For each 10,000 km you drive, each L/100 km less fuel consumption saves you $130 (based on $1.30/L).
The government’s Green Vehicle Guide allows you to compare the environmental impact and fuel consumption of all new passenger and light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes. Each version of each model gets a star rating, with five stars being the best. Five star rated cars are:
- Mitsubishi i MiEV
- Tesla Roadster
- Toyota Prius Hybrid
- Lexus CT200h
- smart fortwo
- Honda Insight
- Suzuki Alto
- Mini One
- Alfa Romeo Mito
- Holden Barina Spark
- Volkswagen Polo
- Suzuki Swift
- Honda Jazz
- Nissan Micra
- Toyota Yaris
- Hyundai i20
- Toyota Camry Hybrid
- Volkswagen Golf
- Hyundai Getz
- Lexus RX450h
Interestingly enough, when we first began using this site in 2007 only four cars scored five stars. These days the industry has come ahead in leaps and bounds with 20 five-star options available. It's a number CHOICE would like to see continue to rise, preferably at a rapidly increasing rate.
Whenever possible walk, go by bicycle, use public transport or car pool.
4. Save water
- The water efficiency label allows you to compare the water efficiency of different products. Each label shows a star rating out of six for the product – the more stars the better. It’s compulsory for all new domestic washing machines, dishwashers, showers, toilets, urinals and most taps.
- Rainwater is ideal for watering your garden. Contact your water authority and local council for tips and requirements on how to install and maintain a rainwater tank.
- Using greywater - the waste water from showers, laundry tubs and washing machines for example - could help save hundreds of litres of water a day. Greywater can be stored to be used on the garden (or even in toilets or washing machines), or it can be diverted to the garden with a plumbed-in diverter. Conditions may apply in the area where you live: contact your local council for advice on options available.
- Buy a water-efficient showerhead. However, if you have an instantaneous hot-water system, the flowrate of a low-flow shower head may not be enough to start it. Check with your installer. And if you have a gravity-fed water system (the water flows from your tank to your taps without being pumped), make sure you buy a shower head that's designed to cope with low pressure.
5. Switch to GreenPower
The average household emits around 14 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year, half of which is from electricity generation. This contributes to climate change and global warming.
One simple and relatively cheap way that we can all start to address this problem is by switching our electricity to “green” power. This means buying power from clean renewable sources such as the sun, wind, water and waste power, rather than coal.
- It’s available to all households and generally costs more than standard electricity.
- What you’ll pay depends on the percentage of GreenPower and the retailer you choose.
- Use one that’s accredited by the GreenPower program. GreenPower is an initiative of the ACT, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia Governments.
- The best choice of company and product depends on where you live and how much energy you use.
- Shop around by comparing your present supplier to other retailers in your state or territory.
- Make sure you select a reputable supplier.
See our report on GreenPower.