11 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Home – Living a Sustainable LifestyleLynn Le
Living a more sustainable life starts with your own home. Small energy-saving changes could be simple yet effective. It eases your budget and helps to save the planet, too. Here are some tips that I have applied in my house.
Purchase furniture from recycled materials
The first thing I do when I move to my current house now is to pick furniture, including sofa, wardrobe, table and chair from recycled materials. There are various choices on the market now with elegant design and good quality. To me, they are just as durable and fashionable as the brand new furniture.
Install solar panels
To create a greener and healthier house, I invested in solar panels. It seems to cost a lot at the beginning (the price depends on your house!), but it saves your electricity bills and helps to combat with greenhouse emissions. Plus, there is financial support from the government for installation cost.
Make use of natural light
For bright days, let your light bulbs rest for a while. I always try my best to let sunlight streaming through windows. It’s ideal if you consider taking advantage of natural light when it comes to designing your house. Choose the layout that can maximise sunlight. Don’t forget to open your curtain on sunny days. Studies show that turning off the lights for only one hour can save you 1.22 pounds of CO2 emissions 1.
Actually, unplugging electronic appliances can save a huge amount of electricity but people tend to skip this step. Television is often in standby mode for 17 hours a day. Unplug your TV when you stop watching is the easiest way to sustainable living. Do the same with other electronic appliances. You’ll be surprised when you receive your electricity bill.
Grow Herbs and Vegetables
Do you know that when you go out for foods, you create carbon emissions? The solution is, to grow a garden in your house. You can use the backyard or the rooftop. Even in small spaces like a balcony or inside your house, you can plant eatable plants. Growing fresh foods also promote healthy living styles, and boost your mood. Since I have fresh vegetables available at home, I enjoy cooking and home eating more.
Home eating is safe and clean. You can save top dollars when celebrating special days at home with your friends. Plus, the earth will thank you for that action. Eating out produces a lot of carbon emissions and we tend to consume more foods than we do at home.
Make a compost heap
Create personal compost heap will reduce waste in the landfills. I find the compost heap very useful for my garden. So, if you don’t have any plants yet, bring home some edible plants and support them with your own compost. Your house is now a much healthier place for living.
The cost and maintenance of a small barrel or tank are quite low. Taking advantage of natural and fresh water from the rain is very easy. Just put the barrels and let the rain fill it all.
I often use rainwater for gardening. Natural water is essential for the growth of plants. And you can reduce your water bills, too.
Switch to Eco-Friendly Light Bulbs
Opt for new energy-saving bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs. It can make a huge difference on saving the energy (and your budget, too!)
Say No to “Bottled Water”(Even at your home)
I know that bottled water seems to be very convenient but they really put our environment at risk. There are tons of bottles in the landfills and they take hundreds or even thousands of years to completely biodegrade.
5 years ago, I bought my own bottle with my favorite design and kept it by my side. Whenever I go travelling, it is always on my checklist. Small changes can take place at your own home. Don’t order drinks with a water bottle or plastic glasses.
Cleaning products help get rid of dirt and germs but it also contains a lot of chemicals and potential toxins. Making your own natural cleaners is not as hard as you think. I have tried vinegar and baking soda for cleaning and it’s more than enough for me.
Fix the leaks
Check the leaks regularly even when there’s just a slow drip. A leak in your toilet can waste 757 litres of water a day2. You also lower the cost for the maintenance of your house.
Install programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat can save up to 15 percent on heating and cooling cost. Use the one that can automatically adjust the temperature based on your schedule. I feel great when it helps me to turn off the cooling system when I have to go out. And when I come back home, it turns the cooling system on. That makes me feel so comfortable.
Efficient Washing and Ironing
90 percent of washing machine’s energy cost is for heating water. So, I often wash my clothes at 30-40 °C to save money and energy.
Plus, you can take advantage of warm days to air-dry your clothes. Hanging them under sunlight is also an efficient way to kill germs. My family does love the smell of air-dried clothes.
My friend also shared with me her tip of ironing. As most irons don’t take much time to heat up, don’t turn them on before you start. Then, turn it off before you finish, the residual heat still works well on finishing your task.
Small changes in our habits can help us to live in harmony with nature. We just need to be conscious of what we are doing without having to sacrifice our living style or comfort. I hope these tips are helpful for you to live and stay green. If you have other tips, please drop us a few lines.