Find ideas for sustainable living in your home.

Rubbish and recycling
Energy
Water

For information about the Living Green Homes Scheme, please visit the Living Green Grants page.


 

Saving Electricity, Gas and Water Booklet

This handy little booklet shows you ways to save electricity, gas and water in your home and help you cut down on your energy and water bills.

 Saving electricity English only

Bilingual Versions:

Saving electricity English - Arabic

Saving electricity English - Dari

Saving electricity English - Farsi

Saving electricity English - Italian

Saving electricity English - S'gaw Karen

Saving electricity English - Chinese Mandarin

Saving electricity English - Swahili

Saving electricity English - Vietnamese

Hard copies can be picked up from the Mirrabooka Multicultural Centre, and the City's Administration Centre, 25 Cedric St, Stirling. 

*Organisations / Service Providers* - booklets can be provided to your organisation by request. Please phone 9205 8555.

Saving Electricity, Gas and Water Booklets compiled by Rob Gulley and Brenda Conochie (Copyright 2015).
This update and translation received funding from the Australian Government. 

Waste Management often refers to the 4 R's - Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Refuse - If you don't need it then don't take or buy it. This is the best way to reduce waste. It doesn't have to be complicated. Here are a few ideas to help you to start:

  • Bring recyclable shopping bags to the supermarket (leave them in your car so you don't forget them!). Make sure you let the check out person know you have them since they will often start using disposable plastic bags on auto-pilot.
  • If you buy takeaway coffee, buy a reusable coffee cup to bring instead of accepting the non-recyclable takeaway cup. Responsible Cafe's offer a 50 cent discount if you bring your own cup so you couldl have a daily reward for your efforts.
  • Buy a reusable water bottle that you can easily carry around and refill. This will save you money in the long term and keep you hydrated. It takes 3 to 7 litres of water and 1 litre of petroleum (oil) to produce a 1 litre water bottle. To find out more about the benefits of refusing plastic water bottles follow this link.
  • Buy less toys and books by using your local toy library and libraries. It will save you a heap of money and allow you to change the toys and books you have as your families interests change.

Reduce - can you minimise the amount of 'stuff' you bring into your home? Although it can be cheaper to buy more of a product 'just in case' you might need it the reality is that if you don't then it becomes waste. You will also need to put energy into figuring out what to do with the extra you don't need. Decluttering is becoming a very important topic in today's consumer driver society. We have too much stuff and we don't know what to do with it all! A great way to prevent the accummulation from getting out of hand is to simply reduce how much you buy in the first place. You could always buy more with family or friends to get bulk savings but reduce the amount of stuff you have to get through.

Reuse - keep items from the energy intensive recycling process, or landfill, and find more uses for them. You may have heard of upcycling or repurposing. Reusing also includes donating and shopping at op-shops, and swapping and trading items with friends, family and the community. There are great online tools to help you find people who might want your now 'unwanted' items. Kids clothes and toys can quickly be outgrown, for example. Facebook 'swap and sell' groups are popping up in many Local Governments (for example, Stirling, Scarborough, Innaloo group) and Gumtree provides a great way to connect buyers and sellers of used items.

Recycle - recycling is typically an energy intensive process, but it keeps many items out of landfill. The City has a three bin system for residents to sort general waste, recycling and green waste from the home. To find out more about the three bin system visit our Rubbish and Recycling page. The Balcatta Recycling Centre has recently been renovated, with a cafe on site for you to visit while you browse the secondhand goods presented in  the shop. Visit the Recycling Centre page for more information about what can be recycled at the centre. The City also provides battery, fluoro light globe, electronic and other hazardous waste recycling. The MRC Tamala Park Tip Shop is another good place to pick up some bargains.

Some places where to pick up and drop off recycled items Factsheet Recycling in the Community 

Check the Recycling Near You comprehensive database for anything from asbestos to x-rays films, and everything in between!

Food and Organic Waste

So after you have refused, reduced, reused and recycled - what do you have left? Food waste also known as organic waste! Reduce food waste is the first thing to do - freeze leftovers, don't buy more than you need.

Once you have food waste, make the most of it! Visit the In your garden page for information about worm farms, composting and Bokashi.

Green Cleaning

Detox your home by removing harsh chemical cleaners. Using natural and gentle-on-the-environment products like vinegar and bicarbonate soda will not only clean effectively but also help our water ways, your health and also reduce plastic packaging.

The Earth Carers 'The Useful Book' has a section on cleaning, and there are many more resources available online, or ask your grandparents!

