D.I.Y, HOW-TO & SUSTAINABLE LIVING — Saving water saves money

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.


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.


Alicia Rennoll (Environmental Research)