Three ways to become an environmentally conscious home

Making environmentally friendly choices is important for the planet. It also requires some planning ahead and changing a few habits.

Outside of making sustainable energy choices, there are a few easy steps you can take to make a big difference to your household’s environmental footprint.

It can often come down to choosing what you buy, considering your daily habits and what you do with the things you don't need anymore.

Being a conscious consumer

The next time your family needs a new item, ask yourself: “is buying new our only option?”

While we might not always be comfortable popping next door to borrow something, there are community and council organisations that can help.

Locally, you might find toy, book and tool libraries where you can hire what you need. There are also repair cafes, which help you to salvage items by fixing or upgrading them. If you’re not sure what’s in your area, start by checking with your local council online or in person. Another idea is to search for local area Facebook groups that you can get advice from.

If you do need to make a purchase, check if you can get the item second-hand first. Places like eBayFacebook MarketplaceGumtree and charity stores often have near-new items for sale. If you decide to buy new, where possible, look for good quality items that won’t need to be replaced in a hurry or thrown into the bin quickly.

Creating good habits, together

Sometimes, it’s difficult to see how small actions add up to larger change when you’re making good choices for the environment – and it can be even tougher to explain to kids why you’re making these changes.

Food waste costs households $2,000 - $2,500 per year, so it's worth considering a hands-on approach that involves everyone thinking, including kids, about our daily choices.

Smiling father and son outside planting herbs

If you have the room – even a balcony or windowsill can work – try creating a garden as a family. The highs and lows of growing plants are a great way to teach environmental concepts to kids. As a bonus, you might get a healthy, homegrown snack out of it, too!

If your kids respond to systems like star charts, consider introducing one for environmentally friendly behaviours like recycling, reusing containers and bottles, and not wasting food.

To help kids understand the bigger picture, look for community events like clean-ups or tree-planting days. Again, your local council and Facebook groups are great places to find events.

Finding better ways to deal with waste

Of course, the best way to avoid household waste is to reduce how much of it you create! Meal planning means you only shop for what you need and don’t throw half of your veggies in the bin.

When you have bits to throw away, composting turns scraps into useful fertiliser. A bokashi bin may be for you if you don’t have an outdoor area or are worried about maintaining a larger compost system.

You’re probably already sorting your common household rubbish into recyclables, but what about bigger or more unusual items? Have a look at the services provided by TerraCycle who specialise in recycling 'non-recyclables' items like coffee capsules, pens and plastic gloves.

Local collection programs like hard rubbish are a good way to get rid of larger items, but don’t forget to look for avenues where you can sell or donate items in good condition. You might save a neighbour from making a new purchase of their own.

Want to offset your greenhouse gas emissions?

We offer Carbon Neutral options certified by Climate Active on our energy plans, so you can play your part in offsetting your home's greenhouse gas emissions.

The links referred to in this article are suggestions for context only, and AGL is not affiliated with the entities referred to in this piece.

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