Save Energy

The largest users of energy in the home are usually hot water systems and heating and cooling. Here's a few tips to keep the energy bills down:

  • Take shorter showers
  • Insulate your home and seal up doors and windows for draughts
  • Set air-con to cool in summer at no less than 24C, and warm in winter at no more than 20C.
  • Switch off lights and appliances. Switch off at the wall to reduce the drain of standby power (can add up to 10% each year!)
  • Use long life CFL light bulbs and switch halogen down lights to LED fittings.
  • Choose energy efficient appliances and look after them (clean, service and ensure working properly to save energy)

Energy Rating Free App - Compare appliances

Easily compare the energy and cost efficiency of appliances with this nifty app developed by a joint initiative of the Australian, State and Territory and New Zealand Governments.
Visit the Energy Rating Website for more information and to download the free app for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone or BlackBerry. 

Renewable Energy (and Solar Hot Water)

Yes - Photovoltaic cells (solar panels) and solar hot water systems can be installed on your roof without having to get council approval. However, if you would like to install a small wind turbine on your roof, you will need to apply for planning approval from the City, and ensure that the system you have chosen will comply with the City's Renewable Energy Systems Policy.

Home Energy Assessment Toolkit (or HEAT)

Our Home Energy Assessment Toolkit (HEAT) will help you to find out which of your home appliances are guzzling power, where your home leaks heat in winter or gains heat in summer, and how you can make simple changes around your home to save money, energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Home Energy Assessment Toolkit

Kit's are available for collection from the City's Administration Centre upon appointment and free for loan to residents for 2 weeks at a time.

For more information or to loan a HEAT:

  1. Complete the online HEAT Loan Request Form, OR
  2. Telephone (08) 9205 8555 and ask for a Sustainability Officer

Home Energy Assessment Toolkit - Instruction Manual

HEAT kit_Addendum.pdf

Home Design and Retrofit

If you are thinking of building a new home or extending your current one, you will now need to make it even more energy efficient than before. New national building rules mean that new buildings must be built to a 6 start energy efficiency rating, which will save you money in the long term: a 6 star building uses between 20% and 25% less energy than a 5 star one!

Some of the ways in which you can make your new home energy efficient and meet these new requirements include better insulation in ceilings walls and floors; sealing doors and windows against draughts; using solar power to heat water for your home and swimming pool, and designing it so that the sun naturally warms your home in winter.

The Sustainable Energy Association of Australia: Your 6 Star Guide to home contains easy to understand information and some great ideas to help get you started on building or retrofitting a 6 Star energy efficient home.

The Your Home website contains a lot more information on topics such as designing your home, choosing energy efficient appliances, heating and cooling your home, creating a water wise home, and much, much more. Your Home also has some great tips on how to choose an energy efficient home for those looking to move house.

Alternative Technology Association (ATA) eBooks: Water Efficiency Around the Home, or Green Home Cooling.

Save Water

The Water Corporation provides a range of information to save water inside and outside the home, and also information on water saving programs and rebates. Half of water use in the home is in the garden so that is a great place to start your water saving efforts!

For more information visit the Water Corporation website.

CSIRO article - Top Tips for Keeping your Rain Water Tank Healthy and Efficient

Grey Water

Until 2nd June 2017, the City of Stirling is offering a $500 rebate off the cost of installing a grey water system. See Living Green Homes for more details.

A grey water system allows you to divert used water from your bath, shower and washing machine onto your garden to water your plants. Using grey water can help to keep your garden green and lush through the summer months even with water restrictions in place.

To install a grey water system you will need to:

  1. Check with the Department of Health that the system you want to install is approved for use in WA.
  2. Then lodge an application form with the City of Stirling.
  3. As an incentive the City has waived the local government fee usually charged.

When using grey water on your garden, it is important that the detergents and washing powders you use contain as little salt and phosphorus as possible, and that you don't use bleaches, disinfectants or stain removers in your wash as these will damage plant roots. However, the nitrogen and phosphorus contained in grey water can be used by your plants, meaning you don't need to fertilise as often!

This guide by Lanfax Labs, an independent laboratory who test laundry detergents, contains some information on which detergents are grey-water friendly.

If your house design does not make installing a grey water system easy, you can manually collect grey water from your shower with a bucket or washing up water from your sink to tip onto your garden.

Rain water

Until 2nd June 2017, the City of Stirling is offering a $500 rebate off the cost of installing a rain water tank, or connecting and existing tank to your toilet or laundry. See Living Green Homes for more details.

Even in Perth's drying climate, many thousand litres of rainwater falls onto your home's roof each year. Collecting some of it in a rainwater tank will allow you to water your garden guilt-free on non-sprinkler days during the hot summer.

However, your rainwater tank can only hold a fraction of the rain that falls on your roof over winter. Plumbing the tank into your home’s water supply allows you to flush your toilet and wash your clothes with rainwater, reducing your use of scheme water. Over a single winter, your rainwater tank can be filled and emptied and filled again several times over, multiplying the amount of rainwater that you can catch and use and the scheme water savings you can achieve.