I went on a personal rampage through our little suburban dwelling and discovered just how easy it is to be green. You just need to know where to look.
Being green, or greener whatever the case may be, is all about conserving energy, and there are a few things that you can do to reduce your carbon footprint (and you might just save a few dollars while you are at it!).
Hand it down
Growing up we had some family friends whose kids were a few years older than we were and every time we visited them, they gave us garbage bags full of perfectly good garments that Mum gratefully accepted. This was great because, like all kids, we grew like weeds—and now we were very well-dressed weeds, thanks to our generous friends.
So every few months, I do the same thing. I go through my boys’ clothes and give what I can to the neighbour’s kids.
It’s a no-brainer. Find a hand-me-down buddy. Or donate clothes in good condition to your local charity. Recycling is awesome.
Invest in a snake!
Not the heart-stopping slithering kind (in case you thought I’d lost my mind). The draught-stopping two dollar kind.
Here’s the thing: I am a self-confessed coldie. I cannot stand being cold. My office is in a small room that I can close off. I run a little reverse cycle air-conditioner to warm up that space, but I was finding my feet were still getting a cold breeze … FROM UNDER THE DOOR!
So off I went to the two dollar store and bought a snake; one of those long sausage things that sits in front of the gap, stopping the evil cold breeze from assaulting my delicate ankles. Problem solved.
Buy only what you need
Every morning I’m asked what’s for dinner and every morning I reply that I have no idea. You see, I tried meal planning but it wasn’t for me. I have no idea what I will feel like for dinner until later in the day and then it will hit me, ‘I need to eat a Vietnamese chicken salad’ (or something).
So I grab my market basket and head to the shops. Because the shops are a quick 10 minute walk, I trot up with my list and buy exactly what I need, in the quantities I need.
Yep. I shop daily. I was sick of stockpiling fruit and vegies only to turf them in the bin at the end of the week.
And it’s not only me. Did you know Australians throw out around eight billion dollars of food every year?1 Do you know how much water and energy are needed to harvest that food? Well, neither do I, but I’m thinking it’s a huge amount. So only buy what you need.
And while you’re at it, ditch the plastic bags. That is just bad practice.
Embrace that big fireball in the sky!
In 1837 French physicist Alexandre Edmond Becquerel proposed a theory that energy could be derived from the sun. Centuries on, plenty of us are starting to see some very sound reasons to embrace solar energy with a big warm hug:
- you can save on your electricity bill as you only paying for what you use.
- you can sell excess energy back to the grid.
- you can reduce your home’s greenhouse gas emissions.
- you can take advantage of government incentives to get you up and running.
And remember, you can use solar energy in its purest form simply by hanging your clothes on the line. You’re saving energy by forgoing the dryer and at the same time, getting crisp sun-dried sheets on your bed. Nice.
If you’d like more ways that you can make small changes in your daily life, check out these green energy options.
About the author
Kayte Murphy (Mrs Woog) is a mouthy 40-something housewife from the burbs. In her blog Woogsworld she shares her thoughts about all kinds of things like family, politics, food, travel, some very lame attempts at fashion, social issues, wine, cheese. And she writes a lot about laundry. Mrs Woog is pretty much running late all the time, and will more often or not turn up somewhere with food spilt down her top.
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2013, Do Australians waste $8 billion worth of edible food each year?, ABC.