In Focus

How to transform your home into a sustainable space

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Teleisha Thomas

Teleisha Thomas

April 2023

In celebration of Earth Day this April, we are looking at 7 ways you can lessen your individual impact on the climate and create a more environmentally friendly home.

There are a variety of simple changes you can make in your daily life to reduce your carbon footprint and help protect the planet. From reducing water usage to utilising energy-efficient appliances, there are many ways to create a more environmentally friendly home. By taking these steps, you can help do your part to help preserve the natural beauty of our planet for generations to come.

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Set up a composting system

The rubbish in our landfill systems is heavily compacted, meaning it takes a long time for food waste to break down. This produces excess methane gas, which is then emitted in a way that is harmful to the environment. One way to cut down on landfill is to set up your own composting system at home. Food breaks down much quicker in a dedicated composting environment and makes for a great addition to your garden. If you don’t have enough garden or outdoor space, consider instead:

  • Talking to your building’s body corporation about setting up a communal space
  • Pairing with a friend, neighbour or family member who has space nearby for shared composting space

Reduce water wastage

Being conscious of your water usage can make a significant environmental impact. Some simple ways you can reduce your water usage includes: 

  • Fixing leaking taps
  • Install grey water or rainwater tanks, harnessing excess water and recycling it for use in your home or garden.
  • Using your washing machine and dishwasher sparingly and with only full loads
  • Using a timer to keep showers under 5 minutes
  • Installing low flow shower heads and taps

Switch from single-use plastics to reusable alternatives

Single-use plastics (straws, takeaway containers and plastic bags) can take up to 1,000 years to break down and they often can’t be recycled, heading straight for landfill. Investing in reusable alternatives at home can help you to cut down your contribution to landfill. Some ways this can be done include:

  • Storing leftovers in reusable containers or with bees wax wraps as opposed to disposable plastic
  • Replacing single-use plastic straws with washable ones
  • Making your own cleaning products and storing them in reusable bottles
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Install solar panels

The sun is a sustainable source of energy, whereas traditional methods such as coal and gas are detrimental to the environment Whilst solar panels can be expensive initially, long term, you will save on your electricity bills and the panels will pay for themselves.

Shop vintage

You can find some truly unique and incredible finds on a number of curated online vintage furniture sites, eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace. Less items heading to landfill is just a bonus of shopping vintage.

Insulate your house

As we head into the cooler months, it is time to think about the sustainable advantages of properly insulating your home. Adding insulation to the walls of your home prevents warm air from escaping during the winter. Insulation materials include cork produced from the regenerating bark of a cork oak tree and cellulose from recycled newsprint and paper.

Make your home ‘smart’

Using ‘smart’ lighting, heating and cooling systems can help to reduce energy use by up to 50%. This is because homeowners can optimise the energy efficiency in their homes through only using their connected systems when applicable.

The theme for Earth Day 2023 is "invest in our planet". The theme is focused on engaging governments, businesses and the more than
1 billion people who participate annually in Earth Day to do their part. Visit to learn more about Earth Day 2023.

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