Sustainability is more than a buzzword; it’s a life motto. The earth needs us to change our ways badly and if we’re too slow the consequences will be long-term. The best place to change your habits is right at home. Here’s 5 ways you can improve your sustainability and give mother earth some much needed TLC.
For your existing home
Sustainability has been a trend since the rollover of the Millennium, which means many houses built long before we went green aren’t equipped for saving energy - or money. Luckily, Brisbane-based Interior Design and Architectural firm TONIC Design has some simple solutions. Managing Director Matt Riley gave us his tips for sustainability in an existing home:
"- Install thermal backed curtains to the windows
- Build an additional Living Unit or Granny Flat on your property to house more people per sq.m on your current land (check your local city or town plan and gain approval if necessary first, of course!)
- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle - if renovating think of using reclaimed materials and re-purpose them for a new use.”
Search recycled or reclaimed furniture on MyDeal for a range of sustainable ready-made additions to your home. Or shop MyDeal home and garden for extra thick blockout curtains that will add layers of warmth in Winter and keep harsh sun out in Summer.
For building new homes
It’s much easier with a new home to build in sustainable features. Matt also gave us his top tips for how to design with sustainability in mind:
“- Service spaces [like bathrooms, laundries and garages] are better placed along the Western side of the house to provide a buffer to the hot sun.
- Overhangs and window hoods protect openings from the sun and allow windows to be left open and protected from rain.
- Use water saving sanitary fittings and recycle grey water for garden watering to minimise consumption.
- Install a rainwater tank and collect roof water.
- Choose building materials that provide an environmental rating and are natural i.e. non toxic and low in embodied energy to produce e.g. timber.”
Check out TONIC on Facebook and Instagram for amazing home inspiration.
Plus, find water efficient bathroom and kitchen taps in MyDeal home and garden.
Little changes that will make a big impact
One small step for your home, is one giant leap for the planet. If everyone made just a few small changes we could see major improvements. Here’s 3 easy swaps to start now:
Give up the plastics
- Trade plastic bottled water for a stainless steel reusable bottle
- Bring reusable bags every time you shop; from July this year the major grocery chains are phasing out plastic bags so you may as well start prepping now.
- Skip the produce bags in the fresh food aisle. Opt for paper instead or bring along your own reusable produce bags.
- Use a bar of soap instead of the liquid kind which are in plastic bottles.
- Buy a glass blender and other appliances for your kitchen.
Choose non-toxic cleaning products
All cleaning products get washed down somewhere but once they enter the drain you probably stop wondering where they’re going. The sad truth is they’re reaching our lakes, oceans and slowly but surely contaminating tap water.
The more we ask brands to become environmentally conscious, the more they listen. These days it’s common to find ranges of eco-friendly cleaning products with natural ingredients, lower toxicity and biodegradable packaging. Check online for any eco-friendly brands stocked in your local shop or find a recipe to make your own green cleaning products.
Eat less meat
Those vegetarians and vegans are onto something planetary. Meat, dairy and eggs are all foods which require more land and water to produce than they return in food value. In other words, we can feed way more people on veggies using less land than we can with these those other three. If you’re a hardcore carnivore then try eating vego twice a week to start the habit. Before long you may be dropping more meaty meals from you menu.
If we all take responsibility for the planet we call home, we can all make a difference one change at a time.