10 ways to become more sustainable this year

The new year is always a good time to make a significant difference in our lives. Better eating, more exercise, quitting work permanently and practicing long-standing passions are popular options.

But while the decisions we make are sometimes shaken by temptation, our willpower may be better off choosing decisions that benefit the planet.

If you want to reverse a new green letter in 2022, try these simple steps, which can bring valuable benefits. Sure, you’re just one person, but the entire planet is made up of individuals whose better choices can form an influential community.

1. Avoid single use for the benefit of reusable products

The war against disposable and plastic products is underway. Many companies are responding to the call with reusable household products that claim to be better for the environment because they can help reduce waste.

Alternative materials

Aside from buying and using less, this could be the year you replace silicone or stainless steel straws and clothes with bamboo or cornstarch toothbrush, beeswax food foil and food cover instead of plastic foil (we list the pros and cons here). shopping bags, bamboo tableware for kids, compostable bins, period lingerie (we tested 10 brands to see which works best), or stainless steel containers, coffee cups and beverage bottles instead of disposable plastic products.

However, some of these reusable products end up in landfills, so it’s important to be aware of and understand the environmental impact of the items you consume before investing. For example, bamboo toothbrushes are a better alternative to plastic, but to take advantage of the ecological benefits, you need to throw them in your home compost (snap off the nylon bristles).

2. Invest in more energy-efficient heating and cooling

CHOICE experts spend many hours testing the heaters in the winter and the air conditioners in the summer to find out which appliances are the most efficient and thus better for the environment (and the pocket). You can view efficiency scores in our device brochures to find out which products are worth investing in as more sustainable choices.

But when summer arrives and winter arrives, it’s even better to avoid energy-hungry appliances and opt for greener ways to insulate your home from the elements.

A well-insulated home means a huge change in energy use, staying cool in summer and warmer in winter. If the ceiling is not insulated, consult a specialist to help install the insulation safely and effectively. In summer, shade your windows with shutters or awnings and install environmentally and wallet-friendly ceiling fans.

If it becomes scorching, turn on the air conditioner early, then close the well-insulated housing and turn off the air conditioner after it has cooled down. In the winter, you need to remove the draft, close the doors to shut off the heat, and cover the chimney. Here are 5 ways you can reduce your household’s energy use and carbon footprint.

3. Switch to a green energy retailer

We tend to forget that electricity is a retail business and you can safely buy it for the best deal and the best service provider. More and more people are starting to address the environmental impacts of different energy traders and see if there are better, greener options where they can invest their money.

Dr Rebecca Huntley, a climate change researcher and consultant, tells CHOICE that according to her research, about a quarter of Australians have considered making their energy supplier more environmentally friendly – although far fewer than a tenth of people have such a problem. he actually did.

More and more people are beginning to consider the environmental impact of different energy retailers and see if there are greener options

This may be because people don’t know how much of a difference switching will make, or because we suspect that energy retailers are “greening” us by making excessive environmental claims.

Even if you want to strive for a change, one problem is that there are currently no government guidelines or star ratings on green ratings for energy providers, so it’s hard to compare options.

A good starting point is the summary of the 2018 Green Electricity Guide, which lists the green ratings of 31 retailers. An update will be released in February 2022 (with a significant downsizing of Powershop recently acquired by Shell) so you can start surveying greener energy sources in 2022.

A more efficient shower head can reduce water waste.

4. Save water: more efficient shower heads and hand washing

We don’t need to be reminded in Down Under how precious water is. But if you find yourself shouting at your children, spouse, or housewives through the bathroom door to get out of the shower and stop wasting water, investing in a more water-efficient shower head is also likely to save water and sound.

It’s still a good idea to reduce shower time to four minutes, but with this simple replacement, you can reduce water anxiety. Check out our shower head buying guide for tips on buying a more efficient model.

You can also consider installing more water-saving taps or flow restrictors to reduce water use at home. Or try simple things like using a dishwasher instead of a hand dishwasher (yes, dishwashers consume significantly less water than a hand dishwasher!) And reuse the gray water in the washing machine. Find more water saving tips here.

