7 Tips to Make Your Home More Livable
By Donna Jo
Worries about global warming, rising cost of energy and instances of environmental degradation are causing a rethink in the way we live and interact with the environment. According to a Pew Research Center study published in 2015, close to three quarters of Americans see global climate change as a serious concern. To counter the effects of climate change, drastic changes must be made. The push towards creating eco-friendly homes can be as simple as replacing compact fluorescent light bulbs, using eco-friendly paint and installing smart smoke detector.
Eco friendly homes are a critical part of sustainable living since they demand efficient energy, water usage and waste disposal system. If any of these things is not done right, serious problems could emerge. According to the Eco-Friendly Emporium, a home with unsecured air leaks can add a footprint of over 1290lbs of greenhouse emissions annually. Statistics also show the homes create about 100lbs of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) annually. These wastes come from everyday products like metal polishes, drain cleaners and household cleaning supplies.
However, household waste can easily be reduced by buying fewer products; purchasing high quality products and encouraging reuse. Here are 7 tips to create an eco-friendly home:
1. Save energy
Implementing eco-friendly, energy saving strategies can go a long way to create a green and healthy home. Some of the easiest ways to achieve this goal is buying long lasting compact light bulbs; setting the right heating and cooling temperatures and using appliances efficiently. You can also create a perfect living environment by letting in more sunshine to warm and brighten your home. This approach goes hand in hand with an investment in eco-friendly roofs, doors and windows.
2. Keep the air clear
Fresh air is vital to our health and well-being. To keep the air inside the home clear and safe, you can install a simple smart smoke detector and check for the presence of radon gas. The smart smoke detector works in real-time. If the smoke detected by the device shoots beyond the allowed threshold, an alarm is triggered. Radon is a highly radioactive gas with serious health repercussions. Exposure to this gas can cause lung cancer and even death. The gas is naturally present in the soil and can easily find its way inside the home through cracks in the walls and floor. The kits for testing the specter of radon can be purchased in hardware stores.
3. Use eco-friendly paint
Besides the strong smell, most conventional paints contain harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases that can be detrimental to your health and environment at large. If you want to upgrade your home with a fresh coat of paint, choose eco-friendly paints that do not contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), toxic biocides and pungent smell. Several paint manufacturers have come up with classes of eco-friendly paints that cost little more than the conventional paints.
4. Build a green garden
One of the best strategies of building a green garden around the home is growing an edible green garden, where you can cultivate everything from herbs to vegetables and fruit trees. While tending to your garden, ensure water is used efficiently. In addition, use earth-friendly garden products in place of harmful, toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The other effective greening strategy is investing in a green roof with living plants and grass. This type of roof will offer perfect insulation to your home. It can also improve air quality and reduce the cost of electricity.
5. Look beyond plastic and paper
Due to the environmental harm caused by plastic, you can make your living environment, eco-friendly by purchasing recycled products and encouraging the use of durable goods. For instance, instead of using paper plates and plastic cups use the more durable ceramic alternatives. Unused household items like toys and books can be donated as part of a wider reuse and recycling strategy.
6. Conserve water
Water conservation is at the core of eco-friendly living. The toilet is among the heaviest users of water at home. You can conserve this water by investing in a dual flush toilet with two flush buttons; one for liquid waste and the other for solid waste. The water used in the household can also be conserved by taking showers more often compared to baths. You can conserve water in the bathroom by using touchless bathroom faucets.
7. Use renewable energy
Solar panels and home wind turbines are cost effective and great sources of clean energy. The most popular solar panels for home use include; Polycrystalline silicon panels and Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV). If you have sufficient sunlight in your area, a solar hot water heater can help you save up to 70% in electricity cost. Small wind turbines for residential use are now available. However, the wind turbines require steady wind to run effectively. Besides saving electricity bill, these eco-friendly energy sources produce zero emissions and pollution.