Designing A More Sustainable Home
By choosing to design a sustainable home, you are also deciding to protect Earth's natural resources, support the ecosystem, and provide a healthier environment in which you and your family will live. Additionally, with some sustainable living solutions, you will save money on living expenses too. Sustainable living is becoming a more attractive and necessary option as climate change, deforestation, and oil spills tarnish Earth's resources that we need to take care of to survive.
Capitalist societies are arguably the driving force behind convenience and consumerism, which is ravaging Earth’s resources. The notion of acquiring more wealth, consuming more things, and quickly replacing or getting rid of that which is broken, unflattering, or unnecessary is at the detriment of Mother Nature.
By becoming more resourceful and selective about what you purchase, you can live a greener life. Below are some suggestions.
Older homes often don't have the insulation that newly-built homes do. This means a distinct loss of heating occurs through the walls and roofs. In turn, in the winter months, you are likely to use more heating to keep your home at a warmer temperature. To reduce your energy consumption, insulate the walls and attic to keep it warm indoors. One of the most environmentally-friendly insulation materials you can use is cellulose, which uses between 80 and 85% recycled newspapers.
We rely on our mattresses to support us while we sleep. Therefore, investing in the right bed and one that meets the needs of your sustainable home is essential. Following use, regular mattresses are particularly challenging to recycle. However, some of the best hybrid mattresses available use organic materials such as latex, cotton, and wool. All these components are biodegradable, thus kinder to the environment. Plus these mattresses are hypoallergenic, too.
Rainwater Collection Tank
You can take advantage of rainfall by purchasing a cost-effective water butt, which funnels rainwater from the roof of your home, down the drain pipes, and into your water collection tank. Rain contains beneficial elements that make it ideal for watering plants and the lawn. A free supply of water also means a saving on your water bills. Other uses for rainwater include using it to wash the car and clean the patio.
Natural Cleaning Products
There are a plethora of cleaning products on the market. These often contain chemicals that are harmful to you, your family, your pets, and the environment. Switching to natural cleaning products is not only better for the environment, but also much kinder to yours and your family’s health.
Many years ago, popular natural cleaning products included white vinegar, bicarbonate soda, and lemon juice. All of these are still available on the market today and can be used separately or combined to remove tough stains, get rid of limescale, disinfect drains, and clean glass just as well as their chemical counterparts. By eliminating the use of chemical cleaning products at home, you shall prevent polluting the air in your home and reduce chemical waste being transferred to the ocean.
Homesteading is no easy task. It will take more than planting a seed in the ground and hoping it will grow into delicious food overnight. This step requires patience, perseverance, and research to master. While creating your vegetable patch, you need to be mindful of what food will grow in your climate. The soil type you currently have in your backyard will primarily affect what you can grow. Relatively easy vegetables to grow are peas, potatoes, and radishes. Once you are comfortable with growing different varieties of vegetables, you can start to reduce your visits to the supermarket. This, in turn, will reduce your disposal of wasted packaging that encases most food. The sense of accomplishment and pride you'll feel from growing and harvesting your own fresh food will also have health benefits because you’ll be eating organic food.
To keep the air fresh, invest in a few plants that can live indoors. These include spider plants, peace lilies, or weeping figs. Plants are great for purifying the air by eliminating pollutants and preventing the need for chemical-based home sprays. Additionally, oxygen in your home increases and greenery is also renowned for relieving stress. Indoor plants are a budget-friendly solution to immediately create a healthy and happy sustainable home.
The world needs more individuals who are willing to adopt sustainable forms of living in their life in a bid to help the planet, while also demonstrating to others the benefits of living a greener lifestyle. Whether moving to a new home or wanting to redesign your existing one, the suggestions above can help to reduce your carbon footprint.
Ricky Kyle is Editor-in-Chief at Each Night. After graduating from the University of Oregon, Ricky began researching and writing about neurology and rest.