The bitter truth is, regardless of the statistics, some things are startlingly clear: the population is growing, and humans are polluting the world to the edge of rehabilitation.
All these are facts that warrant both collective and individual action. And what better place to start than at home? A few simple changes in your home construction and lifestyle habits can create everlasting benefits for your family and immediate community.
Don’t know where to begin? Here are simple ways you can transform your space into an eco-friendly home you can fully enjoy.
Start with Water
Water is perhaps the most basic human need for survival next to the air you breathe. Without water, humans can survive for only three days. Yet its seemingly ceaseless presence in civilized society also makes it so easy to take for granted.
The water that you use every day has to come from somewhere. So far, there has been no problem in tapping it, but it’s the proper distribution of water that is increasingly becoming an issue. Water wastage prevents water from flowing into other communities that need them as well, especially agricultural regions.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average household wastes around 180 gallons of water in a week. And just turning off your tap while brushing your teeth can save 8 gallons of water a day. Imagine how many lives can be saved and gallons of water can be conserved if a hundred households decide to do their part in water conservation.
Turning off the tap isn’t the only solution. Conserving water can also take these forms:
- Saving rainwater and tapping it for household use like dishwashing, irrigating the lawns, or gardening
- Regularly checking your water lines and fixing any pipe leaks
- Filling in your dishwasher all the way before running it
- Using Energy Star–rated washing machines.
- Installing a water-efficient macerating toilet
- Using a glass when brushing your teeth
- Installing a low-flow showerhead
- Using tankless water heaters
How Can I Cool Down: 7 Remarkable Tips for Building an Outdoor Shower for Summer Days
Have you ever experienced the joy of outdoor shower in summer? It is undoubtedly, an extraordinary method to revive yourself when it’s hot. Besides, in the event that you live close to the shoreline, an outside shower makes it simple to wash the sand off before going inside. These open-air shower thoughts are a simple task that can add to your porch or yard, improve the excellence of your finishing and increase the value of your home.
Including an open-air shower is as simple as changing over a water hose or nozzle into a shower. Be that as it may, that solitary offers a virus water shower, which might be all you need. Then again, you can bring in a handyman to carry boiling water to the spot. Have a look at these inspiring ideas to build an outdoor shower and then enjoy the orgasmic experiences for you are your partner!
Since the advantage of an outdoor shower is additional time outside, grasp your regular surroundings by fusing greenery. Showering outside encompassed by palm leaves and foliage for a considerable length of time will make you have an inclination that you’re on a tropical get-away—regardless of where you really are.
Ridged metal adds a touch of sheen to your patio while offering you a spot to wash off following multi day working in the nursery or relaxing by the pool. Include a third divider for more prominent protection or—for a progressively eager endeavor—consolidate a pivoted entryway to encase the shower totally.
Use Fun Tiles
Utilize your open-air shower as a capacity unit for your eye-getting surfboard. It’ll twofold as stylistic layout when not being used. What’s more, utilize fun tiles for a fly of shading.
For a transportable or low-duty open-air shower, buy a slow down unit that can be snared to a typical nursery hose. Include a vivid drape, and voilà! Your late spring ends of the week just showed signs of improvement.
Make a Pathway
To make a striking outdoor shower look much increasingly stupendous, lay a tile pathway that leads the way. At that point hang up divider snares on the outside divider so you can show your perfect towels, similar to these Missoni shockers.
On the off chance that you aren’t excessively humble, a direct stacked-brace development is an advanced choice for an open-air shower. We adore the sharp expansion of stone edges wedged between the supports to give a home to cleanser and cleanser.
Underneath an Arbor
Arbors are intended to be strolled under, so why not shower under one as well? This outside shower looks welcoming as well as gives only the appropriate measure of shade and washing protection. On the off chance that you can deal with the pipes, you can without much of a stretch introduce an arbor.
Keep It Rustic
Envision returning home to this stone-walled desert garden following multi-day of wine sampling. Or on the other hand, you could make it a reality by duplicating the natural Tuscan vibes of this marvelous open-air shower, with a well-chosen outdoor rain shower head.
Plumbing pipe is a reasonable – and inherently waterproof – surrounding framework for an open-air shower. Draperies can be mounted on snares for simple dismantling during winter months. Make certain to utilize a rock-solid waterproof material like canvas to forestall the development of form and build-up.
