Today I have a great guest post for you from Derek Lotts. Read all about him at the bottom of this post.
Going green and living in eco-friendly and sustainable homes has been on the increase in the last couple of decades and it’s clearly not just a fashionable trend, but a genuine shift towards healthier and more responsible lifestyle.
Sustainable lifestyle is the one where satisfying your needs does not have a negative impact on the environment. In order to achieve this, you need to start making eco-conscious life choices. While it’s not really possible in an urban environment to have a 100% sustainable home relying only on natural resources, it’s still possible to raise the level of sustainability of your home and save some money along the way.
Your consumer choices have a great influence on your home sustainability. Always make a clear and precise list of things you need to purchase. When in the shop, make a wise choice with every item – if it’s possible, replace your household items with a more eco-friendly option. For example, buy rechargeable batteries, recycled paper products, biodegradable bags and cups, reusable water bottles etc. As a long-term habit, try giving up paper towels completely and switch to washable cloth napkins and replace your home cleaning products that are full of harmful chemicals and toxins with white vinegar and baking soda.
Among the first changes you can make in your home is switching from traditional to energy-efficient light bulbs. They use less power and last about 15 times longer. They do cost more initially, but they surely give you a return on investment by reducing your power bill.
Another step is to replace your appliances, especially if they are around 10 to 15 years old. Lately, energy-efficient appliances have become a standard. Due to Energy Star regulations, these appliances use about 60-80% less energy than the older models, so in the long run, they significantly reduce your home’s energy consumption.
This triangle is a recipe for success. It’s hard in the beginning, but once you start doing it, it becomes an easy and healthy habit. You’ve already started it by re-examining your consumer choices and switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, but don’t stop there. Fix your leaking pipes, weather strip your windows, lower your thermostat by one degree, and install low flow toilets and water-saving showerheads.
As for the reuse and recycle part, make an effort to repair things before you toss them away, reuse the plastic food containers for storing various household items and use the other side of printed paper for your kids’ drawings.
Designing your new home is an excellent opportunity to go green and make it as sustainable as possible. In coastal areas, such as New South Wales in Australia, many opt for eco-friendly, free floating homes, but even if you decide to go solid with high-quality TDK formwork, you’ll still make a low impact on the environment. Use environmentally friendly, reusable materials that are also affordable and durable. Make sure you install best quality insulation, from basement to attic, and put in high-performance, dual pane windows.
Installing solar panels can cost a lot but it’ll generate a large ROI by reducing your electrical bill in the long run. There are now government programmes and subsidies to help you finance this project.
Finally, your backyard can also become eco-friendly and cost-effective with some minor changes. For example, you could start composting using dead leaves and trimmings for starters, and then later add coffee grounds, eggs shells, and vegetable scraps. You’ll reduce your waste and end up having rich soil perfect for planting your own garden.
Even the smallest changes can make a big difference and small steps lead to big results. If everyone in the country made the same changes such as these mentioned here, the overall green impact on the environment would be enormous. Although it seems miniscule to single homeowners, all the positive, little changes in your lifestyle can have a powerful ripple effect on a global level.
Derek Lotts is a regular contributor at at Smooth Decorator and writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and everything related to home improvement. He thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.