Sustainability is in our DNA at Electrolux. From an environmentally aware heritage to bold global sustainability goals, it’s a privilege to be a leader in making the everyday better.
As part of our Better Living program – four big goals for 2030 – we’re committed to making sustainable eating the preferred choice, clothes last twice as long with half the environmental impact, homes healthier and more sustainable through innovative air, water and flooring solutions, and for our business to be circular and climate neutral.
We understand sustainability is important to New Zealanders and that through everyday projects, collectively we can make a difference to our planet and people. Here’s a month-by-month plan to try at home.
New year, new energy bills for you. Switch your power on three fronts:
- Swap fluorescent lightbulbs to LED, which typically use anywhere between 25%-80% less energy than traditional lights and can last 3-25 times longer*.
- Reduce idle power usage estimated to account for 10% of your energy bill by turning off appliances when not in use.
- Phone your electricity provider and opt in for a carbon neutral or carbon offset plan. What this means is energy retailers provide ‘carbon neutral electricity plans’ by purchasing carbon offset units or emission reduction certificates equivalent to the emissions from your home’s energy usage – and at no extra annual cost for you.
As you head back to school and work say no to single use plastics. According to Plastics NZ, each New Zealander consumes approximately 31 kg of plastic packaging every single year, and only recycles 5.58kgs. Make the switch to reusable cups and containers. Purchase a multi-use water bottle, coffee cup, cutlery and a lunchbox or container, which you can ask cafes and food retailers to put your takeaway salad or sandwich in.
Mark Global Recycling Day by upgrading your recycling system to be more intuitive, meaning, you’ll use it properly. Think about dual or triple waste bins, repurposing glass jars, recycling packages when they arrive and don’t forget other materials, like recycling electronics and appliances when you no longer want them.
If you’ve got a painting project, cooler temperatures and lower humidity levels in mid-autumn of April make finishing a painting project a whole lot easier. Plus, with Easter you’ve got a long weekend for those DIY projects. Be sure to choose eco paints over traditional ones, which are full of volatile organic compounds.
Before you head into the cold and drafty winter months, consider air sealing your home to stop your heating having to work overtime. Drafts around doors and windows can be insulated using affordable easy-to-install products such as rubber door strips and foam window strips available from hardware stores.
If EOFY sales line up with the right time to upgrade your appliances, replace them with energy efficient models. As for cooktops, that might mean installing an induction model, for dryers, our range of Heat Pump Dryers have achieved a 7-star energy rating, while our washing machine technology includes SensorWash, which reduces energy needs by up to 50% thanks to the powerful EcoInverter motor. Consider WELS water and red star energy ratings when purchasing your appliances.
About 90% of the energy used by the washing machine during laundry goes towards heating the water, so choosing a modern machine with innovative functions, can help decrease your carbon footprint. Wash clothes in colder water without compromise using the 4.5-star WELS, 5-star energy rated Electrolux 10kg Front Load Washer EWF1042BDWA, which features UltraMix, requiring lower temperatures for the same superior clean.
Investigate free programs to up your sustainability credentials. Local councils and water utilities often have services, but a quick search online can also uncover free online courses in sustainable living.
With spring the optimum season for gardening in New Zealand, make your planting smart. That means considering climate and land type when choosing plant species to help minimise maintenance and water usage. Opt for natives or drought resistant species, and if you’re growing a vegetable garden, choose varieties that will thrive in your location.
Celebrate World Vegetarian Day with a plant-based recipe swap with friends or colleagues. Ask everyone to share their favourite recipe, serving as inspiration when meat-free Monday rolls around. Adopting a plant-based diet can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the food system by more than half, according to a Nature journal study. Some of our favourite vegetarian recipes: Massimo Mele’s Beetroot, Lentil, Goats Curd, Apple and Walnut Salad and Morgan Hipworth’s Orange Souffle.
We flush the equivalent of 270,000 trees down the drain each day, and nearly 10% of that is attributable to toilet paper^. Buy recycled toilet paper to offset this, like Who Gives a Crap, which offers recycled toilet paper and “forest-friendly” tissues and paper towels.
For a greener Christmas consider buying less. Instead of panic buying a pile of presents, choose gestures of thoughtfulness and give more while spending less. Think about a Secret Santa, so instead of buying for 10 people, you’re buying for one and before purchasing anything new, especially for children who tend to grow out of gifts, first check Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Gumtree.
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Massimo Mele’s Tips For Entertaining At Home
Cookbook author, lifestyle and entertaining expert