there’s plenty of compact solutions available. One of my team members lives in an apartment block of 12, and they have a whole worm farm in an undercover area. It means all the residents can put their vegetable scraps to good use, then the worm compost feeds the garden. Win, win. There’s also compost bins and tumblers you can buy. (see https://compostrevolution.com.au/products/compost-bins). Many local councils offer worm farms at big discounts to encourage composting.
3. Use solar where you can
On January 1 this year, the ACT declared itself 100%% powered by renewable energy, a first for Australia. You can see its mega solar farms on the outskirts of Canberra; it also draws energy from wind and solar farms across the country. On a smaller scale, we can all pitch in to reduce our reliance on electricity from the grid. Around 20% per cent of Australian households now have installed solar power systems on the roof, according to the Clean Energy Council. That’s a pretty impressive number! It would be so good to see that number rise, but unfortunately, it’s not affordable or possible for everyone. Whether you’re a renter or owner, solar lighting for your garden is easily installed, often DIY. It will help reduce your electricity bills & contribute to a better environment.
4. Consider a rainwater tank
OK, most of Australia hasn’t seen much rain in recent times, but that’s even more reason to capture it in the good times when there is. Rainwater tanks take immense pressure off the main water supply. They mean you’re not wasting drinkable water from the tap for things like watering the garden or washing your car. Water tanks come in all manner of shapes and sizes these days to suit any space (slimline tanks, underground tanks, etc), so they don’t have to be an eyesore. Many local councils now offer water tank rebates as an incentive to save water. Definitely worth investigating.
5. Recycle & reuse
Since supermarkets have banned free plastic bags, it takes extra effort to remember to bring your own bag and not just purchase one! That defeats the whole purpose of the ban. So, train yourself to go to your supermarket armed with your own bag. Keep a stash in your car or at work. You can buy cool nylon or silk bags that fold down to almost nothing these days. They say it takes take approximately 21 days of conscious effort to create a new habit, so get cracking!
So that’s it from me. Jump into the comments section below if you’ve got some green tips or advice you’d like to share with my Renovating For Profit community. If we all consciously do our own little bit, together we can achieve so much!