People throughout Australia and the world are more environmentally aware than they have been at any time in the past. If you’re building a new …
Australia is one of the driest continents on the planet. Almost all of Australia’s major population centers suffer water shortages from time to time, and these come hand in hand with sometimes severe water restrictions. This means that we need to do whatever we can to reduce our water usage, especially in our gardens – this is one of the core concepts of sustainable landscaping.
If you’re serious about creating a truly sustainable and environmentally friendly garden, water conservation should be at the front of your mind. I know how hard it can be to plan a garden that doesn’t use much water, so I’ve put together a few tips to help get you started:
Plant Drought-Resistant Species
Australia is full of beautiful native plants. In fact, we have some of the richest plant species diversity in the world. However, for some unknown reason, native plants aren’t very common in Australian gardens.
One of the best ways to reduce your water usage is to simply plant things that don’t need a lot of water. Most of our native plants are drought tolerant, which means that they only need watering occasionally – if at all.
Choose species which are native to your local area. They will be most suited to your local environmental conditions, and they will be the most likely to grow well and provide you with a beautiful, sustainable garden!
Think About Your Gardens Topography
Even the toughest species will probably need a bit of water from time to time if you want them to look their best. When you’re planning your new garden, you can make small changes to increase your water use efficiency.
For example, don’t plant a garden which is raised above a concrete path with no barrier to prevent water simply running away. Make sure that water is contained within garden beds, and that if it has to flow somewhere, that it flows onto another garden bed. Don’t install sprinklers that are going to spray water onto a road or veranda, and think carefully about where you plant certain species.
Make Sure You’ve Got Good Soil!
A lot of people don’t realise how important it is to have high quality, water permeable soil. If your soil is highly water resistant – which many Australian soils are – then you will find that water will probably just run off your garden beds, rather than soaking in. Add a soil improver to decrease it’s water resistance, and consider replacing at least some areas with a high quality soil.
Water conservation is a huge issue that we, as sustainable gardeners, have to be aware of. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to craft a beautiful outdoor space which is both environmentally friendly and water saving. Plant native species, think about your garden’s layout and consider replacing water repellent soils.
With increasing levels of awareness about the harmful effects of things like chemicals and cleaning products on both our physical and mental health, more and more people are choosing to eliminate as many chemicals from their life as possible. If you own or run a large building, you may employ commercial cleaners to keep it tidy, and you may be wondering if chemical free commercial cleaning is viable.
Well, the truth is that, in the modern world, technological advances and research have made chemical free commercial cleaning a reality. Although most commercial cleaners still use toxic cleaning solutions, they will usually be happy to go chemical free if you ask them to – especially if you tell them how to do so!
Why Would I Want To Eliminate Cleaning Chemicals?
Right now you might be thinking something along the lines of “Aren’t cleaning chemicals designed to keep things shiny and bacteria free?”. If you are, you wouldn’t be wrong. Most commercial cleaning products do their job just fine. They do keep things clean, and they do eliminate harmful bacteria and microbes. However, they can also have a lot of harmful side effects.
When it comes to fire protection, fire extinguishers are usually one of the first things businesses buy. Although you may not realise it, fire extinguishers actually contain an array of harmful substances that can cause significant environmental damage if not treated properly. They are also under pressure, and have the potential to cause severe injury. This means that it’s extremely important to dispose of used or unwanted fire extinguishers properly. Failing to do so can have significant environmental and legal consequences.
You Can’t Simply Throw Your Fire Extinguishers In The General Waste
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realise that fire extinguishers are classified as dangerous goods. They attempt to dispose of them in general waste or curbside collection. This simply isn’t possible, and you could find yourself in trouble if you try and do this.
Instead, you need to get in touch with a qualified, experienced fire extinguisher disposal service. Most fire safety companies will offer some sort of extinguisher disposal service, but you should be careful which ones you choose. Try and find a company who:
- Is committed to the environment. This means that they will make sure that your unwanted fire extinguishers are treated properly.
- Will recycle and reuse as many materials as possible. In many cases, unwanted fire extinguishers can simply be serviced or refurbished before being used by someone else.
