Concerns about the environment and the rising cost of utilities and groceries have prompted a surge in the desire for sustainable housing in Australia. For many people, this conjures up an image of living on a rural property with an independent water source and naturally sourced electricity.
If you live in an urban environment, then you may think that the ideal of creating a more sustainable home is unachievable. However, even a small terrace home or townhouse in a city is capable of providing a more environmentally friendly lifestyle with the right additions. Here are two readily available and easily installed modifications that will transform your city dwelling into a more self-sufficient home.
1. Rainwater tanks
Water is a precious commodity, and also an expensive one in both monetary terms and in terms of the cost on the environment. Water prices continue to rise, and there is increasing concern over the amount of resources required to produce clean drinking water for a growing population.
Installing a rainwater tank to harvest rainwater for your home's water requirements is an excellent way to minimise your carbon footprint and reduce, or even completely eradicate, the cost of paying for water. Modern rainwater tanks are far removed from the large and space-hungry water tanks of the past. Slimline water tanks can be accommodated in even the smallest of courtyard gardens, and will provide you with a cost effective and clean water supply.
2. Solar panels
Along with water, the cost of electricity is continually rising. There is also a fierce backlash against the continued use of fossil fuels to provide the bulk of Australia's energy requirements. This is evident in the ever increasing number of Australians who are choosing to install solar panels to their home to provide it with electricity.
In the past, living in a small urban home, such as a townhouse or terrace house, meant that you may have been restricted from installing solar panels due to the limited space available to house them. Fortunately, innovations in technology have enabled the development of high performance, affordable solar panels that don't need a vast amount of roof space to be installed on. Innovations in solar storage batteries also means that the electricity generated by your panels throughout the day can be utilised during the evening hours, making you even less reliant on costly and environmentally damaging back-up power from the grid.
Just because you're a city person doesn't mean that you can't embrace the new technologies that have been more commonly used in less built-up areas of the country. It's never been a better time to invest in a more environmentally and economically sound future.