If you ever needed more of an incentive to go green than your guilty conscience, this is it.
Being green won’t just make you feel like you’re doing your bit for the environment, it’s also likely that it will fatten up your wallet while you’re at it. Australians reportedly spend around $15 million on gas and electricity bills every single year, but according to a Beyond Zero Emissions study, most of this could be wiped out just by going green.
Electricity makes up a large portion of your household expenses, so it’s a good place to start by looking at your power usage to cut costs.
Your average 60-watt incandescent light bulb glowing for eight hours per day burns through 480 watt hours’ worth of energy, whereas a compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb (the curly ones) uses just 120 watt hours in the same time. LED bulbs use less than 100. Spread out throughout a house, it’s easy to see how switching out those outdated incandescent bulbs could save you loads off your electricity bill.
In dollar terms, that’s around $5 a year for a CFL bulb, and around $24 a year for a normal one. Even though CFL bulbs will cost you a few extra dollars at the check-out, just remember the savings you’ll make when that power bill turns up in the mailbox.
Have a look at your appliances as well. It’s unlikely you’re going to go out and buy a brand new suite of home appliances, but next time your washing machine or fridge need updating, keep in mind that these machines can be a drain on energy. On the other hand, old appliances can also chew up more energy than newer, energy sufficient models, so shop around to ensure that your purchase will help in the long term.
A handy tool is the government’s appliance comparison website, where you can compare energy use from different machines to find out which models suit both your budget and your eco-goals.
If in doubt, think of the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle mantra – in that order. It’s best if you can reduce your usage, but failing that, reuse old things and recycle anything you can’t keep. This will help to keep those household disposal bills down too.
What about those old mobile phones and laptops you have gathering dust? Many of the materials in these types of electronic devices can be melted down and used for other products, and if simply thrown away, can cause damage to the environment. We understand that as a large corporation our environmental footprint is our responsibility, which is why BOQ also recycles old mobile phones and computer equipment.
If you live in a home which also has a garden, your options for going green multiply! From growing your own herbs, fruit and vegetables, having a water tank, to creating a compost heap; you not only gain the satisfaction of literally putting food on the table, but save money at the grocery store at the same time. As an added benefit, tending to your garden also has positive effects on your health and wellbeing.
Do you have any eco-friendly home practices that help save money?