Sustainability is a real buzz word these days and you’ve likely been asking the question, how can we be more sustainable? In this post are some top tips on living a more sustainable lifestyle in your home.
Harness the Power of the Sun
Going solar and being self sufficient with your electricity supply is a great way to be more sustainable. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a standard size home, a smaller house or a tiny home, solar power is the way of the future and saves on burning through so many fossil fuels.
Not everybody is in a position to install solar panels and batteries – such as those living in apartment blocks – but if you can, it’s well worth the expense. It’s really only a small investment for big, long term returns.
You may even get to a point where the electricity companies are paying you for sending power into the grid if your panels produce more electricity than you actually use.
Depending on the kind of climate you’re living in, it may pay to insulate more than just your ceiling.
If your home is located in a region that gets very cold in winter, then insulating the floor to maintain internal warmth is well worth considering. Even the walls could use some extra insulation in this type of climate.
Not only will the temperature be more pleasant inside your house, you’ll also spend less on your power bills and reduce power consumption to do your part in saving the planet.
Buy High Energy Efficient Appliances
Most electrical appliances – from refrigerators, to washing machines, kettles and more – will have an energy efficiency rating these days. The more stars the appliance gets, the less power it uses to operate.
One way you can be more sustainable and help the environment by using less power is to only purchase appliances that have a high rating.
Collect Rainwater Whenever You Can
Having a rainwater tank is one easy and obvious way to collect rainwater to be used for household purposes. While you might not drink this water (although you could if you boil it), you can use it for:
- Watering the gardens and lawns during fine weather
- Watering your indoor plants
- Use it for flushing toilets and save town water
- Wash the car with it
- Use it for your laundry
- Washing the dishes
- And more…
On a rainy day with nothing much else to do, you could even get the kids out there collecting rainwater in buckets and other containers. It gives them something to do and teaches them about recycling and saving our planet.
Grow Your Own Vegetables
There’s nothing quite like that mouth watering freshness of eating vegetables freshly picked from a garden you cultivated yourself. Not only that, you experience a feeling of immense satisfaction feeding you and your family your very own vegetables.
Not many things make you feel more self-sustaining that producing at least some of your own food. What you can grow will depend on your climate, but no matter where in the world you live, there will be a range of vegetables you can grow and harvest during certain seasons.
Recycle As Much As Possible
Recycling comes in a number of forms. One way is to segregate your garbage and send stuff that can be recycled to the recyclers. This might include glass bottles and jars, plastics, paper and cardboard.
Another way to recycle is to buy things second hand instead of new. Many people probably don’t realise this is a form of recycling, but it is.
Also, if you’re doing a bit of building or renovating around the home, try and see if you can find some recycled and useable building materials to get the job done.
Install Double Glazed Windows
Double glazed windows are exactly that – Double glass.
These windows are fantastic insulators. Whether you’re warming your home or cooling it, much of the heat or cool air escapes via the glass.
It works the same in reverse. If it’s hot or cold outside, double glazed windows help keep the internal temperature of your house on an even keel.
They are also fantastic at reducing outside noise levels and are perfect for regular homes and those looking to downsize..
Create a Compost Pile
Composting is the process of transforming plant waste and food waste back into soil. It’s not a process that happens in quick time, but actually can take months.
However, despite the slowness of this process, it’s an awesome way to help the environment, recycle and return nutrients to the soil.
You can start your composting off with some dead leaves, grass trimmings and other garden and yard waste. Once you have these items breaking down, start adding your vegetable peelings and scraps.
Egg shells and coffee grounds also work well in a compost pile.
Use a shovel to turn your compost pile over occasionally to air it. Before you know it you’ll have some lush and nutrient rich soil to use in your vegetable garden.
Reduce Your Waste
This one requires a bit of thought and conscious effort. Any way that you can minimise your waste is a good thing for the environment.
This can include recycling whatever you can, buying food in bulk so there’s less packaging, don’t make more food that you can eat and so on.
Those are just a select few examples of what you can keep in mind to reduce your general waste.
Use Natural Cleaning Products
There are a lot of harsh chemicals and detergents out there on the market when it comes to home cleaning products. Things like bleach and alcohol. There are natural alternatives that are equally as effective, though.
You’ll find white vinegar has a number of uses when it comes to cleaning around the home. It’s a natural disinfectant and also great for cleaning windows and mirrors when mixed with plain water.
Lemon juice works well as a natural bleach and sure smells a hell of a lot better too, as in fresh rather than toxic.
Baking soda is another good one. It has mild scouring capabilities, which makes it the perfect solution for cleaning kitchen and bathroom tiles and grout, and anything that requires a light cutting compound.
Minimise Power and Water Usage
This is something you can do each and every day if you’re mindful of minimising your electricity and water use, both to save you some cash as well as help save the planet.
It’s a very simple thing to turn off lights that you’re not using, take shorter showers, switch off the TV if no one is watching it, just very basic stuff like that.
Those are just a few key tips to live a more sustainable life. We can all play a part. Keep an eye on our blog for more tips on sustainability in the near future.