Ways To Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly
Guest Blogger: Victoria Grace
Let’s face it: We have done a lot of damage to the environment in the last two centuries or so. Thankfully, people are now starting to become more environmentally-conscious than ever before, and are actually putting their money where their mouth is. On top of acts like recycling and driving electric or hybrid cars, many people are finding ways to make their home greener.
Here are some of the things you can do today to make your home more eco-friendly.
Use energy-efficient light bulbs
For the longest time, our households were lit by incandescent bulbs. But with the advent of CFLs or compact fluorescent lamps and LED lights, we now have an option for lighting our homes using up to 75% less electricity. Aside from being energy-efficient, CFLs and LED lights also last a long time.
Use sustainable materials
When you’re building a new home or having a major home remodeling done, look towards using sustainable materials. Your flooring, for example, could be made from bamboo, linoleum, cork and other green building materials. And when you’re painting or treating wood, you can make the conscious decision to use only natural products with no solvents, substances that could harm the ozone layer, and other chemical products that do the environment harm.
Install solar panels
We understand that most people are still averse to the idea of installing solar panels mainly because of the still-high cost of putting them up for the first time. However, let us never lose sight of the fact that the sun provides clean and free energy, and will remain that way for the next few billion years or so. While initial installation may be expensive, solar panels will save you a lot of money in the long term, as solar energy reduces your dependence on energy generated by costlier, less eco-friendly, and ultimately exhaustible sources.
As mentioned above, you don’t have to pay for sunlight. When you have skylights incorporated into your home, you won’t have to depend on artificial lighting during the day. All the natural light coming through those skylights should be enough to illuminate your home. To sweeten the deal further, sunlight brings with it a lot of health benefits from improving our body’s production of Vitamin D to helping us get more quality sleep.
Install energy-efficient windows
Windows that aren’t energy-efficient cause heat gain and heat loss that makes up about 30% of our residential heating and cooling energy use. That’s a lot of generated energy—and money—going down the drain. To minimize energy waste, install energy-efficient windows that do a better job of keeping heat in during the winter or out in the summer.
Put up water-efficient plumbing systems
Water is indescribably precious, but we typically manage to waste a lot of it because the plumbing systems we have in our homes aren’t exactly designed to minimize water wastage. Thankfully, there are now plumbing systems as well as water-efficient faucets and shower heads that all work towards conserving water.
There are also toilets available today that use a lot less water when flushing. Drop by your neighborhood hardware store, and you’ll see the wide range of choices available to you when it comes to water-efficient toilets.
Look for the "Energy Star" logo
When buying appliances, always be on the lookout for ones that carry the "Energy Star" logo. Energy Star-rated refrigerators, AC units, and other appliances consume 10 to 50 percent less electricity than those without the mark.
On top of being an additional source of oxygen, houseplants can also act as an air filter, guaranteeing better air quality inside your home.
Instead of using conventional ovens, use microwave ovens to cook, as they use 50% less energy.
We only have one planet, and it needs our help. Scratch that: we need to help ourselves because an Earth with an environment beyond rescue will be the end of us too. Making our home more eco-friendly by implementing the ideas mentioned above may not do much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a pretty good start.
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