- Has a reputation for friendly and professional service.
You may think that once winter hits and no one wants to go swimming, you’ll have less pool maintenance to do and can give your automatic pool cleaner a rest. Preparing your pool for winter is not difficult, but it is something that must be done, not just once but regularly over the winter months to ensure your pool water does not turn green.
Fortunately, in areas where the water doesn’t freeze, winterising the pool is much easier. If you have a pool blanket installed it will be even easier, but it still needs to be done, so there’s no getting out of it.
- The first thing to do before covering your pool is to make sure the water is still of good quality.
- Add a long-lasting algaecide so your water doesn’t turn green over the winter months.
- Remove all the sticks and leaves as they’ll stain the floor of the pool if left over the winter. This will need to be done regularly all winter if you don’t have a blanket.
Climate change, whether you believe it or not, has companies and manufacturers choosing to use more eco-friendly materials and products. The idea behind that is it helps to preserve natural resources for generations to come. Another result that stems from this decision is that there are reduced costs when using sustainable energy sources and materials.
Let’s talk Green Plumbing
What actually is green plumbing? It is an environmentally friendly and cost efficient plumbing service. By adopting green plumbing, you will reduce waste water, recycle used water and use eco-friendly and sustainable materials. Another aspect of green plumbing is the use of solar and wind power as alternate sources of energy to provide water.
By converting to a sustainable plumbing model water can be conserved as well as reduced in cost. Your worries over the summer months of water shortages, or no water at all, are greatly reduced.
Much has been written about how stress negatively impacts our well-being to the extent that it can lead to serious illness of both a physical and mental nature. In today’s world, one of the number causes of stress is worrying about money, so it seems logical to assume if we can alleviate our money worries we reduce our stress. For this reason, instead of rushing to their doctor for stress pills, many wise people are employing the services of a financial planner.
First things first…I am not suggesting that if you have a serious illness or the level of stress you are experiencing is extreme, that you should not seek medical advice. However, wouldn’t it be a wonderful feeling if you could ‘treat’ the cause of your stress (money worries) before it impacts negatively on your health? This is what a financial planner, such as Financial Planner Perth, would seek to do for you.
The same as: ‘Location is everything’ when we talk real estate, it also holds true for sustainable landscape design. A successful looking garden is going to need some very different elements to a garden in coastal Sydney. It all depends on where you are, your location, that determines the sensible use of local materials.
Some Common Denominators
Every landscape is unique. But to create a sustainable garden there are a few common aspects that apply. Things like:
- water usage
- native plants
- appropriate and well-designed irrigation
- the management of storm-water run off
- lawn reduction
are some of the elements to create a successful sustainable garden regardless of the customer or the climate.
The Right Plants
Whether the garden is built in Melbourne or Darwin, the main goal is to use plants that require small amounts of water. Just because you have drought tolerant plants doesn’t preclude you having a beautiful garden.
Saving on water costs makes simple, economic sense, especially in drought prone Australia where most cities have summer time water bans and restrictions in place. In cities like Perth, constant sunshine results in a lot of expense to keep high-maintenance gardens in top condition.
Even if you have a small business in web design or have some other talent that enables you to create and run a business there are ways to implement sustainability. Not only will you be doing your bit to help keep the environment safe and clean, you’ll most likely be saving money too, since so many such practices cause less wastage.
For instance, when your business can use less power and less water, the cost of paying for it is reduced. This is good news, especially when it doesn’t even decrease productivity. Once you decide to implement these changes it may not be so easy, especially if staff have to change their way of doing things. We are creatures of habit and habits die hard. Here are some tips to help ensure success.
- Keep programmes simple and easy to implement. If they have a health benefit or are fun for the participants all the better. For instance, one company implemented a wellness programme where participants could sign a non-smoker or smoking cessation affidavit at no cost, have an annual physical check-up covered by health insurance and take part in one wellness activity sponsored by the company, such as a charity walk, fun run or trail clearing in a National Park.
