Food, House & Garden

Is your home eco-friendly?

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There are many, many ways to be eco-friendly with your home. Eco-friendly homes do more than just help the environment. While eco-friendly homes are extremely beneficial to our earth, they also help us in other ways. From saving you money to creating a healthier living environment, a few small changes can make a big impact – here’s how:

Appliances

When choosing new appliances, try to get a high star energy rated appliance. We recently bought an energy efficient front loader washing machine to save money on water and electricity and they really do use a lot less water than top loaders.

If you aren’t in the market for new appliances, there are ways to use your appliances more efficiently.

When not in use, turn your appliances off at the wall. You would be surprised at how much electricity is used when in ‘standby’.

Try and use the ‘eco wash’ setting on your dishwasher and washing machine. Contrary to popular belief, these cycles are actually quite sufficient for cleaning your clothes and dishes. There is a new washing powder out which is designed specifically for using with the eco wash cycle.

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Water saving heads in showers.

It is amazing how much water is saved simply by changing the shower head to a water saving head. A lot of water companies offer a free exchange program with one head exchanged per household. We used our free head in the ensuite and as well as saving money,  it actually works a lot better than the old shower head.

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Keep heating and cooling costs down

Keep heating and cooling at a constant temperature. Apparently, the optimum temperature you should set your heating and cooling to, is 22 degrees Celsius for saving electricity and gas.

Also if you have drafts coming in from around your doors or windows, place draft stoppers in front of doors and place weather stripping around doors and windows.

We had to do this recently when we moved into our new house, the breeze coming in from under and around the front door was making the heater non efficient in the front of the house.

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Use Water tanks

Our new house has a water tank attached to the toilets (below), which is a great idea as it isn’t using mains water and we don’t have to pay for it! We will be buying another tank soon so we can water the garden with it.

water tank

Solar panels

Solar panels quickly pay for themselves with the amount you saving off your electricity bill. At my previous house, I had solar hot water and it was a lot cheaper to run than a conventional hot water service.

Of course, the main saving is when you install solar panels for your electricity especially if you feed back into the power grid and receive credits from your electricity company.

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Water wise plants

There is a wide variety of lovely looking drought tolerant plants on the market. A beautiful garden doesn’t need to use a lot of water.

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To find out how eco-friendly your home is, take this questionnaire from Australian Solar Quotes and find out. You might be able to learn more about how you can make your house more eco-friendly and save money in the process!

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