April 30, 2014

Earth Hour Starlight Picnic - Wrap Up


This year’s Earth Hour was more than just about turning the lights off and promoting climate change solutions - it was also about showing our commitment to protecting one of the world’s most iconic places, the Great Barrier Reef.


And judging by the estimated crowd of a thousand Eastern Suburbs locals who came along for our starlight picnic at Bondi Park, there's plenty of support for these causes. Our event focused on what we can all do at a local level to make our lives more sustainable and took inspiration from films featuring local school students, their environmental projects and their questions to the Mayors of Waverley, Woollahra and Randwick Councils.


If you missed these great films, showcasing our local schools sustainability initiatives and interviews with the 3 Mayors, click here.


We're inviting you to take Earth Hour a step further and reduce your energy use for the long term. Not sure where to start? Here’s 5 easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money in the process.


1. Light it up
Around 10% of your energy bill comes from the way you light your home. Simply switch off lights in rooms that are not in use and you could save $120 a year. You can also replace lights simply with energy efficient compact fluorescent light globes or LEDs. These are available at hardware stores, supermarkets and specialty eco-product stores. Even keeping lights and fittings clean can save you pennies, as dusty or dirty globes and fittings can reduce light output by up to 50%.


2. Turn it down
The biggest energy guzzler (40% of the average electricity bill) is heating and cooling your home. As the colder weather tickles your toes, try not to overheat your house. Every extra degree increase in temperature can add up to 15% to your energy bill (equivalent to around $150 for the average home). Set the thermostat to between 18-21°C. Air leaks can account for 15% to 25% of heat loss, so dust off your DIY skills and install draught excluders on your windows and doors. They are cheap and available from most hardware stores.


3. Switch it off
Did you know that you could be throwing away $100 a year without doing anything? Appliances still consume electricity if they are turned on at the power point, even while idle. Switch your TV, computer, phone charger or hair dryer off at the wall when you are done using them.


4. Cold water love
Water heating accounts for about a quarter of most household power bills. Having shorter showers helps keep dollars in your pocket, as does using cold water for washing. It’s just as good as a warm wash and it can save you $35 or more each year off your power bill.


5. Say goodbye to the second fridge
Old fridges are one of the biggest energy users in the home, consuming up to three times the energy of new fridges. While it keeps the beers cold, it’s got to be sobering to know that running a typical second fridge adds an average of $300 a year to your power bill and puts one tonne of carbon pollution into the environment. Yikes. Getting rid of fridge two is free and easy through the Fridge Buyback Program (www.fridgebuyback.com.au).


Comment on this