Incorporating a green ethos in home and life

EVERY girl needs a mentor.

More than 10 years ago, I started contributing editorially to several - of the many - home title series of magazines that Kate St James oversees as editor-in-chief for Universal Magazines.

Kate was living the eco, earth-friendly life in the Northern Rivers back in the 1980s. Ahead of the times, she returned to the city to pursue her stellar career in publishing and promoting design, especially great green design.

After decades of studying, editing, writing and professionally speaking on architecture and interiors, Kate continues to be passionate about advancing eco-friendly home design.

Here she outlines some advice on how to incorporate green design in our homes and lives.

Kate St James's top 5 tips

1. Insulate - There's nothing like it for keeping warm and keeping cool. Insulation in your roof, walls and floors will help regulate temperature.

2. Reduce waste - Follow the four Rs: Reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink. With more than 53 million tonnes of waste going into landfill each year, ask yourself: "Do I really need that?"

3. Employ passive solar design principles when building to save money on heating and cooling. Use simple design elements such as correct site orientation, appropriate choice of materials and placement of windows and eaves for a superior result.

4. Use low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints to reduce the toxicity of your interiors, improve air quality and protect your health.

5. Reduce water usage by installing water-efficient taps and showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, dual-flush toilets, and grow drought-tolerant plants in your garden.

See www.katestjames.com.au.


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