Sustainable homes have been on the rise in the last decade as many homeowners are becoming aware of the many benefits these type of home brings.
Luckily, our perspective is changing – building a sustainable home isn’t just about reducing our bills, thus, saving money but it’s also about an eco-friendly way of life. More and more people want and should help the planet and their homes are one of the ways to do it.
Make your contribution to a better environment and save money in the process by creating an eco-friendly and sustainable home.
Here’s how you can create a home like that, too.
1. Installing a smart meter
As heating is one of the biggest ways you spend energy, installing a smart meter could make a big difference to both your carbon footprint and your energy bill. The fact is that we often use more energy than we need. A smart meter breaks this nasty habit – when you set it up according to your preferences, it’ll turn off the heating an hour or so before you leave home and it’ll turn it on an hour before you come back from work. And you won’t even tell the difference – until you receive the bill.
2. Buying energy-efficient appliances
When browsing for new appliances like a refrigerator or a dishwasher, look for those that are as energy-efficient as possible. They will have the Energy Star logo on them, together with the necessary information to compare them with others. Bear in mind that the more upscale appliance you want, the more energy it will require to function.
3. Reducing the use of plastic
There’s too much plastic in everybody’s home, so getting rid of plastic containers and switching to glass, steel and ceramics instead is a much more eco-friendly option. You could also use traditional vessels made of aluminum, cast iron and steel instead of non-stick ware. Not only will this switch be environmentally friendly but it will also be better for your health.
4. Energy efficient light bulbs
The right light bulbs in a household are one of the biggest contributions to an eco-friendly home. CFLs are a better alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs but it’s quite stunning that significant time had to pass before people started using them. Not only do they spend less energy but they also last longer, saving you some additional money in the process.
5. Using low VOC paints
Low VOC paints are environmentally-friendly and also healthier for you and your family. The next time you’re considering repainting of the rooms, choose paints that are 100% acrylic and splatter resistant. This type of paint also doesn’t have any odor at all.
6. Installing solar panels
Solar panels give you the opportunity not just to have an almost self-sustainable home through clean electricity but it could also allow you to sell some of the extra electricity to the grid. If you find reliable solar panel electricians to install the panels, you won’t have to worry about the next 20 years or so (depending on the area you’re living in). Solar panels can go for decades without even breaking – so, even if it’s a big investment, it pays off pretty quickly.
The better insulation you have, the less you’ll have to use your heating and cooling systems. Insulation can be placed within the walls and in the roof but the additional trick is to get double-glazed windows in every room. Lastly, cover exposed hardwood floors with area rugs, which will prevent the warmth slipping through the cracks in the floor.
8. Sticking to natural cleaning products
On an everyday basis, you don’t really need aggressive chemicals to clean your home. Natural cleaning products like vinegar, citric acid and bicarbonate of soda are sufficient for most of the cleaning tasks. Aggressive chemical substances may be washed away but they end up in the water supply, making it longer for the water to be safe for use again.
9. Washing at lower temperatures
You use more energy if you wash clothes at a higher temperature such as 60°C or 40°C – in the majority of cases, your clothes will be thoroughly cleaned if you wash it at 30°C. Only the really heavy stained and muddy clothes should be washed at higher temperatures. There are even newer washing machines that have the option for washing at 20°C.
10. Bamboo products
A truly eco-friendly choice is the bamboo products, like plates, glasses and bowls. Bamboo grows quickly and demands minimum supervision, which makes it highly environmentally friendly.
An eco-friendly and sustainable home is a sum of many factors. It’s true that some of the changes are big but there are also many minor novelties that could make a huge difference. Begin with small steps and pave your path towards a healthier future. You will make your contribution to a better environment but also save money in the process.
About the Author
Hannah Thomas is a gardening and environmental enthusiast. Garden is the place where she feels most comfortable, that’s why there are always a lot of books and empty coffee cups on the back porch.
What are your favorite tips for creating an ecofriendly and sustainable home?
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