12 Recommendations To Make a Sustainable Home
Every day there are fewer and fewer natural spaces and pollution is increasing. However, every home can take action to help the planet - and your wallet.
Having a sustainable home not only benefits the planet and helps create a better future; it can also be more cost-friendly and give your home a better atmosphere.
In fact, some changes you can make to make a sustainable home are easy, fast, and inexpensive. Others may take longer and may require a higher investment, but they’ll always be worth it in the long run.
Creating waste and trash, in addition to being an ecological problem, represents more family spending, since it involves replacing what you use. That’s why you should always keep the basic principle of reduce, reuse, and recycle in mind to create a sustainable home.
Basic rules for a sustainable home
With a few simple rules, you can start taking the first steps to make your home sustainable.
1. Don’t buy things you don’t need.
Many times, almost without realizing it, we buy things that we don’t even need. They can be food, utensils, or decorations, that we forget about and end up in the trash.
Buy what you’re sure you’re going to use in the short term. That way, you’ll avoid accumulating objects, creating garbage, and you’ll make better use of your money.
2. Store leftover food in glass containers.
Glass containers last longer than plastic containers, which wear out and stain faster and easier and then can’t be recycled. Storing things in aluminum foil or plastic bags also creates more waste. However, you can use plastic containers for non-food products so they last longer.
3. Buy bulk products for your sustainable home.
Instead of buying the products you use the most in small packages, buy larger ones to avoid using many small packages. If you have extra left over, you can store it in glass containers in the cupboard or fridge.
4. Use cloth bags at the store.
Take your own cloth bag when you go shopping. That way you’ll reduce your use of plastic or paper bags that end up filling landfills, or worse end up in fields and oceans.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that a trillion plastic bags are used each year in the world. This is equivalent to 100 million barrels of oil. 80% of these bags end up in garbage dumps and 20% (200 billion) end up in oceans, rivers, and forests.
5. Buy local.
For both agricultural and packaged products, local production is more environmentally friendly. The transportation of imported products or products from other regions is a large source of pollution. Also, purchasing local products stimulates the local economy.
If you have space, you can even grow your own garden with some basic crops or you can plant some small spices plants that you use most often, such as parsley, basil or coriander.
6. Buy organic products.
Organic products are grown in a more environmentally friendly and conscious way, without pesticides or chemical fertilizers that pollute the environment.
7. Consciously dispose of trash for a sustainable home.
You should always think about recycling. Sort the trash by type and dispose of it in the proper containers. Find your local recycling guidelines and follow the instructions.
You can also consider making your own compost from the organic waste and using it as a fertilizer!
You might be interested in: 5 ideas to make recycled garbage baskets
8. Save energy.
Make sure there are no lights on in rooms when no one is in them, or when there’s enough natural light. Don’t leave electronic devices on when you’re not using them.
Don’t leave phone chargers plugged in. The chargers’ transformers continue to consume electricity even if the phone isn’t connected, and it can even be dangerous since they can overheat.
Structural renovations for a sustainable home
There are other adjustments you can make to have a sustainable home, which may require more planning. However, once you make them they’ll make a big difference.
9. Replace appliances.
The vast majority of new appliances are made from materials that use less energy, making them more environmentally friendly.
Although they require a higher initial investment, they also represent savings in electricity costs. You can start with something simpler, like replacing traditional bulbs with LED and CFL bulbs, which last longer and consume less energy.
According to the United States Department of Energy, CFL bulbs save 25% energy and last 3 times longer than incandescent bulbs, while LED lights save 80% energy and last 25 times longer. The electricity cost in the electric bill of a normal home is 5%.
10. Install electricity regulators.
On electrical appliances that are difficult to turn off, such as air conditioners or water heaters, you can install electricity regulators that automatically turn them on and off at certain times.
That way, you can turn off the heater when you sleep or work, or the air conditioner when you’re not at home.
11. Create a more sustainable home with double pane windows.
Double pane windows insulate the house and help maintain the internal temperature of your house. If it’s very expensive, you can use thermal interior curtains, which also insulate from extreme outside temperatures.
This reduces your energy expenditure on heating and air conditioning.
12. Install solar panels.
If you’re able to, install solar panels. You can install them just for the use of some things, such as heating the water or a specific section of the house. That way, you’ll reduce your consumption of energy made with fossil fuels in exchange for clean energy. This will show up as savings on your electricity bill.
Finally, remember that all these strategies are aimed at improving the environment and the health of the planet. Although some of them require an initial investment, your bills, health, and expenses will also benefit.