In the 2020s the world must make a decisive push to going green. There are of course the big stakeholders in this area - like corporations and governments - whom it’s right and proper to see responsible for major moves in this area. But ultimately, each and everyone of us can - and indeed, should! - look to make a difference in this era. Every little bit counts when it comes to making the world cleaner and greener. What’s more, going green at home is too often misunderstood as taking on additional burdens. In fact, pursuing green practices can actually make the life of a household easier and more affordable, alongside being more sustainable. That’s why now is a great time to detail 7 ways to optimise your home’s clean and green operation.
1. Insert LED Bulbs
The starting point in shedding light on this topic begins with light itself! The power for lighting is of course a key part of a household’s energy needs, not only being utilised in the overnight hours, but also often during the day in rooms like bathrooms, laundries, and the garage where there may be limited daylight. Swapping out other light bulbs for the LED type can not only optimise the energy use of lighting around the home, but also reduce power bills. As a rule of thumb, LEDs use around just a quarter of the energy that an incandescent light bulb would.
2. Create ’Awning Areas’ Around Doors and Windows
Shading areas around doors and windows can help keep a home cool in hot weather without relying exclusively on the air conditioner and fans. Thick blinds and curtains are a solid alternative if installing awnings isn’t an option right now. And, for those in a position to plan for the long term in the home, planting some trees which shall come to shade windows and doorways is also a good option. This said, remember nobody wants trees to grow in an area where they come to shade any solar panels on the roof, as this could diminish a solar panel’s effectiveness!
3. Use the AC Instead of a Gas Heater
Keeping the home cool without the use of power is certainly ideal whenever possible, but it’s of course the case that heating can be a far more complicated matter. But even in this area, nifty choices can be made which are far better than the alternative. In this vein, using an energy-efficient air conditioner to warm the home in winter, instead of a gas heater, can be expected to be far less expensive, and far kinder to the environment.
4. Build a Habit of Switching Appliances off at the Wall
While some household appliances like refrigerators should stay on at all times, the majority of goods can be totally switched off when not in use. This is prudent to do as even when in ‘standby’ mode, many appliances still use electricity. By building a habit of going that extra step and switching off non-critical appliances at the wall when not in use, it can save money on utility bills and make the home’s overall operations greener too.
5. Cook Multiple Meals at Once
This is a trick that’s not only a time-saver, but also a great way to save some energy. Many people will make a hot lunch and dinner each day, and if using an oven and/or other cooking appliances, it requires both startup and operating energy each time. By preparing multiple meals at once - for instance, by cooking a whole pack of chicken fillets in one go, and then storing them in the fridge instead of cooking a couple of pieces each night - it can reduce the demand placed upon cooking appliances, and thus the energy they consume.
6. Utilise an Energy Monitor and App
All these aforementioned steps will help make a home greener in its operations, but for those who’d like to examine in-depth how their household consumes energy - and find ways to identify new optimisations - getting an energy monitor installed (by a suitably qualified professional) can offer this. A household may even be able to get one for free. In turn, in the era of smartphones and tablets, it’s very quick and easy to be able to monitor a household’s energy consumption using a connected app!
7. Acquire a Rooftop Solar System
Last, but certainly not least we come to solar power. True, it’s perhaps no surprise we at STC are big fans of rooftop solar systems, but it’s a fact that everyone who learns about why rooftop solar systems are fantastic is likely to become a big fan too. A rooftop solar system can drive down the cost of a household’s electricity bills today, and provide a line of defence against any rise in them tomorrow. But most relevant to this article, a rooftop solar system can indeed generate clean and green energy for a household, making a small, but significant contribution in Australia’s push to becoming sustainable.
A Green Light for Sustainability
As discussed above, alongside saving time and money, going green creates environmental benefits. Just as every little bit counts in this area, it’s of course the case that if every household in Australia implemented all these tips, it’d make a noticeable difference indeed to our country’s annual emissions. Yet ultimately, it’s also the case that there are many other ways in which a household can look to pursue eco-friendly activities, from small steps like using reusable shopping bags when doing the groceries, to bigger moves like getting a solar hot water heater installed alongside a rooftop solar system. Invariably, bigger changes can take more time to implement than smaller ones, but for those super keen on going green we’ve many resources available here at STC to help light the path.