Home Improvements

Environmentally Friendly Plumbing

ByGroovy Green May 19, 2018

The first things that come to mind when you think about environmentally friendly living are recycling and gardening. Would you believe it if you were told that plumbing can also be sustainable?

Sure, it’s not the first thing that pops into your mind when you think ‘world greening,’ but think of water and the cost of that as a utility. Your home plumbing, utilised for sustainable living, can have some enormous benefits. If you look at the broader picture, energy conservation and waste reduction are all part of sustainable plumbing practices. The end game is that the equipment already in your home, and adapted differently, can be used to reduce waste. The choice of pipes, low-toxic fixtures and equipment that are made locally (if possible) and ethically, all add to the growth of sustainability. You can also consider how plumbing has an overall impact on the environment.

Using Sustainable Plumbing on DIY

  • Cleaning

It’s not always the job of plumbing professionals to be environmentally conscious. There are some neat ‘green’ plumbing tricks you can use on your own DIY projects. Cleaning around the house doesn’t have to be a chemical party. Use vinegar, bi-carb and lemon for different cleaning jobs. Environmentally much safer and a heck of a lot cheaper too.

  • Water Wise

Environmental plumbing means being water-wise too. Rain water that usually runs down the drain can be diverted to your garden. Watering the garden in the cooler part of the day is another basic water-clever idea. Your dishwasher and washing machines should have the highest energy rating and lowest water usage. Every little bit helps.

  • Maintenance

You can go crazy with enviro-plumbing if you really wanted to as there are lots of small but effective changes you can do around the house. Start with leaky taps, then insulating your water pipes and follow up with mulching your garden to keep the soil damp for longer.

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Sourcing Materials for a Sustainable Fence

ByGroovy Green Jul 5, 2017

Some people don’t consider timber fencing to be sustainable, but much depends on where the timber comes from. Many fencing contractors like Eline Fencing Perth use pine that is grown especially for such needs, so it could be said to be a sustainable source. However, pine is a softwood; it will need to be painted regularly to keep the water out so it doesn’t rot.

If you are intent of having a timber fence, there are other places to source the timber from apart from what the contractor offers. Here are a few examples.

    • Old railway sleepers – this is hardwood with still plenty of use in it and is ideal for fences. While hardwood is more difficult to hammer a nail into without drilling it first, it will certainly last for ages and using it saves the waste of it being burned as rubbish, just because it has been replaced by concrete sleepers.
    • Bridge decking – can be cut up into lengths suitable for a fence and will last for many more years when it doesn’t have to be strong enough to hold the weight of vehicles crossing it.
    • Piers – any kind of timber that has been used for piers or other used in water is the kind that will not break down easily.

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Roll On Turf for a Beautiful Lawn

ByGroovy Green Jun 2, 2017

If you are deciding to replace your lawn there are two questions that need to be asked:

  1. When is the best time to start the project?
  2. Do you opt for roll on turf or grass seed?

If you opt for a roll on lawn, it can be installed almost any time of the year in Australia, unless you live in a really cold or wet area. Example – Tasmania. If you decide to spread a few seeds, then you would be well advised to do this when spring has sprung. Warmer soil temperatures certainly aid germination.

The ground preparation for both options are rather similar and a critical requirement. Obviously, planting grass seed is a long-term solution, and if you haven’t done your groundwork (pun intended), then the ominous march of weeds will soon begin and be competing for moisture and nutrients.

It can take months for a seeded lawn to become established and turn into a hard wearing, firm, and attractive grassed area. Roll on turf though, takes just a few weeks to become established. It is capable of withstanding kids playing on it within 2-3 weeks, and certainly after a month, you can set up the stumps for a game of cricket. The big advantage and a preference for many people selecting to use roll on turf is that it has the finished look after Day 1. Both options have the same aftercare from installation – keep off it and keep it moist.

