An eco-friendly home has so many upsides. The obvious one is it saves you both energy and money. An environmentally-friendly home also contributes to climate-change awareness and sustainability. It is now more of a humanitarian act to go green than it is a personal choice. The good thing is that there are tons of environmentally-friendly building materials and eco-home home appliances to help you out!
Build A Smaller Eco-Friendly Home
Building as small a house as your family needs can go a long way in saving our planet, and obviously saving you money! The smaller the house, the fewer the building materials you will need and the lower the energy consumption in the home. It is also advisable to use recycled building materials as a way of preserving our limited naturally-occurring building materials.
Reduce Your Home’s Impact On The Environment
It is a good idea to begin creating your environmentally-friendly home from the outdoors going in. In other words, make sure your house doesn’t negatively impact the land it sits on or the environment surrounding it.
Another great idea is to collect rainwater from the roof. Use this water to hydrate your garden and lawns. Also, having permeable outdoor surfaces keeps rainwater from running off, which means you can capture some of that water and put it to use around the garden too. Some of the permeable surfaces that you can use, especially for your driveway and parking areas, include previous pavers and open-cell pavers. You can also conserve water and energy in your home by growing outdoor plants that thrive with little maintenance and low watering. Also try placing plants that love plenty of water around gutter downspouts. This can can greatly reduce water runoff as well as your water bill each quarter.
Cultivate Indoor Plants
Not a natural green thumb? Worry not, there are houseplants for all types of people who wish to create an eco-friendly home. You don’t even need to be a gardening expert to create a flourishing indoor garden. If you can afford it, consult a horticultural expert, or pick the brains of a friend who has a natural green thumb. Ask them about the best indoor plants for both your geographical location and your personality. If you are the kind that neglects plants, then source hardy plant species like cacti, various succulents and Monstera. If you are the over-enthusiast kind, choose plants that can withstand over-watering e.g. Peace lilies and Chinese evergreen. If you live in a dark house, find plants that thrive under minimal lighting such as dracaena, pothos (Devil’s Ivy), and prayer-plants. Another recommended option would be to mimic the sun’s rays with grow lights, which mimic the sun’s UV goodness and help boost your plant’s health and growth.
Rethink Energy Useage
Solar panels are long-term, cheaper, and more environmentally-friendly than traditional sources of electricity. You will need a sizeable upfront investment, but once you’re completely off-grid (thanks to the panels), solar power will save you more than you can imagine. Follow that up by investing in energy-efficient light bulbs to downsize the amount of energy your household uses for lighting. And to minimise the amount of energy wasted on heating and cooling, install double glazed windows and keep your home well insulated. A programmable thermostat can also be a good fix for inflated heating and cooling energy bills. Last but not least, only buy household appliances with 5-star energy efficiency.
Rethink Your Cleaning And Washing Routine
Keep our waterways as pure as possible by substituting your chemical-based cleaners with natural bacteria and germs killers such as bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, and lemon juice.
Ensure water is used wisely. Replace inefficient shower heads and taps, fix leaky taps and pipes, and train your kids to only open the taps when absolutely necessary. It is also good for the environment (and your power bill) to hang clothes outside to dry as opposed to drying them in the dryer. Also try to wash your clothes less, and choose natural fibres as opposed to synthetic ones, which can leak over 700,000 plastic micro-fibres into our oceans each time they’re washed.
You don’t need to buy expensive appliances, install solar panels, or remodel your living space to create an eco-friendly home. Small lifestyle tweaks like turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, recycling soft plastics at the supermarket (they have special bins near the cash registers) and popping on a jumper instead of the heater (Or taking one off instead of turning on the AC), all make a contribution to an environmentally-friendly lifestyle and home. They’ll also help save a lot on your monthly budget! Make a conscious decision to change today for the sake of saving our planet!
The Carousel would like to thank Nora Price for this story.