Updated: June 2, 2021
Terms like “sustainability” and “green living” may feel like buzz words at times. But the truth is, they have to be more than that for those who really care about the future. If we’re going to safely cohabitate on the Earth together, we need to make sustainable living a way of life. Of course, if you want to steer into the concept of an eco-friendly lifestyle, you need to find ways to include it in every area of your life — including the home front. There are both simple and complex ways to improve your living space with the planet in mind. Here are a few of the most obvious upgrades that can quickly take an average living space from wasteful to sustainable.
Reduce Your Water Consumption
The kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom use a lot of water. You can quickly reduce your home’s water consumption by installing low-flow equipment throughout your living space.
Water-efficient toilets can use a gallon of water to flush rather than the traditional five. Low-flow faucets and showerheads can reduce the amount of running water without making the user experience much different. Front-loading washing machines and water-conscious dishwashers can use a fraction of the precious H2O required by older models to clean your dishes and clothes — as just a few examples.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Digital products provide many unique ways to live in a sustainable manner. A good example of this is a smart thermostat. A simple model allows you to control your home’s temperature from any location using your smartphone, while more advanced options can even track your behavior and raise and lower your home’s temperature accordingly.
By using a smart thermostat, you can ensure that your home isn’t using unnecessary resources to maintain a comfortable environment. A smart thermostat can make sure that both the AC and the heater run less often. Typically, this is when you’re sleeping or are away from home.
Seal Up Your Home
A ridiculous amount of hot and cold air can escape from a poorly insulated house. This means your HVAC system will have to run overtime and will burn more fuel keeping your home temperatures regulated.
You can address this with a few different upgrades:
- Seal up windows and doors with weatherstripping and caulk.
- Have a contractor install better insulation in your attic, basement, and exterior walls.
- Hang curtains or install blinds to cover windows.
- Block up chimneys or other unused openings in your home.
- Fill in gaps between the floorboards.
If you’re going to add to your home or take on a more significant remodel, this can also open up the doors for a slew of green home building opportunities. From a green roof to proper insulation and reused, salvaged, or other eco-friendly building materials, there are plenty of ways to improve your home in an earth-friendly manner.
As a quick disclaimer, you also should be careful not to put yourself in harm’s way in your push to create a more sustainable living space. If you do choose to tackle a larger eco-friendly construction project, make sure to plan everything out thoroughly beforehand. Hire contractors for electrical or plumbing work, get protective gear for yourself, and study up on harmful substances like mold, lead, and asbestos, that are commonly found during remodeling activities.
Install Better Appliances
Appliances can use an excessive amount of energy. Everything from your refrigerator to your dishwasher, washer and dryer, heaters, and even fireplaces, has a more efficient, sustainable alternative these days.
These are not just helpful for the environment, either. Often they even pay for themselves through dramatically lower operational costs. In addition, they can add to the overall value and sellability of your home. Replacing old, inefficient appliances with energy-efficient alternatives is a win-win for both you and the Earth.
Turning Your Home into an Earth-Friendly Dwelling
There are many things that you can do to improve the sustainability of your home. Smart thermostats, energy-efficient appliances, low-flow water fixtures, better insulation, and green construction are all quality ways to improve the livability of your home.
Author: Noah Rue
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