A renter’s guide to sustainability
Making more sustainable choices at home can help you reduce your carbon footprint and shave a few bucks off your energy bill. But, if you’re a renter or you’re strapped for space, finding ways to be more eco-friendly can be a challenge.
Here are some quick sustainable living wins for your rental property.
Replace your incandescent lights with LED bulbs
While they may be cheaper, incandescent lights are massive energy-suckers — they use large amounts of electricity and have a super short shelf-life. LED lights, on the other hand, use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs1. Switching to LED bulbs is a great way to reduce your long-term carbon footprint, and can help you save on your energy bill (your housemates will thank you!).
Reduce waste with a bokashi bin
When sent to landfill, food waste — even just your tiny dinner scraps — is a massive contributor to green house gas emissions. One way to give back to the earth from home is to turn your scraps into rich top soil, aka liquid gold, by composting. Starting your own small system can be super easy and cheap with a bokashi bin. A tiny bin that sits on your benchtop, a bokashi bin breaks down and pickles your waste so you can use it to make your little veggie garden blossom. Many councils now even give residents a bokashi bin for free!
Grow your own veggies
You may think a veggie garden requires a large backyard, but you can start one easily using just an outdoor wall as a vertical garden, or a pot on your balcony. By growing your own veggies, you can eliminate harmful pesticides used to grow what you buy from some supermarkets, helping to reduce water and air pollution. Growing your own produce can also help reduce the fossil fuels emitted by planes and trucks on their journey from the farm to the shops.
Run your wash on cold
Running your washing machine with hot water can account for up to 90% of the energy it uses2. Instead, try running your machine on cold. It’s a much more sustainable way to do your washing. Hot tip — washing with cold can reduce wrinkles, which means you’ll need to iron less, helping you cut your carbon footprint even further.
Go for more energy-efficient white goods
Did you know white goods, like your fridge and washing machine, are some of the largest contributors to energy usage in a household? While energy-efficient goods may be more expensive, their operating costs (ie, the damage to your electricity bill) are much lower. So if you’re shopping around for white goods, pay attention to the energy label. Yes, that’s what that coloured label is for!
If you’ve added a veggie pot or two to your pad, or upgraded your white goods, you’ll want to make sure they’re covered by your insurance.
Switch to a greener energy provider
Making the switch to a greener energy provider is a sure fire way to reduce your carbon footprint and live a more sustainable life at home. Rather than investing in traditional fossil fuels, like coal and gas, green energy providers use renewable energy sources, like solar and wind.
Don’t know where to begin? The Australian Government funded Green Power program lets you swap out your standard electricity usage with 100% renewable energy.
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