Become More Eco-Friendly With These Green Home Ideas
There’s no doubt that properties, especially large buildings and business places, can have a harmful effect on the environment. However, if more homeowners took certain steps on board to become more eco-friendly, we could all make a significant impact and reduce our carbon footprint. There are multiple ways that people can make sustainable changes in order to protect the planet. If every home implemented even the smallest changes, such as recycling plastic and using LED light bulbs, the difference would be significant.
Knowing where to start when looking to make your home more eco-friendly can be challenging for some, so this short guide can help to get you get started. It covers some key points on how to go green at home so you can begin contributing to reducing the effects of climate change and become more eco-friendly.
Whether you’re looking for ways to make your current home greener or thinking about future investment properties to rent out as a source of income, homes that promote sustainability will help reduce energy costs whilst having a positive effect on the environment.
Renewable Energy: We all need to power our homes. With the majority of homes on the fossil fuel grid, this energy comes from burning non-sustainable sources such as gas, coal or oil, which is harmful to the environment. With more electricity being used during isolation as people find themselves setting up a temporary working space and residing indoors, consider investing in renewable energy sources as a way to make your household more eco-friendly. Although these energy system installs can be costly up front, it’s certainly worth the investment in the long run both for your wallet and the environment. Examples include:
Air Source Heat Pumps: These devices look similar to air-conditioning units and come in various sizes depending on how much heat you need to generate for your home. Air source heat pumps take heat from the air, then using a compressor boosts it to a higher temperature, which is then transferred to your home’s heating system. Utilizing air source heat pumps in your home or building will absorb and recycle the outside air to heat the house or communal space and provide hot water to homeowners and tenants.
Rainwater Recycling: Households use hundreds of gallons of water every day, and much of it is waste, due to taking extra-long showers or running laundry loads that are only half full. Why not install a recycling system to harvest rainwater? This involves collecting rainwater from a roof or garden lawn, which is then passed through a filter and stored in a holding tank. Tanks can be placed in the attic, underground or on the side of a building. This can then be used as a water source for washing (if filtered) or to help keep a garden watered..
Solar Panels: One of the most popular renewable energy sources for homeowners and property developers who want to put sustainability at the top of their agenda is installing solar panels. Solar panels harness the sun’s free, abundant energy as a power source on Earth that produces no harmful waste or emissions. Homeowners are increasing installing solar grids on their properties to power all their home energy needs plus receive the profits of selling their power overages to the local utility company, which powers their customers’ needs. Solar-powered outdoor lights and devices are a good starting point for homeowners who are not ready to make the complete switch. These help lower energy use and give homeowners a glimpse of how solar-powered devices work.
LED Lighting: Switch from incandescent to LED lighting in your new or existing home or development. LED bulbs use up to 75% less energy than traditional lighting and reduces your energy footprint on the planet. Every little bit helps.
Treat Your Windows: Sometimes older homes may not have the insulation required to provide adequate heating. While insulating your walls and attic can help to keep the warm indoors and reduce your energy consumption, treating your windows can also contribute to a more comfortable temperature at home. Minimize the use of heating and cooling systems that harm the planet such as gas boilers and electrical air-conditioning units. Consider opting for a more environmentally friendly form of insulation by simply adding curtains or blinds to your windows that will help to keep the heat inside during winter and keep cool air inside during summer. Planting a tree outside a window will protect your home from the sun during hotter months, especially for windows used to mount air conditioners. Shading the air conditioner will provide much greater energy efficiency during its use.
Co-Living: As more people seek ways to live a more sustainable life, property developers are incorporating co-living ideas into their designs. Communities designed with shared living or eating spaces cuts down the need for everyone to be powering individual energy-hungry appliances, lighting, heating and cooling. Sharing tools, living spaces and even daily chores like meal prep gives people more time and money to spend in healthier ways with each other. Co-living concepts also reduce the need for so many cars on the road as car-sharing is common among those living together.
Sophie Johnson is a freelance copy writer and environmental enthusiast.