TAKE2 Victoria’s climate change pledge
TAKE2 shares tips to take action on climate change and help keep the global temperature rise under two degrees.
1. Grow your own food to reduce food miles
If you have fruit, vegies and/or herbs growing at home, it means less food will travel from a farm or market garden, to a distribution centre and then to shops before you buy it and bring it home. Growing your own produce is also convenient, fresh, (can be) organic, and cheap, once your patch is established.
Some local councils run workshops on growing your own produce at home or there may be a community or eco-centre near you offering guidance.
2. Start a compost heap
Rather than throwing away food scraps, start a compost heap. It's a DIY job most of us can manage for very little cost. As a result, you'll send less rubbish to landfill and provide fantastic nutrients for your soil and plants. You can also use green waste from your garden, like lawn clippings and small prunings, in your compost. Get more information on starting your own compost heap here.
3. Use LEDs
One of the easiest, planet-friendly DIY jobs around the house is replacing incandescent (the traditional, original light bulb) and halogen light bulbs with LEDs. LEDs cost more to buy but last longer and cost a lot less to run because they use less power, which of course is good for the planet.
In Victoria, you can make the switch to LEDs for less through the state government's Energy Saver Incentive.
4. Install blinds or awnings
Every square metre of glass the sun shines through is like turning on a small bar heater inside your home! So, shading windows with internal or external blinds, shutters or awnings can be a very effective way of keeping out the heat in the hotter months.
External shades have a bigger impact than internal blinds or curtains as they prevent the sun hitting glass doors and windows and heating up your home in the first place. You don't have to get expensive, tailor-made and installed awnings, although they are very effective. If budget's an issue, take a trip to the hardware store, pick up some heavy shade cloth and DIY. If you're renting, chat to the landlord or property manager before doing any DIY.
Internal blinds and curtains need a pale lining to reflect the heat back towards the windows.
5. Draught seal your home
Given nine out of 10 Victorian homes have gaps that let in draughts, there's a good chance you need to draught seal your home. Gaps around doors, windows, chimneys, heating and cooling vents, and even kitchen and bathroom pipes can let in cool air during winter and hot air in summer. Again, if you're renting, speak to the landlord or property agent before taking on any DIY projects.
And if you want more free advice about creating a climate-friendly home, join TAKE2.
Bank Australia is a founding partner of TAKE2 – Victoria's climate change pledge. You can pledge too at TAKE2.