Saving water should be a major plumbing consideration across the world. Countries globally are suffering from increasingly severe water shortages every year, and as global climates change these shortages are expected to affect more and more people.

Fortunately, there are numerous things that you can do to ensure you’re saving as much water as possible. We’d recommend speaking with your local plumber to ensure that you’re not using old, inefficient plumbing systems. However, there are also plenty of things that you can do in your own time to save water, including:

Using Water-Saving Appliances

Modern appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines are becoming increasingly water-efficient. If you can afford it, we’d recommend upgrading to a more water-efficient appliance as soon as possible. You might be surprised by just how large the water savings actually are.

Install a Low-Flush Toilet

Similarly, low-flush toilets are becoming increasingly efficient as well. Although they became increasingly popular around twenty years ago, many people were put off from using early models because they didn’t always work as well as traditional toilets.

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When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But you can also make a lot of other things, as well.

According to expert cleaners Gleam Clean WA, believe it or not, lemon trees are one of the most common fruit trees in the average Australian’s backyard, but not everyone is using them to their full potential – such as for sustainable cleaning, crafting, and cooking. Read on to learn how underutilised your lemon tree is.

Clean Your Microwave

It can go against every fibre in your being to use a multi-purpose spray solution inside something that heats your food. You might think it’s the only way to clean your microwave, but lemon is sitting right in front of you, ready to take the reins.

Slice lemons in a bowl of water and microwave it for up to ten minutes. Once you remove the container, use a washcloth or recycled paper towel to wipe out the food mess. Your microwave will be lemony fresh for as long as you need it.

Carpet Cleaning

To assist with your carpet cleaning, you can mix lemon juice with a small amount of water. Scrub it into the area using a clean cloth. Then rinse the specific area and then wipe the lemon juice away using a steam cleaning machine with some detergent. Leave it to dry and then the smell should have disappeared.

Cleaning Your Clothes

Okay, so lemon doesn’t really clean your clothes, but it can certainly offer a new brightness. If you want to steer away from manufactured products in favour of sustainable cleaning products, then try lemon as a brightening and whitening agent. A small amount of lemon juice to a load of whites can have more of an impact than you think.

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In a world that’s far more aware of the importance of sustainability, it can be a challenge to get to grips with marketing jargon. You want to make sure the products you purchase are safe for the environment, but how do you understand the various terms that describe if it is or not?

Three terms you will see thrown around quite a bit are: compostable, degradable, and biodegradable. Do they mean the same thing? Are they different? Is one better than the other? Read on to learn what these three words mean, and if you should be using any product labelled with any of them more than the other.

What is a Biodegradable Product?

Something biodegradable is the epitome of sustainability. It means that the item you have just bought can break down into the natural environment through natural elements and organisms.

The way in which they biodegrade can make all the difference as well. If they use water, organic material, and carbon dioxide, they are breaking down without doing any harm to the environment.

Most products that boast a “biodegradable” label feature sustainable materials and plant by-products.

However, how you dispose of your biodegradable product can matter more than you might think. In a landfill environment, it may not be able to break down while being buried under tonnes of trash. The best way to dispose of such products is by sending them to a recycling plant.

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It is easy to understand the ‘why’ when it comes to watering the plants in your garden. However, the ‘when’ and the ‘how’ are often the most misunderstood aspects of the practice of gardening. This can literally make or break your garden. Therefore, it is best to understand what reticulation practices are good, and what methods spell disaster.

Tackling the ‘when’ –

Truth be told, professional landscapers tell us that there is no right time or wrong time to water your plants. The ideal time depends on a number of factors such as the climatic conditions in the area concerned, the type of plants that need to be watered, the kind of soil they are planted in, and a number of other criteria. A little trick to work around this arbitrary situation is to check the soil.

The consistency required to determine if the time is right to water your patch is somewhere between moist and dry. The right balance has to be struck between these two states. The mud has to be moist enough to form a consistent ball in the fist of your hand, but also loose enough to fall apart when you drop it. If you have plants sheltered in a nursery, over time, you get better at determining just how heavy or how light the soil should be when it is adequately watered.

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If you are a small business who uses a transport company to deliver small items of freight, there are many ways you can be sustainable and save your costs as well.  Many businesses also receive goods such as supplies, so they will have various kinds of packaging to dispose of. While it may be sent off to the recycling centre, it could be a better option to keep it and re-use it for the packaging needs of your business.

Recycling packaging for your business will save in many ways.

  • It saves on the cost of purchasing more packaging
  • It saves on the cost of disposing of it in some other way
  • It saves on the cost of fuel in having new packaging delivered to your business.

