In case you missed it, this week sees the first royal tour for newlyweds Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and it started in Australia. The Gold Coast has already received some feel-good publicity around the visit, thanks to the Duchess' choice of jeans. Her clothing choice came from a local designer who focuses on sustainable and ethical production.
It got us thinking about what we can do to make our Gold Coast properties more sustainable. Here are 5 things you can start doing without investing too much time or money.
1) Home composting
Australians throw away approximately 3.1 million tonnes of food waster per year, according to a report by the Department of the Environment and Energy, and that doesn't even account for commercial waste. However, when food waste goes to landfill, it increases greenhouse gas emissions.
Reduce your organic waste by starting a home composting system. If you don't need something quite as comprehensive as a full-size compost bin, a worm farm is smaller to manage and still produces good fertiliser. Similarly, a bokashi bucket is another space saving option which involves using microbes to ferment rather than compost. The end product goes straight into the soil in the same way.
2) Solar power
While replacing your roof tiles with large solar panels may be out of your budget, it doesn't mean you can't use solar power in other ways – especially given our naturally sunny climate. Lots of electronic devices can now be charged by solar power packs rather than plugged into the wall, and outdoor path and fairy lights are also available, saving the hassle of running cables outdoors.
There's even such a thing as solar paint, meaning your garage door or garden shed can be collecting power for you.
3) Saving water
Your hot showers may account for over a third of your annual power bills, according to a BTL report. Not only is this a pricey way to use water, it's also not very environmentally friendly. We're not suggesting you start skipping showers altogether, but making them short and snappy is an easy way to change your footprint. It's not just showers though, a hot tap that drips regularly could waste 1,000 litres of water per month – that's ten bathtubs worth of water.
Making sure that washing machines or dishwashers are full before switching them on, and using cold water where possible, are other easy ways to make your water usage more eco-friendly and reduce energy costs.
4) Eco-friendly lightbulbs
It's worth being on the lookout for any eco-friendly home products, but lightbulbs are especially easy to source. Eco-friendly products hold a high energy efficiency rating to ensure you're only using as much power as you really need to – it should be clear on the packaging. There are several types of eco-friendly lightbulbs on the market, and LED bulbs are particularly long-lasting while still emitting bright light.
Also, make a habit of turning off lights when leaving the room to save money and energy without even having to buy anything.
5) Keep the heat in or out
An average of 40 per cent of a household's energy usage goes to heating and cooling, according to government site Your Energy Savings. Luckily, staying warm isn't too much of an issue in the Gold Coast. However, when it does get chilly in the winter months, investing in thick, heavy curtains helps to stop the cooler air getting into your home via the windows. Draft excluders stop cold air entering under doorways too.
When it comes to keeping cool, prevent the sun from heating the house with window shades. Try taking advantage of any natural airflow to cool the house before turning to air conditioning. If you must use resort to appliances to keep cool, use a ceiling fan as well to move the cool air through the house, so you can turn the device off more quickly.
For your Gold Coast property search or management needs, contact the experienced team at Ray White Surfers Paradise today.