- A Sustainable Move: Find Out How It Is Possible
Going green isn’t just something you do in the household or in the office; it’s a lifestyle choice to play a part in protecting the well-being of the Earth and environment. Whether you’re a family relocating for employment opportunities or a student moving into campus, we want you to know that a sustainable move-in CAN be done.
As globalization makes our world smaller with population, consumerism and natural disasters on the rise, going green and observing sustainable practices follows the concept of renewable and eco-friendly activities, energy and products.
When it comes to moving in green, in Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne, there are expert removalists that can assist you in making sure that you put your greenest foot forward. Start your new life right by considering these sustainable living tips during your move-in process.
Tips for a Green Move
The thing is, moving in with emphasis on sustainability is possible and won’t cost you much. It’s all about Reduce your carbon footprint and preserves the environment by exercising moving practices that will minimize negative environmental impacts.
Plan Ahead – In order to cover as much and avoid wasting money, review what will fit in your new place and planning what goes where so you won’t transport things you don’t really need. Allow yourself more time to find the right removalists, suppliers and get everything in order.
Cleaning – Moving to Sydney or Melbourne doesn’t only entail packing up and flat out leaving, you have to leave your previous home clean for your landlord or next owners of the residence. You can practice sustainable moving by making use of green solvents and cleaning solutions that reduce chemical pollution like nitrogen, phosphorous, and ammonia.
Also, make this an opportunity to lighten your persona load. Go through your belongings and decide what you need to bring and what has become unnecessary. Host a garage sale, donate them to charity or sell them online. Downsizing before removalists come in to pack equals less packaging and you give others an opportunity to get items at a lower price.
Reuse and Reduce – Take a cue from the 3R campaign and save both time and money by using products that you already to eliminate purchasing new products. It’s important to also take time and assess if there’s anything that can be repurposed.
If you need to furnish a new place, rather than buying brand new furniture, save money and check out some second hand stores. Not only do they have unique pieces with a lot of character, there’s less packaging, pollution and waste to boot!
Packaging and supplies – The great thing about Sydney or Melbourne is that being such diverse and dynamic cities, there’s a variety of options for just about anything. When it comes to packaging and supplies, there are removalists that make it a point to use of sustainable containers – or at the very least offer then to customers – which go a long way to helping you reduce the amount of waste. Two options you can consider would be either recyclable cardboard boxes or reusable plastic crates.
Also, as a DIY tip, how about borrowing suitcases from friends and family to transport some of your things? You can use them multiple times and return them to the owners when you’re done!
Choose Eco-Conscious Removalists – One of the biggest decisions you’ll make when doing a big-city move is finding expert removalists that are based in the city you’re from or moving to. For example, if you’re from Sydney and moving to Melbourne, finding a mover that’s based in either area will reduce their amount of travel and make their resources readily available for you.
Map your route – Figure out the most direct route and discuss this with your team of removalists so you can keep your travel time at a minimum. This will help you save money and ensure you aren’t wasting time; gas and emitting carbon dioxide longer than you have to.
These are just some of the different things you can do to make your move part of the bigger environmental conservation picture. For those who employ green strategies during their move, it’s vital that you don’t stop there; this is an opportunity to start fresh and really integrate sustainable living to your daily routine.
Here’s a quick list of simple things you can do in your home to continue the momentum and run a green household:
- Turn off your lights and other appliances when not in use
- Turn down the heat when and keep your windows closed when heat is on
- If possible, make use of a compost bin
- Put plants in your room
- Recycle scrap paper
- Use reusable water bottle(s), cutlery and other home ware
- Make use of eco-friendly cleaning supplies
- Always use reusable shopping bags as opposed to having them back in plastic and paper bags
- Skip the dryer and opt for a drying rack for your clothing
- Use energy efficient lights and appliances
Going green doesn’t have to be difficult and can be incorporated in all aspects of your life as long as you are willing to take the initiative. To learn more about sustainable moving in Sydney, Melbourne and other parts of Australia, contact Wridgways – your eco-friendly removalists.
