Make 2017 your greenest year yet

With 2016 drawing to a close, it’s natural to start thinking about the future. What do we want the next year to look like? How can we improve our lives moving forward?

While some of your resolutions might be seriously long term, like cutting out sugar or saving for that family holiday in Bali, some are so easy you can start making changes now. Make 2017 your greenest year yet with these simple solutions.

Energy efficient light bulbs.

This one is so easy you’ve probably already started doing it but over the next few months make the full transition to energy efficient lightbulbs. You could save 50 per cent more of the energy you use for lighting by using Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs.

Switch to green cleaning products.

Vinegar and baking soda were good enough for our grandparents and they’re making a comeback. We now know harmful chemicals get into our waterways and cause damage to natural ecosystems, so make 2017 the year you fully switch to greener cleaning products. Use vinegar on the floor and benchtops, baking soda on the toilet, and environmentally friendly brands for everything else.

Limit your food waste.

Did you know the average Victorian household throws out approximately $2,200 worth of food each year? And wasting food wastes other valuable resources like water, soil and energy too?

Break free from this damaging cycle by getting more creative in your kitchen. Try planning meals around what’s already in fridge and only buy as much as you need for each recipe. If you’re bored with eating leftovers, get yourself some puff pastry and bake them into a pie instead.

Reusable coffee cups.

Australians love their coffee but we now know disposable coffee cups to be a real environmental problem. According to a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, they’re estimated to be second only to the plastic bottle when it comes to landfill contributors, and are estimated to equate to around 60,000 kilograms of waste per year. Take the guilt out of your morning treat by making the switch to a reusable cup.

Go solar with AGL.

This one’s as easy as picking up the phone. An AGL solar expert can help you get in control of your energy usage and carbon footprint. We’ll go through how solar works with you, design a solar solution that suits your circumstances, along with installing it and giving you the ability to monitor it so it runs smoothly.

These solutions span energy storage (letting you use solar at night), solar panels (which enable you to generate solar energy for you to use and sell excess back into the grid) and Solar Command (letting you see your production and consumption so you can behave most efficiently).

Plus, if you sign up for the AGL solar Smart Plan you’ll pay $0 upfront. So you can choose to put some of the savings towards that Bali holiday now, and pay for the Smart Plan over time.

Solar power is clean, sustainable and renewable so it’s as green as you can get for the smallest amount of effort. It’s not something you have to remember, like turning off the power points or taking your green bags to the shops. Once your system is switched on the only time you’ll notice it is when your power bill leaves extra cash in your pocket.