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How Green is Your Home?

For some Australians 'eco-living' still conjures up images of 'tree hugging hippies' and thoughts of disbelief – can one person really make a difference?

The truth is that every little bit helps and its never too late to get on-board. Simple steps like paying your bills online and checking your tyres will not only save you time and money, but our precious environment too – no tree hugging required.

1 - Pay bills online

Every paper statement or bill is produced, transported and then delivered to your home – a process which not only chews up millions of trees but contributes to tonnes of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Eliminating your paper trail is easy. Opt to pay bills and receive statements online – not only will you receive updates in real time but digital transactions are in many ways also safer.

2 - Check your tyres

A maintained car can greatly improve performance, while reducing carbon emissions. Properly inflated tyres can improve mileage by over 3%, saving the average person who drives 20,000km annually around 500 litres of petrol each year. They are also sfer and will last longer.

3 - Bring your own bag

Of the 500 billion plastic bags produced annually, 97% end up in landfill or our oceans where they'll stay for up to 1,000 years until they decompose. What's more, the amount of petroleum used to make a single plastic bag could drive a car up to 11 kilometres.

While the number of plastic bags in Australia has fallen from 6 billion to 3.92 billion since 2002, there is still a lot more that can be done. Reduce your contribution to plastic bag pollution by investing in reusable cloth or canvas grocery bags.

4 - Care for your clothes

A recent study by Cambridge University found that a single t-shirt can send over 4 kg of carbon dioxide into the air over its lifetime. The solution is not to avoid doing laundry altogether, as tempting as that maybe, instead:

Set aside washing until there is enough for a large load rather than doing multiple smaller ones.

Wash clothes in cold water instead of hot – washing at 40 C uses around half as much engery as washing at 60 C

Select an eco-friendly washing powder free from optical whiteners and phosphates.

Dry clothes the old fashioned way on the line rather then loading up the tumble dryer.

5 - Ban the bottle

Australians spend over half a billion dollars annually on bottled water, generating more than 60,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission – the same amount that 13,000 cars generate in a year.

Harmful to the environment and now more expensive per litre than petrol, ther's no better time to reduce bottled water consumption. An alternative is to invest in a reusable bottle made from a light metal or certified-safe plastic and refill it when necessary with fresh tap water.

Last modified on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 15:26
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