Here are a few tips on ground preparation:

  • It might be an idea to spray the old grass with a strong weedkiller before you start. Remove the old lawn. Use a flat spade, but if you have a large area then hiring a turf cutter is the best solution.
  • Turn the soil to a depth of about 12 inches (25cm)
  • Remove stones, big chunks, and other debris.
  • Apply some fertiliser and rake it into the soil
  • Level as much as possible
  • Water the area and allow it all to settle

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How Green Home Improvements Can Save You Money

ByGroovy Green Nov 19, 2016

If you are looking for home improvements that will save you money in the long run, you can’t go past the ‘green’ or eco-friendly type. Often these kinds of improvements are not even that expensive when compared to others such as upgrading the kitchen or bathroom. So if you are not looking to hire a removal company such as Brilliance Removalists Melbourne just yet but are content to stay put, make your home cost-effective by considering to these suggestions.

  • If you need to have lighting outside, solar lights can really help light up the way as well as spotlight your feature plants. Garden lights that have a little solar panel in the top are really inexpensive and add charm to the garden.
  • Upgrade your old appliances. Most older appliances are just not energy efficient. You’ll notice the difference in your power bill once you have new ones. Most will also be water efficient, giving you a double savings. Be sure to look at the star rating labels on the outside of the appliances to ensure they are truly efficient.
  • Call a good electrician and upgrade the lighting to LED or other energy efficient lights. The initial cost will soon be recouped by the savings in the cost of power. Plus, the bulbs will last much longer, so you will save on the cost of replacements.
  • Consider solar power, but do your research carefully to make sure it will really save you money. Only if you intend to stay in the home for over 5 years will getting that loan be worth it. Of course, if you can pay for it without getting a loan that will certainly save on the cost of the interest.

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How Kitchen Design Can be Environmentally Friendly

ByGroovy Green Oct 28, 2016

Every person who cooks in the kitchen will recognise the need for good kitchen design according to Kitchen Professionals. It is very likely the dream of every housewife to have a modern kitchen with lots of bench space and storage. But the design for your kitchen can also be environmentally friendly and when it is, it will save considerably on the costs of running the home.

Most kitchens in older homes were not designed to be ‘green’ or eco friendly, but with a few upgrades you can have a kitchen that looks attractive and saves on costs as well. How? Here are a few design tips to ensure your kitchen is environmentally friendly, whether you are planning a new one or upgrading your older kitchen.

  • Put in a larger window. This will let in more natural light so you don’t need to switch the light on in the middle of the day to see what you are doing.
  • A larger window can also be opened to cool off and air a hot kitchen, saving on the costs of running the air conditioning or the extractor fan in the range hood.
  • New large appliances are usually much more energy efficient than older ones.
  • Choose only the size appliance that you need for your lifestyle, or may need in the next decade. For instance, if you plan on having children in the next few years, a larger refrigerator and dishwasher will be extremely worthwhile.
  • But if the children are all about to leave home and you need a new fridge, you might not need a large one. Much depends on your lifestyle.

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How an Enhanced Lifestyle is Part of Sustainability

ByGroovy Green Dec 6, 2015

Sustainability is not just about saving the environment. Most people would agree that it includes enhancing your lifestyle in a way that is in line with sustainable practices. For instance, adding patios in Perth, pergolas or carports can enhance the lifestyles of many people; choosing the materials that are eco-friendly and sustainable then enhances and saves the environment.

There are other ways in which a patio or a pergola can be considered eco-friendly.

  • When you spend time outside, say for alfresco dining, you can enjoy the cool of the evening without having to run the air conditioner. This saves on your costs as well as saving the earth’s resources. You may think that it would only be a small saving, but if many people do it, that small amount grows exponentially.
  • Having a patio against the side of the home will also shade it and keep it cooler, reducing the need for the air conditioner to be on, so again, the environment and your budget are both winners.
  • Here’s another way a patio or pergola can be eco-friendly. Having children’s birthday parties in them will save a great deal of wear and tear on your carpets. Eventually, this will filter back to a few less carpets being needed, so all the power that is used to make them will be reduced.  This too, may seem like a saving too minimal to count, but when taken over the whole of the country it can really mount up.

