The pressure is on for everyone to make more environmentally friendly decisions. If individuals become more eco-aware, the collective effect will be a greener society for all, but what can you do in your own home to make a difference?
Here are five tips to make your home greener so you can contribute to a more sustainable future:
Get serious about water
If you hear the word ‘sustainability’, you most likely first think about energy and how you can reduce your electricity consumption. However, you also need to get serious about how you and your family use water.
A leaking tap is not only annoying, but it has the potential to waste a considerable amount of drinking water (and if you are on a water meter, it can cost you extra money too). If you are aware of a leak, fix it. There are also lifestyle tweaks that you can make to be more eco-friendly. You can install EuroSun Solar Hot Water solutions, so your hot water is powered from the sun. When you are brushing your teeth or shaving, turn off the tap rather than letting the water flow; take a shower rather than a bath.
In the garden, why not install a water butt to harvest rainfall? Collecting rainfall is not just about making a green decision that saves you money; plants prefer it to the tapped and treated water and are more likely to flourish when you use it on them.
Insulate your home
Insulation is not just about keeping your home warm over winter; it also helps to keep your home cool in the heat of summer. A well-insulated house keeps your home at a comfortable temperature year-round, so you will save on electricity bills, no matter what your local climate is.
Before you order insulating materials and get busy installing them, you must compare the environmental footprint of the products. Some have high recycled content, and these should be your preferred suppliers. If you are unsure, contact the manufacturers or look on their website to check out their green credentials.
Smart food choices
Buying local has been a popular eco agenda for many consumers for some time. The increasing popularity of farmers’ markets is a testament to this, but do you know why it’s so important?
When you buy locally grown produce, you are reducing the environmental impact of the food you eat. Some foods will have been transported several thousand kilometres to get on your plate. The carbon footprint of non-local food products is extensive. Buying locally helps to reduce it by cutting the fuel consumption needed to deliver it from field to market. Think too about the packing materials and refrigeration that will have been used to keep your produce fresh in transit – it all adds up.
Natural household products
Unfortunately, people are generally unaware of the chemicals that are used in a range of household products. Substances that can harm the environment come from all kinds of sources, including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, garden chemicals, and cleaning products; you may have your head turned by the latest cleaning products that promise to save you time and energy. Many products are bad for the environment and pose a risk to water sources that people rely on.
When products are washed down the sink, they enter the water supply and require more treatment to make it purified. So, try to use natural household products. Traditional cleaning products are just as capable as the chemical-laden equivalents; white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and citric acid are environmentally friendly alternatives.
Times have changed. Recycled products have upped their game and are now provide the same quality as the non-recycled. Nowadays, there is no difference between the two options – apart from sustainability and eco-friendliness! If you can buy a recycled product, buy it. Consumer purchasing power is the one way to make manufacturers listen to the public’s desire to be greener.
Don’t restrict your recycling purchasing to paper products either. Second-hand goods are a great way to help avoid perfectly working items being sent to landfill, and you will save money too. Reconditioned technology such as mobile phones and gaming consoles can be as good as new – just preloved. Similarly, clothes from op-shops are often designer labels, but at discounted prices, you just need to take the time to look for them!
Making greener and sustainable decisions do not have to be at the expense of quality; if you implement these tips, you will save you money! What other ways have you found to be greener in the home?