I would love to install solar panels. The cost of it doesn't really worry me, but my husband refuses to buy them because they're not value for money. Sometimes I think, shouldn't we all be doing our bit for the environment? Despite the cost? Before June 2009, you could get $8000 back in rebates for installing a solar energy system under the SHCP (Solar home and communities plan). But the government dumped that and is in the process of replacing it with solar credits. Which is good because that is not means tested (the original one was). So I would love to get a 1.5kW system on my roof - but that would cost me about $16-17K. That's not including rebates. Or any money I would get from putting energy back into the grid.
At the moment this is a very energy inefficient household. We use about 21-27kWh per day, and the average house uses 16kWh. There are a number of things which contribute to this!
- Computers - our computers are on A LOT. I love my computer. I do run 2 LCD monitors off mine and my husband has his one as well.
- Ducted air conditioning - though we did our best to buy what we thought to be the most energy efficient on the market (Advantage Air) it still uses a lot of energy. And we spend a lot of time warming/cooling the house because of the baby, so she doesn't get too hot or cold.
- Halogens - this house is FULL of halogen lights. They're in the bathrooms, kitchen, hallways.
I don't know much about gardening and things. I should invest in a worm farm or a compost bin, but getting my husband to put food scraps into it may be a bit of an issue! This is one area I'll be looking into later when I have more time. These are the things I'm going to investigate at a later stage:
Gee we generate lots of rubbish. I do try and recycle as much as I can, but I'm sure I could do more. I threw out a chocolate box yesterday because it didn't have the recycling symbol on it and my husband scolded me, saying "You want to be environmentally friendly? You don't even recycle!" I don't want to try to recycle things which aren't recyclable, that makes more work for the people at the recycling place!
It would be nice to get laundry and other grey water back into the garden. But I hardly water my garden and the raintank outside takes care of that anyway so I don't think that it's really needed at this stage. Perhaps when I get a bigger house. We already have water efficient things all through the house - shower heads, toilets, front loading washing machine.
Growing your own vegetables
Now this would probably make a tiny difference in my carbon footprint! Think of all the transport of produce I would save... and not to mention home grown stuff! At the moment I only have herb type things such as coriander, chilli, lemongrass, kaffir lime, chives. But other things I would love to plant would include basil, lemons, tomatoes and sugar snap peas!