Getting thrifty around the home the eco friendly way
With the cost of living going up by leaps and bounds every year, it’s no wonder people are learning to get thrifty around the home. From reusing basic everyday household items in innovative ways, to modifying your home to save on power, there are so many ways to be eco friendly around the house. Making small changes can save you money and save the environment!
Choose re-useable containers for food storage
Rather than using plastic bags, or plastic wrap, containers that can be re-used are a smart choice. These days, there are a range of BPA-free containers in a range of sizes and for different types of foods – solids and liquids – so they’re a lot safer too. Plastic takes a long time to break down, so the less plastic we throw out, the better for the environment!
Don’t throw out those silica gel sachets!
Mould can be a problem in humid climates. While there are moisture-absorbing products on the market, the costs can add up in the long run, as they have to be replaced every few months. For large areas, like closets, of course it’s ok to use those. For smaller areas though, like drawers, throw in a few silica gel sachets. Those sachets are inside vitamin bottles, tortilla packs and new shoes, amongst countless other things, so keep them and use them!
Put your old clothes to use
Instead of throwing out old t-shirts and singlets, cut them into pieces and use them as rags. It’s a lot cheaper than buying cleaning cloths. And a great way to use old jeans is to cut and sew them into squares, and fill with padding for unique pot holders you won’t find in stores!
Tidy up extension cords
Thread your extension cords through toilet paper rolls – that’s a nifty way to keep them organised and prevent accidents.
Shoe boxes can be used to store photos, documents, stamps – just about anything! It will save you having to buy storage boxes, which can be quite pricey.
The magic of vinegar
Rather than buying expensive (and sometimes harmful) household cleaners, make a 1:3 solution of vinegar and water to wipe down surfaces and keep your kitchen sink germ free.
Toothbrushes, baking soda and elbow grease
Old toothbrushes are a fantastic way to take care of some not-so-pleasant tasks like cleaning mould from grouting. Make a paste with baking soda and water, then scrub away. Cheaper and safer that using manufactured mould remover!
Use the right paint
More and more paint manufacturers are releasing weather-smart/eco-friendly paints. Using light colours is more the way to go, as they reflect heat, which is ultimately worse for your home and its contents, than the cold. This may not be the ‘thriftiest’ thing to do, but if you can afford to, it may be worth buying the highest quality you can afford – paint is a product where the more it costs, the better it is.
Fix your windows.
There may be gaps or cracks on and around your windows, letting cold air seep in during winter, or hot air gush in during summer. Close them up by caulking the exterior trim of your windows and repairing cracked glazing on the glass. If you have skylights, remember to check those too. By making these small changes, your heaters and air conditioners will not have to work as hard to compensate for the air exchange.
Clever landscaping is key
Trees and shrubs serve a double purpose. They can increase your property value, and they can decrease the stress on your heating and cooling systems. Deciduous trees on the north side of you house provides shade from sun in summer. Evergreen trees on the south and west of your house will provide shelter from the cold harsh winds in winter. Landscape wisely and you’ll benefit!
You see, there are so many ways to be thrifty the eco-friendly way. Some are about getting back to basics, while others take a little more effort, but are still worth your time. Get creative – what other ideas can you come up with? If you’re stuck, try the experts at www.australiansolarquotes.com.au.