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How to Use Your Environmentally Friendly Kitchen the Right Way

ByGroovy Green May 21, 2015

When it comes to environmentally friendly kitchen design, most cabinet makers understand that newer appliances, natural lighting and no or low VOC finishes all add up. However, it is still up to the users to develop habits that are also environmentally friendly to get the most out of their kitchens.

Here are some tips to help you use your kitchen in ways that are environmentally friendly.

  • You may have chosen a refrigerator that has all the stars coloured in so you know it won’t gobble up electricity like the old-fashioned monsters of yesteryear. But if you are going to stand in front of it with the door wide open all the time wondering what to snack on, then you might be in for a shock when the power bill arrives.
  • The same goes for the dishwasher. You might have carefully chosen a dishwasher that takes the least amount of power and water, but if you use it before it is full, you will certainly waste both.
  • Cooking can often be done in a way that saves power too. Consider using a steamer that has additional stack-able containers. This will allow you to steam several different kinds of food using the same source of steam and only one element.
  • Even if you boil vegetables, you can place potatoes, pumpkin and carrots in the same saucepan together, while things like broccoli or cauliflower can go on top of peas or beans.

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How to be Sustainable with Property Maintenance

ByGroovy Green Oct 17, 2014

Perth property maintenance is something that should always be done on a regular basis if you want your home and property to look cared for and its value sustained. Often, the best way to get it done is to hire a professional handyman, who can care for the garden, do the mowing and also do any other maintenance tasks that crop up.

This is the kind of maintenance that is sustainable or eco-friendly. When you have someone to care for your gardens, they will soon be covered with compost and mulch and that will save on a great deal of water, not to mention fertiliser. Unnecessary fertilisers get washed into the waterways and is thought to be responsible for the death of some of our beautiful coral reefs. You can’t get much more environmentally friendly than taking steps to reduce use of purchased fertiliser.

However, there are several other ways in which professional property maintenance can benefit the environment.

  • An automatic irrigation system will save water usage – and wastage – especially if you get the kind that senses when water is needed and if rain is likely. It may cost a bit more to start with, but you’ll be saving quite a bit on the cost of water. And every bit saved helps water reservoirs to remain at a good level in dry times.

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Eco Friendly Equipment Hire

ByGroovy Green Feb 15, 2014

If you need to hire equipment to do a job of home renovation the last thing on your mind is likely to be caring for the environment, but equipment hire can also be eco friendly. Many people these days actively look for an eco-friendly business to deal with because they believe that everyone can do their bit for the environment and even if it’s only a little bit it all mounts up.

The first step in eco friendly plant hire is to hire the best machine for the job. This will both conserve fuel and save on costs. It will also make sure the least damage possible is done to the environment. If you get in a huge bulldozer when only a tiny one is needed a lot more land will be ruined as it manoeuvres around the work to be done. Those tracks can churn up the dirt and make a big mess that is almost impossible to fix.

A machine that is too small for the job is likely to break down. This could leave oil and other fuel leaking into the soil. It will take extra parts to fix and it means the job will take longer to finish. Not only is this bad news for the company, it’s also bad for the environment, especially the oil spill.

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The Beauty of Frameless Glass Showerscreens

ByGroovy Green Nov 16, 2012

If you are designing a new home or renovating the bathroom, you may want to consider installing frameless glass shower screens. This modern trend is one that is sure to last as people find out all the benefits.  One is that you can see right to the end of the bathroom so the perceived distance is greater, meaning your bathroom looks a lot larger.

The beauty of using frame-less glass for the walls and door is that glass is one of the most environmentally friendly building materials there is.  Of course, it doesn’t break down in landfill ever, but it can be totally reused and there is an increasing number of recycling plants springing up to do that very thing. The heat needed to remelt glass is not nearly as high as it is to make it in the first place. And the strength of glass is not compromised by the recycling process. Whatever is made from it will be just as strong and last just as long as the first item.

At least some councils are now providing sorting bins for glass waste to make the recycling process easier and more sustainable.  Glass comes from sand and while there seems to be no shortage of that, recycling glass is the best way to keep it out of landfill, where it can last for hundreds of years.

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