By Gill Baker and Karen Retra,
Wangaratta Sustainability Network and Border Eco-Living Program
Living Lightly isn’t always easy. Different folks have different priorities and interests, and so will make different choices in their efforts to live lightly. Just finding out about the options can be challenging. Therefore, it makes sense and is inspiring to learn from others who have ‘been there, done that’, or are further along a particular path than we might be.
Sustainable House Day is a nationwide, annual event showcasing homes which have been built or modified to enable sustainable living. In this United Nations Year of Sustainable Energy for All the houses demonstrate ways of reducing energy use, reducing carbon emissions and reducing the power bill!
Sustainable House Day is tomorrow (Sunday 9 September) and anyone who is considering building, renovating, retrofitting or looking for ideas to help reduce their environmental footprint, will find a visit to these houses inspirational.
Locally seven homes will be open – two in Albury, one on the outskirts of Wangaratta, and four between Wangaratta and Yarrawonga. These local homes offer insights into both technologies and behaviours that contribute to sustainability. The day is a great opportunity to speak to the owners about their journey, choices and even what they’d do differently.
On offer at these homes are a variety of solutions to common challenges, such as hot water heating, efficient appliances, space heating and cooling, energy monitoring and water use.
In other ways the homes are quite different. They include a converted farm shed with two storey extension, innovative material use such as timbercrete and insulated concrete forms, grid connected and stand alone solar power systems, a solar tracking device and one has an inspiring take on making effective use of a steeply sloped suburban block.
Outside, there are wicking worm beds, vegetable patches, native gardens and fire-ready designs. And there’s much more to see.
The houses are open between 10am and 4pm and entry is free.
Sustainable House Day is co-ordinated locally by Wangaratta Sustainability Network and the Border Eco-Living Program.
For further information and address details for the homes visit www.sustainablehouseday.com.