A large part of sustainable living is in the things we do everyday. By developing sustainable habits, we can all do our little bit to help the environment.
Here are some simple things you can do around the house in order to live more sustainably - and help the environment.
Buying goods and produce locally reduces the amount of toxic fuels required to transport those goods over long distances.
Washing Your Car
Wash your car on the lawn, or a grassy area. If you're building a new house, try to design it so that you can drive the car up onto the lawn when ever you need to wash it.
Avoid letting the sudsy water drain out onto the street and into the drains. Doing this causes stormwater pollution. Sudsy water won't hurt your lawn.
Water your garden in the Evening or Morning
If you live in a warm climate, water your garden when its cooler - usually evenings or early mornings. Doing this reduces evaporation, therefore, you don't need to use as much water to water your plants.
Use Mulch in your Garden
Mulch can save up to 70% of water evaporated by the sun. This can be extremely beneficial if you live in a warm climate.
When shopping, buy products that have less packaging and use recycled materials. Avoid products that contain chemicals that harm the environment. Use a "green bag" when shopping - don't use plastic bags. Plastic bags don't bio-degrade, they photodegrade (break up into smaller, toxic parts) and are deadly to wildlife (many animals choke or sufficate on plastic bags).
Avoid fertilising the garden when you expect rain. If it rains soon after you fertilise the garden, the fertiliser will probably end up in the street or your local creek, instead of the garden where you most need it.
Try to limit your use of pesticides and herbicides - these are not good for the environment.
Clean up after your Pets
Cleaning up after your cat or dog prevents the waste from washing into creeks and rivers (which contaminates the water). Flush the waste down the toilet, or even better, put it on your compost heap.
Clean Paved Areas
Cleaning the paved areas around your house keeps soil and leaves from running into the stormwater system. Use a broom to clean, not a hose. Using a hose wastes good water.
Clear out Gutters and Drains
Gutters and drains can attract a lot of leaves and grass. Clear these out regularly so that the grass and leaves don't get washed away into the stormwater system.
Instead of throwing out glass jars/bottles, re-use them if you can. If your local council provides a recycling bin, use it! Separate plastics, glass, paper etc from your other rubbish and put it into the recycling bin.