Make It Architecturally Unique
The shower in this Kenyan home makes them long for the. You will most likely be unable to coordinate that see, however you can take a couple of notes from the sculptural divider, covered rooftop, and high shower head.
Convert Your Roof Space
Do you think buying a smart thermostat to control your home power already edges the limit of what you can do to save electricity? Think again.
Great returns require a good investment. And in the case of electricity management, the answer lies directly above your head.
Go for Wooden Window Frames
Windows are essential elements in any home. They provide protection from the cold winter wind and let in natural breeze during a rather hot day. Basically, window frames may be built out of wood, vinyl, fiberglass, metal, and composites.
Out of all these materials, wood is the most environment-friendly. Choose quality wood frames to prevent mold and moisture from thriving. Clean windows regularly with natural products like citric acid and vinegar. Use window cleaning tools to make the cleaning process easy and fast.
Install Solar Panels
Harnessing the power of the sun to generate electricity is a wise investment that allows you to also reduce your energy spending. As long as they are installed properly, solar panel installations can also help increase your home value.
Why Is it Better to Use Solar Energy? 4 Tempting Benefits of Getting Solar
Face it, solar energy is definitely the future trend of energy. Nowadays, many households and institutions have converted their home to be powered solely by solar power, reaping all the advantages offered by the precious sun.
Face it, solar energy is definitely the future trend of energy. Nowadays, many households and institutions have converted their home to be powered solely by solar power, reaping all the advantages offered by the precious sun.
In 2016, there were only solar companies and find one to connect your home to the solar grid.
3. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
There are many ways how you can help our planet: going vegan, switching from car to bike, using fewer planes, buy second hand, carry your own bottle… Installing solar energy is maybe more costly at the beginning, but you will benefit from it long term
82 percent of Americans believe carbon emissions fuel climate change, and most of them want to conserve the environment.
If you’re among these people, using solar energy is one of the most effective steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. You see, solar power is 100 per cent renewable, but there is more.
When you stop using power generated from fossil fuels, you’re helping the planet.
As more people switch to solar, the demand for fossil power will go down, meaning fossil power plants won’t have to produce as much energy as before. Consequently, carbon emissions will decrease.
4. Increase the Value of Your Property
If you’re a homeowner, you want your property to keep gaining value, right? In the future, you might want to sell it or even take out a home equity loan.
Installing solar power on your property can help increase its value. With more people becoming environmentally friendly, the demand for energy efficient homes keeps rising. In fact, buyers are often willing to pay more for solar homes.
Those Are the Ways You Can Benefit from the Advantages of Solar Energy
Solar power is all the rage, but if you know little about clean energy, you might not see any value in switching. But now that you know the various ways you can benefit from the advantages of solar energy, we hope you’re convinced it’s time to switch.
Stay tuned to our blog for more tips and insights.
Other benefits of this renewable energy resource include the following:
- The excess power you generated can be sold back to the utility company.
- It allows you to get tax credits and rebates.
- Solar panels have multiple applications.
- The cost of maintenance is minimal.
- It starts saving from day one.
- Clear conscience, as you choose an eco-friendly appliance to heat your home.
Install a Green Roof
A green roof is a type of roofing that is either partially or completely covered with vegetation planted in a growing medium over a layer of waterproofing membrane. Though pricey, a green roof helps reduce water runoff and produces a cooling effect by effectively reflecting the sun’s energy away.
Other than that, it also provides the following advantages over standard roofing:
- Acts as a sound barrier and absorbs noise from the surrounding environment
- Adds value to the building or property
- Helps purify and depollute the air
- Extends the longevity of your roof
- Saves money in the long term
- Has low-cost maintenance
It’s not clear whether paperless is more eco-friendly than digital. However, it’s practical for many reasons. Aside from saving the trees, going paperless also reduces clutter.
Your monthly bills and transactions produce one time relics that are as good as disposed of. Most of these transactions already have digital copies anyway. So print them out only when it’s necessary to.
Doing your shopping and selling products digitally may also be advantageous for many things. It’s never been easier to open your own business without the traditional hassles of setting up shop.
