Be a friend to the environment – it helps make the world a healthier and safer place
This is the first in a series of short articles that aims to give some practical advice on how we can all live in an environmentally sustainable way to help protect our environment.
Making the world we live in a healthier and safer place, not only for ourselves, but more importantly for future generations.
In this article we look at tips on cutting down on energy consumption at home and reducing food waste.
Energy Saving Tips
- Be efficient and sparing with heating and cooling systems; install smart thermostats.
- Turn off lights when not using; install energy efficient globes; use LED lighting.
- Check that thermostat settings are optimised
- Unplug your appliances when they are not in use
- Buy energy efficient appliances with a good energy rating
- Do full loads of washing; opt for cold water washes rather than hot water washes.
- Insulate your roof or ceiling
- Double glaze windows
- Patch up gaps in the floor and around doors and window frames to reduce drafts.
- If you are able, swap from traditional energy sources to RENEWABLES e.g. install rooftop solar panels.
- Install solar hot water systems.
- Conserve water, take shorter showers, install a water saving head.
- Wear extra layers of clothing when it’s cold ; use an extra blanket when sleeping.
- Dry clothes in the sunshine.
- Cook up savings in the kitchen; make sure the fridge seal is airtight and use your freezer wisely.
- Have an in-home energy assessment to test effectiveness of appliances.
- Close curtains to keep your home cooler in summer.
Food waste is a major contributor in damaging our environment, because when food waste goes to landfill it decomposes and emits methane gas, a very potent greenhouse gas pollutant.
And it’s frightening that each year:
- Australians send 5.3 million tonnes of food waste to landfill, the equivalent of 220 kgs per person.
- Victorian households throw out 250,000 tonnes of food, enough to fill Melbourne’s Eureka Tower.
- 60% of the food we throw out is scraps.
- 29% of Australians leave 15% of their meal on their plate, when dining out.
We need to all work together to reduce sites like this.
Food Saving Tips
- Shop smart – to avoid buying more food than you need, make frequent trips to the grocery store every few days rather than doing a bulk shopping trip once a week.
- When supermarket shopping, avoid using plastic bags and wrappings.
- If possible, avoid pre-packaged products and carry reusable bags.
- Store food correctly – improper storage can lead to a massive amount of food waste
- Learn to preserve to make food last longer to reduce waste
- Keep your fridge, freezer, and pantry tidy – an overstocked fridge can be bad when it comes to food waste.
- Eat less meat as beef cattle are heavy emitters of methane gas.
- Try composting, turning food waste into energy, but remember in the first place it’s best to reduce the waste we create.
- Place food scraps in a Green bin for composting if the local council provides.
- Store leftovers in glass containers.
- Consider serving smaller portions.
- Incorporate leftovers into your next meal.
- Make delicious smoothies, be creative with the ingredients used,
- Making stock is an easy way to save on excess food.
- Using the freezer is a good method to preserve food.
- Keep track of what you throw away to prevent doing the same in the future.
- Donate excess food to food banks and farms,
- When dining out and not able to eat all on your plate, don’t be shy, ask for a doggy bag.
If you are interested in some information, here is a small list of resources that we have put together for you.
• Healthline, 20 Easy Ways to Reduce your Food Waste
• Documentary series War on Waste on ABC iView.
• 9 Ways To Reduce Energy Usage At Home from the Sisters of Mercy website.