Suburban Sustainability You can do it!
At Wonderous Women we are passionate about creating a more sustainable world, where every woman can have a healthy supply of fresh produce, with no poisons or GMO’s that she can easily afford, in exchange for some forward planning and some loving care of her plants throughout the year. It is also possible to reduce our cost of living, by making more mindful decisions about how we set up our homes, and what we can do with our regular house blocks.
Through making some totally accessible changes, you can reduce your electricity bill per quarter, by around $200 or more. You need to approach this with baby steps, adding new features one by one, until you are experiencing the real savings. You can look at replacing all your downlight’s with LED lights, which can almost immediately cut your electricity bill in half! You can look at changing to solar power, for your hot water as well as your other electricity uses by putting the sun to work. For an extra investment you can add a new technology battery, to store your energy when the sun goes down. If you also get with your battery, smart deposit technology software; it will negotiate in the marketplace for you, by purchasing any extra electricity you may require when the price is cheapest and selling any surplus back to the grid when it is high.
Inside your home you should check for any doors or windows that let drafts in, and by using foam strips you can seal the gaps stopping heat being lost and cold getting inside. Glass looses a huge amount heat, so having curtains or blinds, acts as another layer of insulation, to prevent heat from escaping. Also in winter when it get’s cold as soon as the sun goes down, it’s important to draw the blinds as soon as it starts to go dark and make sure that you use sand snakes to block the gaps under all the doors. Insulation in the roof, walls and under the floor if you have a timber floor, is equally as important and well worth the added expense. With electricity costs set to go up again, these changes are well worth the effort, to keep financial stress well away.
Other types of changes you can make outside your place include thinking about the placement of outside items to create warmth in winter or block heat in summer. Think carefully about awnings on windows, or using a pergola on the hot side of the house. Also keep in mind which trees you choose, such as deciduous or evergreen. A deciduous tree can provide valuable shade in summer while letting in sun for heat and light in the winter. If you are building, always think of the orientation of your house on the block, try to have fewer windows facing the hotter afternoon sun, so in summer your house does not get boiling hot. Windows facing the morning sun brings in lovely light without the heat of the midday or afternoon sun.
You should get a water tank to collect run off from your roof, which will provide water for your gardens free of charge. If you can think about getting a high thin water tank and placing it against a wall of your house, it can also act as insulation for your house. Some raised garden beds are a valuable way to grow vegetables as they require no digging or back breaking weeding. If space is an issue, you might like to look at one of the many wall gardens available, where you can grow herbs, lettuce and strawberries. Planting some fruit trees around the perimeter of your yard will complement your food produce.
Adding a couple of chickens in a small coop, will not only provide you with eggs, but also with valuable manure for your garden. If you periodically put straw on the floor of the chicken coop, it stops any smell and adds to the compositing, as the chickens will dig it through regularly, ready to put on your veggies. Your chickens will also eat a lot of your vegetable scraps and so reduce your rubbish, and any extra scraps can go into some worm composting tubes which you can buy and burry beside your fruit trees, near the roots. Your veggie scraps can go into these tubes with the worms, which then eat the scraps and provide their own fertiliser direct to the roots of your trees!
So as you can see with a few thoughtful changes everybody can be sustainable, healthier, more environmentally conscious and make huge savings in the process. Win, win, win!