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GREEN SCENE Sustainable Living

Sustainable house
Sustainable house

Sustainable, environmentally friendly living has become a significant part of the renting, buying and building market.

No longer viewed as the domain of hippies and dreamers, reducing the environmental impact of your home is now considered a clever, rational approach to the property scene. This is good news, because it means any eco queries you have are going to be addressed and taken seriously by even the most traditional of thinkers.

Living smarter is one way to look at the concept of sustainability, in regards to real estate. Much like many people these days are finding¬†plenty of smart home devices available that make modern living easier, this isn’t an altruistic indulgence; elements like energy efficiency aren’t just good for the environment, but also for your bills. Heating and cooling costs can make a dent in any budget when WA’s hot and cold seasons are in full swing.

Solar panels, water tanks, and interior elements that have efficient energy ratings (like washing machines and refrigerators) all make a difference. If you’re building, think about double glazing and insulation. Take the time to really investigate all the factors that can make your home an eco-friendly, sustainable place to live.

Those counting coins might shy from spending money on what they mistakenly view as less important aspects, but this is a shortsighted perspective you’ll regret every time bills roll in. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the long term benefits of certain choices during construction. Build smart.

A relevant part of sustainability in WA is taking the sun into account; the direction the property is facing, the location of windows, and shading. Concrete, bricks, and flooring all play a part as well, so be sure to properly read up on why these elements matter so much, and how they relate to your current real estate interest.

Renters should research sustainable changes they can make, with landlord permission, and look into any current rebates the government may offer landlords for alterations to the property that increase sustainability (hey, you never know). An online hotspot to check out would be the Alternative Technology Association (ATA), a not-for-profit organisation focused on increasing sustainability in the community.

Vegetable gardens have become more popular, with many subsidising their dining table intake with produce grown at home. Eating a salad you grew yourself is ridiculously satisfying. If this idea might appeal, even at a later date, check first to see if the owners of the property you’re hoping to rent would be amenable to you turning part of the outdoor space into a functioning vegetable garden. If building, be sure to include appropriate space for the possibility. (Also look at researching a composting system viable for your needs.)

If you have the space, and the inclination, look into the logistics of a keeping a few chickens as well. (The WA Department of Agriculture And Food website will answer a lot of your queries about the requirements for backyard poultry care.)

The great news is there are so many sites online that can help answer your eco-related questions. And these days, real estate agents, property managers and architects are generally happy to answer any sustainability questions you have in regards to property and design.

GILLIAN O’MEAGHER

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