Many people are doing what they can to make their homes more environmentally friendly. And if you’ve got a spot of home maintenance that’s been on your to-do list for some time you may want to start putting some modifications in place to ensure that you do have an environmentally friendly home. But when we talk about the term “environmentally friendly” what are the things that we can realistically put in place? Is it straightforward at all? It really is!
Minimizing Your Water Usage
One of the first things to tackle would be your energy usage in general. And when we think about energy consumption we don’t necessarily consider ways of saving our utilities. Cutting down on your water usage can be all about installing a low flow showerhead. This has been shown to save approximately 160,000 liters of water for a 4-person family. It’s also worth looking at your sustainability in terms of your everyday living. For example, if you have a garden and you are using water from the tap to moisten the plants, it would be easier to purchase one of the many round water tanks available which can collect rainwater. When it comes to rainwater and cutting down on your general usage, the two can work together very well.
Installing Solar Panels
While you may wonder how it makes your home look in an aesthetic sense, if you are serious about making your home eco-friendly or minimizing your carbon footprint, solar panels are crucial. The great thing about a solar panel is that it can give you enough clean electricity that you could potentially sell some back to the electrical grid. They aren’t cheap and you can definitely consider them to be an investment in the long-term. But a solar panel is a perfect opportunity for you to make the most of natural sunlight and turn it into sustainable power. When you start to think about where you would like to be in the long term as far as your carbon footprint is concerned a solar panel is a perfect start. We have to remember that it can take approximately 20 years to break even depending on your location in the world but if you are living in your forever home this will help you to save money further down the line and become self-sustaining without having to rely on electricity providers.
Making Your Own Compost
For the green-fingered among you, making sure that every scrap of food doesn’t go to waste is crucial! If you are someone who easily throws out food after the “use-by” date, purchase a compost bin and put your eggshells and vegetable peels in there. If you are spending a lot of money on compost, especially if you’re trying to make your own vegetable garden it is far more cost-effective to make your own compost! It’s a surprise when we see just how much food we waste and it can be even more of a surprise when we see how much can be recycled.
Insulating Your Property
So much energy can escape the home, especially during the winter. One of the best ways to make sure that your home is eco-friendly is to minimize energy expenditure across the board. By investing in insulation you are able to keep the property warm without putting the heating on all through the day and night. The great thing about adequate insulation is that it will be a perfect investment if you plan on selling your home later on. But it’s not just about purchasing typical insulation to go in the attic, you can also insulate your home in other ways. If you don’t already have double glazing, you can install this, but you can also get stylish with your insulation! Using rugs to cover up any hardwood floors can keep your home insulated.
Get Eco-Friendly Light Bulbs
Noticing a running theme? Sustainability is about the right products but it’s also about finding ways to cut back on your energy usage. CFLs are a perfect way to minimize your energy expenditure. And while energy-efficient light bulbs have been around for quite a while it’s only in recent years that people have made the switch. Energy-efficient light bulbs use less electricity. But the other benefit is that they last far longer than the older, incandescent light bulbs. Buying energy-efficient bulbs will be a one-off investment and you won’t have to replace them for a few years.
Focus On Your Cleaning Products
It’s not just about the additions to your home, but it’s also about the habits you have. When you use chemicals to clean your home and you wash them away you are, in essence, putting them back into your water supply. This means that the water requires purification before being used again. It’s time we went back to simple approaches to cleaning our house. The great thing in terms of cleaning any property is that you only require a handful of natural ingredients. Vinegar, citric acid (from fruits like lemons), and bicarbonate of soda are wonderful replacements for harsh chemicals. You can use a combination of vinegar and citric acid to create a cleaning solution that can get rid of grime quickly. And bicarbonate of soda has a million uses. The great benefit of all these items? They are incredibly cheap!
Creating an environmentally friendly home is predominantly about the items you install but it’s also about making sure that you are smarter in your everyday habits. For example, when you cook food, if you keep opening the oven door you are wasting energy. And this is one little thing that can contribute to your carbon footprint in a massive way. The great thing about being environmentally friendly is that if you start to look at it in terms of saving money on your utilities you are making significant inroads in cutting down on your carbon footprint. An environmentally friendly home is easy to achieve. It requires a handful of investments but predominantly, it is about being conscious of the way you live your life.