The Road To Self-Sufficient Living: A Green Homeowner's Guide

The Road To Self-Sufficient Living: A Green Homeowner's Guide

All over the world, countries are setting climate targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pollution – ensuring that all sovereign states and their citizens are doing their bit to combat the global threat of climate change. Governments are dedicating time, effort and great expense to invest in sustainable energy initiatives for their population, such as wind farms and hydro power. A great deal of people's power went into this change, from protests and petitions. 

However, we all have an individual role to play in reducing emissions and lowering our carbon footprint. Some people invest in electric vehicles or recycle more. And some Aussie residents are aiming at making their homes entirely self-sustainable. 

But how exactly does a homeowner go about this? This helpful article will set out a suitable roadmap to self-sustainability for the green homeowner. Continue reading to learn how you can achieve this and do your part for the environment. 

Solar Panels and Battery

One of the most impactful green initiatives you can secure for your family is installing a solar system for your property. By investing in solar panels for your roof and a solar battery, you can work towards self-sustaining power for your property. 

Solar panels will provide renewable energy for your property, reducing the amount of coal-powered electricity your home consumes and thus rapidly reducing your home’s carbon footprint. At the peak of summer, when the days are long and hot, you may even be able to completely power your home from your solar panels, ensuring self-sustainability. 

And what about in winter where the days are shorter? Well, that’s where a solar battery comes into the picture. Although solar batteries can provide energy-storing benefits year-round, investing in a solar battery in the lead-up to the winter months in particular can help your household retain renewable energy even when the weather is overcast or cloudy and when your solar panels might struggle to gain enough solar energy to power your home. 

In addition to reducing your home’s reliance on fossil fuels, installing solar panels on your home may also help you save serious bucks on your household’s energy bills, allowing you and your family to enjoy greater financial freedom over the long term and put those additional savings on your utilities towards other expenses. If you generate enough energy via your panels, you might even be able to sell some electricity back to your local energy retailer and management service provider. 

Sustainability aside, solar panels are undeniably an excellent investment for any budding green, self-sustaining house. You’ll want to make sure that your solar panels are installed in a north-facing direction if you’re living in the southern hemisphere, such as in Australia. We advise working with a solar specialist to ensure your home solar system is expertly installed to provide maximal solar exposure.

Opt for Solar Powered Hot Water or a Heat Pump

Want to take your investment into solar self-sustainability to the next level? Then another investment you can make in order to make your home clean and green is to swap out your outdated gas hot water system for a greener alternative. There are many different types of hot water systems to select from here, but our top picks are solar, heat pump, or electric hot water systems.

Maintaining an older gas-fueled hot water system in your home can negatively contribute to your overall household carbon footprint. This is because burning gas can naturally result in some hefty carbon emissions.

Conversely, using renewable solar energy to provide your home’s hot water needs can allow you and the family to enjoy guilt-free steamy showers and hot bubbly baths whenever you like. And once again, you’ll save decent money in the end, as you won’t have to pay as much for gas or electricity. Just be sure to factor in the upfront installation costs, which can be high, when assessing whether this particular transition is a good move for you and your household.

Another sustainable method of hot water heating is a heat pump system, which works by transferring heat in the air to heat water held in a tank. A heat pump may be a wise move for your self-sustaining property, but again there can be high entry costs to this method of hot water heating. 

Edible Gardens

Another significant way to make your garden and your household more self-sustainable is to grow a plentiful garden of edible plants, including herbs. This will reduce the amount that you spend at the grocery store, with the effect of lowering your food bill and also reducing your contribution to carbon emissions but lowering your participation in the polluting supply chain. 

The best way to start when it comes to cultivating your own edible garden is simply by growing enough fruit and vegetables for the coming season – just to ensure you can enjoy a reward for your initial efforts. And once you’ve had one successful harvest, continue sowing and planning for seasonal variations. With a seasonal system firmly in place from there, you can eat most of what you grow and only have to buy meat and other food that is more difficult or impossible to grow in a residential property. 

You can grow most herbs quickly, such as oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, and more — these are all low-effort and low-maintenance shrubs. Some fruits you can quickly grow if you have the space for trees include various citrus, apples, and berries. Some vegetables are reasonably achievable to grow and harvest, such as corn, peas, beans, carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, and other underground tubers.

The Three Pillars of Self-Sufficient Living for Aussie Families

The three methods for self-sufficient living that we’ve outlined above are simple enough for virtually all Australian families to introduce to their own properties. After all, as the continent that receives the most solar exposure on earth and could soon be responsible for providing 50% of the global population with its solar energy, it stands to reason that Aussie households can take advantage of this abundant natural asset for ourselves!

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