Sustainable design usually means intelligent design, and this begins at the start of a build or a big renovation. But we know this comes with challenges, so we have compiled a list of lifestyle changes to keep in mind – wherever you are in your homemaking.
You can also use a carbon footprint calculator to measure your impact. Plugging your information into a calculator – there are many online – you can understand what other habits need changing.
- When thinking about space, note the orientation of your home to the sun.
- Insulating walls, floors and having a ceiling board will help regulate temperature
- Windows are the worst culprit when it comes to heat gain and loss. Tightly seal any air gaps and consider double glazing your windows.
- If you want more advice you can find an eco-friendly builder under Master Builders Australia (MBA) and the Housing Industry Association (HIA). Builders in MBA and HIA are trained in sustainable practices.
Different states offer different subsidies, which act as an incentive to make the change to renewable energy. You can find out if you’re eligible here.
Choose the right materials
Sourcing your materials locally reduces long-distance freight times meaning less emissions.
To make your materials more sustainable, opt for something recycled, either from recycled materials or recycled from another home. Think about your floors, doors, windows and also where your wood has been harvested.
Renewable materials like bamboo are some of the most eco-friendly materials because of its quick regrowth.
Another devastating aspect of climate change is the inequitable distribution of its consequences. For low-income households, changing their lifestyle can be a hard path on a tight budget.
If your options are limited, start with your appliances. Cheaper microwaves, fridges or washers tend to be less energy efficient. But, think of a pricier appliance as an investment. While the outright fee is more, utility bills will drop as less energy is needed to power the appliance. Finally, ditch the dryer.
Replacing fixtures including taps, toilets and adding “low-flow” shower heads will reduce water and save money.