Five Simple Steps to an Eco-friendly Home
By taking a few simple steps, one by one, you can begin to create an environmentally friendly home offering multiple benefits;
* Save energy
* Save water
* Cost saving and most importantly ...
* A healthy environment for you and your family
As your opportunity arises, take advantage of these ideas below and make the change to your home for the better.
The initial outlay to change your lighting to something more energy efficient will be far outweighed by the long-term saving on running costs.
By swapping your incandescent and halogen light bulbs for energy efficient LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) you will begin to reap the rewards of your outlay after the first year.
*By replacing 10 halogen light bulbs with LEDs, an average household can expect to save around $650 over 10 years on their electricity bill. https://www.energy.gov.au/households/lighting
CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) are also high energy saving bulbs. Just remember that they contain mercury and must be recycled to recover their mercury, glass, plastic and phosphor powder.
Other simple ways to save energy on lighting are; turn lights off when not in use, install timers and install dimmers.
Some great news is that the Australian Government has begun phasing out incandescent and halogen light bulbs from the Australian market, where an equivalent LED light bulb is available.
2. Solar Panels
Rising electricity costs have motivated many Australians to turn to solar energy. With these increased household costs and the advance in technology, it's a great time to consider installing solar panels.
Payback times can vary hugely due to the individual factors of every home.
Before you take the leap, do your own research and find an accredited retailer/installer. I can highly recommend the Choice website as a good place to start. https://www.choice.com.au/home-improvement/energy-saving/solar/articles/four-steps-to-get-started-with-solar
3. Low or No VOC Paint
It's time to give your home a fresh lick of paint and the choice here is clear ... low or no VOC paint.
VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are highly harmful to our health and wellbeing. VOCs are emitted as gas over a length of time and consist of a variety of hazardous chemicals. We breathe these in daily and they can cause short or long term health effects depending on many factors e.g. level of exposure, length of time exposed, etc, etc. Making the change to a low or no VOC paint is certainly a simple step you can take to improve air quality within your home. The wide range of products available to us here in Australia means there is absolutely no excuse not to!
4. Water Efficient Appliances
When upgrading your home appliances, be sure to take advantage of the WELS rating (Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards). Make a smart choice by choosing an appliance with a high star rating and you will save money on your water and energy bills.
Generally speaking you may pay a little more for these products but research is showing Australians are saving $$ on their utility bills which in turn is a wonderful gain for our environment.
5. Eco-friendly Cleaning Products
These are in abundance on our supermarket shelves, or, it's pretty easy to make your own. It's time to look at the ingredients listed on your regular cleaning products and make the switch.
Regular household cleaning products contain chemicals that release VOCs and are washed into waterways ... toxic chemicals harmful to us and the environment.
Eco-friendly products are on the improve so you will definitely find a product that produces the same, if not a better result than the product you are using now. Some companies have deliberately made their products fragrance-free for those who are sensitive to smell, but, can I just say, some of these eco-friendly products smell absolutely divine!
By taking advantage of these five opportunities, step by step, you're on your way to a healthier and more budget-friendly lifestyle. As well, you are doing your bit for our environment and its future sustainability.
Feel free to contact me if you need help moving in the right direction - that's what I'm here for!
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