For example, if you want to sell your own handmade products from home, you can simply set up an online business account and sell via all-in-one e-commerce platforms and leverage it via social media. By taking that one simple step, you can already run your empire minus the carbon footprints of a physical store.
The same goes for shopping or expanding your current business. Going digital reduces the cost of logistics and many of its associated expenditures.
Speaking of virtual shopping, online is also a great place to find preowned items that are in excellent condition. This is especially true in the case of electronic wastes, which reportedly generate 20 million to 50 million tons worldwide yearly. It’s something to think about the next time you want to buy a replacement monitor for your PC tower.
Conscious shopping is essential nowayday. How to wisely give a second life to the products you don’t need anymore and encourage rycycling at your eco friendly home?
5 Ways to Encourage Recycling at Home
Whenever I look at the sad “recycle” cousin bins standing lonely and empty by the common trash bins it hits me hard. I feel like it is waiting to narrate the story of why being the logical option means you are always going to be friend-zoned. I mean taking out a bag of garbage is tough enough when parents randomly come to visit and now a secondary container for recycling?
Even writing this sentence was a waste of time and space just like those ”recycle” trash cans. But if you wake up one day and some video like this one
in your Facebook feed inspired you to be slightly more considerate towards earth, then you can use these 5 ways to encourage your family too to take up recycling. Well, honestly speaking it is either this or probably your family portrait in a few years will be set on top of a landfill backdrop.
The ‘R’ factor
Recycling alone is like loading up on proteins alone to build up. It can never be enough to achieve the magical transformation that we hope to witness on earth one day. You need to workout ample and relax enough to make it happen. Similarly, the three ‘r’s – reduce, reuse and recycle function together to make the transition on earth happen.
In fact, recycling is the last resort after reducing and reusing various products at home. So understand that recycling is not just about getting a big bunch of beer bottles processed into a fancy science mug. Nor does trying to make ashtrays from old boxes and bottles alone count.
The triangle of trash
The way to go about recycling is to know more about the material you use every day to understand the purpose and efficiency of recycling. For example, knowing the grades of plastics will help you make a healthy choice for both your home and the environment.
Plastics used in all the takeout boxes and in say PVC pipe is quite different in grades and they can both be recycled but a different number of times. So there is a possibility all the takeout boxes you dumped over the years pile up and trash earth completely. Look for the recycle triangle on items you purchase like kitchen tools such as plastic trays to know how many times it can be put through the recycling process.
Don’t buy because it is fancy
Understanding a product before buying is important for us to know if we can buy something simpler that would be sufficient. In many cases, such decisions will help us reduce the wastage. Try to fix what is broken rather than replace it with an exception in case of a bad breakup. Avoid using packaged material unless absolutely necessary.
Cooking may not amuse you but it could be a little light on the pocket and the environment. Make wise choices when you buy things like buying a reusable bottle rather than a pet bottle. For instance, if you are a chemistry wizard, like Heisenberg, choose laboratory equipment such as a volumetric flask, made of good quality glass only for all your experiments. The glass laboratory equipment can be recycled efficiently several times without causing much harm as in the case of plastics. You don’t want the world to go Breaking Bad, now do you?
Do not reach for the blue bin unless it is absolutely necessary and the only way. Remember that the three steps need to work in balance with each other to be beneficial and hence do not try to choose one of the three.
How to get your family on your side?
This is going to be impossible if you want to be a hypocrite and mix all the garbage into one bag before you take it to the trash can. So, practice what you preach.
1. Know what things around your house can be recycled
Just like you take a subtle sneak at the prices on shopping aisles make sure you peak into understanding the nature of the material too. Know which of these can be recycled or reused and which of them are simply use and throw. Try your best to choose recyclable materials that you can repurpose at home.
Also, teach kids (if any, yet) how to use any product completely before you throw them out. Show them how to squeeze every last bit of toothpaste or ketchup from the tube, I know they’ll hate you for this, but trust me it is a wonderful life lesson. Only sensitive stuff like small masks used for sedation should not be used multiple times, unlike other non-medical tools. Make sure both the sides of all the papers are used before you give them out for recycling along with the old phone books, cardboard, envelopes etc. Or you can step into the real world and use your phones and laptops instead and go paperless.
