You don’t have to spend a lot of money or time in order to live green – there are many things you can do in your daily life to reduce energy wastage, carbon emissions and landfill.
Around the house
Adopt the adage ‘reduce, reuse, recycle.’ Think about ways you can reduce bad environmental practices (e.g. stop using paper towels, use a lamp instead of a ceiling light when you are reading); try to reuse items before throwing them away and recycle everything you can.
Remove all incandescent light bulbs and replace them with more energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs. In many parts of Australia, you can pick these up for free at your local post office.
Turns off lights as soon as you leave the room and unplug appliances once you have finished using them – this includes the television and computer, which can be the biggest power suckers in the house.
During winter, wear warmer clothes or use more blankets to keep warm instead of turning up the heat.
A microfiber cloth will kill 97 per cent of bacteria and can be used in place of spray cleaners to clean surfaces and mirrors.
For more stubborn stains, cover with bi carbonate of soda and then pour vinegar over the top. Once it has finished bubbling, simply wipe away your stain. You can also use this method to unclog your drains as well.
Instead of throwing away old toys, clothes, etc, donate them to charity. Broken or torn items can be fixed and reused, meaning less landfill.
Try switching to an all organic diet, and refrain from buying items the use too much packaging, e.g. buy fruit in bulk and make your own fruit salad, instead of buying the pre-packaged version.
Switch appliances off at the wall when you have finished using them.
When using the kettle, only fill it with the amount of water you need.
Ovens use a lot of power and also counter act cooling efforts, meaning that you will be using using twice as much energy to cool your house down. Whenever possible, use another device for cooking, such as a slow cooker, electric grill or microwave.
On the flip side, using your oven during winter can help to heat the house without the need for a heater.
Showering wastes more water than anything else around the house. Try to limit your showers to three minutes, and convert to a low flow shower head, which can save up to fifty per cent of the water you would usually use.
Don’t leave the tap running while you brush your teeth.
Switching to a lap top computer instead of a PC can cut your energy bill by three quarters.
Wash your clothes in cold water and hang them on the clothesline to dry instead of using the dryer.
Try to use public transport or ride your bike/scooter/skateboard to reduce the amount of pollution being pumped in to the air.
If you must drive, keep your tires inflated for better fuel efficiency. This will help your hip pocket as well as the environment.
Use re-usable bags when grocery shopping. All major supermarkets and department stores sell canvas grocery bags for less than a dollar. If you forget to bring your reusable bags (we’ve all done it!) and have to use plastic bags, you can recycle these at any Cole’s supermarket.