Denny Gunawan: Eco-Friendly House – Energy Saving, Recycle & Green Spaces | On the House #47

In this episode, host Gabriella Joustra is joined by Denny Gunawan who is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of New South Wales, specializing in chemical engineering and sustainability

In this episode, Gabriella and Denny engage in a lively conversation about conscious living and sustainability. They discuss interesting topics such as eco-friendly houses, energy-saving practices, recycling, and green spaces.

Meet Denny Gunawan

Denny Gunawan is a postdoctoral research associate at the Particles and Catalysis Research Group at the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of New South Wales. He is a researcher and academic in chemical engineering, with a focus on sustainability, photocatalytic solar hydrogen production, material design, and reactor engineering. 

Denny is affiliated with various institutions and initiatives, including the Australian Research Council Training Centre for the Global Hydrogen Economy and the New South Wales Decarbonisation Innovation Hub. He has also been involved in decarbonization projects led by government bodies and industry stakeholders, contributing to techno-economic studies on power-fuel technology and its applications.

About the episode

Denny kicks things off by talking about eco-friendly houses. He explains that these houses prioritize minimizing energy, water, and waste consumption while ensuring that people can still live comfortably. According to Denny, sustainability is all about effectively managing our resources and waste.

Denny stresses the importance of energy and water efficiency, waste reduction, and incorporating renewable energy sources and green spaces into home design and practices. He believes that these measures are key to making a house more sustainable. Sure, some upfront costs might be involved, but Denny wants people to focus on the long-term benefits. These benefits include preserving the environment, saving money, and improving our overall health and well-being.

In the podcast, Denny provides several ways to maintain a house in an eco-friendly manner. The first way is to be mindful of energy, water, and waste usage. Denny emphasizes the importance of daily habits that minimize consumption, such as turning off lights and appliances when not in use and taking shorter showers. These simple actions can make a significant difference in reducing energy, water, and waste.

Another eco-friendly practice Denny suggests is waste separation for recycling. This involves composting food scraps and recycling plastics, glass, paper, and cardboard. Some local councils now require the separation of different types of recycling, so it’s important to be aware of the guidelines in your area.

Denny also encourages practicing the 3Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. First, focus on reducing consumption and waste, seeking reusable alternatives to single-use plastics, and recycling items when necessary. Following the 3Rs can minimize your environmental impact and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Denny suggests incorporating renewable energy sources like solar panels or small home wind turbines if feasible. These installations can be placed in green spaces and contribute to a more sustainable energy supply for your house.

Here are other useful tips: 

  • Harvest rainwater: Denny recommends using water tanks to harvest rainwater from rooftops or yards. This collected water can then be utilized for gardening purposes, reducing reliance on mains water.
  • Plant drought-resistant native gardens: To minimize water usage and provide habitat, Denny suggests planting drought-resistant native gardens. Additionally, growing some food at home can help reduce the carbon footprint associated with food production and transportation.
  • Maintain home insulation and seal drafts: Denny highlights the importance of maintaining good home insulation, sealing drafts, and using timers on heating and cooling systems. These practices contribute to energy efficiency and help reduce energy costs.
  • Regular maintenance: Denny advises keeping up with regular maintenance tasks, such as replacing filters, to ensure appliances run efficiently. 

In conclusion

Denny provides valuable insights on how households can become more sustainable and eco-friendly through both design aspects and behavioral changes. Although there may be higher upfront costs, the long-term environmental, financial, and well-being benefits are significant.

So, if you want to maximize these factors, be intentional about designing your homes and yards from the get-go. By incorporating Denny’s strategies, you can create a more sustainable and eco-friendly living space that benefits both you and the planet.

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