The lone fact that we are leaving our planet a better place for the future generations should be more than worth any effort made.
In 2016, there is no hotter topic than the notion of sustainability. All of a sudden, it is like the conscience of homeowners has awoken worldwide and zero-energy buildings became more popular than luxurious mansions. While some believe that it must cost an arm and a leg for your home to become truly green, there are those who know that all it takes is some power of will. There are so many green materials, ideas and practices you could do to make your home eco-friendlier. Here are some of them.
Always Buy Local
One of the things that are quite difficult to label is what material is eco-friendly. The reason why this is so complicated is that it’s not just about the nature of the material that matters, it’s about one’s location, as well. For example, any locally produced material can be considered partially eco-friendly. Because no transportation is required for it to be delivered to you, no fossil fuels have to be burned for the commute. Furthermore, by buying local products, you are also supporting local economy, which is always a good thing.
Earlier on, we discussed a thing called zero-energy building. What this means is that your home should produce more energy than it spends. Unfortunately, this is not always an option since installing solar panels or making your own windmill in a backyard can cost a fortune. A thing you can do, however, is reduce the waste of energy by installing quality windows and insulating your home. Double-glazing windows and good insulation can significantly reduce the amount of heat leaving your home. This means that you will be able to warm up the premises easier and maintain heat for longer. Apart from being practical and planet-friendly, this is also a budget-friendly move.
Easy to Maintain Furniture
Another thing you need to think about is the way in which you are going to maintain your home. For example, a wall to wall carpet is a nightmare to clean. You need to either call a carpet cleaning service and then be “rugless” for a few hours or an entire day, or clean it yourself. This means either moving all your furniture and taking it outside to clean it, or using all those chemicals indoors. In order to avoid this, it would be smarter to just use tiles or hardwood floor and add easily maintainable natural fibre area rug to warm the room up a bit. This solution is almost as practical as it is elegant.
Cost-efficient Lighting System
The next thing you could upgrade is your lighting system. It is a common knowledge that incandescent light bulbs use more energy to create the same illumination as LED (Light Emitting Diodes) ones. An incandescent bulb requires 200-250W to create the same amount of light as a 25-30W LED one. Furthermore, LED can work for 40,000 hours before expiring, while the incandescent one would burnout after less than 3,000 hours of use. Sure, a LED bulb costs almost eight times more, but even with this fact, the math is pretty clear. In time, switching to LED in your home is bound to pay off many times over.
The Change from Within
Finally, the most important change is the one you need to make in your own manner of conduct. There is a whole array of habits you need to adhere to if you are to make a real difference for both your planet and your household budget. For example, cutting your every bath short for just a couple of minutes can save up to 150 gallons every month, and turning a faucet off while washing teeth can save 25 more. Installing instant water heater in your kitchen can save you quite a bit of water since you will no longer need to let it run until it heats up. One last thing, you can always use a broom rather than a hose to clean your driveway or garden path. Sure, it is a bit more difficult, but also more than worth it.
To conclude, even though some of these renovations may require a bit of investment, what they need even more is some effort on your end. As we already went to lengths to discuss, planet friendly almost always means budget-friendly as well, so you don’t need to worry about these trends paying off in the long run. Still, even without this, the lone fact that we are leaving our planet a better place for the future generations should be more than worth any effort made.
Chloe Taylor, the author of this article, is a young writer and environmentalist from Adelaide. Her fields of expertise include sustainable design and architecture related topics.
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