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
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.
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.
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.