Beyond 9 to 5: Energy and water efficiencies

Did you know? According to the Queensland Council of Social Service, a typical household now has around 70 electrical appliances.

Less than 3% of Earth’s water is freshwater and only a portion of that is accessible for consumption.

Whether you are on or off the grid, fully renewable sourced or somewhere in between, there is something that every household can do to be more energy-savvy and water-wise. Below are a few ideas to get you started, brought to you by the CQUni Sustainability team.

Save money while helping the environment

Most of Australia’s energy still relies on traditional sources – non-renewable fossil fuels, with coal and gas accounting for about 85% of electricity generation. Similarly, most of Australia relies on the rain for its water needs and a small portion of the population rely on desalinated water.
Saving these scarce resources not only reduces the impact on the environment but also saves money in bills.

Easy ways to save energy and water

When using air-conditioning, make sure the room/area is enclosed by shutting doors and closing windows. You can use window and door draft stoppers to seal off any gaps. In summer, close curtains and shade windows to keep the heat out. Remember to keep air-conditioning set to 25°C in summer and 18°C in winter.

Some other ways to save include:

  • Consider drying your laundry in the sun, rather than an electric dryer.
  • If you have a second fridge and it’s not frequently in use, switch it off. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll save!
  • Use a shower timer or play a song to take a 4-minute shower. Use the half-flush option on your toilet and turn off the tap when you brush your teeth.

Star ratings explained

Products are given a rating between 1 and 6 stars. You might have seen them on items like your washing machine for example. Basically, more stars means more savings. Replacing old whitegoods with new energy-efficient products will save you in the long run.

Install 5-star Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) water restrictors on taps to save precious drinking water.

Water-wise outside

To save water, avoid watering outdoor areas in the heat of the day or when it is windy, and consider rainwater and greywater for yard use. You can also use mulch in garden beds to help retain soil moisture.

Plant drought-tolerant natives and group plants according to their water requirements.

Reduce evaporation from pools and spas by using a properly fitted cover.

There are so many helpful resources available to assist you to be more energy-savvy in your household. Check out some of them below:

This blog was written by the CQUni Sustainability team for their ‘Beyond 9 to 5’ series.

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