In today’s world increasing awareness about our ecological footprints is of utmost importance. In the face of grim facts and statistics about the shape of natural environments and wildlife worldwide, we must take action. Luckily, word is spreading about this growing necessity. At first it might seem overwhelming and completely foreign to consider where the materials in our homes come from, especially when simultaneously attempting to source our food and clothing more ethically as well. Yet, with a bit of practice and an open mind, you will eventually grow more accustomed to these positive habits, and your new lifestyle will become much easier to maintain. To help you begin, we’ve made a list of some ideas for making your current home more eco-friendly, and on what to keep in mind when building or remodelling. Mother earth will certainly be glad you made the switch!
To begin, let’s start at with the home’s exterior. Investing in proper insulation will ultimately save you plenty of money on heating and air conditioning costs down the line. Sealing up drafts in the windows, attic, and basement will also allow you to better maximise the spaces in your home. This home, for example, was built with a double-insulated exterior. It also has solar panels and a built in cooling system to create a regulated living climate and to help divest from more conventional sources of energy. Remember that equally important to insulation is good, controlled ventilation. With the help of windows or a ventilating fan in the attic you’ll be able to better control the climate throughout the entire home. If you’re wondering where to begin on deciphering how the insulation of your home can be improved, never hesitate to contact a professional.
One enormous luxury that can often get taken for granted is access to seemingly unlimited potable water. Simply turn the faucet and litres upon litres of fresh water are made instantly available. Unfortunately, this resource is becoming increasingly scarce all around the world. Therefore, it’s important to be mindful of the amount of water you use, and not to waste. There are some simple tricks for limiting your water usage that can help to dramatically cut excess water usage. For one, consider getting a motion sensor tap for the kitchen and bathrooms. This way you never have to have one of those slightly horrifying instances where you realise you’ve left the tap running in the bathroom for several house after forgetting to shut it off completely when finished washing your hands. This tool could be especially useful if you have young children at the house. The motion sensor will help regulate your water intake so you don’t have to.
From the family perspective, don’t hesitate to educate your children on the importance of not wasting water. Remind them not to run the sink whilst brushing teeth and set a limit on shower time. Most of all, be sure to set a good example.
As for the furnishings and accessories you choose to incorporate into your home, it’s time to start becoming more informed about where these items come from. Thankfully, there are lots of brands that acquire the materials used in creating their furnishings and accessories from ecologically responsible sources like Brush 64. If you’re wondering just what exactly makes a product ecological, it generally means that the materials are recycled, biodegradable, or made from a renewable material like bamboo. Another budget friendly option is to go vintage. Purchasing second hand furniture is increasingly trendy for the unique and retro look it brings to the space. You can also choose to repurpose your own furniture through upcycling. Lastly, remember that less is more in current stylistic trends. By going minimal in your home, you will likely be consuming less to begin with.
Today there are lots of modern appliances on the market with energy efficient features. Most packaging makes it easy to compare energy ratings on appliances. Simply choose the appliance with the highest energy efficiency score within your budget to ensure that you’re doing you best to limit your ecological footprint. One appliance in particular worth noting is the stove. We recommend going for a gas burning stove with an electric ignition. Gas uses less energy largely because it provides instant heat while electric stoves take longer to heat up. A pilot light burns continually, while the electric ignition shuts off completely when not in use. For smaller electronic appliances like lamps, toasters, phone chargers, electric razor charging ports and the like, unplug them whilst not in use as often as you can.
It may not be particularly obvious, but paints not only have the potential to be harmful to the environment. They can also bring toxins into your home. This is especially true of older paints, which is why lead poisoning can be a risk for those living in older homes. This is not to shift emphasis from the fact that chemicals needed to create paints can definitely be harmful to the environment when extracted as well. They can both create toxic waste in the environment and give off dangerous fumes within your home. That’s why it’s absolutely imperative you ensure your paint is not made with lead or with chemicals known as volatile organic compounds. Fortunately, you can find a multitude of eco-friendly paints on the market today. Such paints are made with plant based substances rather than harmful ones.
Finally, another major source of electricity in your home is your lights. There is a growing movement away from traditional incandescent light bulbs, which use a completely unnecessary amount of electricity. Swapping these out for LEDs or fluorescent bulbs will not only last far longer, but they will also save you a pretty penny on your energy bills. The imbedded light sockets with LED bulbs in this rom create a lovely, even tone of indirect lighting. Remember to turn lights off when you’re not using them. Motion sensor lights can be helpful for this reason as well. Further, try to maximise the amount of natural light you use in your home. If you’re building new or remodelling your existing home, consider choosing larger (though well-sealed) windows or adding a skylight.
If you found these tips useful, check out this guide to making your home vegan friendly. Happy decorating!