Sustainability expert encourages eco-friendly energy

The Forever Project's Chris Ferreira at the Hamilton Hill sustainable home. Photo: Ben Smith.
The Forever Project's Chris Ferreira at the Hamilton Hill sustainable home. Photo: Ben Smith.

ONE of WA’s leading sustainability experts has preached the power of eco-friendly practices to improve quality of life and slash power bills.

The Forever Project’s Chris Ferreira specialises in teaching people how to do more with less and has been involved in a number of eco-friendly projects, including sustainability education program Great Gardens.

Chief among his projects is his self-sustaining house in Hamilton Hill, which he said had saved him more than $30,000 in power bills since the project began in 2011.

“You can live a life where we don’t need as much water, as much power,” he said.

“Vegetation and planting can have a big role in creating healing, healthy communities and environments for us.

“In a world where we have politicians telling us we have to have cheaper power and that means more power, no, you just need to learn how to use less and it can save you a huge amount of money.”

The Murdoch University lecturer said the garden which surrounded the house had played a huge part in cutting down his power bills.

“There are deciduous trees to the north, good insulation in the walls and the roof and getting rid of things like air conditioning because we’ve made the house more naturally insulated has made a massive difference,” Mr Ferreira.

“The plants keep it cool in summer and let in the winter sun,” he said.

Chris Ferreira says the Hamilton Hill sustainable home has saved $30,000 in energy bills since it began in 2011. Photo: Ben Smith.

Always keen to spread the gospel of sustainability, Mr Ferreira is holding two events in Hamilton Hill this month to educate people on the benefits of eco-friendly.

The first is an open day at the aforementioned self-sustaining home on Mortlock Street, the second a pop-up forest opening just down the road at the Kerry Street Pear Tree Cafe a week later.

He said the holy trinity of sustainable concepts was working out if it made sense economically, socially and environmentally.

“We created a home where the garden is the biggest room at the home, all researchers are telling us we spend too much time inside staring at screens and not enough time outside, if we can create spaces where people want to be outside, it’s better for us,” he said.

“We want great landscapes that need less water, not more, less fertiliser not more, less energy and less waste.

“For this pop up forest, we’ve recycled 30 tonnes of waste and turned into the baskets and sculptures, and this house alone we’ve saved over 300 tonnes from landfill.”

Mr Ferreira said if people were interested in making their house more sustainable, the first course of action was to get a design done before heading to the nursery.

The sustainable home open takes place on September 15 from 10am-4pm and entry is $18, which allows access to all tours and workshops throughout the day.

The pop-up forest is a free event from 4pm onwards on September 21.

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