Living sustainably with the Valeri family
Former Melbourne Victory captain Carl Valeri and his wife Whitney discuss how they save energy in their home and encourage sustainable family practices.
Former Socceroos player and Melbourne Victory captain, Carl Valeri, and his wife, Whitney, recently renovated their home, situated on 10 acres in the picturesque Macedon Ranges.
During the renovation process, the couple went to great lengths to create a home environment that helps their family save energy. They take pride in teaching the kids about their impact and how they can also contribute to the household’s energy efficiency.
Every bit counts
Carl and Whitney believe that when it comes to saving energy with a family, it’s the little things that count. These small changes can lead to significant benefit in the long run.
Although they have installed energy efficient LED lights throughout the home, Carl and Whitney make a conscious effort to remind their kids to switch lights off when not in use. This goes for the TV and other appliances, too. Reinforcing these habits ensures their energy consumption remains low. For instance, Carl says:
“Our daughter Isabel is just amazing; she will turn off the water in the shower to save any energy possible when she’s washing her hair.”
A big energy saver for the Valeri family is double-glazed windows throughout their house. The double glazing limits the need to turn the spilt system on – a notorious household energy drainer – because the house stays cool during summer and warm during winter.
“The addition of the block-out blinds really help. You can notice the difference in summer when those blinds are down,” he adds.
Carl and Whitney zone their heating and cooling and only have it on in the room they are using at that time, which also plays an important role in reducing their energy usage.
“We added extra doors to block some of the heating in the main areas, which is a big energy saver for us.”
Energy conservation, inside and out
The family’s energy-saving efforts aren’t restricted to inside the house. Carl and Whitney have also considered what they can do outdoors to save energy and live more sustainably.
Creating an environmentally conscious household
Outside of making sustainable choices, here are few other ways you can make a big difference to your household’s contribution.Discover more
The property has a dam next to the house, which collects the road water runoffs during high periods of rainfall. Rather than using water from their rainwater tank – which supplies water to the house – Carl connected an irrigation system from the dam that waters the family’s backyard and vegetable patch.
This system is a fantastic water-saving technique and helps the family keep their costs low, while still being able to meet the demands of their large property.
Plans are already underway to move their current vegetable patch to a larger, fenced area on the property to grow even more produce for the family.
“We have our newly fenced vegetable patch that we’re looking forward to creating together,” says Whitney.
“It will be nice to have the kids eat [food] from here – I just feel healthy talking about it,” Carl adds.
Teaching the next generation about energy
Carl and Whitney believe it’s important to include the kids in their conversations about energy and sustainability. These open and honest family conversations help them develop a greater awareness of our planet’s precious resources and their environmental impact.
“I believe that it is our responsibility to educate oursleves and our children about the environment and sustainability,” says Whitney.
Having these conversations about why it’s important to switch lights and appliances off at the plug, recycle or use less water, help to shape a positive, lifelong relationship with energy consumption.