Take up an environmental cause

Protecting the Environment

Take Up and Environmental Cause

In recent years a lot of harm has been done by troublemaking activists that somehow feel they are helping the planet by creating havoc.

There are hundreds of things we as individuals can do to help the environment and look after our neighborhood, town/city, country, continent and planet.

The good news is you can do all of these things without upsetting anybody, creating a public nuisance and damaging the brand of being an environmentalist.

Your environmental cause does not have to go beyond how you personally use this planet and its resources. 

In 2 easy steps you could do more for the environment than what a dozen climate protestors could ever do.

Let’s say you are now living in a retirement village, you own the home you live in, you own a petrol engine car, an electric mobility scooter and your village is located within a town that has a population of 20,000 and you are within 30 minutes drive of the ocean.

We’ll also assume that you no longer make long car journeys, the longest journey you entertain doing these days is 500km but more likely you would not venture beyond 200km.

Step 1: Let’s get you into an zero emissions vehicle

I would love to be able to suggest that in Australia there was more than 1 choice for a zero emissions vehicle.

It’s disappointing that we are unable to see new B100 (100% Biodiesel) fueled vehicles or cars that can run on liquefied biogas but that’s the topic for another day.

We’ll just stick to looking for an electric vehicle as our zero emissions option.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll say that you don’t wish to look at any electric vehicle that is valued over $50,000 and you should be able to get around $15,000 for your vehicle as a trade in.   I typically use the 70% of what your car is most likely worth as what you will get as trade in, the assumption is that it’s in very good condition and low kilometers.

Visit a car sales website, one that I often use in Australia is www.carsales.com.au

You are unlikely that you will get a lot of electric vehicle choices under $50,000 in a country like Australia at the moment, other than the MG ZS EV.   Not that this is a bad thing at all, to be honest, I find this vehicle to be an amazing car and if you can afford one, go for it.

Search for dealer provided 2nd hand vehicles; search all makes, body type of SUV, manufacture year between 2017 and 2023, a range over 500km and with a maximum price of $50,000.

There won’t be many options but in the search I’ve just done, there are 6 and they are all either 2019 or 2020 Hyundai Kona Electric SUV’s.   These vehicles came out with a rating of 8.4 which is pretty good but the battery life is only 3 to 5 years, depending on where you look.

Now we will refer to the fact that you don’t feel you would drive beyond 200km nowadays and want something with a good battery life.   We’ll change the search to only Mazda vehicles, we’ll remove the range limitation and keep that the year range is between 2017 and 2023 and maximum price of $50,000.


Introducing the 2021 Mazda MX-30 SUV Electric Vehicle.

Step 2: Let’s get solar panels installed onto your home

get solar panels installed onto your home

Constantly increasing electricity prices making it ridiculously expensive to run your kettle, let alone charge your electric vehicle and scooter.   As such, installing as many solar panels as possible onto your roof is now almost essential, not just a worthwhile option.   In some states though, the solar feed in tariffs is nothing short of a joke, my home state of NSW for instance only offers between 7.7 to 9.4c per kilowatt hour.   I personally only get 8c/kWh, which is very disappointing.

However, just by having a roof full of solar panels and feeding your supply into the grid will reduce you electricity bill quite a bit.  For around $4,000 you could get a company like Arise Solar to install an array of solar panels capable of producing 6.6kw, with a 5kw inverter.  If you want to go a little beyond that and have the roof space, you could go for 10.3 KW systems for around $6,300 with an 8KW Inverter.   

In addition to getting solar panels installed, you could make your home into what’s called a hybrid solar arrangement.   

What is a hybrid solar arrangement for a home?

consider taking your home off the grid

During the day, your solar panels will draw energy from the sun; the only difference is that any excess energy produced by your system will be used to charge the batteries connected to the unit. After charging the battery, any excess energy is fed back into the grid at your current feed-in-tariff rate.

When the sun goes down, or if there is no sun during the day due to cloud cover, your home will draw electricity from the battery rather than the grid. If your property consumes more electricity than the amount stored in your battery, you can continue to draw electricity from the grid until your system starts to produce electricity again.

Assuming you already have the panels and then just wish to make your home a hybrid setup, the cost of the battery and the setup changes is around $9,000.

There is one further option for you too and that is if you would like to take your home off the grid entirely.   

If you already have sufficient panels on your roof, you could make your home off grid and received another electricity bill for around $25,000.   To learn more about taking your home off grid, here’s a good link, https://solarcalculator.com.au/off-grid-solar/

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