Making your Home More Eco-Friendly

This summer has been one of the hottest summers ever recorded in Australia; international sporting events were halted, tarmac melted on the roads, bush fires increased and temperatures as high as 45°C were recorded. A recent report titled ‘Heat waves: Hotter, Longer, and More Often’found that whilst heat waves are common in Australia, record heat or heat waves have been happening at three times the frequency as cold snaps or low temperatures. Between 1971 and 2008 the duration and frequency of Australia’s heat waves have significantly increased, whilst the ‘hottest’ days are hotter than ever before. With so many extremes happening in our day to day weather, alongside the speculation that the changes in weather are due to climate change, it poses the question; why aren’t we living more eco-friendly? Many people are under the illusion that to help the environment they must live without electricity, the internet, warm showers and move to the middle of nowhere. However, as much as the environment might be better if everyone did that, it is not practical for the majority of us. Choosing an eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t have to mean waving goodbye to life’s little luxuries or breaking the bank. Here are some quick, easy and inexpensive solutions to making your home more eco-friendly. These changes will not only have a positive impact on the environment but eventually your pocket too.

Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the home, used not only for meal times and food preparation but often as an area for homework and coffee with friends. With so many activities taking place in one room of your house a lot of waste can be produced in a very short amount of time. Place a small plastic bin with a lid in your kitchen, utility room or just outside the kitchen door and use it to recycle all your food waste. Food waste can be composted and in turn be reused to promote growth of plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables in your garden. Don’t be tempted to run the dishwasher unless it is full – and if you only have a couple of things wash them in the sink instead. Try to unplug all electrical items at night, other than the fridge and freezer – even just plugged in coffee machines, microwaves and toasters can use electricity and cost you money. Try to recycle all cans, papers and plastics.

Bedroom

The bedroom is one of the least used rooms in the house, usually preserved for privacy and sleeping as opposed to a common meeting place in the house but it can still produce its fair share of waste – especially when children are involved. Remember to unplug chargers, televisions, beauty appliances and switch off the lights. It can be easy to leave the lights on in your bedroom, especially if you wake in the dark and the sun comes up before you leave (the natural light hides the lit bulbs). Invest in a pair of block out curtains or blinds to not only ensure privacy but prevent the warmth from escaping at night whilst the sun and heat can be blocked out during the day. Leave curtains drawn in the day to protect furnishings and to keep the room cool, ready for when you need to sleep at night and are less likely to turn on the fan or AC. If you have AC in your home and don’t have singular room control, turn it off and instead turn on a couple of fans in the room you’re using - putting a bowl of ice in front of a fan will create your own AC.

Bathroom

The bathroom is the room in the home where we waste the most water. Older toilets that have larger flush capacity (sometimes up to 12LTRS), leaky taps and high pressure showers are all big players in the wasted water game. If you have any leaks get them fixed – it will not only save you money but also save your bathroom floor if leaks have been going on a long time. If you’re planning to update your bathroom this year, make the change to a low capacity flush toilet – if you’re not planning on updating your bathroom look into the cost of installing a more environmentally friendly one.

Living Area

Like the kitchen, the living area is a very commonly used area of the home. The room is commonly used as an entertainment centre and home to the television, music systems and family computers. Ensure all electrical items are unplugged at night and in the morning when your family leave for work or school (most televisions are turned off for the night before midnight and left plugged in over 12 hours until they are switched on again in the late afternoon/early evening). A great way to help the environment is to try and control the temperature in your home without using electricity. Keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter can be very difficult for those who don’t have the correct window treatments. In order to protect your home and furnishings from the sun’s harmful UV rays and keep the heat out of the home you’re trying so hard to keep cool it is recommended to fit a pair of block out blinds. Block out blinds, whether you opt for roller or roman, offer the unique advantage of choosing just how much light you want to let in the room and controlling the amount as the sun moves throughout the day. Block out blinds will also help to keep heat in in the winter months when the temperature drops. Whether you’re ready to take a big leap or a little step into preventing global warming and climate change, these tips will guide you on the way to being more eco-friendly. We hope you find this information useful – if you have any other tips or suggestions to add to our list please don’t hesitate to let us know. Visit our online store to explore our full collection of Blinds and Curtains.