Five ideas to make every day more sustainable

Making your life more sustainable doesn’t need to be a big change. Little changes can help save more than you think.

You can make small changes around the home that will not only help you be more environmentally conscious, but can also help you save money.

Every little bit counts, so here are five ways to start making an impact in your home.

1. Swap light bulbs

Light bulbs have gotten smarter and more efficient. Switching to LED light bulbs is a simple solution that could help reduce your energy bill and, in some states, is supported by government initiatives through rebates and subsidies. LEDs use about 75% less energy than halogen light bulbs and last 5 to 10 times longer. And if you’re less likely to replace them, this reduces the number of bulbs ending up in the landfill.

LED bulbs tend to be a little more expensive, but considering they last longer and use less energy, this is a small hurdle to jump and will save you money in the long run.

2. Replace old appliances

Replacing appliances can cut your power bills and your environmental impact. Newer appliances are more efficient than appliances, particularly models ten years or older.

Of course, we’re all prone to holding onto things like fridges and washing machines if they still work, but after a few unexpected bills, they could be more trouble than they’re worth – make sure you check the energy star rating when you buy, too – more stars mean more efficiency over the long run.

3. Grow produce from your garden

Growing your fruit and vegetables sounds like a big job, especially if you don’t have a green thumb, but you don’t need to landscape your whole yard to fit a supermarket-sized veggie pile: you can start as small as a pot on the window sill with a few choice herbs.

We’ve all bought herbs from the supermarket that have wilted in the fridge before they’ve had the opportunity to add flavour to your next super-dish and had to settle for something else.

Having a few plants that grow quietly and will be there when you need them means less hassle and waste but just as much flavour as you need.

4. Compost

Composting is a great way to keep your garden healthy and reduces the garbage taken to a landfill.

And it’s simple. Get a plastic compost bin, set it up in a sunny spot near your garden and collect any plants and vegetables that you would usually throw in the bin and put them into the compost. Once it’s done, you can get it into the garden and start saving on water. According to Washington State University, just a 5% increase in organic material quadruples soils water holding capacity.

5. Ride a bike to work

The commute can be a drag for many – nobody’s ever opted to be stuck in traffic or wedged between two people on a crowded tram – but getting on your bike can have both sustainability and fitness benefits.

Bike riding is a pollution-free mode of transport, and Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads suggests cycling 10km each way to work every day could save up you about $1,700 per year in transport costs (including all running costs and depreciation). Getting fit, saving cash with minimal impact on the planet? It’s a no-brainer.

Want more tips to be environmentally conscious at home?

Here are some easy ways to make a difference at home.

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