One of the biggest issues we face as a group is the environment. We’re told every day that we need to do our part, but it’s getting harder and harder to realise what we can actually do to make a difference. Here are a few ways we can do our part for the environment, all from home.
Get In The Garden
Investing some time in our garden can be a great way to get some fresh air, and help the environment flourish. There are so many benefits to growing your own garden, which can include growing some yummy veggies, increasing the bee population and increasing carbon dioxide. Glynis Larkin from Select IP Australia offers her advice for those who are hoping to get outside and get some gardening done. “One of the easiest ways to decrease our global footprint is to drastically reduce the use of pesticides in the home, for the health of the whole family.
Being able to remove those bugs and spiders safely using no harsh sprays and chemicals, but one handy tool, the Spider & Insect Vac (Bug Buster). No poisons, No Mess, No Kill, just release back outside into the environment without spreading toxins.” Find out more about Select IP Australia by following them on Facebook.
Reduce Reuse Recycle
We’ve heard this saying since we were in nappies, but it is really a great tool to remember and incorporate into your household. Aodhan MacCathmhaoil from Waster explains how recycling can help impact the environment in a positive way. “Be aware that recycling will likely save you money. As recycling gets better and dumping at landfill becomes more expensive - most businesses can save significant money by putting some effort into recycling. If your financial manager and accounts team know this they will support office efforts to push recycling. Make it as easy as possible for people to recycle. People tend to do the right thing - when it is easy and convenient for them to do it. We always suggest having colour coded bins around the office for cans, bottles, papers etc - and underdesk cardboard bins for paper. This makes it almost hard not to do the right thing. This should be backed up by posters telling of the benefit of doing the right thing. Influencing techniques - studies show that telling staff things like - 85% of staff members recycle - is the most effective method to incentivise. People tend to not perform worse than their peers.” Find out more about Waster by following them on Facebook and Instagram. Brian Greenberg from EcoMyths Alliance offers his expertise on reusable products. ". Bring a reusable bag with you when grocery shopping. Keep one of those compressible ones that can easily fit in your backpack or purse when you go about your day. That way, you'll always have one with you which will reduce waste, conserve trees, and/or eliminate plastic from the environment." Find out more about EcoMyths by following them on Facebook and Twitter.
An Environmentally Friendly Home
If you'd like to save energy, but you're not sure how to, Maggie Chen from Ecotagious explains. "Ecotagious is a Canadian start-up that has been helping utilities enhance customer satisfaction, reduce customer churn and with energy savings by disaggregating smart meter data into valuable appliance-level insights for both the utilities and their customers. Through the power of smart meter disaggregation, we analyse data to determine how much customers are spending on major appliances (such as electric space heating, air conditioning, pool equipment, lights and appliances and their always-on load). We can do all this using existing smart meter data, and without additional hardware nor customer input. Making this a non-intrusive methodology. A turnkey solution for utilities to begin engaging with their customers." Find out more about Ectogaious by following them on Twitter and LinkedIn. They offer their tips for an environmentally friendly home.
"1) replace old light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs (they use over 75% less electricity)
2) clean light bulbs regularly: dirt can reduce brightness by 30%
3) lower the energy your dryer uses by using dryer balls to cut up drying time by a third
4) using the right sized cooking pots that fits the burner. The pot will absorb more of the energy, reducing the heat loss
5) set your fridge to 4 degrees celsius (38 fahrenheit) and freezer to -16 degrees Celsius (0 Fahrenheit)
6) place your refrigerator away from heat sources like the sun or the oven
7) use a smart power bar, or turn off the power plug when you are not using entertainment systems".
It Is Easy Being Green
Forget what Kermit says, it is easy being green; you just have to start. You don’t have to start growing a greenhouse worth of plants in your home, but adding some plant life into your home and garden can really make a difference. Kelly Briese from Briese Botanicals offers her advice for making the switch and greening your space. Surround your home and work space with as many living plants as you can. This helps to absorb carbon dioxide and other nasty toxins around the place while producing fresh, clean air. Not to mention that you will have the cosiest sanctuary in the hood! Reassess your personal care items like shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, soap and skincare items. Many brands use ingredients that are not only harmful to the environment, but also to you!” Find out more about Briese Botanicals by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Waste Not, Want Not
Waste is a huge issue in Australia. On average, Aussies waste 20% of their food purchases. That’s a lot of food! Not only do we waste the food that gets thrown out, we end up wasting the resources that are used to create that food; including water, energy and even time. A great way to prevent your home from wasting so much food, always check the use by date on your food and eat it before it goes off. You can also check your cupboards before you go food shopping, so you don’t end up buying too much of something and chucking out the stuff you already have. It’s not just food that we waste, it’s water too. Hate to be the Debbie Downer, but we waste a lot of water a year. This can be prevented by fixing any leaky kitchen or bathroom taps or toilets or replacing your kitchen taps altogether. Make sure you turn off taps when you’re not using them, install a tank in your backyard if you can and keep the water spend to a minimum. It’ll not only help the environment but your wallet too. Dr. Tenille Graham from Apikali offers her advice. "We run a product-based business online from home where we use a lot of packaging to send orders to customers. We minimise our costs and environmental footprint by prioritising the re-using and re-purposing of packaging that comes into our business. We shred paper for soft packaging around products that are breakable. We re-use cardboard boxes from all sources to resend to customers. We place a sticker on explaining to the customer why they are providing a strange box and we encourage them to reuse the packaging we send." Find out more about Apikali by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Finding A Better Alternative
We all love a good dupe. If it saves us money, we’re more likely to try it, right? What if we acted the same way with environmentally friendly items? Australian brand, Bubba Chew Silicone Jewellery, Teethers and Sensory products have teamed up with Award winning Australian Brand, Sinchies to create an environmentally friendly packaging alternative. Founder Renee O’Regan from Bubba Chew explains. “Instead of receiving your online orders in PVC plastic bags, or large amounts of cardboard and plastic packaging you will now receive your goods in a reusable Sinchies pouch. Sinchies reusable pouches aren’t only ideal for sandwiches and litter free lunches, but have 101 other uses - storing and freezing leftover dinners, making smoothie packs in advance (just grab one out and whiz it up), storing blocks of cheese or grating your own (to avoid the unnecessary additives in pre-grated cheese), and as a first aid kit - to name a few! I know packaging is important, but I believe packaging that most businesses use just gets tossed away adding to landfill and adding to the cost of the product but with no return to the customer. Our new packaging can be used over and over again. We use our Sinchies bags for day care lunches and snacks. We also take them on holidays with us as they take up no room and provide an easy way to store food etc." Find out more about Bubba Chew by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Sometimes a household can be more environmentally friendly with just the switch of a light or indulging in your green thumb. You don’t have to become Al Gore to care about the environment, and you don’t have to sacrifice your lifestyle to do your part.