I was amused to come across this article supposedly about people who live in cold houses by choice. I’m not sure how much of it was about choice or necessity for most of those interviewed, something I’m sure many people in rental properties can relate to, particularly those with poor heating facilities in their homes. No ones wants to sit in one room under a heater all day or be faced with a ridiculously large gas/electricity bill at the end of winter. So how to keep warm?
The Festival raises awareness and provides tools for change by showcasing tangible solutions to the ecological and social challenges we face.
In 2009 the Festival at Federation Square attracted over 124,000 visits and engaged more than 450 community volunteers.
In its eleventh year, the Festival is getting even bigger!
The 2010 Festival will include 2 programs, the Main Event at Federation Square (19-21 February 2010) and the Local Events Program (6-21 February 2010). The new 2-week format will enable individuals and communities across Australia to host and promote their own sustainability event, extending the reach of the sustainability message even further.
The Main Event at Federation Square in the heart of Melbourne will continue to celebrate the very best examples of ecological and social sustainability. The event will fuse interactive workshops, talks, demonstrations, artworks, exhibits, films and live performances. In recognition of the climate situation, the Main Event will be inspired by the theme: Get Ready for the Safe Climate Decade!
Our pics (most relevant/interesting to Renters)
Top 10 Reasons to Grow Your Own
And of course… How to Live Sustainably in a Rental Property yep, we are presenting a talk. It’ll be lots of fun with pictures, samples and demonstrations of things you can make yourself, so please come along . You can also chat to us as part of the Sustainable Living Library
pic from here
Curtains have many benefits in keeping out heat and sunlight. Ask around your relatives, most people seem to have a spare pair of the rubber backed insulated curtains stashed in a cupboard somewhere.
Alternatively you might like to pick up a pair cheaply at a charity shop or ebay or even make your own. Make some ties whilst you are there, you’ll want them open in the mornings. Here’s a great easy tutorial, making curtains is pretty much just about sewing straight lines which get easier with practice!
Project 1. Reduce drafts in your house
pic from here
While a cool breeze is lovely in summer, i’s more common to notice the hot wind blow under the door or rattling the windows. It’s unpleasant, and if you choose to use cooling, it reduces its efficiency
Further, in winter, draughts can account for up to 25% of heat losses. Reducing these draughts can be a cheap and cost effective way of reducing heating and cooling costs.
Draughts can be further reduced by:
- Draught proofing doors and windows
- Sealing up cracks and gaps
- Sealing unnecessary vents
- Sealing exhaust fans and outlet grills
- Sealing unused fireplaces
One easy transportable method to reduce door draughts is to make your own door snakes (or dogs as the tutorial linked provides!).
For the sides of doors and windows adhesive backed foam is a good resource Hardware stores sell it in various widths and thicknesses, and the tape is self-adhesive and easy to install. Simply cut the tape to the length you need with scissors, peel away the backing from the tape and stick it in place. The size and flexibility of tape make it well suited for blocking irregular-sized cracks.
Insulating hot water pipes is one of the simplest things a renter can do to make your home more energy efficient, especially in winter, where you could potentially reduce your boiler by 2 degrees.
Pipe insulation can be bought in most hardware stores and it’s not particularly expensive, but at Green Renters we’re all for the three R’s, reduce, reuse and recycle, we had a bunch of old towels lying around so decided to use those!
Now, everyone’s boiler is different, so this guide is somewhat general, but should give you a rough idea of what to do. Firstly, if you have any difficulty in locating your boiler, most houses have it outside, whereas most apartments have it on the inside. (more…)
II was excited to see this living wreath on Design Sponge this week. It looks pretty easy according to the tutorial but I’m going to amend a current wreath I have rather than buy any materials. I’m making one of these tonight. It’s a great way to reuse garden cuttings from the last few days and looks great!
I’m loving these DIY centrepieces using fruit and veg. They are definitely recyclable as they can be eaten on boxing day!
We’re big fans of the ‘make do and mend’ ethos here at Green Renters, but I’m not sure I’d wear these creations out of the house! Good to see such an important issue covered in a mainstream fashion magazine however!
(The photos are by Tim Walker for Vogue Nov 2009)
As a renter I don’t really see the point of store bought Christmas trees. They’re synthetic and kinda ugly and we have no where to store them inbetween Christmases (like most rental properties, storage cupboards are lacking). I don’t see in the point of a cut tree, and the potted variety seem to die off in the summer heat anyway.
I also should mention that we don’t really have the space for a big Christmas tree, our living room is quite small!
So I was excited to see these photos of DIY christmas trees using household objects…
The first three are from here. The ladder looks great and I like it as it doesn’t take up too much space. The second photograph is of an old drying rack, I think something similar could definitely be made with an old clothes horse!