Every transport company carries many different kinds of goods and all are wrapped in some kind of packaging to protect them. As the world seeks to fine more sustainable packaging solutions for items that enter the freight system as do nearly all goods that are bought and sold, it is important to know why a certain product is considered sustainable.
Here are some of the reasons why bamboo is considered a sustainable raw product to make packaging from.
- Bamboo is a natural-resource that grows quickly. At about 2cm per day, it is hardly likely to become extinct, even though it is used to make many other things such as floors and furniture as well.
- It is strong, durable and also flexible, making it a good choice for timber floors, building boats and many other things, including packaging that needs to be flexible and strong.
- It is biodegradable, meaning it will break down in landfill or in the compost heap, making a great mulch for gardens.
- It is local to China where many goods originate from. Having the packaging supplies in the local area means that fuel in sourcing it and moving it to where it can be used is reduced. That said, it is also being grown in other countries now.
If you are looking for a way to increase your sustainability, you might want to consider just how eco-friendly shade sails are according to Shade Sails Perth. But not only do they help the environment through using less material than other building choices and by the materials being recyclable, they cost less than a regular building would.
Here are 5 ways to use a sail on your property that will not only ensure sustainability, but will enhance your lifestyle and add value to your home.
- If you don’t have a garage or carport for your car, adding a sail to the side of your home can be a solution. Sail cloth material also provides about 70% protection from rain, as well as the sun protection which varies depending on the material used. Since a car left in the sun constantly will suffer a lot of internal damage especially on the dashboard and back shelf areas, protecting your car will save you money in the long run.
The Transform Bar, by Hong Kong-based artist Kacey Wong, is a recycled wood hawker booth where you can grow wheat grass and Wong will make you healthy juices from fresh produce.
The Transform Bar footprint is only 3ft by 4ft (0.9m x1.2m), with wheat grass planters mounted on the exterior walls. The planters can be moved outside to provide more space inside the booth, display the wheat grass or to take advantage of sunlight to grow faster.
The wheat grass juice vendor blends apple juice and wheat grass, bringing awareness to our food source and extending art appreciation to the sense of taste and consumption. Healthy living choices go hand-in-hand with recycled sustainability.
Whether yours is a small web design business run by yourself, or a larger one with several employees, it’s important to understand what sustainability means for your business if you want to implement environmentally sound practices as simple as saving on electricity etc. There are three elements to be considered.
- Saving the earth’s resources. For business, this can mean simple things that are easy to implement, such as using LED lights, turning off lights when not needed – for instance, in meeting rooms or amenities blocks – using toner save mode on the printer and so on. There are many ways to save and often such practices save you costs as well. You can also choose to work only with suppliers or other businesses that follow similar practices, but this can get a bit more complicated. It all depends on how serious and dedicated you want to be.
The watchword today is sustainability and many people have chosen to live their lives with an awareness of how to save the earth’s resources at the forefront of their minds. According to the experts at Eline Fencing Perth, there are at least 5 eco-friendly options to choose that not only save the earth’s resource, but actually cost less when it comes to maintenance and replacement issues.
So what are these 5 options? Fencing contractors would tell you the following five are sustainable choices.
- Bamboo has the advantage of being pest and disease free, so no harmful pesticides, fungicides or other poisonous sprays are used in its growth. It grows very quickly – in some cases 90 centimetres per day, so is easily renewable. Styles available are reed or fence panels. It provides an attractive fence and background for your plants as well as some wind protection.
Everyone feels like a change of scenery after some time. Even the best homes will need to be renovated and updated after a while. Otherwise, they will start to feel dull, dreary, and uninspiring to be inside. The ideal situation would then be to move into a new home, perhaps one that is more environmentally friendly and efficient to keep running. But if you just don’t have the kind of money it takes to upgrade your entire home, or you are worried about the state of the economy, there are still earth-friendly home renovations that you can carry out on a range of budgets.
