Mar 02

Home Sustainability: 21 Experts Share How To Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Experts, business owners and conscious consumers share their top tips on how to make your home more energy efficient, save money on your electricity bill, and allow your home to become more sustainable!

Tracey Bailey

biome.com.au

Swap chemical for nontoxic cleaning products

Most conventional cleaning products contain harmful chemicals including Phthalates, Perchloroethylene, Triclosan, Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, 2-Butoxyethanol, Ammonia, Chlorine and Sodium Hydroxide.

Using chemical cleaners spreads toxins around the home, in the air and contaminates the environment when washed down the drain.

Swapping to nontoxic environmentally friendly cleaning products will benefit your health and the environment immensely.

You can purchase cleaning products made from natural ingredients or make your own.

Natalie Kay Smith

Sustainably Chic

To create a more sustainable space at home takes a bit of research. Following eco-friendly or sustainably-minded lifestyle blogs can help spark some ideas. I think the best place to start, when it comes to purchasing, is at a local level – antique shops, thrift stores or Ma & Pa retailers.Then there are the little things – changing to LED lights, Zero-VOC paints, composting, non-toxic cleaning products and plants for natural air purifiers. It’s all about the baby steps, and creating that perfect balance. It takes time!

Bessie Hassan

Money Expert at finder.com.au

  • Making your property more sustainable can not only shrink your energy bills and help with household budgeting, but it can also reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Some cost-effective ways to make your home more sustainable is to insulate your walls and ceilings, install double-glazed windows, and to be smart with your appliances. For example, consider the fullness of your fridge because appliances that are full to the brim will lower air circulation and take longer to cool.
  • You should also opt for household appliances with high energy-efficiency ratings. Typically, the more stars the appliance has, the more efficient it is, and therefore the cheaper it is to run. Depending on the type of appliance and usage, you should generally aim for appliances with at least 4 stars.
  • Other ways to boost the sustainability of your home include using ceiling fans instead of air conditioning, shading your windows with blinds, and turning off lights when not in use.
  • If you have a pool, you can use a pool cover to stop water from evaporating to the surface and you can also use energy-efficient LED lights for your pool.
  • To reduce energy consumption in the bathroom and to make it more efficient, remember to switch off appliances such as hairdryers, when not in use. You may also want to ditch the electric toothbrush as they are charged everyday and therefore drain a lot of energy.

Christine Bala

Beewrappy.com.au

Most kitchens rely heavily on single-use traditional plastic wrap, which, like other soft plastics can’t be recycled and is quite difficult to re-use. This means that plastic wrap is landfill-bound or ends up in the ocean and other waterways making for a not so happy planet.

Replacing single-use plastic with a more eco friendly and sustainable option, like reusable beeswax food covers, is one way people can positively impact the environment (in more ways than one!)

Beeswax food covers work just like single-use plastic but they can be used again and again, for about a year, keeping food fresh. Humble squares of cotton, which are infused with locally sourced and organic ingredients, (making them completely bio-degradable), beeswax food wraps are ideal for wrapping half an avocado, celery hearts, sandwiches and cut fruit. They smell of sweet honey and bees wax, which is just beautiful too!

Zoran Petric

www.thesustainablesalonsydney.com

One of the best sustainable tips for the home is surrounding the home/office with succulents.

They require minimal maintenance, and we recycle old crates, bottles and tubs as quirky and resourceful potting options. They also lift the mood of any environment, providing joy and productivity.

Sara Dunne 

pley.com

Did you know, every year in Australia an estimated 370 million plastic water bottles end up in landfill or polluting our oceans and waterways? The properties of plastic mean the bottles can take up to 400 years to break down. In addition, as many as 1 billion disposable coffee cups are used in Australia each year! An easy step you can take is to invest in a reusable bottle to reduce environmental impact and stop the use of these single-use products. There are some great glass and stainless steel bottles on the market and if we all contributed to this small change, we would make a huge impact collectively.

Jack Laken

Termobuild.com

Smart Homes are Sustainable Homes

So what are the factors that naturally lend to sustainability?

  • Homes that require less energy to heat and cool
  • Minimising impact on the environment through both the choice of materials and how they’re used
  • More durable materials that will require minimal maintenance and upgrades

Humans and our current lifestyle choices remain a leading factor in climate change with carbon emissions being number one. Our homes, offices and buildings in cities and urban areas are responsible for approximately 75% of carbon emissions.

There are ways to offset this starting with your home right from the building/design stage!

-Integrating sustainable resource s that are long lasting i.e. products such as reclaimed wood, recycled plastic or glass, as well as energy efficient, locally sourced materials, such as concrete that naturally contains a high thermal mass, will ensure that the building is resource efficient.

– Heating and cooling your home are two of the main sources of carbon. Find news ways how the structure of the building can insulate (keep energy in), and alternative solutions that will store any excess heat in the winter and can pre-cool the structure in summer during the night.

Helen

spareharvest.com

Connect with your community to share, swap or sell what you have spare in your garden and home. Your junk is another person’s treasure. Maybe you will find something you are looking for as well. Excess produce, garden items, food scraps, glass bottles, plants, pots, time and land. Let’s waste less and share more. Join Spare Harvest and start a sharing hub in your community.

Kara Conroy

kkao.com.au

Did you know, every year in Australia an estimated 370 million plastic water bottles end up in landfill or polluting our oceans and waterways? The properties of plastic mean the bottles can take up to 400 years to break down. In addition, as many as 1 billion disposable coffee cups are used in Australia each year! An easy step you can take is to invest in a reusable bottle to reduce environmental impact and stop the use of these single-use products. There are some great glass and stainless steel bottles on the market and if we all contributed to this small change, we would make a huge impact collectively.

