Greener living

Greener living



Top products for being green around the home

1. Multi-purpose Tree
The Tree is a space divider designed by Professor Eero Aarnio, unveiled at the Milan Furniture Fair. Intended for restaurants and other public spaces, the Tree is also a sculpture made of techno-recyclable polyethylene, and will surely find its way into homes.

Professor Eero Aarnio describes the birth of the Tree: “The Tree is like many other products I have designed; part functional object, part sculpture. It functions as a space divider and a decoration, of course, but clever users will surely find other uses for it, such as a coat rack.”

This tree also bears fruit, as the proceeds of each Tree are used to plant four fruit trees in the Peruvian Andes as a part of World Vision Finland’s regional development project to fight and prevent erosion.

The Tree is available exclusive to IKEN.

2. Glassware Goes Green
Go green, that’s eco green, with Luigi Bormioli’s stylish and innovative new eco-friendly Recycled Green Glassware range, made with the environment in mind.

Ideal for alfresco dining, Recycled Green Glassware is made from cullet, a recycled waste glass gathered for remelting. All items in the range have an attractive clear green colour, highlighting the collection’s eco message. Even the packaging is eco friendly, made from recycled cardboard and printed using organic inks. There is no plastic bubble wrap or foam to be seen either.

While recycled glass drinkware in the past has been clunky and thick, Luigi Bormioli’s first recycled range exudes quality. Glasses have a smooth-cut drinking rim, elegant styling and all pieces have a firm, balanced base that belies the strength of the range. Available from Myer and independent homeware stores, the full collection of Recycled Green Glassware incorporates three glass styles (wine, old-fashioned tumbler and hi-ball), a pitcher, a three-section serving dish and a two-piece chip ‘n’ dip bowl.

3. Making Every DROP Count
Paco Jaanson has introduced one of the smartest eco-friendly products for the bathroom, the DROP shower. Designed by Italian industrial designer Giulio Iacchetti, DROP’s profile was inspired by the shape of a water drop. The DROP shower is an easy, ironic and practical product that has brought unique style and colour back to the bathroom and poolside.

The growing awareness of our environment and a need for preserving natural resources has also seen a move into designing products made of eco-friendly materials.

DROP is made of silicone; the new rage in Italian bathroom design. This eco-friendly material is totally recyclable and available in many colours. Silicone has a thermal stability of up to 250 degrees and a high resistance to oxygen, ozone and sunlight, making the DROP shower not only perfect for indoors, but outdoors as well.

The flexible material is non-stick and doesn’t allow for lime deposits to build up. It has no toxicity and low chemical reactivity, making DROP one of the most eco-friendly showers on the market.

DROP is the smart way to save water. It comes with a flow restrictor already installed limiting the flow rate to 7.5 L/pm, so five-minute showers will cost you just 40 litres.

4. Secret Water Storage

Water bladders have been around for a long time, but are a relatively new concept in the rainwater industry. Waterplex’s Reo Sac is a reinforced frameless bladder tank for hidden rainwater storage. The Australian-designed-and-made Reo Sac fits neatly under any house or deck, utilising unused space rather than taking up room in the garden or ruining the landscape.

As the sac sits under the middle of the house, rainwater from downpipes on all sides can be collected, optimising water collection; a significant benefit when trying to meet environmental standards at home. Reo Sac is made from reinforced PVC and comes with a geo-textile groundsheet to buffer it from the ground, so there is no need for a concrete slab underneath.

Due to the quality of the materials, water from the sac can be used for washing machines and gardening, but is also accredited to AS4020, the Australian standard for drinking water so can be used for other internal uses. These bladders provide a cost-effective and storage-friendly option to meet environmental standards. Also, each bladder can be fully recycled at the end of its lifespan (more than 30 years) which means one less product to pollute the environment.

Unlike other frameless bladders, Reo Sac has no moving parts, so there is nothing to damage or break over time. Reo Sacs are available in 66 different sizes to store from 1150 to 7050 litres of water. Tanks can also be joined together to increase capacity. Each bladder is individually tested before leaving the factory and comes with a 10-year warranty.

5. Dry up the Organic Way
Free from toxic dyes and insecticides used in conventional cotton production, these organic cotton tea towels from Ladelle are hardwearing, longlasting and good for the health and wellbeing of your environment. Designed in Australia and made in India, they come in sage, rust, cream and chocolate shades.