While the latter may not be saving your own fuel costs, it still helps to save the earth’s resources.

You may think that being, in effect, your own recycling centre will take up more room, you would still have to find storage for the new packaging materials if you purchased that. This room can be utilised to store recycled packaging just as well.  It is possible to flatten cardboard boxes so they don’t take up too much room. If you store them in piles according to size, it will be easy to find the right ones for your needs.

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With solar panels becoming ever more popular in Australia, anyone with Colorbond roofing or who is thinking about getting one will want to know whether it is okay to put solar panels up on such a roof. The simple answer is yes, but there are certain things you should be aware of before you start.

For a start, only allow a professional tradesman to do the work – and make sure they have a good reputation. Unfortunately, there are professionals whose work is nothing short of shoddy and who just want to get the job done quickly and go – after getting paid, of course. Choose someone who is proud of their standard of work and cares about doing the job properly.

When walking on any roof, but particularly on Colorbond, you should wear shoes with soft soles that will not scratch the surface of the paint. In addition, it is important to tread only on the top of the corrugations, never in the bottom part, especially if you have chosen a profile with a wide pan or valley.  The top curve is the strongest part. It is also wise to only tread where the steel sheeting is supported by the timber frame underneath.

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Our world today is full of freight being sent across the city, the country or the ocean. Altogether, it accounts for a great portion of fuel use, environmental emissions and energy use.  Not every transport company seeks to find ways and means to be environmentally friendly, yet it can actually reduce costs and make their business a great deal more efficient.

Determining the strategies for sustainability are not difficult. There are many ways in which packaging can be optimised.

  • Analyse the shipping weight of various containers. Both crates and packaging materials add to the total weight. The more the packaging weighs the more your goods cost to send and the more resources are used to carry them to their destination.
  • Look at shipping densities. Empty space that could be filled with more goods is costing the company in terms of wastage. One large box that is not filled to capacity costs more to send than one of the right size, due to oversized rates and the fact that more could be sent for the same amount of fuel used if that space was reduced.
  • Observe the damage. There is always some wear and tear on boxes and crates. You need to find the fine line between damaged goods through not enough or the wrong type of packaging, and absolutely no damage to the box or its contents, which might point to over-packing that costs more than necessary.

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There are multiple ways to make your car’s exhaust system more friendly for the environment. It depends on the parts you select, the fuel you use, and your own conservative mindset as a driver. The following methods can all be used to create a more environmentally friendly vehicle for the road.

Use an Eco-friendly Catalytic Converter

Catalytic converters are an essential part of your car’s exhaust system. They utilize a catalyst comprised of precious metals, which react against the harmful exhaust gasses. These gases are converted into water through the catalytic converter and then expelled from the vehicle.

This is the process of a catalytic converter for virtually any modern car, but if you want an especially environmentally friendly converter, you can buy a new model which lasts longer and boosts a vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Environmentally friendly converters enhance the oxidation process, reducing the amount of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides emitted.

Burn Fuel Wisely

You can make your car more environmentally friendly simply by being more conscientious of the fuel you use. One easy way to do this is to buy a vehicle that has a high fuel efficiency rating. You can also be conscious of the fuel you’re using by keeping your vehicle well-tuned and your tires at full inflation in order to reduce exhaust emissions.

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When does a streetlight stop becoming something ordinary and turn into a self-sustaining work of art? Apparently, once it finds its way to Japan. Outside the Panasonic Center in Tokyo, one is greeted with several streetlights that incorporate both solar and wind energy systems. The design is called a ‘Seagull’ and takes advantage of light during the day to store energy for night; while producing electricity to push back into the grid thanks to the wind. The vertical turbine on this pole doesn’t appear to require too much wind to turn. No idea what the payback on this might be, but it’s certainly cool to see it in motion.

53 year-old Eddie House was proud of his efforts to reduce his waste. Being concerned for the environment, the single bachelor found that his sustainable habits left him with near-zero garbage. With nothing left to throw out that couldn’t be recycled or composted, he did what any individual might do to go the next mile: canceled his garbage service. As a reward for reducing his impact on the planet, House received a lawsuit from the San Carlos Deputy City Attorney claiming he was in violation of not maintaining garbage service. Wow. From the article,

The lawsuit claims House broke the city’s municipal code requiring all residential, commercial and industrial properties to contract with Allied Waste for pickup at least once a week — a standard requirement in most cities, San Carlos Deputy City Manager Brian Moura said. “It’s just me and my dog, so I don’t have a whole lot of garbage to begin with and I recycle everything,” he said.
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