By Michael Phelan
Published: Thursday, December 30, 2021
Happy New Year! It’s tradition to make a resolution, a solemn promise to ourselves, to do something different in the coming months. However, despite our best efforts, this can be hard to sustain.
That being the case, have you ever thought about making it sustainable?
Not as some sort of maintained discipline, but in a ‘help the environment’ kind of way. Well, we can help you with that. Here are a few eco-friendly changes you can make to your everyday life that will help the planet and yourself at the same time.
Solar and battery
The benefits of solar energy are well-known. Using the sun as a renewable source of energy, solar panels emit zero pollution, cut down the reliance on fossil fuels and reduce the carbon footprint. Homeowners also save money on power bills. With the option of battery storage, you can be less reliant on your utility, which comes in particularly handy during blackouts. Even when the grid fails, your home will still have power. Batteries also provide reliable power without noise and air pollution and leave a smaller carbon footprint. RAA offers a range of solar products and packages.
Are you still using traditional fluorescent, halogen or incandescent lights at home? Then you might want to consider switching to a sustainable alternative that will also save you money. LED lights last up to 25 times longer, require less changing and maintenance, and have lower energy costs by reducing energy consumption. They contain no toxic elements and leave a smaller carbon footprint. What does that mean? Essentially: LED lights are environmentally and fiscally friendly. Don’t just flick the switch – make the switch! RAA Trade Assist will help you find a qualified professional to install your LED lights.
Zero waste home
Waste is a huge environmental issue. Reducing waste at home requires changes to your everyday behaviour, but there are some simple things you can do to put this into action. Fresh produce tastes better, so why not grow a garden? Plant a veggie patch in your backyard or, if you don’t have the space, use garden beds or good old-fashioned pots. While you’re at it, you might as well start making compost to help your organics grow. When grocery shopping, purchase seasonal fruit and vegetables and more package free food cuts. Eliminating plastic (especially straws and bags), conserving water, and recycling more efficiently are some other things you can do to cut down on waste.
Litter can hurt the environment if not disposed of correctly. Take your commitment to sustainability into the wider community through a range of environmentally friendly initiatives. ‘Adopt A Road’ and help keep your local area beautiful by picking up roadside rubbish. Similarly, you can help clear rivers and waterways of discarded items. KESAB run several clean-up programs, so it’s worth checking out their website to find a local group you can join. Community gardens and city farms also bring people together to grow food and learn more about sustainability. These initiatives help foster pride in your community.
In the future of mobility, electric vehicles are on the uptake by locals. A recent RAA survey showed that 40% of South Australian motorists would consider switching from fuel-based vehicles. Eco-friendly EVs run on a clean energy source, reduce your carbon footprint and emit zero toxic gas, drastically cutting down environmental pollution. So, when looking for your next car, you might want to think about buying an electric vehicle. Set up a home EV charger, which can be up to 10x more powerful than regular wall outlets, and guarantee you’ll be fully charged every day. Get in touch with RAA to have a home EV charger installed by a qualified electrician.
Our roads are choked with traffic. You can help reduce congestion and pollution by sharing a ride with others on the daily commute. If you live near work colleagues, maybe you don’t all have to head into the office in separate vehicles? Maybe you can just take the one car, picking up co-workers on the way (we’ll let you work out details like who drives, whose car to take and how petrol money is divvied up). Even if no one is going your way, there are plenty of carpool apps and online services you can sign up to for a ride-along.
Flexicar is a great idea but you might want to take it to the next level. How do you do that? By leaving your car at home. Start walking, riding your bike or catching public transport to get around. Talk about a double-whammy. Not only will you be helping the environment, you could also be improving your health by getting in some exercise. Throw in the bonus of saving on vehicle running costs and this is a win-win-win scenario.