Any effort we make to be eco conscious helps. It is an ethos we believe strongly in at Family Clean, not only in the products we use but also the way we run our home and office. Even if you you don’t do anything other than recycle your paper and bottles it is better than doing nothing at all, but there is so much more Australians could be doing to make our homes environmentally friendly.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has worked out that the average Aussie generates two tonnes of waste every year, waste which comes from both rubbish from things like packaging, and the industrial process of making items we buy. Queenslanders are not very good at recycling, with less than 18% of plastic packaging staying out of landfill.
One way to reduce this amount of waste is to buy less. If you absolutely need a particular item, consider whether you can get it second hand. Look for products with minimal packaging, or buy in bulk if you know you will use it, and make sure you recycle the packaging where you can. Email manufacturers and request they product items with less packaging.
Choose Recycled and Recyclable
There is no point in recycling plastic and paper if we don’t buy or use items which have been made from these recycled materials. Products made from recycled materials include more than simply toilet paper and notepads. For example, Australian firm Adroit makes all sorts of decking and building materials from recycled matter, and claim their manufacturing process uses 16 times less energy than it takes to make a new item of comparable quality. The more aluminium is used, the more environmentally friendly it becomes. It can be recycled indefinitely, with each recycling only using 5% of the energy necessary to make new aluminium material.
Reuse and Upcycle
Make sure an item is completely spent before you dispose of it. Can clothing or furniture be changed into something else? Pinterest is full of ideas to help you upcycle items and give them a new lease of life. Use washable boxes rather than plastic wrap for sandwiches, and repair items instead of replacing them. Just because something no longer looks brand new does not mean its usefulness is over.
More than 80% of Australia’s energy is generated from fossil fuels, with almost all of the power we use coming from burning coal. Every time you switch on your TV, turn on a light, or plug your phone into charge, the chances are you are using electricity made in one of the least environmentally friendly ways because coal mining damages the earth, and burning the coal pollutes the atmosphere.
Installing energy saving lightbulbs, turning lights and electrical items off when they are not being used, insulating your home efficiently, and opting for energy efficient models when your appliances need replacing, are all simple ways to reduce your energy consumption and make your home greener. Using an energy monitor will show where you can save more energy.
Other tips to help you have a greener home include:
- switch all your payments and banking to online.
- plan your errands to reduce car trips.
- use rainwater for your garden.
- make cleaning and washing up rags out of old t-shirts and towels.
Every eco-friendly choice you make will have an impact, and the more good decisions we make the more positive the outcome will be for us and for our children.