- Increase Sustainability with Eco-Packaging
Each year, millions of tonnes of plastic packaging are thrown away worldwide, and only around half of it gets recycled. In many cases, it is difficult to reduce the amount of packaging products that are shipped in without risking damage to the products themselves. Although there are arguments against using non-plastic alternatives due to the implications in the production, transportation and energy usage; many still welcome and favor non-plastic alternatives. Delicate glass products and sensitive electronic equipment, for example, must be shipped in protective containers, most often made from expanded polystyrene (sometimes called Styrofoam).
Most companies that produce consumer goods such as supplements, food and durable goods still turn to plastic as the most cost-effective and simpler method to solve the packaging problem. Unfortunately, these plastics can take thousands of years to decompose, and are often not included in standard kerb-collection recycling programmes. Since it blows in the wind and floats in the water, polystyrene litter is able to travel great distances from where it can be easily collected. The environmental result that packaging delicate products in polystyrene can have is dramatic, polluting both woodland and water, and posing a significant hazard to wildlife.
US-based company Ecovative have a solution. Their Mushroom Packaging is made primarily of mycelium, the root part of mushroom colonies Using recycled agricultural waste, the mycelium is allowed to grow into a customisable mould and then dried to inhibit further growth. The resulting material is durable, renewable and naturally fire resistant, and can be stored for long periods of time without any adverse effects. It is also priced competitively with plastic alternatives, and can be adapted to suit different needs.
Unlike competing polystyrene products this mycelium-based packaging can be safely disposed of and composted, and will completely decompose in a matter of months when exposed to nature. It even provides nourishment for existing plant life as it breaks down, helping the natural environment rather than polluting it. As it contains only the root part of the mushroom and no spores, it will break down and fertilise, but will not grow more mushrooms.
Eco-friendly packaging innovations like these have the potential to dramatically reduce the amount of plastic waste which modem society produces. One simple switch can go a long way to increasing your business’ sustainability, without compromising on quality or significantly increasing costs.
- 7 Ways to Detoxify Your Home
Ready to transform your home into a healthier space? Here are seven things that you can do to better your environment, and at the same time, improve your well-being and our planet.
- Post a No Shoes Policy
The bottoms of your shoes contain bacteria, chemicals, fecal matter, and pesticides. Tracked into your home, those toxins can take up residence in your carpets and on your floors. Encourage your family and guests to leave shoes at the door. Clean the soles of your shoes regularly, either with a disinfectant wipe or by running them through the wash. Once a week, scrub down the entryway to your home, to clear the area of residual germs.
- Make Your Drinking Water Safer to Consume
Some of the contaminants found in drinking water include arsenic, asbestos, chlorine, fluoride, mercury, lead, pesticides, and sediment. There are many filtration systems available that can help to eliminate impurities as well as improve the appearance, odor, and taste of your water.
The most popular ones rely on carbon, ceramic, ion exchange, reverse gnosis, or ultraviolet light. Whichever filtration system you choose, it’s important that you maintain it to ensure the integrity of your drinking water.
- Toss the Chemical-Laden Household Cleaners
When it comes to cleaning the surfaces in your home, you really only need two solutions for most jobs. A mixture of dishwashing liquid and water effectively cuts grease and removes stains on porcelain, stone, and tile. White vinegar diluted with water removes dirt and dust from windows and wood. If your wood is waxed, too much white vinegar may dull it over time, so apply an extra water-only rinse on the wood and then dry it thoroughly.
- Remove the Mold in Your Washing Machine
Although it’s a common problem in front-loaders, mold buildup can be found in top-loaders, too. That’s because detergent residue and moisture can lead to the growth of mold spores- and to a funky odor that transfers to your clothing. To rid your machine of mold, start by running a hot cycle with bleach and hold the laundry. Then get into the habit of wiping down the interior of your machine after every wash. Follow The detergent recommendation for your machine to minimize suds. And between loads, keep the door open to air out your machine.
- Go Green with Your Shower Curtain and Liner
Shower curtains and liners often contain PVC (polyvinyl chloride), a chemical compound that emits dangerous pollutants into the air. Headaches, nausea, and respiratory irritation may result. Instead, opt for a product made of PEVA (polyethylene vinyl acetate) or EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate). While both PEVA and EVA curtains and liners contain petrochemicals, they give off considerably less volatile organic compounds and are considered a safer alternative. To avoid plastics entirely, hang a fabric curtain made of cotton, hemp, or linen.