2. You do not have to think out of the box
Think before you throw is probably the best slogan you and your family should abide by. Your spring cleaning routine could be good for your house but definitely not for the neighbours and the environment if you dump a trash can full of old light bulbs and batteries. Pick an old box and save them for later when you can visit your local bulb stores which might have a system to recycle. Keep this as a thumb rule before you make a mixed garbage bag of old cell phone and bad pizza. Search online to find out local recycling centres for electronics to avoid throwing them into another landfill.
3. If you don’t love then let go – Take or toss day
Well, it is fun to pile up stuff year after year in our closets and revisit them one day when they all come crashing down like all the old trashy gifts your ex-forced you to be happy about. Like recycle, reuse is also a keyword of significance to the environment. Have one day every year as the decision day where you can play a game of ‘take or toss’.
If it is old and high maintenance then toss it along with the nostalgia. Give away every bad shopping decision you have made to donations where they won’t know who made the bad decisions. Nothing goes to the trash bag unless you completely give away anything that can possibly be used by someone else.
4. Buy recycled products and initiate the ripple effect in the neighbourhood
Being the guitar guy is such as cliche way to be the talk of the town. Instead be a person who buys recycled goods. Neighbourhoods usually tend to catch hold of trends like this, especially if you are a hot single living in a tight community, who knows every juicy gossip from next door.
Giving a new life to an old product is a great cause and by buying recycled products you encourage such initiatives too. You can also create local recycling events or participate in one which could be a great way to meet nice new people (wink).
5. Play the “who picked the right bin” game every day with children at home
If you were lucky enough to find your woman through some local recycling event, then continue this tradition of recycling stuff with your kids as well. Make colourful and bright recycling bins at home and teach kids to separate while they dispose of their waste. Make sure you reward your kids when they throw them in the right bins.
In a fun way tell your kids the importance and necessity of following the three ‘R’s system and how it can make the world better. Encourage your kids to spread this behaviour among their friends at school and do the same with your work colleagues.
Water is another important area where you need to apply the 3 ‘R’ principle. Reduce water usage to a minimum- bathe with your partner, ah! what a fun way to save water and the environment.
Reuse the water you use for washing vegetables to water plants. Make sure you have an efficient system at home for recycling water and teach the importance of water conservation to kids. Discuss their thoughts about how we should inculcate recycling at home and in this way, they will share an interest too in the purpose. Maybe a special screening of Wall-E could help.
10 Crucial Swaps For your Zero Waste Bathroom
Do you know that you can make your bathroom more sustainable and environmentally friendly by simply swapping your single use products for more eco-friendly and reusable products? This can seem a bit overwhelming but it is doable.
Most of us have in our bathroom drawers a handful of sample products and items that we hardly use. Bathrooms in a way seem to have some magnetism for clutter and have become a home to things like old beauty products, hotel samples, travel size products, expired sunscreens, old towels just to mention a few. These products end up becoming waste that we can easily do without. Instead of making our bathrooms a storage place for all these types of wasteful items, we can transform them into a zero waste bathroom.
Here are some top 10 bathroom swap ideas that will set you towards achieving a zero waste life. They may cost quite a bit at the beginning but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
1. Oral care products
Oral hygiene is one of the routine activities that we practice every single morning. Some of the products that we use for this activity are not environmentally friendly and can be replaced with other sustainable options. Plastic toothbrushes for instance can be replaced with the eco-friendly bamboo brushes. These particular types of toothbrushes are not only compostable but they also emit very little carbon dioxide when produced.
Another important product in oral care is toothpaste. Toothpaste tubes are non-decaying and neither are they recyclable. As an alternative, you can consider using toothpaste tablets or powders. These products are usually packed in reusable glass.
2. Zero waste ear care
One of the popular questions among people who observe or plan to observe a zero-waste lifestyle is how to clean your ears without using the environmentally harmful cotton buds, Q-tips and swabs. The solution lies in LastSwab. LastSwab is basically a sustainable, eco-friendly and reusable product that is quite effective when used for post-shower ear cleaning and in swiping of eyeliners. One LastSwab replaces approximately 1000 single use cotton buds and swabs. It has been designed in such a way that is gentle to the sensitive body parts without compromising on its quality.
