Sustainable architecture is the talk of the town nowadays, with more big businesses investing in environment-friendly infrastructures or the so-called “green buildings” – and it is about time, really. Environmental conditions have worsened exponentially in the last few decades, so there is a very real and very pressing need to be more environmentally conscious of our choices. Surely, big businesses are the ones which can make the most impact, but individuals can contribute to helping the environment in little ways.
One great way of helping the environment is by making your home as green as possible. Regardless of whether you are building a new home or renovating the one you already own, there are numerous ways to make your home green. The good news? These are all easy, totally doable ways that will not require you to spend a lot.
So are you ready to help the environment? Read on for some tips on how to make your home green:
The most obvious way of making your home green is by cutting down on energy consumption. You can do this by turning off most of your appliances, but, of course, that is not feasible in today’s world. Fortunately, you do not have to go the extreme route just to conserve energy.
For example, switching all the light fixtures in your house to use compact fluorescent lights is an easy and relatively inexpensive way of lowering your energy consumption and minimizing waste generation (compact fluorescent lamps last 10 times longer than other light bulbs. You can also install movement sensors to make the lights in your house motion-activated. This is especially helpful if your household has a tendency to leave lights on in empty rooms. If your house already has large windows installed, then make the most of natural sunlight during the day instead of turning on the lights.
Setting cooling and heating temperatures properly is also crucial, especially in the case of your refrigerator, air conditioner, and space heater. Make sure to check the manual of your appliances to have a better idea of the ideal temperature for their operations. You can also consider purchasing a thermostat to make temperature adjustment easier and more efficient. Finally, avoid leaving appliances on standby. If you are using your TV or media players, plug off the device to save electricity.
Clear the Air
You might not be able to do much to reverse air pollution in general, but you can certainly do a lot in clearing the air in your own house. For starters, start implementing a no-smoking policy in your home. After all, not only is cigarette smoke a source of air pollution, it is also detrimental to the health – and this is true even if you do not smoke yourself. Second-hand smoke, after all, is just as dangerous if not even more so than first-hand smoke.
You can also start growing plants indoors. Not only are plants aesthetically pleasing to look at, they also help in making the air cleaner by using up the carbon dioxide in the air and emitting oxygen. Even furniture and gadgets can emit air pollutants (even if you might not notice it), so taking care of indoor plants is your best bet in keeping the air inside your home clean and fresh.
Avoid Toxic Products
Governmental regulating bodies are adamant in pulling out products with toxic substances from the market – and with good reason. For one, they can certainly be dangerous to the health, leading to all sort of health complications and causing sicknesses. In addition, they are also harmful to the environment and may upset the ecosystem. To keep your home toxic-free, consider switching to non-toxic cleaners. Find cleaning products that are biodegradable or certified to be environment-friendly. These cleaning products may be a bit more expensive but helping the environment and protecting yourself is worth the few additional dollars.
If you can, you can also get your hands on making your own eco-friendly cleaners. Baking soda and vinegar, for example, are effective, biodegradable cleaners which are good for the environment and easy on the budget. Oils like tea tree and citrus oils, meanwhile, are great natural disinfectants.
As much as possible, avoid using insect sprays to drive away insects from your home. Instead, do a deep clean, making sure that there are no spots where insects can live. Keep food items sealed away in tight containers to keep insects such as flies and cockroaches from dwelling in your house. Finally, you can also use essential oils to keep insects out of your house.
Actively Try to Reduce the Waste You Create
With everything so accessible and easily replaceable nowadays, we tend to not be mindful of the waste we generate. To minimize waste production, reuse and recycle items which can be reused and repurposed, be it paper bags or glass containers. Try not to throw away anything made of plastic right away, especially if they can be used again.
Moreover, consider investing in durable household items. This way, there is less need for you to constantly replace them. Not only will this help you cut down on household expenses, but it will also help in generating less waste. For example, instead of buying cheap low-quality products which will most likely break down in a short period of time, spend a little bit more in something that will last you a lifetime. By doing this, you save money in the long run and produce significantly less waste.
The enumeration above is by no means exhaustive. There are countless ways by which you can make your home green and environment-friendly, without having to spend so much. With a little creativity and experimentation, you will surely be able to find more ways to make your home green.
The trick, really, is to just be mindful of your daily household choices. Pay attention to the materials you use or the energy you tend to consume. By doing so, you will be in a better position to determine what changes you can make in order to create an environment-friendly home.