- Pamper Your Body with Non-Toxic Personal Care Products
Don’t be fooled by the “natural” emblazoned on the labels of your personal care products. It’s a marketing term only. One look at the list of ingredients will reveal what’s truly in the product. Steer clear of formulations containing benzisothiazolinone, butylated hydroxyanisole or BHA chloride, formaldehyde, hydroquinone, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone, oxybenzone, parabens, PEGs/ceteareth/polyethylene compounds that lead to 1,4-dioxane contamination, petroleum distillates, phthalates, resorcinol, and triclosan. Evidence suggests that these ingredients are linked to numerous health concerns including allergies, reproductive and developmental disorders, and cancer. Products that contain botanicals and are fragrance-free are your safest choices, for both your body and our waterways
- Eliminate Non Stick Cookware
Nonstick cookware is a staple in most kitchens, making it easy to prepare everything from pancakes to stir-fry without the messy cleanup associated with stainless steel pans The nonstick coating is made of PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals) of which one of those compounds, PFOA, is linked to a host of health issues including high cholesterol, thyroid disease, and cancer. While stainless steel may require extra elbow grease to remove food remnants, it’s the healthier cookware choice.
Take steps today to make your home healthier. Leave shoes at the door and scrub down your entryways on a weekly basis, filter your drinking water, clean household surfaces with two simple solutions, remove mold from your washing machine, go green with your shower curtain and liner, use non-toxic personal care products, and eliminate non stick cookware from your kitchen. Your body, your pets and everyone who visits your home will benefit, too.
- BIODIVERSITY PROMOTES ECOSYSTEM MULTITASKING
Today, colleagues from around the globe and I published a paper in Nature Communications titled “Biodiversity enhances ecosystem multifunctionality across trophic levels and habitats.” The paper is an important step forward in connecting biological diversity — the variety of organisms living in an ecosystem — to the myriad processes operating in natural, functioning ecosystems. Its worth digging a bit into this analysis, and explaining a little bit about why its important.
Our report synthesizes across nearly 100 experiments that manipulated biological diversity (the number of species) and measured the consequences for ecosystem functioning — properties and processes that support an ecosystem. Functions include things like growth (biomass production), resource use (consumption), nutrient cycling, and decomposition. Functions often underpin services, or ecosystem properties that benefit humanity. Examples of ecosystem services are fisheries (supported by biomass production), and clean water (supported by nutrient cycling and decomposition). Hence why biodiversity is often implicated in human well-being.
On top of that, we are losing species. As we continue to exert a dominant influence over the natural world, we destroy and fragment habitats (thinking cutting down the rainforest) and exploit populations (thinking overfishing). The consequence is, unsurprisingly, extinctions, and lots of them. Some estimates suggest that the number of extinctions in the recent past isone thousand times greater than at any point in the history of the planet (aka, the fossil record). So the pressing question is: what are the consequences of losing all these species for ecosystems, and ultimately for us?
WHAT IS ‘ECOSYSTEM MULTIFUNCTIONALITY’?
The experiments in our analysis answered this question by directly manipulating diversity and measuring the ecosystem consequences in the form of functions. Controlled experiments such as those included in our analysis are ideal for exploring the effects of diversity loss, because the ecosystem consequences can be directly attributed to changing the number of species.
There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of experiments to date that have conducted these kinds of manipulations, with more being published every day. However, the vast majority of these have measured only a single ecosystem function (usually standing stock biomass). This is a somewhat simplified view of an ‘ecosystem.’
If you Google “define: ecosystem” the first definition that pops up is:a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.(in general use) a complex network or interconnected system.
The keywords being “complex” and “interconnected.” Ecosystems are comprised of many more functions than biomass, and to truly get at the consequences of diversity loss, we must consider the entirety of this “complex network.”
Which brings me (finally) to a definition of ecosystem multifunctionality:
The simultaneous provision of multiple functions in nature.
Thus, we combed through the hundreds of experiments and chose only those that measured two or more functions, and combined information from those to derive an index of multifunctionality.