3. Hair care products
Hair care products are another wasteful item that is common in our bathroom drawers. To achieve a zero-waste living you will need to replace this product with a more sustainable option like hair care bars. Hair-care bars are both environmentally friendly and do not contain any plastic packaging. It contains ingredients that not only lack harmful chemical additives but are also nutritious to the hair and offers a sustainable hair solution.
4. Hair brushes
Majority of hair brushes are made of plastics that are harmful to the environment. As an alternative you can opt for the safe and durable wooden hair brushes with wooden bristles which you can easily compost at the end of its lifespan.
5. Zero-waste razors
You also need to replace the plastic safety razor with the stainless steel one which is not only durable but is also affordable. It will also save you the hustle of buying a blade every week or month. There are numerous different types of stainless steel razors available both in local and online stores.
6. Zero-waste body soaps
As for body soaps, you can opt for bar soaps which are package free and therefore devoid of extra plastic waste. Note that you do not have to limit yourself to one type of bar soap, there different types and varieties of bar soaps available in the market with different ingredients and scents. So it is not all boring.
7. Recyclable toilet paper
Most toilet papers are wrapped in plastic and although this may seem negligible, the plastic toilet paper packages will eventually accumulate into a noticeable quantity. You can also opt for the 100% recyclable or tree-free toilet paper.
8. Reusable sanitary pads and menstrual cups
Sanitary pads which have to be bought every month contribute significantly to the harmful, non-degradable global waste that fill-up landfills everywhere. Fortunately there are other eco-friendly options like the reusable menstrual cups which are manufactured from medical grade silicone. If you are not comfortable with the menstrual cups you can also consider the reusable sanitary pads.
9. Wooden toilet brush
Apart from the personal care products, there are other items in the bathroom that you may need to change and one such product is the toilet brushes. Must toilet brushes in our bathrooms are made of plastics and therefore you may need to replace them with wooden ones. A wooden toilet brush not only reduces on household waste output but it also enhances your bathroom outlook.
10. Bathroom sprays
Bathrooms sometimes get a little smelly and stinky and this is where the bathroom/toilet sprays come in handy. Instead of using the usual air fresheners which are mostly available in plastic containers, you can substitute it with a natural DIY air freshener. It is actually so easy to make them. All you require is an essential oil, water, and a spray bottle.
The 5 Toxins You May Encounter During A Home Renovation
Walls being knocked down, cabinets bursting into pieces, and carpet being ripped from the floor. These are some common things you may see if you’re a fan of home improvement television shows. While the Property Brothers may make it seem like all fun and games, there are a lot of factors that go into renovating a home successfully. Ready to give a new look to your man cave?
Budgeting and planning are an important part of an amazing finished product, but what about the labor that goes along with it? If you’re planning to renovate a home yourself, there are certain things you should be aware of before you even think about swinging a sledgehammer into your kitchen counter.
What the TV shows might not show you are the dangers that come with renovation. Substances in your home that can be hazardous to your health are important to recognize before you begin a remodeling project. If you want to ensure you remain healthy while performing a renovation project by yourself, check out these 5 toxins that may be lurking in your home prior to starting your project.
Asbestos? Isn’t that stuff banned? This is a common misconception about the deadly carcinogenic mineral. While asbestos usage has diminished greatly in the United States, construction products still may contain trace amounts of the mineral, which must be one percent or less of the entire composition of the product.
Asbestos use was very common in building materials prior to 1980. Asbestos-containing materials can be found in homes across the U.S. and it is important to be aware of what might contain this carcinogen, especially if you live in an older home.
If you’re going to be renovating your attic or basement, you should figure out what type of insulation is used in your home. Insulation in these two areas has a high probability of containing asbestos, depending on when your home was built. Chrysotile asbestos is the most common form of this mineral and it was used often in insulation due to its high durability and unmatched flame retardancy.
When asbestos becomes disturbed, asbestos fibers can become airborne. These airborne fibers then have the possibility of being inhaled or ingested. Once in the body, they become embedded in the lining of the lungs, stomach or heart, causing inflammation. The major concern with these fibers entering the body is the risk of mesothelioma. Exposure to the microscopic minerals is the only cause of mesothelioma cancer. Most people diagnosed with mesothelioma do not live past a year. This is partly due to the latency period of the disease. Mesothelioma can take 10 to 50 years to develop and the symptoms often mimic other diseases. When mesothelioma is diagnosed, it is often too late for a successful outcome because of how long it has been developing in the body.
