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Summer is here and, for many people, that means taking time away from work to spend more time at home. Whether you’re preparing your home for sale, or want to make the most from your recent property investment and enjoy the healthiest, happiest lifestyle possible, knowing how to make your home clean and fresh the environmentally-friendly way is something that can help trim your budget and improve your well-being. To help make your home a little more eco-friendly this summer, try these handy tips:

1. Light-filled living. When the sun is shining outside, do you really need those electric lights on indoors? Making the most of the natural light is better for your utilities budget – and your health. Because natural light is a naturally good mood enhancer and will save your power bills too. Taking it one step further, an investment in solar power panels is the ultimate way to enjoy a light-filled lifestyle.

2. Living air purifiers for better health. Don’t stock up on costly, chemical-based air fresheners from the supermarket. Instead, try living indoor plants that add a soft, green touch to your space and make your air better to breathe too. Look for plants such as aloe vera, spider plants (one of the easiest indoor plants to grow), snake plants and Peace Lily and say bye-bye to air nasties.

3. Go native.  Planting native species of plants in your garden is a great idea for lots of reasons, including attracting native birds and bees to your backyard. But from a money-saving perspective, it’s all about saving on your water bill. With a gorgeous native garden, you’ll improve the value of your home – an investment in time and effort that will pay off in the long-term.

Drought-resistant plants make sense for Australian gardens – especially those in hotter climates. Talk to your local nursery staff for expert advice on plants to suit your garden in stress-free style and watch your water usage plummet.

4. Create a vegetable patch. Australian backyards (or front yards) are great places to grow a wide variety of summer fruits and vegetables.

Snake beans, tomatoes, sweet corn, rockmelon, summer greens and rockmelon are just some of the lovely foods you could be picking from your own garden this summer. Talk to your local nursery to see what you can still plant or buy as seedlings to fill your garden with delicious things to eat.

Check out the guide to summer vegetables in your region here:  summer gardening

5. Get active. Warmer weather is the time to be out and about – so if you can choose walking over driving, just do it and save on petrol and wear and tear on your vehicle. Remember the slip, slop, slap rule if you’re in the sun and make sure you stay hydrated with cool, clear water. And that petrol money you might have spent? Tuck a few coins in a piggy-bank each time you trade a car trip for walking. You’ll feel better, you’ll help the environment and you’ll save money as well.

6. Cut out the cleaning chemicals. Harsh chemicals that get poured down our sinks and into our waterways are wreaking havoc on our environment. And they are costing a lot of money. Exploring natural alternatives can mean an initial investment in some different tools than you’re used to having around but trading that traditional mop for a steam mop means clean, healthy floors that don’t need anything more than water and some old-fashioned muscle. Other cleaning tricks using natural ingredients include white vinegar, baking soda, lemons, natural salt, liquid soap.

7. Forget the tumble-dryer and make the most the fresh air and sunshine to dry your wet washing. It’s easy, it’s free and it’s healthy.

Making small changes to the way you live inside your home not only improves your health – it improves your environment for anyone who enters it, including your pets. And with the money you save on chemical cleaners, petrol, processed foods and high energy bills, you can create your own weekly savings jar and use that money to add to any loan payments, including your mortgage repayments. Small steps really do make a big difference.

For advice about how your new-found savings can help you repay your mortgage faster, talk to our team of home loan experts at Lending Specialists. on 03 8805 1800 or email:

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