Did you know that the average Australian household emits the equivalent of 339 wheelie bins of CO2 emissions weekly just through the use of electrical appliances in the home?
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Now. In the morning, reduce your shower time from ten to only four
minutes. By doing so, not only will you conserve valuable water, you
will also reduce your household’s CO2 emissions by the equivalent of 10 wheelie bins each week.
An estimated one million people across Australia have taken part in the 18th Clean Up Australia Day at more than 7000 sites across the country.
getting dozens and dozens of questions on our emails. It seems you all
have an insatiable desire for more information about what you can do
which is just great!
Below are 10 of the most commonly asked
questions, if you have any queries or would like more information please
contact us we love hearing from you!
10 Most Commonly Asked Questions
1. Water Tanks – Are they easy to install and how much do they cost?
are lots of water tank suppliers out there now – and government rebates
a plenty (AUS). Rebates can range from about $650 in NSW – some as high
as $800. Make sure you check with your local council first, as you will
often need approval. There’s been such a demand that many of the
installers may have long waiting lists, but be persistent. The cost on
average is A$1,900 (5L) and A$2,600 (15L) but it depends on the size and
type. Under the BASIX legislation for new homes, they are mandatory for
Every 100mm of rainfall running off the average home
roof can provide enough water for several weeks of total household
2. Solar Power/Heating – When will the costs come down?
average, a solar system will cost between A$14-17,000. But it will pay
for itself in energy savings within 5 years (and with electricity prices
about to soar, it’s a good idea!). Costs are coming down (albeit
slowly) and government rebates (AUS) are provided for solar heaters.
Check in your state. Of course, as the demand increases, this will drive
down the cost of photo voltaic cells – and Aussie/Chinese technology is
leading the way – I just wish we had more solar ‘banks’ in
3. Recycling – Why aren’t more plastics recyclable?
in Australia there are only about three types of plastics in common
recycling – (1) PET soft drink bottles, (2) HDPE milk/juice bottles and
(3) PVC vinyl. These are the ones you can recycle in kerbside
collection. The industry is heavily subsidised, but I think that
manufacturers should be made more responsible for their packaging as
well as their products contained inside!! As more government regulation
is introduced (in Australia there’s something called Packaging Covenant
Mark II under discussion!…yes, I’ve read it!) there will be more
innovation (forced) and more items will be able to be recycled. Check
with you local council and there’s also good information on the Clean Up
4. Cars – How come Hybrid cars cost more?
question – there are only two currently on the market in Australia, the
Honda Hybrid and the Toyota Prius and they’re a little more expensive
than other standard vehicles. And there’s also a long waiting list due
to the success of these cars in the US (there is also a Hybrid Lexus SUV
in the US) so we get less sent here!! BUT you save sooo much on fuel.
My fuel bill has been cut by 2/3!! So it’s worth paying more upfront as
the savings are real. If you’re in the market for a new car, look for a
Hybrid. If not, look for an LPG powered (gas) car.
5. Insulation – What’s the best type of insulation for my home and will it save me money on my electirity bill?
you know that you can lose up to 35% of your home’s heat through the
roof if it’s not insulated, and a further 15-25% through the walls and
floor. Most common insulation is fibreglass – but there’s also jute and
wool or recycled paper! It will save you hordes on your heating and
cooling bill – and save on our Co2 emissions.
6. Do Plasma TV’s use a lot of energy?
a huge amount. They are about to usurp refrigerators as the biggest
user of electricity in the home (after the electric hot water heater).
The problem is that as they are a new product they’re still not required
to have an energy rating sticker, so you don’t realise how inefficient
they are! If you have a big plasma, it’s costing you heaps on
7. How do I find a heater that uses less electricity?
for the energy rating on all electric heaters. Don’t buy cheap
‘unnamed’ brands as they will cost you more in the long run. Radiators
chew energy like there’s no tomorrow – with a single electric bar
generating about a kilo of greenhouse gases every hour! Fan heaters are
no better. Natural gas and reverse cycle air conditioners are better
alternatives, generating only a third of the emissions of electric
8. What’s the best way of reducing my household carbon emissions?
Each household generates on average around 14 tonnes of carbon emissions each year – which is significant.
represent about 20% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions so we
all have a role to play. Buy Greenpower from your energy supplier.
Switch off appliances when they’re not in use. Swith your lightbulbs
over to the new CFL’s (mandatory in Australia from 2012). The big one is
your hot water service. If you can switch to gas hot water, that’s a
9. What’s the most environmentally friendly cleaning product?
don’t want to endorse one product over another…but you can check out
what Choice magazine or different environment groups say. Total
Environment Centre recently did a good report. Look for products low in
phosphorous and harsh chemicals. There are a couple of good ranges now
on sale in alternative supermarkets or stores like NECO. Of course, you
can clean up with a micro-fibre cleaning cloth, warm water. a dash of
natural soap and good old-fashioned elbow grease. Try the natural
methods like vinegar, lemon juice and bicarb of soda on tough stains.
10. I know I shouldn’t be dry cleaning my clothes – What can I do?
there was life before dry cleaning! Firstly, wear natural fibres suited
for the climate. Dry cleaners use large amounts of chemical solvent,
tetrachloroethylene, which isn’t good (suspected carcinogen, which
aggravates asthma and allergies). How about a quick hand wash or spot
cleaning. Hang your clothes out to air!! You’ll save money too. Look for
a cleaning service with ‘clean and green’ processes including reuse of
hangers and garment bags.