Sustainable renovating – Good for the planet and your back pocket
Renovation trends come and go, but one we love to see holding on to the spotlight is sustainability.
It’s become a buzzword in almost every area of our lives, but the building and home improvement space has been championing sustainable practices for some time now. You’ve probably heard of all the obvious ones like solar panels and water tanks, and for good reason.
Turns out, planning your renovation with the planet in mind can actually help you achieve a far better return on your investment. So, to make your home a little greener, here are five sustainable additions you may not have considered (but definitely should).
Out with the old, in with the LED
While you’ve got a revolving door of trades coming in and out of your place, why not add a sparky to the roster? If your current light fixtures are looking a little tired and wreaking havoc on your power bill, consider upgrading to high-efficiency LEDs or CFLs (“compact fluorescent lamps”, in case you were about to Google it).
Invest in efficiency
When it comes to household appliances, the phrase “buy well, buy once” often holds true. A high-quality item can stand the test of time – it’s why so many of us are still using an older relative’s hand-me-down washing machine. But if you do need to upgrade, spending a little more upfront can pay dividends down the track, especially if you choose an appliance with an excellent energy efficiency rating. You’ll end up clawing back that extra money on your power bill in no time.
And while we’re talking about efficiency, don’t forget your water bill. Switching out your taps and shower heads for a water efficient option is a quick win that can save you up $175 per year on average1. If you’re renovating your entire bathroom, pay special attention to the water efficiency rating when choosing your toilet – all those flushes can add up fast.
Give your house a brain
Look, it is pretty cool to be able to control your lights from your phone, but connecting your house with smart technology gives you way more than just something to flex when your friends come around. Smart technology can dramatically reduce your energy usage, which is great news for your wallet and even better news for the environment.
Winter is coming, so be prepared
Australians like to pretend that it doesn’t get cold here, then every winter, we’ll run the heater around the clock for three months straight. The same goes for summer – we think we can handle the heat but end up draped in front of the aircon. If only our houses were built to maintain our ideal temperature…
The answer, friends, is double-glazed windows. They’re designed to keep the cool air in during summer and maintain that toasty warm temperature in winter.
If you have a green thumb, dedicate some space in the garden to growing some produce. You probably won’t be able to feed your family with your backyard harvest, but you might be able to cross a few items off your shopping list.
If gardening isn’t your strong suit but you’re still interested in building a more sustainable backyard, chat to a landscaper who has experience with native plants. Natives tend to require less water and are naturally more resistant to pests and diseases. And remember, variety is key to a healthy ecosystem so don’t be afraid to mix it up.
There’s a lot to consider when mapping out your renovation, but a few sustainable choices can put a bit of money back in your pocket and give you the greenest house on the block.