D.I.Y, HOW-TO & SUSTAINABLE LIVING — How to save water

RSS
Vertical Gardens: Saving Water, Space & Waste

Vertical Gardens: Saving Water, Space & Waste

Maybe you've been looking at that tight alley running up the side of the house wondering how to get a garden bed and the bins to fit in there. Or perhaps you're tired of looking out the bathroom window to a completely blank timber fence. Either way a vertical garden is going to make those areas look amazing! But that's not all a green wall can do for you and your family.

According to a Monash University study, "Green walls, or vegetated walls, offer multiple benefits in urban areas, such as temperature control, energy savings, increased livability and acoustic dampening, with the addition of space saving, as they are suspended on building walls."

Read on to learn how these eco-friendly, modern systems can do all that!

Green wall in front entrance of home

Water 

Are you on water restrictions from your local council? Or just tired to standing in the yard with the hose? Atlantis Gro-Wall® are the perfect solution for both indoor and outdoor vertical gardens with automated watering. Vertical gardens are created utilising natural soil mixes to retain nutrients. This modular system, as well as geofabric strips in each pot, enables localised moisture retention and access to individual plants.

Because of this useful framework, and the angled planting style, the plant's leaves are exposed to as much sunlight as possible, while the soil remains shaded. This means less water is required to keep the plants healthy, when compared to a comparable sized open garden bed.

Gro wall slimline cut out

Depending on the type of green wall system you are using, it may come with a drainage/excess water collection channel. Otherwise, you can still create a catchment at the base of your wall and actually reuse that water for the same garden, or other areas of your property! In order words, no water is left to evaporate on your outdoor pavers, the deck and so on.

Space

Gro-Wall® modules can be fixed to any structural wall including brick, concrete, wood, sheet metal, drywall and other surfaces. The modules allow for vertical and horizontal expansion and require only standard potting mixes. No framework is required as the structure is self supporting. You can even have your walls back-to-back for a brilliant eye-catching centerpiece in the garden.

The range includes a unique facade-style structure made from the same durable material. It is made up of small individual pieces that connect together without the need for glue or cutting. This makes Gro Wall Facade the perfect framework for green walls that need to fit into a very specific shape or tight space. It's also very cost effective for large areas and can double as fencing with the right framing.

gro wall facade and green wall pots

Waste

Of course, these vertical gardens would be on Eco Sustainable House if they weren't made from eco-friendly materials. In the case of the Atlantis Gro-Wall® products, and our Australian-made Green Wall Pots, they are made from at least 85% recycled polypropylene. This plastic is fully UV stabilised, doesn't react to ground chemicals and won't leech anything into the soil. They have a lifespan of 50 plus years!

The Monash University study mention above was conducted on the pollutant-scrubbing properties of green walls. It found that most such walls produced a significant impact on the pollutants in the air around them. Their research also showed that using grey-water on your green walls didn't affect this ability to offset fossil fuels.

Plant replacement is also greatly reduced, with a 0-5% rate  when using the Gro Wall systems (assuming correct maintenance), compared to an industry standard of around 30%.

Gro wall slimline

Feel free to browse our Vertical Gardens page for more information on individual models of green wall systems or email sales@ecosustainablehouse.com.au with your enquiry.

Decorating Your Home Sustainably: Ideas to Try in 2019

Decorating Your Home Sustainably: Ideas to Try in 2019

Many of us are making shifts towards living a more sustainable lifestyle — in fact, over 34% of Australians believe it’s important to buy from eco-friendly brands. An important element of sustainable living includes how you decorate the home you live in. Sustainable interior design makes a positive impact on the environment by avoiding the depletion of our planet’s natural resources, while creating a stylish home you love living in. It also ensures a healthier space since you won’t be using products treated with pesticides or harsh chemicals. Here’s a look at the top interior design trends for 2019 that you can try out within your home.

