Be more energy conscious
With more than one-third of Australia’s carbon emissions coming from energy usage in the home, now is the time to re-evaluate your energy consumption. Becoming more energy conscious is as simple as turning off lights in empty rooms, shutting down computers from the source and unplugging unused appliances.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a living space where there’s abundant natural light, use it. On a sunny day, you might not need to turn on the lights at all in areas where windows can give all the illumination you need. Natural resources such as light and cool air will also help you cool and heat areas of your home so you can decrease your dependence on your air conditioner or electric heater.
Another helpful tip to be more energy conscious is preventing “phantom energy” which is the energy that is used by equipment that remains plugged in but not in use. This might include your kettle, toaster, phone charger and sound system.
Whether you have an outdoor space filled with an extensive range of plants and shrubs, or a small herb garden on your balcony, consider upgrading your green space with the addition of a compost area.
Rather than throwing your food scraps in the bin, collect them for your compost scheme instead. It’s an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint and the compost is great to spread over your garden bed to encourage the growth of your plants.
If your home isn’t really equipped for a composting space or an outdoor garden, bring the greenery inside instead. Introducing indoor plants to your living space will improve the air quality of your home; simultaneously you’re doing your bit for the planet and reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Use Energy-efficient Appliances
Household appliances and equipment account for about 33% of energy consumption and about 45% of greenhouse gas emissions in the average household. The Australian government identifies high-efficiency appliances and other household products with the Energy Rating label. The program originated as a way to reduce energy waste and pollution by educating consumers on the most efficient and technologically advanced models, with the added bonus of saving them money on energy costs.
From April 2020, the government also introduced zoned energy rating labels for air conditioners. While the old labels simply provided a star energy rating for an air conditioner when used in heating or cooling mode, the new air conditioner labels provide more information including the difference in the energy efficiency of each model of air conditioner across three climate zones and estimated annual energy consumption of each model within these three zones.
Investing in an energy-efficient appliance may cost more upfront, but your reduced energy bills will save you much more in the long run. For example: If you have a fridge over 10 years old, it might be time to upgrade as today’s fridges use about 40% less energy than those made 10 years ago. Think about the cost savings and of course, reducing your energy consumption.