Deconstruction Beats Demolition
Are you planning to knock down whole walls, or perhaps even entire rooms and sections of your home? Maybe you’re planning to demolish the whole building and start from scratch. Even when going through such a drastic change, you can find ways to reduce waste. Look at the materials and sections of your existing home that could be kept and reused in your new home renovations. This is a great way to cut back on the cost of renovating, but it’s also the best way to look after the environment and make your new renovations green.
Sustainability is all about reducing your carbon footprint, saving the earth’s resources and creating less waste to pollute the planet. But it is also different things to different businesses, depending on the industry, markets, supplies needed and processes used to manufacture goods or conduct business. This makes an SEO company or digital marketing business one of the easiest to ensure office sustainability is practiced. Here’s why –
- Digital marketing is all about being online. This takes a minimum amount of power and there are not many other costs used to conduct business
- Clients are found online
- Suppliers are found online
- Products needed are few and they can be purchased online
- Your service can be done online
All this means that your business can be set up at home and this, of course, is the ideal way to conduct a business because you don’t have to travel, thus saving the cost of fuel and the need for a conveyance with all its other associated costs. Fewer cars on the road also saves on the wear and tear on roads and the need to constantly upgrade and renew them. While you may think one car won’t make much difference, there are plenty of other people who can work from home too, so it all mount up.
When summer begins to take hold, it becomes more important than ever to mow, water, and fertilize a lawn and tend to your Landscaping Sydney to keep it looking great. However, that green, luscious lawn that you might work quite hard to maintain is not the best thing for the environment. “Green” is not always green, in this regard. More often, all your labor and expenses wind up producing a lot of waste and having a negative impact on Mother Earth.
Here are six great tips for keeping your garden eco-friendly:
- Plant more trees. This tip comes with a multitude of benefits. First, you can create shaded spots in your yard without having to install a costly gazebo or extend your verandah. The natural appeal of your property can also increase when you plant the right types of trees. Strategically placing those trees can also help to protect some parts of your home from the heat of the summer sun. This will keep your power bill down as you won’t need to spend as much on keeping your home cool.
- Start a compost pile. You can start turning your house’s organic waste into a valuable source of nutrients for your yard. If you would rather not have one yourself, you can find composting services that will take your waste materials and turn them into compost for you. The resulting compost is wonderful for keeping your lawn and plants lush and green during the warmer months, and this type of mulch-like substance can also help to retain moisture without the need for more watering.
- Cut down on your water use. Much of the water use for the average household goes into landscaping and yard maintenance. If you don’t have one, consider installing a water-saving irrigation system that will also reduce a lot of your manual labor. If you do have one already, make sure that there are no leaks and keep an eye on how much water it is using.
- Upgrade your watering system. Consider installing a greywater irrigation system. These recycle water that is put down the drain in your home. While greywater is not safe to drink, it is considered safe for use in landscaping and to put into the soil. You can seriously cut down on the amount of perfectly potable drinking water that will otherwise be used for your gardening needs.
People looking for environmentally sound kitchens can start with eating things that are sustain-ably sourced, but that is not where you should stop. Using a range of cooking, cleaning, and even building methods that are low on resource consumption will help to keep the planet as healthy as possible. If you choose to use products that are free of harsh chemicals and made with renewable kitchen cabinets and materials instead, you can have a truly green kitchen that you will be proud of.
3 Quick Tips for Green Kitchens
- Electric or Gas Cooking? The choice between electric and gas can cause a lot of confusion. While natural gas is not a renewable form of energy, and it is drawn from the planet, the same can be said about most electricity that’s generated in the US. The same goes for a lot of other countries too. This comes from the burning of coal, which is not eco-friendly in the slightest. Many chefs prefer gas for cooking, making it an obvious choice. Since you can turn it on and off instantly, there is little waste there. If you prefer to use an electric stove and oven, go for one that uses induction technology. This uses electromagnetic power to transfer the heat right onto your pots and pans. Compared to a traditional electric cooking element, this will use around half as much power.
