Save by updating your sustainable ways
AS INDIVIDUALS, it helps to understand the demands on our environment and what we can learn now, so we can change our ways, for the benefit of future generations.
Some people believe that to live in a sustainable way is to make sacrifices, to live a less comfortable life in the name of environmental sustainability.
That doesn't have to be the case and here are some ways you can leave behind a lighter footprint and a lighter budget.
Energise with solar power
Solar power energy from the sun can be captured in two ways, as heat energy (thermal energy) or as light energy.
Photovoltaic (PV) technology, also known as solar panels, converts the sun's light energy into an electrical current.
It's an increasingly affordable option to reduce power bills.
Once paid for and installed, it's low-maintenance and can last 20 years or more and the electricity they generate is free.
Solar power systems have become very popular with Australian home owners, with more than 1.548 million rooftop systems installed across Australia (as at June 1, 2016).
Rainwater is a natural and free source of fresh water.
If you live in a rural area or on acreage, rainwater may already be part or all of your water supply.
Harvesting rainwater in a tank gives you a personal supply of water to use during water restrictions and can help to reduce your water bills.
Heating and cooling design
Very little energy is needed to make a well-designed house comfortable.
Appropriate insulation, which is essential for a comfortable house, can create low or even no energy requirements for heating and cooling.
Even for existing homes, there are many ways to reduce energy bills, improve comfort and help the environment. Gas heaters and efficient reverse cycle air conditioners, produce only one-third the greenhouse gas emissions of standard electric heaters.
Wood can be an excellent fuel because it is a renewable resource if sustainably harvested.