6. Lighten Up On Energy and Electrician Costs
Olsent’s new innovative collection of solar lighting allows you to easily add lighting to your home exterior without an electrician.

Olsent solar lights include a range of versatile garden, security and utility lighting solutions that utilise the latest LED technology, including longlasting Nicad batteries for the ultimate in energy-saving and user-friendly designs. Whether you want to add ambience to your outdoor living area or simply line your walkways and decks with light, Olsent garden solar lights are easy to install and contain LEDs that consume less power than conventional globes.

Set the mood with ease with the Olsent Stainless Steel Solar Bollard Light; a modern light design that’s a perfect decorative solution for outdoor living areas. Choose from two light options, colour changing or classic white. Up to eight hours of light output is sure to see you and your guests through a dazzling evening of al fresco entertainment.

Motion-sensing security solar lights provide immediate lighting once motion is detected and are ideal for illuminating entranceways, garage doors, pathways and steps. The Olsent Aluminium Twin Solar Security Light features a 120-degree motion sensor and twin adjustable heads for directional lighting. Plus with six white Nichia LEDs in each head, the light is 10 times brighter than a standard LED.

For the ultimate in solar lighting innovation, Olsent Solar House Numbers are a practical solution to identify houses at night. Designed with large, black numbers and letters visible day and night, this functional lighting solution is easily wall mounted and automatically turns on at dusk and off at dawn.

Olsent products come with a 12-month warranty.

7. Closet Greenies
If we’re going to save the world from climate change, we all need to become environmentalists. Now is the time for all closet “greenies” to come out, and you can make a difference in the closet as well.

Billions of wire hangers are produced globally each year and around a third end up in landfill. But The Green Hanger is a fully recyclable cardboard coat hanger made from 100 per cent recycled material, comprising of post-consumer waste.

The Green Hanger is an earth-lovin’, tree-savin’, clothes-supportin’ piece of green genius. It uses rubbish (the mess we’ve already made) to clean up our act and bedrooms (another mess we’ve made) and is also 100 per cent recyclable again.

The production process does not involve the use of glues, inks, or other non-renewable resources. So there will be no more axing 100-year-old carbon-saving trees just so you’ve got somewhere to hang your coat.

Available in packs of 25, the hangers are strong and versatile, great for any garment from shirts, singlets, pants and jackets, and every time you change your clothes you can feel good knowing you’re doing another thing to help change the world. The future of our earth is hanging on it.

8. Light up your life
The Allure range from Mercator Lighting is a modern-designed lighting series that will make any room feel more contemporary. The simplistic yet stylish design is available in a two-light table and floor lamp, as well as two-light and four-light pendants.

The Corso from Mercator Lighting is an energy-efficient spotlight series that offers a longer life span through using less energy. The range is available in four sizes of spotlights, and also a two-light floor lamp and a new one-light clamp lamp.

9. On the wagon
With water restrictions in place, maintaining the home and garden can be difficult. The Hudson Water WagonTM has been designed to help save water – keeping in line with water restrictions whilst enabling you to water your garden or complete other water-related tasks efficiently.

The Hudson Water WagonTM Wheeled Sprayer is equipped with 11-litre capacity; a High Performance PumpTM for fast and easy pressurisation; an extra-long no-kink 1.8-metre hose and comes with a thumb-operated shut-off valve. This sprayer has also been designed with two heavy-duty wheels, making it more convenient when transporting or covering large areas.

The Water WagonTM can also be used for washing, rinsing and showering. With its water-conserving rain soft shower spray head, take it camping or boating, for showering, cleaning fish, washing dishes; spring cleaning around the house – washing windows; or even washing the dog.

The Hudson Water WagonTM Wheeled Sprayer has a three-year warranty and is available throughout most hardware retailers.

10. Clean and Green
Rid yourself of grime and bad smells in the freshest most environmentally friendly way! MiEnviron is a gentle, but very effective range of certified organic, non-toxic household formulations to enhance your household environment.

BioPure is a highly concentrated, all natural household and industrial cleaner containing powerful probiotic bacteria, antioxidants and enzymes that break down grease, grime and dirt and neutralise odours. BioPure means cleaning without chemicals and its living benefits continue to work even after the initial application.

