How to Have a Sustainable Home, Inside and Out
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It’s that time of year to spruce up your house for spring-cleaning and get back into gardening, but how can you make sure you’re doing your bit for the environment as well? It’s important to keep on top of your maintenance to make sure your place is in the best condition for spring. This will also help you to run a more sustainable home. Here are some simple tips to help you reduce waste and energy consumption while revamping your home for next season.
First of all, there are several easy ways to reduce your electricity and gas consumption. Look into upgrading your electrical appliances to more modern models and these are often more energy-efficient. So you’re talking about your washing machine, dishwasher over, and so on. There are even “smart” versions of these available which you can control from your phone or other devices. This helps you to be in control of your consumption. Also, replace all of your lightbulbs with LEDs and these are much more efficient and durable. You can even use them outside as they can withstand harsher weather conditions as well.
Insulation is key to running a sustainable house. The easiest way to achieve maximum insulation is with double-glazing. Make sure you have replaced all windows with double-glazed ones and skylights as well. This will retain heat and also protect you from the elements, thus reducing your need for heating and air conditioning. Carpets and rugs can also insulate the floor so think about getting a few new ones from a second-hand or antique store. It’s all about recycled materials.
Consider going “smart” in all your homes. You can then control things like lights and heating as well as your smart appliances from your devices. This means you can set them to come on when you know you’re on your way home so you don’t need to waste unnecessary energy.
Recycle and Reuse
Speaking of recycling this is a broad topic that can apply to many aspects of your home life. Firstly, think about your habits. Does everyone in your family understand how to use government-issued containers and separate waste into paper, plastic, glass, and organic rubbish? If not a family meeting might be necessary. Try to reuse as much as you can to minimize your waste, for example, water bottles, plastic bags, cups, and kitchenware. You can buy many household items made from reusable sustainable materials.
Upcycling is a great way to get creative with recycling. This means taking old or unused items or fabrics and making them into something else. It can be a fun and unique way to refurbish furniture and decorate your home.
When considering revamping your interior, opt for natural materials such as wood, marble or stone. These will not only keep a timeless style but last longer and are therefore a more sustainable option. You’ll save on the emissions produced during manufacturing and transportation.
Another decor trick is to go for vintage artwork or furniture. These pieces are much more individual and fun and create a way more personal effect than mass-produced cheap designs. Vintage items also add a quirky air of nostalgia, so have a look for items that remind you of your childhood even.
It’s important to stay on top of maintenance checks all year round as this could later save you a lot of money on costly, large-scale repairs. Have a building inspection done each couple of years and the electrics and plumbing checked annually.
When doing your spring cleaning, try using eco-friendly cleaning products, rather than their toxic counterparts.
Out in the yard before you start gardening you might want to think about if there are any trees in the way. Get in touch with some arborists with experience to check it out for you. The better maintained your garden the less money and work you will spend on it in the future. This will reduce waste in the long run.
Have a look at your roof and see if it could do with a good, professional clean. This will hold back any repairs for years, so it’s a much cheaper and sustainable option. If you can afford it you could also look into solar panels. Solar energy is a much more sustainable resource and it’s not as difficult to install them as you might think. Here is a video tutorial online.
You can create a more sustainable garden as well. Make your own compost from your organic waste, and use this to grow your vegetables and flowers.
Upcycling can be taken out into the garden as well. You can make plant pots from different used items in the house, and even bird feeders. Have a look at this video on how to make a bird feeder from just a plastic bottle for example.
Indoor plants also help to reduce air pollution, and they make a lovely addition to any room. If you’re not particularly green-thumbed, there are many low maintenance species.
There are many things you can change to reduce your carbon footprint as well as recycling. Consider walking short distances rather than driving, or even get a bike. This is much better for you and your family’s physical wellbeing as well.
Invest more in local businesses rather than larger conglomerates. Is there are a store near you where you can refill your containers? Think about the source of everything you buy and how you can reduce emissions by sticking to local produce.
Organize projects in your community to help raise awareness of the environment and have fun with your neighbors as well. These could vary from swap shops to allotment or garden projects. You could grow your own fruits and vegetables as a community and give away or sell second-hand items.
Raising awareness is also very important. Get the kids involved as much as possible as it’s vital to educate the younger generation, to maintain a sustainable lifestyle in the future.