Have Plenty of Storage
If you really want to cut down on waste, and costs, buy in bulk when you can. This means that you’re going to need enough space to store extra cooking ingredients and other things. When you buy your food from the bulk bins at your local market, it means there is less packaging used in the process. On top of that, you won’t need to keep driving down to the store to buy smaller lots of food. This doesn’t just go for things that can be eaten either. You can buy your other kitchen products in bulk, like washable towels for cleaning up spills and wiping down your kitchen benches.
Cook in Bulk
According to kitchen designers Kitchen Professionals, many people don’t even factor in how they are going to cook when they’re working on a newer, greener kitchen design. Cooking large meals in bulk is so much more efficient than cooking just one meal at a time, especially if you are only cooking for yourself. It doesn’t use much more power, if any extra at all. However, you will need to have a kitchen area that can handle the larger pots and pans, and the extra washing up and preparation that comes with making huge meals all at once. You will need extra prep’ space, not to mention somewhere to store all of your extra food. If that means having a larger freezer, you’re going to need to consider how that will affect your eco-friendly kitchen design.
It is important to have as many offices using green practices as possible if we are to be serious about saving the earth’s resources. Even if you are only a small studio such as a web designer there are many easy ways you can achieve sustainability and reduce your carbon footprint. Here are just some of them.
- Use natural daylight as much as possible by choosing a room with a large window and locating your desk in a way that this can be utilised. Hint: don’t sit with your back to it as that will throw your shadow over your work. Facing the window can give you a glare headache, so sit at an angle.
- Use a computer monitor that is backlit so there is no light reflection on the screen from the windows.
A green wedding reception is not about colour, but about saving the earth’s resources. There are several really easy ways to ensure you practice sustainability with your wedding reception apart from hiring photo booths for paperless, chemical free photos. That is certainly a good start and will save on the cost of the photographer as well, but don’t stop there when there are heaps of other great ideas to implement.
Use one place
For instance, you can have the wedding ceremony and the reception at one and the same venue. This will save your 100 or so guests making the trip from one place to another. Think how much fuel that will save. You could also choose a venue that offers accommodation so that those guests who have travelled a long way to your wedding won’t have to make even more trips; they won’t even have to drive back to their separate accommodation after the reception is over. This is an especially good choice if alcohol will be available at your reception as it is for most, and if the guests are known to consume lots.
Saving on the use of electricity is not only a way to save money, but great for sustainability. Many people these days organise an electrician to install solar systems for their power needs, but this is still quite expensive and it takes a while to recoup your investment. If you intend to stay in the house for 10 or more years, that will allow you to recoup, but if you are planning to move soon, don’t go to the expense; you are not likely to get it back in the sale price.
However, there are many other ways to save on the use and thus, the cost of electricity and in doing so, you help save the earth’s resources. Here are some tips to help you.
Make Your Lawn Extra Green
When it comes to landscaping your garden having a green lawn isn’t all about how lush and literally green the grass is. It is lovely to have a well maintained lawn, and walking without shoes on over your well groomed turf is something special. However, with the dwindling amount of fresh water available on the planet, and the rising levels of harsh chemicals that are finding their ways into the planet and waterways each year, having a large lawn can be incredibly un-green if you’re not careful.
Choose the Right Grass
You might not be able to choose a native type of turf, but finding something that thrives in your climate is important. This will reduce the amount of special attention that your lawn needs, such as cutting and watering. For example, if you live in a particularly hot part of the world, choose grass that does not need a lot of moisture to stay healthy. Talk to someone who is an expert in turf, so that you won’t plant the wrong type of lawn and have to rip it up and start again.
Home removal companies are not traditionally known for their low impact on the environment. When you see those fleets of big trucks and think about all the gas they must use each day, it is easy to assume they are slowly and surely destroying the planet. Put those notions out of your head, as it’s a new era of green-friendly businesses. That goes for your local movers too. Of course, not all of them have changed to more eco-friendly practices. So, where can you start when looking to hire a green company for your home removals needs?
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
It is your right as a consumer to ask questions until you are satisfied that the job will be done to meet your needs. You will be spending hard-earned cash hiring a home removals company such as Brilliance Removalists Melbourne, so it is only fair to get what you want. And if that means hiring people who take the time and effort to show care for the planet we live on, then there is nothing wrong with that. The first step is finding a company that is fully certified. You should then be able to access their records to see if they have violated any safety laws or carried out any activity that is harmful to the environment.
