As environmental concerns continue to be a topic of debate both globally and locally, home owners are increasingly looking for ways to live more sustainably.
Adopting eco-friendly practices benefits the planet and can lead to cost savings around the home and a healthier living environment.
Here are seven simple sustainability trends that home owners can embrace to help have a positive impact on the planet.
1. Draft-proofing and switching to LEDs
One of the most significant trends in sustainability for home owners is energy efficiency. Simple changes, such as replacing traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED lights, can significantly reduce energy consumption.
Installing programmable thermostats and sealing gaps and cracks in windows and doors can also contribute to a more energy-efficient home.
Retrofitting windows with double-glazing can help retain internal heat in winter and keep out heat in summer, helping to lower energy bills.
2. Harnessing the sun’s energy
Harnessing the power of the sun for energy is a growing trend. Solar panels are becoming more affordable and accessible for home owners, allowing them to generate their own electricity.
While the initial investment may seem daunting, the long-term benefits for the environment and your wallet are substantial.
As the price of batteries continues to fall, adding a battery or EV charger can help future-proof your home.
3. Water saving
Conserving water is a vital aspect of responsible living. Simple changes like fixing leaks, installing low-flow faucets and showerheads, and opting for water-efficient appliances can significantly reduce water consumption.
Additionally, incorporating drought-resistant plants in landscaping can minimise the need for excessive watering.
Collecting rainwater for outdoor tank use is another eco-friendly practice that can result in better water management and reduced bills.
4. Waste reduction and composting
Home owners can play a pivotal role in waste reduction by embracing the principles of reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Reducing single-use plastic consumption, composting organic waste, and recycling materials like paper, glass, and plastic are effective ways to minimise the environmental impact of household waste. Most councils allow for food and organic waste recycling in their green bin collection.
Container deposit schemes also operate in several states, providing a financial incentive to recycle cans and bottles.
Being mindful of product packaging and choosing products with minimal or eco-friendly packaging also reduces waste.
5. Green building materials
Choosing sustainable and eco-friendly building materials is a growing trend for those considering renovations or building new homes.
Materials such as bamboo, reclaimed wood, and recycled metal not only reduce environmental impact but can also contribute to a healthier indoor environment by minimising the use of harmful chemicals.
When selecting materials, look for Green Star certifications to ensure they are certified as “responsible”. If no Green Star responsible service guidelines are available, ask your builder or supplier about their sustainability initiatives directly.
6. Smart home technology
Integrating smart home technology can enhance a home’s performance by reducing its footprint.
Smart thermostats, lighting systems, and appliances allow home owners to monitor and control energy consumption more efficiently. Some systems adapt to users’ behaviours, optimising energy use and reducing waste.
Investing in these technologies adds convenience and aligns with the broader goal of creating energy-efficient homes.
Smart home devices can help you create a more energy-efficient home. Photo: iStock 7. Eco-friendly landscaping
Landscaping practices can also contribute to sustainability. Home owners can opt for native plants that require less water and maintenance, reducing the need for harmful pesticides and fertilisers.
Using available space to grow food is another significant initiative home owners can implement to reduce their carbon footprint and create healthy soil in their backyards.
Installing mulch on garden beds helps retain soil moisture and prevents weed growth. Creating wildlife-friendly spaces with bird feeders and insect-friendly plants for pollinators also promotes biodiversity in your backyard.
Embracing responsibility at home doesn’t require drastic changes or significant financial investments. Simple, mindful choices in energy consumption, water usage, waste management, and building materials can collectively substantially impact the environment.
By adopting these trends, home owners contribute to a healthier planet and create more efficient, cost-effective, and eco-friendly living spaces. Small steps lead to significant change, and every effort counts in building a sustainable future for generations to come.