The single biggest hypocrisy in today’s world is the fact that people want to live in a better world that someone else is supposed to create. Even the people who believe that climate change is real and who are aware of the fact that the resources on our planet are finite, often do nothing about it. Are they concerned? Sure! However, are they ready and willing to take a step that will impact their own lifestyle? Well, that’s a question that every person needs to answer on their own. For those who are interested in making a real change, the first step needs to be taken at home. Here are several tips to make your home more sustainable energy-efficient and eco-friendly at the same time.
1. Reinvent your lighting situation
The first thing you want to reinvent your lighting situation. This should come in two steps. First, you want to minimize the amount of electricity used to illuminate your living space by turning towards natural light. Second, you want to switch to LED. Going with LED lighting is one of the most energy-efficient decisions that you can make for several reasons. First, they spend 6-8 times less energy to provide the same amount of light. Second, these bulbs last 20-25 times longer than their incandescent counterparts. This doesn’t just mean a direct saving on buying bulbs. What it also means is 25 to 50 times less waste produced when you’re forced to throw the old bulb away.
2. Invest in insulation
Insulating your home is probably the best way to make the place eco-friendlier. Why? Just installing windows with double-glazing, you stand to save between $200 and $250 on a yearly basis. You see, your walls, although a major factor, are definitely not the only way your home loses heat. About 35 percent does get lost through the walls, but there’s also 25 percent through the attic, 15 percent through the basement/floors, and 25 percent that leaves through the windows. By tending to all of these critical areas, you can make a huge difference when it comes to what it costs to keep your home warm/cold (depending on the season).
3. Installing solar panels
The concept of zero-energy home implies that you’re spending the same amount of energy that you’re producing. Reducing the amount of energy that your home spends is just one of the ways to make this possible. The other is to start producing power within your own household. While the installation of solar panels may be expensive, there are numerous options that can make it more budget-friendly. First, you can go with something more modest, like a solar-powered water heater. Second, you can look for government grants. Third, you can check if there’s an option to sell back the excess energy you produce back to the utility company.
4. Upgrade your appliances
Old appliances tend to spend more energy in order to do the same amount of work as new ones. The older they get, the worst the situation becomes, however, some of the newer appliances are optimized in order to work as energy-efficiently as possible. This means that, even when they were new, they didn’t operate at the same efficiency as these optimized appliances. You also shouldn’t stop with the appliances, when your fixtures may need an upgrade, as well. A low-flow toilet alone can save you an average of $110 per year. As you can see, this is an investment that will pay itself off fairly soon.
5. Repurpose what you can
Buying new accessories and furniture for your home is expensive and non-green. The reason behind this is the fact that you can repurpose old items instead of buying new ones. This way, you start off by saving money by reducing the number of items on your to-buy list. Second, you stop incentivizing various industries to spend energy and resources into building items that you already have lying around your basement. Apart from being green and frugal, crafting and repurposing these items is quite challenging and it can lead to
6. Choose the right materials
The choice of materials that you use when decorating, remodeling, or constructing your home is one of the most important things to pay attention to. Sure, a thermal property of materials can play a huge part in the insulation of the place (a topic that we’ve already covered) but you definitely shouldn’t start there. Whether or not the timber in your household is treated may determine the overall health level of your household. Also, the materials determine the cost and procedures of the maintenance within your home. This too can be quite important both from the perspective of eco-friendliness and from the standpoint of energy-efficiency.
One of the best things about the concepts of energy-efficient and eco-friendly is that they often go hand-in-hand. The thing about it is that it’s one of those rare win-win scenarios in life where you get to make the right move and directly benefit from it. On the one hand, you get to save the planet and these same decisions will lower your utility bill. The above-listed changes can definitely make the difference that you’re looking for.