5. Run a full charge and use cold water for washing

It seems common sense that we only operate the dishwasher and washing machine when it is already full to use less water and energy, but there are moments when our usual practice breaks down. Therefore, support yourself by involving other members of your household in your planet-saving measures and set some rules for when you should turn on your appliances. That way, someone else can hold you accountable.

Save yourself $ 136 a year

One such rule is to use cold water detergent for clothes where appropriate. Not only does it use less energy, which is better for the environment, but it also saves money. According to our calculations, switching from half a dose per day for a warm wash to a full load per day for a cold wash could save you $ 135.85 a year. And CHOICE experts say the difference in the cleanliness of clothes when washing in cold water is negligible, so it’s definitely worth replacing.

6. Reduce food waste in the kitchen

In Australia, 7.6 million tonnes of food are wasted every year, 70% of which is perfectly edible. Sounds like a great reason to consider reducing the amount of waste that contributes to that number.

If you take more time to plan your meals, pay more attention to expiration dates when buying ingredients, and buy only what you need, all of which can help limit the amount of food you can throw away at the end of the week. Efficient food storage is also very important to get the most out of it.

To kick-start new habits, CHOICE experts have put together 14 ways to reduce food waste at home, as well as a guide to keeping fruits and vegetables fresh.

7. Start a compost heap and an earthenware garden

Despite the best intentions to reduce food waste, you may find a strange bag of slimy spinach you forgot, or some squeezed berry. Instead of throwing fruit and vegetable leftovers in the trash where they are dumped, consider creating a compost heap or worm garden.

Green municipal waste is now being collected in many municipal areas, which is great if there isn’t enough space for a compost bin. But if you have a garden, you can also take the compost into your own hands. Composting at home not only means that the garden has nutrient-rich soil, but also recycles kitchen waste that could otherwise end up in a landfill, where it contributes to the production of harmful methane. Take a look at us how to control to start decomposing the compost.

Cut off the waste with a worm farm

Similarly, a worm farm can reduce waste and other compostable materials by up to 95%. These bastards in the strict sense are also a good project to teach children about sustainability. Just make sure you buy a large enough worm farm to handle household waste and don’t overeat the little boys.

8. Choose more energy-efficient kitchen appliances

If you finally pack your work refrigerator or any other household appliance during 2022, you will have the opportunity to choose a greener product.

Do your research to find the most energy efficient model (CHOICE reviews are a great starting point) and check out the eco-friendly options available. If you choose a greener model, you will also have to pay less for your electricity bill, so this benefits everyone.

9. Use non-toxic, environmentally friendly and rechargeable household cleaners

According to WWF Australia, Australians use an average of 130 kg of plastic per person per year.

If you’re looking for a way to reduce the amount of plastic you use, one of the easiest things you can do is switch to using refillable cleaning and body care products – and the market is constantly growing.

Australians use an average of 130 kg of plastic per head per year

Today, many brands offer reusable solutions, from supermarkets to several online boutiques. Some Woolworths and Coles supermarkets offer in-store filling stations, but these are still very few. Online brands like Zero Co sometimes offer postage-return envelopes to remove potential barriers to recycling refill bags, and some brands completely eliminate the bag by using a soluble tablet that converts water into a cleaning agent.

Whichever way you choose to reuse it, it’s certainly better to throw away a plastic bottle every time you run out of something.

10. Take more meat-free days and choose ethically

Choosing a healthy planet can often be a healthy choice for you too. So with this new 2022 custom worth taking over, two will get a one-size-fits-all deal for their determination.

Eating less meat, especially ungulates (red meat) and big fish (tuna, swordfish, etc.) can be a more planet-friendly choice and can be easily adapted to your lifestyle if you eat foods of plant origin at least once a week. .

Switching to a diet with less meat can also have health benefits such as weight loss and protection against heart disease and some cancers.

Our diet, due to our dependence on animal husbandry, requires huge areas of land and has led to deforestation and biodiversity loss. Hoofed animals in particular contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, while overfishing of the oceans has led to a sharp decline in the number of larger species that do not reproduce as fast as smaller ones.

Switching to a diet with less meat can also have health benefits such as weight loss and protection against heart disease and some cancers.

If you choose meat, try to buy the most legally produced and most sustainable products you can afford. If you’re still reluctant to quit burgers and spaghetti, check out these meat-free alternatives.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.