If you think your home may have asbestos-containing materials, you should immediately hire a trained professional. A certified remediation team will be able to test the suspected materials and remove them safely. Asbestos removal should not be attempted by yourself because there is no safe level of asbestos exposure, it’s all dangerous.
Lead is a toxic metal that we associate mostly with paint products. Like asbestos, lead exposure is an issue if your home was built prior to 1980. Lead-based paint products could have been used on both the outside and inside of your home.
Lead-based paint does not pose a serious threat if it is in good condition. The problem arises when the paint begins to flake and deteriorate. If you are creating dust while renovating by sanding your walls or knocking them down, you could be exposing yourself to toxic lead dust.
Lead exposure has serious effects on the wellbeing of small children, however it can affect adults too. Some of the health issues associated with lead exposure are kidney damage, nerve disorders, and memory loss.
Testing for lead is a relatively cheap process. If you are worried your home may contain lead-based paint, these tests are typically accurate and fast. Samples can be tested on site using a portable x-ray fluorescence machine. If results are inconclusive, the paint can be sent to an EPA accredited lab that specifies in lead testing.
Dangerous mold in households is more common than you might think (don’t worry, you can still eat your cheese). Mold Safe Solutions reports that 7 out of 10 homes have some form of water damage or mold. Mold grows wherever there is moisture and can be found anywhere in the house. However, it typically resides in damp areas such as basements and bathrooms.
There are many different types of mold, the most common being cladosporium, aspergillus, and stachybotrys atra, which is black mold. Black mold can be unsightly and spread quickly, so it is important to have this mold removed if it is suspected. Mold can have many short-term effects on your health such as coughing, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Prolonged exposure to this type of mold can be dangerous and cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even bleeding in the lungs.
This is something you should be aware of if you are going to be renovating areas that are often damp. Renovation work can be planned to ensure that mold does not grow in certain areas. If you are renovating a bathroom, it may be smart to replace baseboards with tile to ensure that mold does not have a way to easily grow. There are even bio-sprays that act as a barrier to prevent mold from growing.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile Organic Compounds are a variety of different chemicals that are used in certain products. They are found in adhesives, sealants, paints and wood preservatives and can have both short- and long-term health effects. VOCs affect air quality and are emitted as a gas from these types of products.
Products that contain VOCs should be replaced if you are renovating. It is important to have proper ventilation and not leave any opened paint cans lying around the house. Low-VOC paints are available and there are friendlier alternatives when it comes to certain adhesives and sealants.
The effect these chemicals have on the body are subject to how long someone has been exposed to them. In the short-term, they may cause someone to feel fatigued, dizzy, and even have an allergic reaction. Long-term effects are similar and in addition, memory can be impaired if exposed long enough to VOCs.
I’m sure you are wondering what the heck this word means, so let’s break it down. Phthalates are chemicals that give plastic its durability and flexibility. It would be common to have polyvinyl chloride (PVC) piping in your home for water storage. Phthalates can also be found in vinyl flooring, wall coverings, and personal care products.
While phthalates haven’t shown a major concern to the health of humans, studies have shown an effect on the reproductive health of animals. If you’re planning on having kids in the future, it is best to replace materials that may contain phthalates as exposure to them over a prolonged period of time and in abundance could have potential health effects.
If you’re going to be renovating areas such as a kitchen or bathroom, it may be smart to invest in copper piping to replace PVC. Not only will this be safer, but it will give you peace of mind knowing that phthalates aren’t being emitted into your water supply.
It is important to understand the potential health risks you may encounter during a home renovation. If you’re concerned that you’re going to come in contact with any of the five toxins listed above, contact a trained professional immediately. While performing a renovation project yourself may save you money, it may make more sense to hire someone who specializes in renovation. If you still decide to renovate on your own, be sure to do it safely!
These are just some of the simple and effective ways to turn your home into an eco-friendly space. If you are serious about making an impact, start right at home, and inspire others to do the same.
Ultimately, the issue of environmental conservation is a community issue, not a matter of personal preference. And whichever side of the debate you are on, at the end of the day, it’s still about responsibility. Take part and contribute.