In a recent interview, Earth and Atmospheric Scientist Natalie Mahowald emphasizes the need for a complete transformation in the way we live. The lead author of the United Nations’ Special Report on Global Warming cites energy conservation, food waste, and sustainability as some of the key issues humanity must address in light of climate change. Otherwise, the world will see disastrous consequences by the year 2040.
In this regard, Mahowald explains that the best place to begin is with ourselves and our own choices. True enough, more and more homeowners are factoring in sustainability when it comes to their home design and everyday practices.
Here’s how to make your own house more sustainable:
Choose eco-friendly interior design and furnishings
Lighting is one of the largest contributors to a typical household’s energy consumption and monthly bills. To save energy, an article on Medium suggests switching to LED lighting. These consume less energy compared to incandescent lights — and will save you some 400 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. Use natural light as much as possible, too.
Moreover, opt for pieces of furniture that are made from recycled or reclaimed materials. When you’re buying furniture, make sure you get ones made using nontoxic natural glues, organic fabrics, latex foam, and wool batting. You can also use woven jute fiber rugs for your floor instead of synthetic carpets.
Don’t take the natural resources around you for granted
Install a rainwater harvesting system in your home so you can use rainwater to flush your toilet, clean your home, and water your garden. You can also plant your own herbs and vegetables — or better yet, grow an entire garden. A good landscape design can warm your home during winter and cool it during summer, especially if you have plenty of trees. Fruit-bearing trees would be great, too, if you want a free source of nutritious desserts.
Find a different source of energy
Grid electricity can be really expensive, especially if it’s your home’s only source of energy. If you can’t afford to fully transform your home into a solar-powered one, you can designate certain parts of it to use solar energy instead.
Popular Mechanics shows you how you can make a solar oven, which allows you to passively heat your food through sunlight. For riverside households, you can use hydropower for your home. This option is even better than solar and wind energy as it can produce 10-100 times more electricity.
Use eco-friendly building materials
Recycled materials have less impact on the environment. But if you can’t make major changes in your home, you can switch some of the elements in it to make it more sustainable. This can even come in the form of small changes like finding eco-friendly materials for your doors or windows.
The majority of the internal doors showcased on Screwfix are from sustainable sources. These doors, which are made from responsibly sourced materials, also serve as great insulators that can help keep your home warm during the cold season. With small improvements like these, you can cut your home’s energy usage and bill.
Other than the steps outlined above, there are plenty of practices you can do to make your home more environmentally-friendly, like minimizing your waste by reusing and recycling. Small changes in habits can make a lot of difference.
Home Decor Buzz has found that “Green kitchens” have started to become a thing, and it is not about just the color of your kitchen wall, but how you operate in it, too. For example, stop fridge-gazing whenever you’re in the kitchen. Peeking into the refrigerator several times during the day can cost you up to $46 per year — so decide what you want before you open the fridge. Stop letting the water run while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving, too.
You can save 160,000 liters of water if you make it a habit to turn the tap off every time you’re not using it. These seemingly small moves actually make a lot of difference for your home’s sustainability and eco-friendliness.