10 easy ways to a more sustainable home
Sustainable living is a way of living that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. It may seem strange, but there are some basic “rules” of living a sustainable lifestyle, including:
- Use resources efficiently
- Enhance ecological balance
- Reduce waste and pollution
- Meet people's needs without damaging ecosystems or human health
If you're looking to live more sustainably, there are a few things you can do to start improving your life today.
BYO takeaway containers
It’s been something asked by many for years now, and by the end of the year, you now can in South Australia. While some businesses have accepted BYO containers, with a change in legislation, businesses can now serve food in a customer’s own container without the risk of legal liability if there is something wrong with the container.
Firstly make sure that your containers are thoroughly cleaned, and that you are using containers suitable for reuse (and not single use containers). Make sure your containers are dry, stored with the lid on and will fit what you are wanting to purchase.
Green energy providers
Swapping to a green energy provider means that you will be using a company that sources power from a combination of solar, wind, and hydro as well as potentially traditional power sources when needed. While the only way of guaranteeing renewable energy is through installing solar panels and a battery, finding a green provider is a great step towards becoming more environmentally friendly.
Some of the top green energy providers in South Australia are:
- Diamond Energy
- Momentum Energy
- Energy Locals
- Go Power
- Nectr Energy
- Amber Electric
Grow & compost
Growing your own veggies is a great way to have supply to your favourite fruit, veg and herbs and to get outside in the garden. Composting your fruit and veg scraps will produce compost that you can turn back into your garden to improve your soil.
Local recycling companies are also asking residents to recycle more – your cans and bottles can be recycled at Green Triangle Recyclers on Eucalypt Drive in Mount Gambier while the City of Mount Gambier has started a small scale recycling program at the Civic Centre with residents able to bring along items that cannot be recycled in the home bins, including bread tags, plastic bottle lids, used toothbrushes and empty toothpaste tubes.
Reduce water use
There are certainly some ways you can reduce water use around the home, including:
- Capturing and reusing stormwater on your gardens
- Collecting rainwater for external use
- Installing rainwater tanks
- Planting drought-tolerant gardens
- Installing water efficient showerheads, taps, appliances and toilets
Many of our native plant species are drought tolerant, which means they won’t need a lot of water to survive. The City of Mount Gambier has a guide to Indigenous plants that will thrive in the local area, and you can find a range of native plants at the Mount Gambier Garden Centre or if buying large scale, have a chat with Native Plant Wholesalers in Moorak
Switch off those vampire appliances
Vampire appliances are appliances and devices that use energy unnecessarily, that you could switch off at the wall. The most common vampire appliances in most homes include:
- Gaming systems
- Alarm clocks
- Smart home devices
- Phone/tablet chargers
- Kitchen appliances
- Whitegoods such as washing machines and dryers
If the appliance can safely be turned off without affecting the quality of your food or hot water supply, it’s worth seeing how much you could cut from your power bill.
Meat free Monday
Meat free Mondays or eating more vegetarian dishes can be a sustainable way to save money, and offer a lower footprint way of living. In place of meat you could use items like tofu, mushrooms, lentils and eggplants. There are plenty of great vegetarian meal options out there the whole family will enjoy – why not try these ones from BBC GoodFood.
Swap to LED lights
LED lights last up to six times longer than other types of lights, which makes them a more sustainable option, as you will require fewer replacements and therefore fewer resources are required to make the lights. They also contain no mercury so have a low environmental impact. You may need an electrician to come in and change over your lights, however, it is a much better option.
Using your bike or public transport to get around when you can means one less vehicle on the road, fewer emissions, reduced fuel use and less wear and tear. It is of course much cheaper than running a car, and riding a bike is great for your health. Mount Gambier has a free city bike hire which is a great way to explore the city, while a weekend visit to the Mount Gambier Rail Trail is a great way to experience locations such as the Umpherston Sinkhole and Cave Garden.
Mount Gambier reuse market
If you love shopping second hand, you’ll love the Mount Gambier ReUse Market, open twice a month at 3 Eucalypt Drive. The market aims to reduce landfill by reusing and upcycling useful items – you could pick up anything from a bike to gardening equipment and anything in between.
There are many ways you can live more sustainably — and with a little effort, you could see significant reductions in your energy consumption and wastage, as well as increases in your pocket.
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