The probiotic properties of BioPure ensure it is safe for humans and the environment, and uniquely effective as a surface active agent to ionise and digest organic matter for surface cleaning and odour reduction.

BioPure can be used as a general-purpose household cleaner, for floors, kitchen surfaces, mould and mildew areas and bathrooms. It is a probiotic cleaning liquid that works differently to anti-bacterial products, which attempt to kill bad bacteria. BioPure utilises beneficial bacteria to regenerate and repopulate with healthy bacteria so they can dominate harmful, disease-causing (pathogenic) bacteria. This creates a natural, healthy and clean environment. When used consistently, BioPure prevents the re-emergence of pathogenic bacteria.

The Biodegradable Dishwashing Concentrate is a low foaming, concentrated formula based exclusively on renewable raw materials and green-chemistry principles. The sugar-based surfactants in MiEnviron Dishwashing Concentrate combine excellent cleaning performance, low ecological footprint, low eco-toxicity, high biodegradability and exceptional mildness.

11. True Green Home
A 100 Ideas to Help You Create A Greener Home
Kim McKay and Jenny Bonnin
RRP $22.95

Want to improve your carbon footprint in a meaningful way? This book will teach you the top 100 ways to make your home more sustainable, better for your health and the health of the planet.

True Green Home is the fourth book in the popular True Green series written by Kim McKay and Jenny Bonnin – part of the Clean Up Australia team. Both Kim and Jenny have had experience at renovating homes and the 100 tips in True Green Home include many of the practices and principles they have learnt.

There are also case studies by award-winning sustainable architect Caroline Pidock – who always strives to combine creativity with practicality, Victorian designer Luke Middleton shares five key issues behind his design approach and interior designer, and sustainability consultant Kirsty Mate lists the golden rules for renovators, new builders and home decorators.

Some of their great tips include:

    • Eco-friendly building materials are growing in affordability in availability. Ask your builder and architect to source green solutions to non-renewable resources such as recycled timber and engineered and plastic timber (great for decks).


  • Banish the air conditioner – create natural breezes with the placement of doors and windows.



  • Install skylights and enjoy free natural light for up to 14 hours a day.



  • Don’t standby – standby power can cost the average Australian household as much as $50-$100 a year. Turning off that red light at night on your television, CD player or computer can save you around 115 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions each year.



True Green Home is suitable for homeowners and renters. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make a difference that will have a positive impact on the environment.

12. From the Building and Plumbing Commissions
Make your home green by insulating; insulation is the most effective item to improve your home’s energy efficiency. It acts as a barrier to heat flow and keeps your home warm in winter and cool in summer.

Well insulated homes can:

    • Keep your home up to 10ºC cooler in summer and 5ºC warmer in winter.


  • Save 45-55 per cent of heating and cooling energy.


You can cut your cooling and heating bills by learning more about using insulation and cleverly designing your homes. The best and most economical time to install insulation is during construction. But you’ll still save energy and money when retrofitting insulation during renovations.

Some simple tips to insulate now include:

    • Close all windows when cooling and/or heating your home.


  • Install lined curtains, solar screen shades or blinds to stop the house heating up during hot summer months.



  • Use reverse-angle ceiling fans to force hot air down.



Make your home green by reducing energy.

There are many ways that we can save energy (and money) in our homes:

    • Invest in window shading or retrofitting low energy appliances, such as heating and cooling systems.


  • Do simple things to save energy such as switching off appliances at the wall or sealing gaps around doors and windows.



  • Even the smallest changes to reduce energy use in the home can make a big difference to our environment.





Evaluate your current energy usage by asking yourself:

    • Is your water too hot? If so, check your thermostat.


  • Do you turn off the lights when you leave a room?



  • Do you turn off your appliances at the socket? How often do you leave something on recharge or standby mode unnecessarily?



  • When you boil the kettle, do you only boil what you need?



  • Have you converted your lightbulbs to energy-saving lightbulbs?



  • A good start is to calculate how much energy you are already using and set yourself a goal of reducing that energy use by at least 15 per cent.





To learn more about ways to reduce household energy and making your home more sustainable visit



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