Sustainable Choices at Home

by Amy Stewart
Australian Organic Limited Research & Education Officer


It’s fair to say that at the moment we are being bombarded with information about sustainability. In particular, and most alarmingly to us all is the realisation that our everyday choices can have big effects on our planet.

Unfortunately, with such a swag of information out there it’s often difficult to navigate the fact from the fear-mongering. The overwhelm felt often results in paralysis as we struggle to know where to begin. But the good news is that chances are you’ve already started! Do you take your reusable bags shopping? Well good on you, you’re already on your way! With that in mind, I’ve put together a few small ideas to help you start making a difference right now, in your own home.  

Also, it’s a great opportunity to get the kids involved and start the conversations about our sustainable future.

Where to begin?

  1. Be water wise.
    • Turn off your tap while you brush your teeth and while washing your face.
    • Fill your dishwasher and do a single cycle instead of washing up multiple times.
    • Opt for a cold wash for clothes rather than using hot water for your clothes.
    • Fix leaky taps and pipes.
    • Take shorter showers and switch to a water saving shower head.

  2. Go reusable or plastic free (a great place to start!)
    • Say no to single use items such as straws, coffee cups and plastic water bottles.
    • Utilise reusable shopping bags and water bottles.
    • Buy in bulk to cut down on excess packaging.   

  3. Pay attention to labels. From ensuring ethically sourced to organic wherever possible you can minimise your impact on wildlife and the planet. It may cost you a little more but choosing certified organic means you can take comfort knowing that you’re taking a stand against the use of synthetic and harmful herbicides and pesticides as well as knowing you’re ensuring you’re choosing ethically sourced and produced.  
     
  4. Go green in your home.
    • Add some pot plants to your home and workspace; plant a tree or garden.
    • Reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle. The phrase may be well worn but that doesn’t mean it’s not still relevant! Dont forget this includes composting!
    • Clean the coils on the refrigerator to lessen the energy used to run them.
    • Swap to energy efficient light bulbs as others burn out
    • Open up the curtains before switching on a light, switch off lights when you leave a room.
    • Set your aircon between 25-27degrees Celsius for Summer cooling and between 18-20 degree Celsius for heating in Winter (and maybe before turning on the heating put on an extra layer of clothing or open a few more windows in summer to catch the breeze)
    • Use a washing line to dry clothes instead of the dryer where you can
    • Shop locally

      Composting and vermicomposting (worm farming) is a terrific was to reduce your household waste and a great conversation starter with your kids. For more information on vermicomposting check out the article in the Autumn issue of the Australian Organic Connect e-Magazine.