Welcome to the Zero Emissions House. Scroll over the image to see all the ways this family is saving emissions in their every day life. There are 20 to find. Can you find them all? Have we missed anything?
Eat your greens
Eat whatever is in season, use up leftovers and maybe even declare meat-free Mondays! If you haven't got space to grow your own, why not join a community garden?
Planting trees and land regeneration
Plant trees at your home or school and join your local bush care organisation.
Choose renewable energy
It only takes 5 minutes but it has a big impact. We've researched what's out there in terms of electricity suppliers and green power. While the major suppliers have 'green' options, they are still by far the biggest stakeholders in the fossil fuel industry, with coal and gas fired generation making up more than half their supply. The Greenpeace Green Guide of 2018 identified Powershop and Diamond Energy as the only 5 star suppliers of 100% renewable energy. We recommend the family owned, beyond zero emissions
Compost your garden waste and food scraps
You don't need to have a huge compost heap! You can use a compost bin and worm farm (which some councils supply for free), or try a bokashi bin. Or you can drop a bag of compostable food scraps over to your local community garden. Find your nearest one at Community Gardens Australia.
Recycle containers and paper
Take advantage of your roadside recycling collection to reduce your landfill to a minimum. Don't forget you can take soft plastics to a redcycle bin, located at most supermarkets.
Dry your clothes on the line
It's much cheaper than the dryer and they end up smelling so good. If you want that fluffy tumble dried feeling, put your towels in the dryer when they're almost dry for the same effect.
Invest in a heat pump.
It's the most efficient way to heat water. Find out more about this new technology at the Australian Energy Foundation.
Wash your clothes in cold water
It's as effective as hot water for everyday washing, and you'll notice the saving on your gas or electricity bill straight away.
Choose your appliances well
Appliances—such as TVs, fridges, microwaves and electric stoves or ovens—can together account for 30% of home energy use. Energy rating labels rate new appliances' energy efficiency. The more stars, the more energy efficient the product is compared to other models in its category, and the cheaper it will be to run.
For more information, see the Australian Government's rating site.
Install rooftop solar
Installing solar panels on your roof is a great way to reduce your emissions, and it has the added bonus that it will save you money, right from day one. Solar system costs have come down, interest rates are very low and attractive federal rebates are still available – the time to buy solar is now. Solar offers a return on investment of at least 15% per annum, which will pay back your investment in as little as three to seven years. After that you’ll be generating your own free electricity with high quality solar panels lasting 25 years or more. You can find out more here.
Hooray for the dual flush toilet! The dual system was first trialled by Japanese toilet giant, TOTO, in 1960, but it really took off when Australian sanitary ware designer Caroma brought out a version for the Australian market in 1980. Now dual flush toilets are fitted as standard in any Australian house. Of course, if you live in drought affected areas of Australia you may also have practise a more extreme water saving approach captured by the verse, "If it's yellow, let it mellow, If it's brown, flush it down." We'll leave that up to you.
Saving water in the bathroom
No, you don't have to commit to a 30 second shower under a cool dribble... There are many ways to save water, ranging from installing a water-saving showerhead to taking the no shampoo challenge. Even turning off the tap while you brush your teeth or shave your legs makes a big difference. Choice magazine has brought together lots of tips here. Remember, every drop counts.
Insulate your roof
Insulation in your home provides resistance to heat flow and lowers your heating and cooling costs. Properly insulating your home not only reduces heating and cooling costs, but also improves comfort.
Heating and cooling
Keeping your home not too hot and not too cold can be expensive, but there are plenty of ways to save money and emissions. Ventillation, ideally a cross breeze, makes all the difference in summer, and ceiling fans keep the air moving while using minimal energy. Shading your windows keeps the heat from radiating in. Finally, when it's getting too hot, or too cold, a reverse-cycle split-system air conditioner is the most energy efficient solution. If you run it on 100% renewable energy, it’s emissions free. The Australian Energy Foundation has more information here.
Switching to LEDs will help you reduce your energy consumption. This means you can expect to see long-term cost savings on your bills.For example, if you change 20 halogen downlights to LED downlights, you can save up to $210 a year on energy costs.Other benefits include reduced maintenance, because LEDs last longer than other lights. The NSW Government offers incentives to change your lights to LED but you need to use their approved supplier. Find more information here.
Get on your (electric) bike
This is a tough one if you have family overseas or you can't avoid travelling for work. Lonely Planet has some tips on how, if you have to fly, you can make your trip a little better for planet.
Be a Super hero
Does your super fund invest in fossil fuels? Moving your money to ethical and sustainable investments can have a huge impact for good. In fact, it's right up there with switching to renewable energy and putting solar on your roof. And we've done the research to make it straightforward. Just click here.
Zero Emissions Transport
How many ways can you think of to reduce your transport emissions? There's the bus, the train, there's car-pooling and ride-sharing. Or sometimes it's nice to walk.