Do you have a specific date in mind for moving? If you have a good reason for this, being flexible with your time and date might not be an option. Otherwise, don’t be stubborn about when you’re going to move. If you can let the movers fit you in when it suits them best, you might help to reduce waste that way. By allowing them to get the most of their driving time, slotting you in when they have other jobs in your area, you are making them use less gas.
Sustainability is not only about saving the earth’s resources, but also saving costs in business so it is well worth looking into. A transport company uses a great deal of fuel to transport freight around the country and this costs money, so finding ways to save on fuel will save costs, which may be even more important to the company than being eco-friendly.
Everyone wants to save on costs whether they are in business or not, but those who are running a business have a vested interest in doing so, since it can mean the success or failure of their business.
One way to save on the cost of fuel is to use less. You may think this would be impossible, but there are several ways to do so.
- Plot an efficient route – one that takes not only kilometres into account, but road surface conditions and steep versus flat terrain. Naturally enough, a shorter route may not save fuel if it is very steep.
- Truck maintenance. We often hear about trucks in poor condition having accidents. But less is heard about the cost of running a truck that is not properly maintained. It will use more oil and have more breakdowns requiring ever more expensive new parts and loss of time when trucks are not maintained as they should be.
When it comes to beauty and cosmetic surgery, most women have their favourite tips and tricks to ensure they make the most of their looks. However, you may not have thought of sustainability in the use of organic skin care and beauty products and practices. One good thing in making a few changes is that you’ll be avoiding some of those products that contain toxic ingredients, however small the quantity.
Whatever you put on your skin is absorbed into the body, so it’s wise to be careful with choosing only products that are organic. Here are some tips to ensure your beauty regime is as eco friendly as possible.
- Coconut oil is a product that can be used in many ways when it comes to both sustainability and beauty needs. It can be used as a deep hair conditioner, a facial cleanser and a shaving cream that nourishes the skin while it is being used. It can also be used as a deodorant – and to cook with.
Whether your office is for digital marketing or anything else, there are ways to make it green, not just in how you work, but in the physical aspects of the office. Here are some things you can look at and when it is time to replace or renew them, make sure you choose sustainable or green products that will both help conserve the earth and make your office a safer and more pleasant place to work in.
- Paintwork and other finishes. Make sure paint is free of toxic fumes that can waft through the office for everyone to breathe.
- Carpets often have similar toxic fumes to paint. If the smell of new carpet is strong in the morning it is not the best choice. Try it out with a sample at home before you choose one for the office. Choose a carpet made from natural fibres for the best result.
Most home swimming pools are a strange thing when you think about it. They are popular and inviting, but seem to stick out in the most unnatural way. They are essentially a large hole that is filled with water, where nothing living can survive for long after harsh chemicals have been used to clean the water. This is far removed from the swimming holes that earlier people use to enjoy. Do you ever stop to wonder if we needed to get so far from our natural way of swimming and relaxing in the water?
A new trend has emerged and it’s taking the world by storm. Green pools, which are also called natural pools, are changing the way that people look at the backyard swimming pool. You can have a pool that’s closer to the natural way, and create a private little oasis that isn’t going to destroy the world that you live in.
You would be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t looking for way to lighten their spending. Luckily, going green and being frugal are often directly compatible. So, take a look at some of these smart, forward-thinking ideas for extra green home removals by Brilliance Removalists Brisbane.
How Far Are You Moving?
If you really want to put the environment first, think about how much gas is going to be used if you choose to move to the other side of the state, or even the other side of the country. Many people don’t consider that their impact on the planet starts right from the planning stages, with almost everything they do. Do you really need to pick up and move hundreds of miles? Maybe you could find a place that’s closer that might be better. This is one method of reducing your carbon footprint that is so simple, many don’t even factor it in. Okay, it might not be practical to put your whole life on hold to reduce emissions and waste, but it is worth considering.