Protecting the environment starts at home – literally! The little decisions that we all make every day around the house can add up to a big difference overall. Take a look at the steps and suggestions below to learn how you can create your own eco friendly home.
It turns out that there’s a vast amount that the average person can do to make an eco-friendly home on multiple levels, from making changes to the house itself to using greener products. Take a look at the following ideas and transform your home today.
Make Eco-Friendly Modifications To Your Home
Making modifications to your home can dramatically reduce resource usage. It is, therefore, the hallmark of an eco-friendly home. Here are some of the ways that you might want to alter your home to cut down on water, energy, and gas usage.
Fit Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs offer a host of benefits over traditional incandescent bulbs. They’re also superior to energy-saving halogen varieties too. Here’s why:
- Most LED lights use around 90 percent less power than equivalent-luminosity incandescent bulbs
- They last for over 60,000 hours, while traditional bulbs struggle to make it past the 1,500-hour mark
- LED lights are more robust, relying on semiconductor materials instead of filaments or neon gas
- They are also safer than their high-energy-consuming cousins
- LED’s are made of non-toxic materials, as opposed to neon lights that use mercury
Solar panels get cheaper with every passing year and will last around twenty years if looked after properly. While manufacturing them consumes CO2, they cut carbon emissions by more than they produce. What’s more, they’re a great way to save on your electricity and heating bills long term.
Install A Smart Meter
Before smart meters, many homes used energy inefficiently. The heating and hot water system ran like clockwork, consuming gas and electricity even if neither hot water nor heat was required.
Smart meters are more intelligent than typical timers. Not only do they enable you to set specific timings for your heating, but some models also allow you to turn your system on and off remotely. Thus, if you accidentally leave your heating on, you can log onto an app on your phone and turn it off remotely.
Install Low Water Usage Appliances
Low-water-usage-appliances are a central pillar of any eco-friendly home.
There’s a good reason for this. It turns out that it takes a lot of energy to transport water to your property and then even more to process and dispose of it safely back into the environment. Eco-conscious people, therefore, need to focus on cutting water usage.
Fortunately, there are a range of products on the market, including low-water toilets, showers, and dishwashers. You can also cut down on water waste by fixing any leaky pipes.
Use Eco-Friendly Products
Many commercially available products (try to avoid silicone and plastics) that we use in our homes daily could potentially damage the environment. Today, however, we’re fortunate that there are so many alternative products on the market that can help us all build more eco-friendly homes. Check out the following:
Buy Loose Leaf Tea
Commercially produced tea bags often contain plastics that don’t biodegrade once they hit the landfill. It’s always better, therefore, to brew tea with fresh leaves.
Use Alternatives To Tampons
While tampons might be convenient, they contain a host of chemicals that could harm the environment, including microplastics. Try switching to alternatives, like menstrual cups or even cloth pads – things that you can reuse.
Use More Products Made Of Bamboo
Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials on the planet. Not only does it sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but it also grows incredibly fast, helping to reduce land usage. Furthermore, natural bamboo products break down harmlessly in the environment, so long as they do not contain any synthetic additives. You can buy lots of regular household items made of bamboo from toothbrushes to clothes.
Buy Washable Cloths Instead Of Paper Towels
Paper towels are sometimes essential, but they should be your last resort if you want an eco-friendly home. Not only do they take a lot of energy to manufacture and transport, but they also clog up landfills and emit copious amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Switching to reusable cloths cuts down on the waste while preventing you from needing to throw anything out.
Start Using Natural Beauty Products
Many people use SPF-containing beauty products, designed to protect their skin from harmful UV radiation. While protecting your skin from the sun is a good idea; doing so with commercial beauty products is not advised. Many foundations and skin creams contain titanium dioxide nano-particles that can get into the water supply and enter the food chain.
Use alternative sun protection instead, such as covering up and wearing a large hat that keeps your head in the shade for the hottest part of the day.
Change Your Behaviours
The most significant thing you can do to create an eco-friendly home is to change your behaviors. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference simple changes can make.
Eat Plant-Based Meals As Often As Possible
While the meat industry would like to convince you otherwise, eating plant-based is one of the best ways to save Earth from environmental catastrophe. Plants require dramatically less water and energy per calorie, making plant-based meals far more environmentally friendly. Load up your plate with greens, grains, and beans.
Reuse All Your Old Shopping Bags
Most environmentally-conscious people now reuse shopping bags. If you’re not doing this yet, then now is your chance. Grab an old bag lying around in your pantry or a bag for life from your local store and make your shopping trips more sustainable.
Reduce Your Reliance On Data Centres
Home electronics, like your smartphone or tablet, don’t require a tremendous amount of energy to run. The data centers that provide them with cloud services, however, do. An eco-friendly home, therefore, requires all of the inhabitants to adopt greener digital practices.
What does this mean in practice?
- Avoiding siphoning off data-intensive tasks to the cloud
- Reducing your consumption of online video
- Cutting down on the number of software services that companies deliver to you via the web
Only Use Your Washing Machine And Dishwasher When Full
Saving on energy is a challenge. However, you can often cut down on your overall use by using your appliances in the most efficient way possible. Make sure that you don’t start your washing machine or dishwasher cycles until they’re full. (Don’t overfill, as this can force you to run a second cycle, negating the benefits).
Rack Or Line Dry Your Clothes
Often building an eco-friendly home means reverting to the less energy-intensive methods of the past. Dryers consume a lot of energy. Where possible, therefore, try line or rack drying your clothing, especially in the summer.
Stop Throwing Out So Much
Reusing items whenever and wherever you can is a hallmark of an eco-friendly home. Try to wear your clothes for as long as possible. If a piece of clothing gets a hole in it, try to repair it first before throwing it out. If some items no longer fit you, donate them to a friend or charity shop.
Scraps of food don’t have to go to waste. Start composting and create nutrient-rich soil from your garden, avoiding having to buy it from the garden center.
Use Pressure Cooking
Pressure cooking meals uses much less energy than a typical fan-assisted oven, sometimes by as much as 70 percent. Thus, not only can you get your bills down, but make your home more eco-friendly too.
So there you have it: creating a more environmentally-friendly household. Which of these strategies will you adopt in yours?
You can start with some of the easier steps to begin with, like using a line to dry your clothes – or only using your dishwasher when it truly is full. Once you feel like you are making progress, you can then start to consider the more impactful/dramatic changes.
Just remember, change starts with lots of people making small changes, not a few people with huge shifts – so it’s never too late to start making an impact.
We hope you have found this post useful, and if you enjoyed this read – please feel free to check out our other blog posts here. And lastly, don’t forget to sign up and join the zero waste movement happening over on our forum.