All GemLife homes are six-star energy rated and feature a host of eco-friendly standard inclusions, providing a good start for living sustainably. With Earth Day taking place today, it’s the ideal time to make a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle that can have a big impact on your environmental footprint, without a lot of time and effort.
Get started with these ten tips for sustainable living.
- Reduce your food waste
Reducing food waste is not only good for the environment, it also cuts grocery bills. The average household throws out over $2,000 worth of food every year. This waste food ends up in landfill and can create greenhouse gasses as it breaks down. The Love Food Hate Waste campaign offers tips, advice and recipes to help you avoid food waste in four easy steps.
- Use reusable cups
Australians consume more than 50,000 cups of coffee every half hour, and an estimated 3 billion takeaway hot-drink cups every year. Unfortunately, most of these cups, which are made from virgin materials rather than recycled paper, cannot be put in kerbside or workplace recycling bins. Instead, take a cup with you or have your drink to stay.
- Be water efficient
GemLife homes use water-efficient adjustable multifunction showerheads to help you save water, energy and money. To learn more about saving water at home, click here.
- Reduce heating & cooling needs
GemLife homes are clad with Hebel, a high-performance building product with superior insulation qualities, keeping homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Double-glazed windows at our GemLife Woodend resort give extra thermal benefits during Victoria’s winter months. When heating and cooling are needed, ensure maximum efficiency by keeping the temperature at home between 18 and 20 degrees in winter and 25 to 27 in summer.
- Say no to straw & plastic bags
Australians use around 10 million plastic bags every day, contributing to a staggering 8 million tonnes of plastic dumped into the ocean every year. Plastic straws, one of the most common items found on beach shores globally, are also a big problem. This plastic fills our landfill, harms wildlife, and can take lifetimes to biodegrade. Bring your own bags with you when shopping and buy metal straws.
- Buy Australian-made
When we buy imported goods, we contribute to pollution because of the vast distances these goods travel. Buying locally or Australian-made means less climate-harming pollution. Wherever possible, GemLife works with Australian businesses, with a significant percentage of products being Australian-made, such as concrete and steel pipes and shower screens. GemLife also employs local fencing, concrete and landscaping contractors, providing employment for the local community.
- Walk, bike & use public transport
Walking and cycling are good for your health and the environment too. Think about walking or cycling to work or the shops to reduce carbon emissions and boost your exercise regime. If that’s not possible, think about taking public transport or carpooling.
- Energy-efficient lighting
GemLife homes feature energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) throughout, including LED strip lights in the garages. LEDs cost far less to run than halogen and other incandescent lights. Think about using LED light bulbs for your desk and floor lamps too.
- Go paper-free
Going paper-free will reduce clutter in your home and save trees. Nearly everything from your phone bill to your credit card statements can be viewed online. Contact your banks, utility providers and other service providers to go paperless. Switching to recycled toilet paper is a good idea too.
- Recycle & dispose of waste properly
Recycling can be a bit confusing but you may be pleasantly surprised by what you can recycle or dispose of safely. From smoke detectors to televisions, let’s make sure nothing goes to landfill unnecessarily. Contact your local council to find out what other products are accepted.