I rent my house, but I’m lucky to have my dad as my landlord. This means I’m able to make a lot more changes to make my life more sustainable than most tenants could. Although my dad doesn’t agree to everything I propose. He recently painted the outside of the house and it’s an older weather board house so I thought it would look good to have two different shades for the bottom and the top. Although I suggested some vibrant shades, he didn’t agree with my flamboyant vision and every wall is cream. My dad has no sense of adventure!
In the middle of February my dad had a solar water heater installed – greenhouse gas emission free water heating! Previously the water was heated by natural gas, which was better than electricity, but not as good as solar. The old gas system had been on its last legs for quite a while, but being lazy old me, it took me a long time to tell my dad this. I was used to pretty luke-warm showers. It had gotten a bit annoying last winter, but then summer arrived and I forgot. Since the sun started boiling our water, I was in for a bit of shock. I thought you could only get water that hot out of a kettle! I can see this winter that my addiction to too-long showers is only going to get worse.
I haven’t yet turned on the electricity booster and I hope we’ll only need it for three months of the year. We’re just getting into autumn, although summer has been lingering most of March. When winter arrives I hope to only turn on the booster on overcast days and there are always a few sunny days in Perth’s mild winters. The climate of Perth is ideal for solar energy generation. If I lived anywhere else it might not be so easy.
I would also like to use solar panels to generate my electricity, but that’s going to have to wait until I build my own sustainably designed house, which is a long-term plan of mine (I have to finish studying and get a real job first).