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Making your house more sustainable
Most people associate stress with moving, but what’s often overlooked is the strain placed on the environment with everything that’s involved in the process. But moving doesn’t have to be an environmental hindrance – In fact, it can be a great opportunity to re-think your carbon footprint and put eco-friendly measures in place for during and after the move.
1. Use secondhand moving boxes and then pass them along
Moving boxes are about $5 a pop. Why not seek out pre-used boxes and then pass them on to someone else in need when you’re done. If you can’t find pre-used boxes, there are plenty on the market made out of recycled materials.
2. Switch to a green energy provider
Moving is a good excuse to seek out a more environmentally conscious energy provider. The ‘Green Electricity Guide’ is a great online resource for comparing the performance of Australian electricity providers.
3. Prepare meals in the lead-up
Prepping and freezing meals for the packing and unpacking period is a wise idea. Not only will it save you time and headspace, but it will also save your back pocket and the environment by avoiding excess takeaway costs and wastage.
4. Re-home or donate your pre-loved goods
Not sparking joy? Preparing to move is the right time to re-evaluate your possessions – in other words, time to cull. Rather than simply throwing items out, donate clothes and household goods that are in decent condition to a local charity.
5. Leave garden care instructions for the next residents
Leaving a beloved garden behind? Every garden is different, why not leave a short note for the new residents on how to best take care of the space. If your real estate agent isn’t keen on you leaving it on the property, it won’t hurt to ask them to pass it on.
6. Dispose of older appliances responsibly
The Recycling Near You website has a helpful guide on correct disposal of whitegoods and other appliances.
7. Use towels and blankets instead of bubble wrap
It’s no secret that bubble wrap puts an enormous strain on the planet, from its manufacturing to its eventual destination in landfill. Towels and blankets are a great alternative to protect larger items. For smaller pieces, ask your newsagent for outdated newspapers, which are easily recycled.
8. Switch to energy efficient lighting
Moving into a new property is a good chance to think over the lighting situation. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are popular choices for energy-saving, and while they might cost more up front, they will save you (and the planet) in the long run.
Here's another quick fix. If you haven't already – do a quick audit of your light globes and make sure you are using energy saving bulbs. Using the right bulbs could reduce the amount of energy you currently spend on lighting by up to 50%. For more information on the best type to use in your home check out the light globe conversion table.
9. Get unplugged
It's simple; if you're not using it, switch it off at the power point. Start making a habit of switching off power points each time you leave the house. It seems like nothing, but you will notice a difference in the long run.
10. Consider investing in solar Panels
Thanks to the warm Australian climate, investing in solar panels is a viable way to reduce your electricity bill and energy emissions. Depending on where you live and the type of system you install, you may be eligible for government assistance.
11. Update your addresses and go paperless
Don’t forget to contact your friends and service providers to update your address. This will prevent the new residents being bombarded with your mail. You should also consider going paperless by opting for email statements and bills, if possible.
12. Use eco-friendly cleaning products
With so many eco-friendly cleaning products available at all major grocers, consider switching to these non-toxic options if you haven’t already. Vinegar, lemon, and bicarbonate are fantastic natural solutions for cleaning that are easy on the environment as well as your health.
Composting is a fun and easy way to reduce waste and up your gardening skills! Find out more about starting your own compost garden here, or for the more enthusiastic gardener, learn how to grow a biodynamic far at home.
14. Grow plants indoors
Growing plants indoors is a great way to clean the air by acting as a filter for any common pollutants in the home (anything from benzene to trichloroethylene or formaldehyde).
by Celine Battendier Making your house more sustainable palmbeachfn.com.au January 2020 First National Palm Beach
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