This year a number of Bank Australia customers opened the doors to their home for Sustainable House Day. The event, held on Sunday 11 September, offered those who are planning a sustainable renovation, upgrade or build the chance to learn from those who have done it all before.
We spoke to some of our customers who opened their homes to ask for their top tips on ‘easy wins’ for those starting out on their sustainable journey.
Clare and Win from Victoria’s Glenhope, recommend starting your own vegetable garden as a first step.
“Even if you live in a flat, grow some bean sprouts in the kitchen and some herbs on a windowsill. If you have more space, think about the veggie garden sustaining you all year round.”
They recommend thinking bigger than lettuce and tomatoes or, trying a range of varieties of those vegetables rather than sticking to one type.
Jenny and Ed from Melbourne’s Clifton Hill offered the following tips: seal the drafts around windows and doors, insulate your ceilings, switch off appliances when you’re not using them and buy more energy efficient equipment when you’re replacing things in your home.
They also suggest simply dressing for the weather and turning your heating down rather than heating your home excessively during the cooler months.
Janine, from Melbourne’s Warranwood, says that orientation is one of the simplest ways you can make the most of the natural assets of your home and live more sustainably.
“Buy the best block of land not necessarily the most expensive, but ensure it is well orientated to receive the northern sunshine, particularly in southern Australia. You can then have a home designed to maximise the orientation, by placing living areas on the north,” Janine said.
She also recommends insulation, double glazed windows, air sealing of gaps around door frames and celling fans rather than air-conditioning as straight-forward ways to start on your sustainable home journey.
If you’re interested in renovating or upgrading your home with some sustainable features consider checking out Sanctuary magazine, produced by the Alternative Technology Association (ATA).
Sustainable House Day, another initiative of the ATA, is proudly supported by Bank Australia.