A freelance writer living in Perth, WA. Not the droid you're looking for.
Published April 19th 2012
Conservationism is all about environmentalism but you don't have to be environmental - you can be enviro-normal. There are some easy ways to help save the planet that you can use in your normal, everyday life; small changes can make a big difference .
With the price of water, electricity and gas always on the rise, small changes can not only save the planet they can save you money as well.
1. Change your light bulbs over from incandescent globes to compact fluoro globes. The fluoro light bulbs use about 75% less energy and last about 10 times longer. It's the easiest way to save energy.
2. Unplug your electrical appliances instead of leaving them on standby. Lots of electrical appliances such as TV's DVD players, Printers and chargers have a standby setting so even after you turn the appliance off a small red light still glows. This light means that electricity is still being drawn, so the best way to save power is to unplug the appliance at the socket.
3. Turn off lights when you leave a room. Leaving a light on when there is no one in the room uses loads of power, so just flip the light off as you leave the room.
4. Fix dripping taps. Dripping taps are annoying and although it might not seem like much water dripping out, it adds up. A leaky tap or toilet can waste more than 75 litres of water per day. Also, get a water efficient shower head and take shorter showers, this will save you loads of water.
5. Look for the star energy rating when buying electrical appliances. The higher the star rating the more energy efficient the appliance.
6. Whenever you do the washing use cold water and try to only do the washing when you have a full load. It saves water, power and money.
7. Wash dishes in the sink instead of using the dishwasher. Don't wash a few dishes each time, wait until you have a full load and wash everything at once. This saves water and time.
8. Recycle. Try to recycle as much as you can. Keep a separate bin or bag or your recyclables such as paper and cardboard, glass and plastic. Also recycle big items like electrical goods, there are places that will accept or even pick up electrical appliances to recycle. Items that are too good to throw out can be recycled too, donate them to a place such as the Good Samaritans or St Vincent de Paul.
9. Cut down you water reticulation times. Water the garden by hand or if you do use a reticulation system set the timer to a lower number. This will save you loads of water and your garden will still thrive. Try using grey-water on your garden; this is water from the washing machine, dishwasher or shower. You can set up a system to drain grey-water straight from you washing machine into a tank or onto the garden. A rainwater tank is another good water saving idea.
10. Consider changing to Solar energy. Solar hot water systems use energy free from the sun. Solar panels on your roof can 'catch' power to run your whole household. This one is a bit expensive but if you can afford it, it will pay for itself in no time.
Why not try out some of these easy energy saving ideas and make them part of your normal everyday life. You can save energy, water and money without making big changes.
There are so many things you can do to 'go green',things that you can incorporate into your daily life, here are a couple of other suggestions.
Earth Hour is a worldwide event organised every year to encourage households and businesses to turn off all non-essential electricity for one hour. Earth Hour is held in March each year but you can have your own Earth Hour each day, week or month. You will be surprised how much electricity you save.
With petrol prices the way they are at the moment, another good idea is to use public transport instead of using your car all the time. Catching the bus or the train or even cycling or walking for small journeys will save you money because you will use less petrol, this also cuts down on carbon emissions.
When you do your weekly grocery shopping, try to use canvas bags instead of plastic shopping bags. These bags are stronger, re-usable and are better for the environment as they create less waste.
These are just a few ideas but there are lots of easy ways to 'go green' and help save the planet – perhaps you can think of more ways to recycle, reduce and re-use.
Be careful when you say bag your recyclables. Plastic bags are not recyclable and are not supposed to be placed in our verge recycle bin. It is why we are encouraged to rinse containers before placing them in. Plastic garbage bags and single use bags (we are encouraged to replace with reusable) play havoc on machines at waste centers, are labor intensive to remove and dispose of to landfill so encourage the lot to end up in landfill anyway to avoid dealing with the cost.