Natalie Andrew

helpling.com

Clean your home with leftovers from your kitchen. Use lemons that are past their best to disinfect your surfaces – mix lemon juice with a little water, wipe over your worktops or the inside of your fridge, and leave for 15 minutes. Then wipe down with some clean water and voilà, clean and fresh-smelling surfaces. You can also use vinegar in the same way. Additionally, use slightly stale bread to clean your artwork. Just rub a slice of bread over canvas paintings or prints to remove dust and grime without damaging the picture.

Sam Williamson

www.turnbull-scott.co.uk

The amount of heat that is lost from your home due to tiny cracks and holes that allow air to escape is frightening. But what is even scarier is how few homeowners actually do anything about this, despite how easy the fix is and how much of a positive impact it can have on the sustainability of your home. To immediately reduce the amount of heat that is lost through doors and windows, you could start by simply investing in thicker curtains for the window, and blocking the gap at the bottom of the door with a towel or something similar. Over an entire year, this could result in hundreds of pounds saved in energy bills.

kenyacoffee.com

One incredibly simple way to make your house more sustainable is by purchasing coffee that is sustainably sourced. Sustainably sourced coffee not only helps the environment, but also the small farmer growing the crop.


Nim-Véda Australia

www.nimveda.com

Using Neem Oil (The Neem Tree has been declared as the Tree of the 21st Century by the United Nations due to its plethora of benefits) as a natural pesticide alternative on plants and vegetables in the garden. Dilute a small amount of the oil (very pungent smell) in water and spray onto your plant to keep natural pests and common day ailments at bay while preserving the eco system and insects/bees as a completely natural solution to plant protection.

Alana Gregory

kalariaustralia.com.au

A home is centered around people. If people are well, the home is well, the community is well, the world is well. If people are stressed and overwhelmed it follows on that the home and community also suffer. At its base, a sustainable household starts with your own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. When we are connected, clear, and living consciously we radiate sustainability into all areas of our life… personal and environmental.

Michael Dello-Lacovo

www.michaeldello.com

One of the most effective personal lifestyle changes you can make this year to improve the sustainability of your home is to cut out all animal products and go vegan. This one change will cause you to contribute drastically less to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, global antibiotic resistance and pollution. It will also be great for your own health and wellbeing, and of course you’ll be able to show your love for animals by choosing to not contribute to an industry that exploits and harms them, which is great for mental health.

Julia

www.farewellmymanicure.com

If you are an avid urban gardener like I am, then one of the most important things you an do is attract pollinators to your garden. Why not make a Bee B&B and see if you can turn your garden’s tourists into long term tenants. The premise is simple, create a habitat that is appealing to solitary bees. The simplest form is a “plank hive” which basically is a plank of wood with a series of 6-12mm holes drilled into it, topped with a roof, you can either move it around your garden or attach to a tree.

JoAnna Carpentier

mygreenfills.com

MyGreenFills is changing the way we do laundry. A subscription-based company, you can select from various laundry bundles to suit your needs – all of which are 100% non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and eco-friendly. With your first delivery, you’ll receive a refillable jug (or jugs) and refill packets, which are printed on rice paper pouches. Each month, you’ll receive refill packets in the mail, which you can mix with warm water from home, in your refillable jug! No more wasted plastic or harsh chemicals.

Gena

www.fantasticgardeners.co.uk

Here are 5 killer tips to maintain your garden the sustainable way:

  1. First and most important choose your plants to be low maintenance themselves! There are a bunch out there that are slow growers and require little to no care. A good option are also evergreens and succulents.
  1. Crop rotation eliminates the need(and cost) of fertilisers. It also helps with weeding.
  1. Having a rain collecting barrel is a must. Rainwater is very rich in minerals, which your plants love, so saving it up for later use is a really smart idea.
  1. Recycle! You can recycle grass clippings after mowing the lawn, which are like a free mulch for it. Not only this – kitchen waste such as coffee grounds, banana peels, egg shells can be added to the soil instead of your garbage can. No bones or meat.
  1. Aquaponics system – E asily the best of my tips. it is 90% self-sustainable, you get healthy natural crops, no fertilisers, you get fish as well (if you want that). All you have to do is feed the fish after the system is closed. It’s a small eco-system on its own.

Seb Smith

www.riselightandpower.com.au

Sustainable living in 2017 is more important than ever. With increasing innovations and technology in the solar industry, A PV Solar array on your home’s roof is a good way to convert a portion of the energy you consume to renewable. Its also important for us to reduce the amount of energy we consume in the household. The best way to start is by converting to LED lights throughout the house and limiting the use of air conditioners. Standard ceiling fans are a great way to cool a house and run at a fraction of the cost.

202020vision.com.au

Incorporating greenery into your home is hugely important for sustainability – especially as we’re seeing a big increase in high-rise and apartment living where there are often less or no room for backyards. Greenery and plants purify the air by removing harmful toxins, they also cool spaces and reduce the need for air-conditioning. As well as environmental benefits, green space has mental health benefits and is proven to make people happier, healthier and more productive!

Stephen Parry

www.VELUX.com.au

When it comes to Skylights, the obvious energy savings come in the form of lighting. But VELUX skylights have another trick up their sleeve; reducing air conditioning use. When using opening skylights, hot air rises up and out through the skylight, drawing cooler air in through vertical windows. Creating an air flow which purges heat and brings cooler air in.

Being energy efficient doesn’t have to be dull and drab, check out the gallery we’ve put together. VELUX skylights really create beautiful rooms full of natural light and fresh air – the perfect combination of form and function.