You can do it in the kitchen, in the bedroom, in the bathroom or even in the veggie patch – if there’s a surface in the home, someone in the 3things community has found ethical and sustainable things that you can do with it to make the world just a bit better off. Whoever thought the humble home could sound so racy?
Most water waste - 49% of total household use - occurs in the bathroom. Here are some easy ways you can save water.
Install water efficient showerheads. By using these clever things, an 8 minute shower will see you using up to 90 litres less water than a regular showerhead. If you are unable to change your showerhead, cut that 8 minute shower in half and you could end up saving 80 litres of water per shower! For more tips, see the NSW government website or take the One Minute Shower challenge.
Also, think about switching your taps and faucets for eco-friendly ones. A small investment now will save water, energy, and money in the not-too-longrun. Find out how to get 'er done here.
By using greywater (the wastewater from your washing machine, shower, bath and basins) for things like your garden and toilets, your household could save up to 50,000 litres of drinking water every year! To find out how to install a greywater diversion device or a greywater treatment system and to see the ways greywater is used, visit Sydney's greywater website or the GreyWaterAction website.
Conserving energy means saving the environment and saving money. There are a few simple ways you can save energy.
Firstly, use the cold water setting on your washing machine instead of hot. Get your pants just as clean and pocket the savings. Lear more about your savings and benefits of washing cold here.
Secondly, switch to energy efficient, fluorescent light globes. Yes, they are a tad more expensive initially, but they'll pay for themselves in short order.
Also, you’ll be amazed at how much energy you can save by heat and cooling your home the smart way.
Eliminate, reuse, reduce, recycle, and reincarnate your waste.
You may remember cling wrap's usefulness in pulling together your sandwich in a nice bundle. However, many people are saying goodbye to this plastic to reduce the use of petro-chemicals and the waste they create.
Alternatives include plastic containers that can be used again and again. Just say “no" to plastic bags, plastic wrap, bottles, and the lot. Use reusable alternatives
instead. Here's a good place to start.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!
You can do it over and over and over again, and there are so many ways to do it!
Here'a fun example: Ever received a free map, calendar, or planner but never found a good use for it? Reuse it as wrapping paper before recycling it. Or, if it is made from newspaper-type paper, wet it and add it to your compost bin.
Compost Your Food Waste
Oi! Don't throw that in the bin - it's still good! Well, for the worms anyway.
Studies in metropolitan Sydney showed that the average household bin contains 11kg of garbage, with 5.8 kgs of that being compostable waste. 95% of this compostable matter was food waste.
Food waste in landfill decomposes and creates methane - a potent greenhouse gas. Methane is 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than the carbon pollution that comes out of car exhaust.
Composting, done correctly, can reduce the amount of methane that is produced, and that can help reduce climate change. Get started here.
A worm farm is also a terrific way to get rid of organic waste by turning it into nutrient-rich fertiliser for your garden .
You can also build a veggie garden to reduce your impact on the environment. Once you're growing your own food, you'll be buying less of it and reducing the demand for food created via processes that damage the environment. You'll also be reducing the pollution and greenhouse gases produced in transporting food.
So get going and start up your own veggie garden!
Watch Less TV
It’s hardly a stretch to say that TV shows have become the adverts for TV’s real show: advertising.
Wouldn’t it be great if we used our free time to get a little free instead of drooling in front of spots for cars, make-up, and junk-food?
If the TV is a member of the family at your house, try treating it like your Mum treats your older brother's girlfriend - with just a little bit of disdain and in smaller portions.
Turn it off and tune in.