The New Year is well underway now. Before we get swept up with the fast pace of daily life and the months start whizzing by, we wanted to reaffirm our commitment to greener living for 2019. Taking responsibility for our environmental impact is more important now than ever. And, like most things, the biggest changes start in our homes.
While the thought of running a fully sustainable household might be daunting — translation: complicated, time-consuming, and expensive! — we’ve decided to focus on a few simple changes we can put in place that will make a real difference while being sustainable for our day-to-day lifestyles.
Want to join us? Here are three key ways we’ll be creating a greener home this year:
Smarter heating (and cooling):
Heating and cooling account for 40% of the average home’s energy consumption, so this is a great place to start. By getting a little clever, it’s easy to reduce the energy spent keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. Make sure any drafts in your home are plugged and remember that it’s more energy efficient to maintain the temperature than to change it drastically — this means, get ahead of the heat in summer by closing curtains and windows at the start of a heatwave, and use your air conditioner on a low setting to keep your home in a comfortable temperature. And vice-versa in winter: use your curtains, and keep your heating on low at the start of a cool snap, rather than waiting till your home is freezing! Oscillating fans are also a great way to make the most of your heating and cooling efforts, helping to circulate air throughout your home.
If you’re still washing with hot water every time you launder, stop. Seriously. It’s unnecessary, hugely energy sapping, and actually creates more wear-and-tear on your clothing. If certain items do require a warm or hot wash, try to minimise it to one load per week, or (even better!) wash those items by hand. Make double use of your machine water by collecting it and recycling it for use in your garden — just make sure that the laundry liquid you’re using is garden safe! A few of our favourite eco-friendly laundry detergents include Method 4X Concentrated Laundry Liquid and Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent.
Home-made cleaning products:
We all love that clean, sterile feeling from using heavy duty cleaners in the kitchen and bathroom… But, those harsh chemical cleaners all end up in our water supply and can wreak havoc on our environment. Join us in making the pledge to go bleach-free this year! With a little elbow grease, most day-to-day cleaning can be tackled by homemade cleaning products using natural ingredients you probably already have in the pantry, like vinegar, citric acid and bicarbonate of soda. For an easy all-purpose cleaner, try a simple mix of white vinegar and water (half-n-half works for us!) and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Or, take a look at this great post from The Green Parent which explains how to make a number of great home cleaning products: Make your own cleaning products