With climate change making waves in the news daily, we need to hold our actions toward the environment accountable. What we consume, what we shop, and how we commute to work are some of the trivial decisions we can make daily in favor of preserving the environment. But we aren’t limited to such minor changes when it comes to living sustainably!
With some efficient modifications, we can make our homes eco-friendly too. Investing in a sustainable home not only benefits the environment but can also reduce energy bills. You’ll also be able to provide a healthier space to your family, boosting their physical and mental fitness.
Some might think building a sustainable home might need work from scratch or demolishing and renovating the house using heavy equipment, but that’s not the case. You can make effective yet simple changes to your home without breaking the bank. So, here are 8 ways to make your home more eco-friendly.
Improve insulation within
A poorly insulated house can cost you a fortune with simultaneous heat loss and a running heater in winter. For the first step towards a more sustainable home, you should consider insulating your house’s walls, roof and loft, and floor.
Check with a construction team whether your home has solid or cavity walls, which have air (an excellent insulator) trapped between the inside and outside walls. (Pro tip: If your house was constructed after the 1920s, there’s a good chance it has cavity walls). Apart from that, you can draft-proof the walls to cover up any cracks or openings in the walls to prevent heat loss.
Moreover, you can consult the top home remodeling experts to insulate your floor, who’d effectively insulate any type of flooring: marble, wood, or vinyl. You can consult a reputable home remodeling company about adding insulators beneath the flooring. You can also install underfloor heating, which is a one-time expensive investment but gives long-term energy-efficient results.
Install optimal-performing windows
Windows cause up to 50% of energy loss in homes. We highly recommend replacing your old windows with high-performance windows equipped with double glazing and specialized coatings for a sustainable home.
In summer, these windows will conduct less heat inside the house than regular ones will. They will also facilitate ventilation, maintaining a fresh and clean indoor environment. While in winter, the double-glazed windows with well-insulated frames keep your home warm and cozy.
Minimize the use of VOC
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are volatile chemicals commonly found in home products: paints, polish, varnish, carpets, and furniture. For a sustainable home and living, you must reduce the use of VOC.
To start with, you can repaint your house with low-VOC paint. Furthermore, you can also replace your mattress with an eco-friendly option that doesn’t contain VOC.
Another useful hack to minimize VOC within the house is using homemade, organic cleaning solutions instead of those packed with chlorine and ammonia. For instance, vinegar and baking soda can do wonders on those stubborn kitchen countertop stains.
Purchase energy-efficient appliances
You might not need to throw out all the electrical appliances immediately, but you can eventually swap your existing appliances for more energy-efficient choices. It’s important to note that energy-saving electrical appliances have higher costs than conventional machines. However, since these appliances reduce energy bills, they are cost-effective in the long run.
When buying eco-friendly appliances, make sure to look out for their energy consumption ratings that are printed on the product’s label. Advanced features are also a plus point when selecting a home appliance. For instance, if you’re searching for a washing machine, preferably choose one with a load-sensing technology to optimize energy usage.
Install a hydronic radiant heating system
A hydronic heating system circulates hot water through a network of pipes to keep a house warm. Hydronic systems are popularly known for their energy efficiency. The water in the system can be heated using various energy sources, such as gas boilers, solar collectors, or geothermal heat pumps. They allow precise control of temperature zones, enabling you to heat specific areas as needed, thus minimizing energy wastage.
A hydronic heating system offers versatile installation methods. You can have them installed in various types of flooring, including tile, stone, or concrete. One of the reasons why we highly recommend this heating system is it improves the air quality indoors. Since it doesn’t force air around, there is a reduced circulation of dust and allergens.
Minimize the use of plastic toiletries
A simple yet effective change to build a more sustainable home is to cut down on the use of plastic within your home. Plastic bottles of shampoo, body wash, lotions, and tubes of toothpaste are commonly-found toiletries that add to a lot of plastic waste.
To encourage an eco-friendly lifestyle, search for and shop from brands that offer sustainable packaging, like glass or metal. You could also refill shampoo, body wash, and lotions to promote reusing the same bottles. Better yet, you can make DIY organic body scrubs and face masks with plant-based materials.
Moreover, nearly 1 billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown out annually in the US, which become one of the greatest threats to marine life. Instead of the traditional ones, you can use bamboo or wooden toothbrush.
Change faucets and shower heads
To conserve water, replace the household faucets and shower heads with eco-friendly, low-flow ones that limit water usage. You don’t necessarily need professional help to install the faucets, as many manufacturers provide installation instructions that are quite straightforward.
Replace fluorescent light bulbs with LED bulbs.
Another simple and cost-effective step towards a sustainable home is to replace fluorescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. LED bulbs require less energy to produce the same amount of energy as a conventional bulb, thus, significantly reducing electricity consumption.
These bulbs also have a much longer lifespan than fluorescent bulbs, so you wouldn’t have to throw out bulbs frequently. Moreover, LED bulbs also come in several unique and chic designs and various smart options.
Some of these changes may seem onerous and expensive (and let’s just admit, some of them are), but they promise a sustainable house with surprisingly low running costs. An eco-friendly home also offers its residents a healthier environment while significantly mitigating the effects of global warming. So if you’re planning a home renovation, make sure to go green!