Element 27 and Sentinel believe that sustainability – or living “green” – is at the heart of protecting our future. Living “green” refers to the active choices you can make to minimize your negative impact on the earth. From ways to save energy and water to recycling already-used materials and actively buying reusable items, we can show you how living “green” can even save you some “green”.
This Sentinel Green Lifestyle Handbook is a room-by-room guide to your apartment, providing ways to save money while saving the planet.
In the Kitchen
- A clean oven heats up quicker than a dirty oven. Thaw foods to reduce cooking time.
- A dishwasher uses about ¼ the energy than washing dishes by hand and saves more than 26,497 litres of water each year!
- Opt-out of plastic bags with reusable shopping bags and pack lunches with silicone-based reusable storage bags.
- Avoid plastic by investing in reusable water bottles and mugs along with metal or paper straws.
- Meal planning for the week helps reduce food waste. Attend local farmers markets for fresh produce – eat healthy and also support your community.
- It is estimated that 50% of all greenhouse gases come from meat, dairy and egg farming methods, so try a more vegetable-based diet.
WHY? Not only will it taste better, but local food benefits the environment and wildlife. Well-managed small and local farms provide a sustainable ecosystem where they conserve fertile soil, protect water sources and help withdraw carbon from the atmosphere. It will also reduce the use of paper, plastics and shipping materials.
In the Toilet
- Pay attention to the chemicals in your everyday products.
Visit productsafety.gov.au to see toxicity ratings of regular household products.
Visit ewg.org to find out what chemicals and toxins are in your tap water, beauty products, cleaners, foods, etc.
- A natural air freshener can be made from one part white vinegar, three parts water and a few drops of pure essential oil – choose your favourite fragrance.
Consumer electronics play an increasingly larger role in your home’s energy consumption, accounting for 15% of household electricity use.
- Many consumer electronics products use energy even when switched off. Unplug electronics when not in use (chargers, radios, lamps, etc.).
- Most electronics (phones, TVs, cameras, DVD players, computers) can be dropped off at electronic stores for recycling.
COOL: Some manufacturers offer money towards a new item if you trade in your old electronic device.
- Bring batteries to a collections site, especially rechargeable batteries. There are stores throughout Australia that accept used batteries to dispose of sustainably. Never throw them away!
Clothing and Laundry
- Thrift store shopping is trendy and environmentally-friendly.
- Give your old clothes, furniture and household goods to community organizations that will give them a second life.
- Research your detergent: biodegradable detergents are a more environmentally-friendly option.
EASY: Washing full loads can save you more than 12,870 litres of water each year.
COOL: Switching to cold water can save the average household more than $60 AUD annually (with an electric water heater) and more than $45 AUD annually (with a gas water heater).
- When cleaning spills/stains from clothing, rub seltzer or club soda and soak in cold water.
- Spaying and neutering pets is important because it helps reduce the number of animals in shelters.
- A low-carbon diet is just as important in pets as it is humans; just like us, their food (specifically beef and lamb) significantly increases greenhouse gas footprints.
- Use poultry-based foods that do not have animal by-products or artificial preservatives (often chicken and vegetable options).
- Corn or wheat-based cat litters naturally clump and control odor while still preserving the earth.
Visit energy.gov.au/household-guides/reduce-energy-bills to see how you compare to similar households in Australia and for direct resources showing you how to reduce costs and usage in specific areas.
At Element 27
Element 27 strives to create a thriving, sustainable community for its residents. Here are the ways we focus on sustainable efforts throughout our community:
- Rainwater recapturing system
- Greywater recycling system for irrigation
- LED lightbulbs
- Window glazing
- Rooftop solar panels
- Electric car charging stations
- Trending to achieve 8 Star NatHERS rating and 5 STAR ABGR rating
Find hundreds of more ideas and easy solutions in our Sustainable Living Guide PDF.