Carbon offsetting is one way of doing it – but sometimes the simplest methods work best.
Most new houses being built in Australia do no better than comply with the minimum energy performance required by regulations.
Australia requires a minimum six-star energy rating for new housing. New homes average just 6.2 stars, so builders are doing the bare minimum to comply, even as the costs of this approach are rising.
Tiny houses on display in Portland, Oregon in 2017.
Dan David Cook/Wikimedia
Research shows that moving from a larger dwelling to a tiny home can change behavior in surprising ways.
Lochiel Park in Adelaide was Australia’s first large-scale attempt to create homes that use near net zero energy.
Air conditioning changed both building design and people's active management of home temperatures. A return to houses designed for our climate can keep us comfortable and cut energy use and emissions.
Bitcoin may have a large carbon footprint, but cleaner digital currencies aren't going to prevent an environmental disaster.
The latest Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts tell us waste production is rising with GDP, but the information is incomplete and widely ignored.
Water and energy use are becoming more efficient, which is good news for both the economy and the environment. But Australia has yet to realise the value of national environmental accounting.
A jumble of steel scrap.
If the US were to stop dumping these valuable metals in landfills and to cease exporting them as cheap scrap, its imports could fall, and there would be less of these metals being made from scratch.
The study showed that boosting the office temperature a little can save energy and keep office workers comfortable without sacrificing their cognitive performance.
Mami Kempe / The Conversation
Our study found that office workers performed just the same, whether the air conditioning was set at 22°C or 25°C. But making that tweak can cut energy use by 18%.
This episode is all about bitcoin. Will it be the currency of the future? Who’s trying to capitalise on the legal loopholes of cryptocurrencies? And is it possible to make mining them more green.
Falling back or staying put?
Advocates say daylight saving time saves energy and wins wars. But studies show that injuries and illnesses rise when the clocks change. Some states may end the practice; others could make it permanent.
Solar panels are integrated into a block of flats in the Viikki area of Helsinki, Finland.
Not everyone can afford to pay for solar panels up front, but local planners can help disadvantaged households overcome energy poverty in several ways.
Soaring heating costs mean many vulnerable Australians endure cold houses and the associated risks to their health.
Paul Vasarhelyi from www.shutterstock.com
The idea of a hot and sunny land is so baked into our thinking about Australia that we've failed to design and build houses that protect us from the cold.
Solar panels are still a rarity in WA’s lower-income areas.
Western Australia has huge amounts of sunshine and wind, yet only 7% of its energy comes from renewables. What's more, most households in the poorest suburbs are still locked out of the solar panel boom.
Cutting energy use takes more than just the flick of a smartphone.
Smart appliances, which let you control lights and power outlets via your phone, promise to cut energy bills. But research suggests these gadgets are confusing, and can just as easily raise power use.
If you’re feeling hot this summer, consider a retrofit.
Fan image from www.shutterstock.com
Before you spend up on heating and cooling, here are a few simple retrofits to try first.
Pets suffer just as badly as their humans in the heat.
As the weather heats up, Australian households won’t just be cranking up the air conditioning for themselves. Some households will also be turning it on for their dogs or cats.
Cities today are flooded with light and we seldom think of its harmful impacts on the natural world.
Urban greening programs need to consider the harmful impacts of artificial lighting on ecosystems. Fortunately, we can do a lot to create more biosensitive lighting.
Spring forward, fall back … why?
Daylight saving time advocates say it conserves energy and wins wars. But studies show that injuries and illnesses rise when we switch the clocks. One solution: staying on DST year-round.
Calek / shutterstock
Most people say they want to save money and the environment, but their actions suggest otherwise.
Airlines have saved energy by changing flight routes and modifying wings for better fuel use.
Plane image from www.shutterstock.com
Companies could improve their profits 2-10% each year by saving energy, according to a world-first attempt to assess energy performance.