There has been a shift in the 21st century – a shift towards being more environmentally friendly. Consumers around the world are leaning to eco-friendly solutions in their day to day life that benefit the environment and their pockets. It’s a win-win situation.
One of the best ways of doing this starts from the home. What you buy and what you use plays a huge impact on your environmental footprint. You may decide that now is the time to start changing your home to an eco-friendly one. Well, here are 7 tips to help you do just that.
1. Harness The Power Of The Sun
You can use the power of the sun to power your home. If you’re worried about rising electricity costs, you can use solar panels that will cut your energy costs while being environmentally greener. It takes on average about 7 years or so for the initial investment of solar panels to pay off. However; once you get there, you’ll be greeted with great savings every year. On top of this, the price of your home will also increase.
Simply insulating your home is a great way of saving money and energy on both your heating and cooling bills. Insulation involves putting material between house walls to help regulate your homes temperature. An insulated home will help keep the heat in as well as the heat out. This means you can use your heater or air conditioning less as the temperature will be contained for a longer time. Double glazing windows is also a great way of insulating windows.
Another way of keeping rooms cooler or warmer is to use thicker blinds. More sunlight will be blocked. Conversely, in winter, more heat will be trapped and not seep through the windows.
3. Recycle Food With Compost
Composting is a great way of recycling food waste. For a small initial investment, you can turn your thrown-out food into nutrients to help your plants grow. Coffee grounds, vegetables, peelings and bread are just some of the wastes you can throw into an organic dish for your plants!
And while your at it, you might as well start your own garden and grow your own herbs, vegetables and fruits.
4. Efficient Water Usage
There are a couple of ways to use less water around the home.
- You can install a tankless water heater instead of using a conventional tank heater. Tankless water heaters are great for saving both energy and water usage as they only use water when required. With the correct sizing, you can maximize the efficiency of a tankless water heater. In contrast, a tank unit must always keep the water it stores at a certain temperature which leads to ‘standby’ loss.
- When watering the garden, it’s a good idea to do it at times where there is minimal evaporation due to the sun. That way, your plants will have more time to absorb water. Aim to water your plants around the evening or early morning. If during the evening, it’s better to aim for the roots as prolonged water on the foliage can cause fungal spores to grow.
- Install water saving shower heads and flow restrictors to reduce water flow rate. You may notice sometimes that your faucet comes on too strong. If this is the case you can install a restrictor that will save you water.
- In general terms, it’s a good idea to simply only use water when you have to. Turn off the tap if you are shaving. Don’t leave the shower running if you are not cleaning yourself. These simply tricks will lead to a lot of water savings in the long run.
- Lastly, ensure proper maintenance of your pipes. If there is any water leakage be sure to fix it!
5. Optimize and Be Smarter With Your Appliances
There are a lot of appliances that you can buy that can save you money and energy. ENERGY STAR certified appliances are a good starting point. These are appliances that use less energy than their conventional counterparts.
Refrigerators, dishwashers and clothes washing machines are just some of the energy efficient appliances you can get.
You can also get energy efficient light bulbs and food cooking appliances that use less power. Air fryers or eco-kettles are a great example of this.
But things just don’t stop there.
The way you use your appliances also has a big impact. Cooking something in the oven? Be sure to keep it closed so heat is not lost.
Not inside a room anymore? Make sure the heater, air conditioner, lights or anything else is turned off.
Making your morning coffee? Fill your kettle to only the amount of water you need.
What about your dishwasher or clothes washer? Does it have a quick clean option? If your clothes or dishes are not heavily soiled, it may be better to use this option instead of opting for a much longer and energy intensive clean.
If you have the time, rinsing and cleaning dishes by hand is a better option then throwing them into the dishwasher. In the same vein, hanging your clothes out to dry in the sun will prolong the life of your garments and save you more energy.
6. Shop for Second-Hand, Vintage or Recycled Furniture
Look, we won’t blame you if this is something you don’t want to do. But there is a lot of furniture out there that people have gotten rid of that can still last for many more years. By buying this type of furniture you are saving on money and giving your home a unique look.
Purchasing recycled furniture is also a great choice and ensures that you are not wasting one of the worlds most precious resources – trees.
Big and Small Changes Count Equally
Whilst some of these tips are a lot harder to follow than others, they are all equal in terms of promoting a home that is eco-friendly. And an eco-friendly home will help minimize your carbon footprint as well as save you money.