Strathbogie Shire Council

Tel: 1800 065 993

Living Smarter

Top 10 tips for the Climate-Smart Strathbogie resident

As many residents know, it's not always easy being green. As with most things, there are some constraints - but also a great many opportunities.

Here are our top 10 tips for aspiring green residents desiring a more sustainable lifestyle:

1. If you're in the buyers' or renter's market - look for a north-facing building or one with good sunlight to living areas. Orientation is important because external modifications, like awnings, may not be allowed by body corporate rules if you rent, and your energy use will be highly dependent on solar access to the property. Head to the Your Home website for one of Australia's best information sources on greening up your home.

2. Reduce, reuse, recycle - Strathbogie Shire residents send 1056 tonnes of waste to be recycled every year. Being organised and systematic about how you purchase can reduce your plastic footprint - maybe even to the level of zero waste styler Erin. Check out her website The Rogue Ginger.

3. Grow your own food - Methane from food waste is the most potent form of greenhouse gas from households, and outstrips energy use as our biggest pollution issue to solve. Homeowners and renters can set up worm farms and cmposting units to transform their organic food waste, literally turning 'rubbish' into rich, fertile garden goods. Strathbogie Shire also has a food waste pickup integrated with their green bin system where residents currently send over 1300 tonnes of their food and green waste every year. Try some permaculture in pots on your balcony or window sill and explore My Smart Garden for tips on container gardening and free workshops. Wicking beds on wheels are also fantastic for a water-saving, mobile garden.

4. Do a DIY energy audit - audit your home's 'energy fitness' including lighting, insulation, window coverings, heatings, cooling, ventilation, hot water and appliances. Recent extensive studies by Sustainability Victoria of Victoria's older housing stock showed buying efficient appliances had the greatest bang for buck for householders - over and above difficult retrofits of soalr, insulation etc. This suits renters and those of us with a little less 'disposable' income very well indeed! Look for the Energy Rating here, where you can look at the credentials of appliances.

5. Organise your e-waste - what do you do with your batteries, phones and lightbulbs? Council accepts e-waste and other recylables at its Euroa, Violet Town, Nagambie and Avenel transfer stations. For more information, visit our Waste Depot page to find out where they are and more info.

6. Improve your indoor air quality - That 'new' furniture smell is often not so good for you, as the source is usually chemical emissions from synthetic materials. A clean air study by NASA some years ago found that a wide variety of large-leafed plants can filter unhealthy emissions from the air.

7. Assess your curtain situation - windows can be one of the biggest drains of warmth and cooling in the home with heat generally twice as able to pass through glazing as it can through insulated walls. You can vastly improve your energy use by prioritizing windows of rooms where you do most of your living, and putting up thick curtains with a floating 'pelmet' to keep the cold/hot air behind. Congratulations - you now have 'double glazing'!

8. Zone your home - professional home energy raters use a program developed by the CSIRO to zone each room according to its use, design, and thermal properties. But you can zone artificially by opening and closing doors and windows to rtain warmth and cooling, and train breezes in summer to enter and exit rooms by opening specific windows/doors to engage flow. Go to My Home to learn more.

9. Get back to basics - like a clean aprtment but loathe the fumes and the thought of pouring chemicals down the drain? You can make your own natural cleaning products using ingredients like baking soda, lemon, pure soap flakes, salt, and white vinegar. All have great cleaning properties - and won't make you dizzy!

10. Stop those draughts - people in all types of dwellings throughout history have had to deal with draughts. These days you can buy simple products like door snakes, or adhesive door and window strips to seal up the air gaps. Draught proofing can improve your comfort and energy usage enormously, especially if you live in an older property.




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