 

Including more sustainable materials

Natural materials, such as wood and natural stone, carry a lower environmental impact than synthetic ones. If a product has a FSC label, it was harvested sustainably. Demand is also increasing for organic materials grown without the use of pesticides which harm the environment, wildlife and human health. In fact, sales of organic products are increasing 10-15% annually each year. Organic cotton bedding, for example, is a healthier choice, particularly if you have allergies or chemical sensitivities. Similarly, natural fibre rugs like hemp, seagrass and jute are biodegradable and recyclable.

 

Water-efficient appliances

Water conservation is an important issue in many parts of Australia. Even despite droughts, Australians are the highest consumers of water per capita in the world. Reducing water use is becoming an increasing necessity, which is why installing water-efficient appliances (such as toilets and faucets) throughout your home is an important switch to make. For example, simply installing a water-efficient shower head in your bathroom saves the average family 2, 900 gallons of water a year. Moreover, since there’s less requirements on the water heater, your electricity bill will also be slashed.

 

Living Green Wall and Living Wall Systems 

Bring the outside in with a living green wall (vertical gardens) — a sustainable trend which is continuing to increase in popularity. Not only do the living green wall look beautiful and help the environment, but they’re also easy to install in your home. You can buy solid living green wall kits (such as gro wall pro, gro wall slim pro, gro wall slim line, gro wall 4.5, gro wall facade), which can easily be attached with screws to any solid wall. Having a plant wall in your home will absorb harmful toxins in the air and purify it — a phenomenon discovered by NASA way back in 1989.

Sustainable interiors don’t have to sacrifice style. With some extra thought, you can create a home that’s environmentally-friendly as well as beautiful. Ultimately, investing in items made for longevity (in terms of both quality and aesthetic) rather than disposable, short-term trends is something we should all aim for.

Author

Alicia Rennoll (Environmental Research)

Saving Water In The Modern Home

Saving Water In The Modern Home

Australia, like many other countries with arid zones, is suffering from the effects of water scarcity. Last month, drought was declared in South Australia, and dragging icebergs from the Antarctic Ocean has even been mooted as a solution to water shortages in Sydney, according to ABC. Climate change is the cause of these shortages and is set to make them a permanent factor. 

A responsible homeowner should, therefore, look towards making the most out of every drop of water. Modern technology and state support has made it possible for home alterations to do so. The benefit will be of to yourself, through greater water security, and to the environment, by lessening the load on already depleted reservoirs and energy-hungry salinisation plants.

Changing your habits

Making adaptations to your day-to-day activities will enable you to save significant amounts of water without needing to install any features on the home. An easy first step is to address any household leaks – even if it’s not obvious through damp patches or drips, the water systems of your house can have small leaks that, over the years, lead to gallons of water being lost. Then, look at your own activity in the home. Could you spend less time in the shower? Do you need to run the dishwasher or washing machine quite as often? Could you put it on a lower cycle? Ask yourself these sorts of questions every time you use water, and you could find yourself savings. Choice.au, for example, suggest collecting cold shower water in a bucket as you wait for it warm up, and using that water for other uses.

Improving your home technology

Like motor vehicles, it generally holds true that newer home technology is more efficient. Over the lifetime of an appliance, the water saved will be significant and also provide you with monetary savings. What’s more, it’s not necessarily expensive to upgrade; the government provide a range of subsidies to homeowners on measures that will improve your carbon footprint and aid water retention. Household monitors of Nest’s ilk will help you to monitor water usage and can provide an interesting insight into what takes up energy and water usage in the house. Smart technology in general is helping to make things more efficient, and you can use that with your timings and water usage around the house.

Keeping your eyes on updates

The best thing you can do to help your house’s water retention is to simply stay abreast of new occurrences. The government has an ambitious scheme, the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standard scheme, which aims to save 150,000 megalitres of water by 2021, and will lead to devices becoming more well labelled and meeting stringent targets. As a result, you can expect to see new parts, pieces and devices that will aid your water efficiency. Stay aware through the government portal, or through keeping your eye on home keeping news.

Keeping your home running efficiently and with a nod to environmentalism is done best through retaining water. Technology and personal habits make it easier, and will continue to do so through the future. Keep your knowledge up to date and look for new solutions, such as the Kingspan slimline rainwater tanks.

Author

Alicia Rennoll (Environmental Research)