Climate change, global warming, air pollution—we’re definitely seeing how our way of living has impacted the planet. Unfortunately, it’s only going to get worse for our Earth if we don’t act now.
People think they have to spend so much to live sustainably, but that’s not true. Here you can find several ways to achieve a more eco-friendly home, including things you can easily do.
And if you think it’s too much work to go more natural, let’s talk about the other pros of living in a more eco-friendly way first!
Advantages of Having an Eco-friendly Home
Aside from the obvious—that is, you’ll be caring more for Mother Nature—here are some merits of going green that you may not have thought about before:
1. More savings
A key factor to living more sustainably is by finding ways to be energy efficient. As we will be discussing below, this could be in using less energy as needed, recycling water, harnessing renewable energy and such.
Having an eco-friendly home also includes switching to reusable products. These choices eventually lead to more savings for you financially.
2. Healthier environment
Clearly, caring for our planet results in a healthier environment. And it’s a no-brainer that a healthier planet means a better quality of living for its inhabitants.
3. Less dependence on service providers
Take solar panels, for example. You’re converting the sun’s energy into electricity (multiple photovoltaic cells—cells that turn sunlight into electricity—make up solar PV panels).
This means you won’t be needing the same amount of electricity you avail of each month from your electric power provider.
Plus, it’ll no longer be a problem if a sudden power outage happens because you’ll have your own energy source!
4. Higher property value
Sustainable living is not going to be a one-hit-wonder fad. It’s not just any craze that’ll fade in the background over time.
With the need for an eco-friendly way of living growing each year, ‘green’ features are something people will be including in their list when they look for a house.
Thus, the money you spent to turn your house more eco-friendly is going to pay off in its increased value and augmented buyer attraction.
5. Better future for the next generation
Being intentional about eco-friendly living isn’t just for you but for your children and grandkids as well.
Who is better capable of securing a better future for the next generation than the present one?
Ways to Achieve a More Eco-friendly Home
Here they are—our list of ways you can implement to achieve a more eco-friendly home!
1. Install solar panels
One great way to reduce your electric bills and benefit nature is by investing in solar panels.
While it is commonly installed on house roofs, it can also be placed on other roof structures, such as sheds, barns, garages, and other areas that receive an abundant amount of sunlight.
It’s eco-friendly not just because it utilises renewable energy from the sun, but also because no greenhouse gases are produced as it’s used.
The initial investment of installing solar panels may be quite pricey, but you’ll begin to see savings in your electricity bills in the long run.
And as mentioned earlier, solar panels are a feature that’ll increase your house’s value.
2. Switch to LED lights
Here’s another way to cut down on electricity usage—use LED lights! You’ve probably heard that it’s more energy efficient than other types of lighting, but did you know that it also lasts longer?
Compared to the average incandescent light bulb, which lives for approximately 1,000 hours, the average LED light lasts 50,000 hours or more.
Furthermore, this type of lighting doesn’t contain mercury (unlike fluorescent light), making it environmentally friendly and easier to dispose of.
They also work better in lower temperatures and are safer to use because they produce very minimal heat. Plus, they don’t become damaged due to repeated on and off switches.
3. Insulate your home properly
A house that’s not well insulated will lead to higher consumption of energy to keep it warm, especially during winter.
When insulating your home, you’ll have to look at a couple of areas.
First, check your walls. According to Which?, you can lose up to over a third of heat through the walls of uninsulated homes.
Heat may also be lost through floors and roofs, so consider those areas as well. Of course, home insulation should be done by home insulation professionals.
Additionally, double glazing your windows provides that added armour against heat loss. If you think that insulation is all their perks, here are more:
- Provides better security—double-glazed windows are harder to break.
- Less noise pollution. It’ll reduce the noise you hear outside your home, making it especially advantageous if you live in busy streets.
- Higher house value + more buyer attraction
Check out these options for window and door contractors in Dublin.
4. Maintain your HVAC system regularly
An HVAC system that’s no longer functioning as nearly as good as its heyday is another big-time energy consumer.
To guarantee its efficiency and performance, call a trustworthy HVAC contractor, and have it regularly checked once to twice a year.
To be more specific, most HVAC manufacturers suggest having your air conditioning checked in spring and your heater in autumn, according to Expert Home Report.
One of the areas they may look at is the ductwork as a huge amount of energy is lost due to holes and leaks in the ducts.
5. Consider using a smart thermostat
Prepare for the cold winter months by installing a smart thermostat. Having one will prevent you from using your heating much more than necessary as it can lower the temperature when you go out of your house.
You can even operate this remotely through Wi-Fi. This means you’ll be able to heat your house up even before you arrive, or vice-versa, cool it down in the summer.
6. Use greener home products
There are plenty of ways you can help the planet with the things you use in your home daily.
One obvious way is in lessening plastic usage. Bring a large tote bag when you go grocery shopping.
Switch to silicone storage bags instead of Ziploc bags. Similar to Ziploc, they come in different sizes (and colours) but are reusable and much more durable.
What’s more, these bags are both dishwasher and microwave-safe.
Buy yourself a water bottle, so you won’t have to keep purchasing bottled water outside.
Have you seen those bamboo toothbrushes? Choose that next time you change your toothbrush.
Consider the product’s packaging as well. For instance, instead of bottled shampoos, try those in bar form.
As regards cleaning products, try searching online to concoct your own DIY cleaning solutions, disinfectants, etc.
It may be impossible to completely ditch chemical cleaning products, but DIY ones will surely lessen your dependence on them.
7. Surround your home with greenery
Having ample greenery in your yard not only will purify the air but can also provide that needed shade in the summer. Just be careful your yard doesn’t end up like a forest though, of course!
Include plants in your home as well. A couple of great indoor plants include peace lily, aloe vera, spider plant, philodendron, mother-in-law tongue, and Chinese evergreen.
DIY gardening can be done, but if you want to green-ify your home’s surroundings, it’s best to call in professional landscapers for the job.
8. Fix water leaks
You can also save up further on water by utilising rainwater and used water.
9. Cook smarter
Instead of using your oven to toast bread, it’s more energy efficient to use an oven toaster or a skillet instead.
How many people in your family drink coffee? If there’s just two of you, you might want to replace your 12-cup coffee maker with a smaller one.
Maximise the space in your oven whenever you cook with it. How? One way is by scheduling the time when you bake bread.
This means baking more loaves to fill up all the racks in your oven, so you use up all the heat your oven produces each time you turn it on.
Excited to commence your journey to a greener home? Availing of the grants offered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) can help you further with that.
According to Citizens Information, these grants are provided to make Irish homes more energy efficient.
They are divided into two general schemes: the Better Energy Homes Scheme for homeowners and landlords and the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme for people who earn a smaller income.
Some of the work you can obtain a grant for include attic insulation, wall insulation, solar thermal solutions, among others.
Of course, there are criteria you’ll have to meet to be eligible for a grant. One of these is hiring a contractor that’s registered with the SEAI. Also, the property you own must have been constructed:
- before 2006 for insulation and heating controls systems
- before 2011 for heat pumps, solar thermal, and solar PV grants
Moreover, do not start any work without first obtaining your grant approval. Otherwise, you will not be qualified for the grant.
And that’s a wrap for our list of ways to achieve a more eco-friendly home! We hope this article inspires you to make changes to your daily living to help our planet Earth, no matter how small those changes may be.
Got other ways to live more sustainably? Kindly reach out to us to let us know your ideas!