We all want to do our bit to care for the environment. But it can be hard to change our habits, and find the time to make your home green.
It’s time to stop feeling guilty and get your house in order. As 2017 approaches, why not commit to turning up the green rating of your home? From painting your walls to recycling, here are seven simple ways you can turn your home into an eco-friendly paradise.
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Everyone knows about recycling. It’s no secret that this can work wonders for the environment. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle are the three Rs that will help remember your goals.
Reduce refers to the amount of packaging you can avoid chucking away by buying unpackaged foods, or by buying in bulk.
If you’re building or renovating, find smart ways to reuse the old material. Or keep those jars to use to store bits and bobs, or for when you try your hand at making jam.
When recycling, follow the instructions on your recycle bin. One tip is to invest in an indoor recycle bin and place it next to your sink, so you can easily rinse and recycle.
2. Clear the Air with Trees and Plants
There are lot of toxins in the home, but it’s ok. You can take a deep breath because there are plants that can purify the air in your house.
Plants like Dracaena, areca palms, and rubber plants (not to be confused with plants made of rubber), will rid the air of carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, among other things.
You can also use trees to provide shade. A well-placed tree will cast a shadow over your home so you won’t need to use the air conditioner to be cool in summer.
3. Get the Green Light
Environmentally friendly lighting has gotten a bad rap. Many people insist the white light is too unappealing. But there are warmer tones of CFL light globes and those LED lights are perfect for bathrooms.
They last longer than incandescent bulbs, and even though they cost a little more, will save you money on your electricity in the long run.
4. Build with Sustainable Materials
If you want a truly green home, make sure you put your best foot forward by building using sustainable materials.
Sustainable materials will reduce the impact of the construction of your new home on the environment.
Sustainable insulation is not only good for the environment but will save you money on your heating or cooling bill. From your roof to the floor, there are plenty of environmentally friendly options.
5. Paint the House Green
Conventional paints contain a lot of chemicals like formaldehydes, heavy metals and compounds known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
These VOCs seep out of your painted walls long after the paint has dried. Not to mention the affect that one litre of paint can produce 30 litres of toxic waste.
Eco-friendly paints contain no, or significantly less, VOCs than regular paint and can be derived from plants. If you plan to paint your home, do a little research to determine if eco-friendly paint is right for you.
6. Save Water, Save the Earth
There are a lot more ways to save water than just fixing that leaky tap, although you should definitely fix that! Water conserving fixtures like low flow taps, toilets and showerheads will make your home greener.
They’ll also cut down on your water bill so it’s a win-win. Make sure when you’re shopping for white goods, you consider buying the kind that will save you water and energy.
If you are building your home, consider investing in a rainwater harvesting system and use that water for toilets and your garden hose.
7. Harness Solar Energy
Solar panels might seem like a big investment but they are good for you and the environment. Apart from solar energy being clean and renewable, they can save you a lot on your electricity bill in the long run.
It depends on your houses placement, but if your solar panels produce enough energy, you might even begin contributing to the utility company.
There are even government incentives to help you invest in the future of energy, so it might be easier than you realise.