Have you ever noticed that houses built in the past have a different feel than homes built today? They have more character, and they’re usually made with better-quality materials.
This is because standards for building materials, construction techniques, and energy efficiency have improved. But there are ways you can make your house more eco-friendly without having to build it from the ground up. Here are some simple changes you can make today:
Reducing solid waste and its management is a severe challenge to a sustainable environment. Data shows that the world generates over 2.01 billion tons of solid waste annually. Nearly 33% of the waste generated is not managed safely. It’s not always easy to know how much waste your household produces, but with a few simple tips, you can reduce the amount of trash going out the door.
- Reduce: Reduce the amount of stuff you buy in the first place by reusing items like paper towels and coffee filters.
- Reuse: Reuse disposable items like paper plates and plastic utensils by washing them before putting them away.
- Recycle: If there’s a recycling bin nearby, use it. It’s better than throwing things in the garbage or the ocean.
Conserving water is a big deal. You should try to use as little of this precious resource as possible. It’s also essential to ensure that your water is clean and good for your health. Data shows that around 2 million Americans lack access to safe drinking water at home.
Another great way to conserve water is by not letting it run down the drain when it doesn’t need to be there, like brushing your teeth or washing dishes. For example, don’t soak pots and pans after cooking. It’s better if they get rinsed under running tap water instead of sitting in a sink full of dirty dishwater until you have time to clean them later.
Be careful where you allow excess irrigation from gardens and lawns around your house. Too much can mean runoff into local waterways with harmful effects on wildlife habitats.
One of the first things you should do is improve your insulation. This can help save money on heating and cooling costs, prevent mold and mildew, reduce noise pollution, and more.
Insulation materials are generally divided into thermal insulation (or “thermal resistance”) and acoustic insulation.
Thermal insulation prevents heat transfer by slowing the rate heat passes through a material or assembly. In contrast, acoustic insulation prevents sound waves from passing through an assembly by converting them into other forms of energy before they reach the other side of the barrier.
Energy efficiency is crucial for the environment. The energy used in your houses is produced by burning and processing ground fuels, which harms the environment. Hence, more and more people are trying to reduce their energy usage. Data shows that in 2021, around 3.1 million energy-efficiency measures were installed in over 2 million properties in the UK. There are many ways to ensure you use only energy-efficient appliances.
- Buy appliances with the Energy Star label. Energy Star-certified products are designed to use less energy than conventional models, which means you’ll save money on your electricity bill and help reduce your carbon footprint.
If you have a dishwasher, look for one that washes dishes using less water and soap than typical models. And if you have an old refrigerator or freezer that needs replacing, consider purchasing a model with an automatic ice maker instead of storing ice trays in your freezer. It will save space and reduce how much power it takes to run the appliance.
- Maintain your electric appliances. Well-maintained appliances have a longer life and less energy usage. Hence, maintaining your electric appliances is advisable. Since HVAC systems and lighting use the most energy, you must ensure servicing them regularly. If you have an HVAC system in your house, consider hiring a reputable HVAC service provider annually to get the systems inspected and conduct regular maintenance.
- Programmable thermostats let you set temperatures based on when you’re home during the day so that heating or cooling systems don’t run unnecessarily while no one is there. You can also get smart thermostats that learn patterns over time, so they only adjust themselves when necessary.
This can be especially helpful if someone has come down with allergies recently. A smart thermostat can also help reduce your utility bills. According to data, thermostats can save around 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling. This means it can lower your electricity bills by up to 23%.
Growing your own food is one of the best ways to go green since it reduces the amount of food you buy. Plus, it’s super fun. You can grow vegetables, herbs, and fruit at home. And if you like flowers too, then even better.
Growing things at home will help reduce your carbon footprint and save money on groceries because you won’t have to buy as much produce at the grocery store. A recent study finds that around 80% of people are trying to grow their own food to reduce food spending. Plus, growing your own food is a great way to exercise while enjoying nature at its best.
Plus, so many different fruits and veggies grow well in containers, so they don’t take up much space in your yard or garden. Hence, there are no worries about having a space where there should be something pretty growing instead.
Don’t toss old electronics in the trash. Recycle them! If you have a computer, television, or other electronic devices that no longer work, don’t throw them away. Find out where you can recycle your broken stuff, and be sure to do so. You can reuse old electronics for parts or scrap metal by taking them to a recycling center. This is good for the environment and saves you money by using materials that would otherwise go into landfills.
Remember, never dispose of batteries in the trash, either. Batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury and lead, which are toxic to people and animals when released into our water supply through wastewater treatment facilities.
Instead of tossing them into regular garbage cans or flushing them down toilets, take all used batteries to an authorized drop-off location where they will be sorted out properly for recycling or disposal at no cost to you.
Electronic waste, or e-waste, is increasing significantly due to technological advances. Data shows that there has been a 21% increase in e-waste in the last 5 years. Hence, there is a need to ensure the disposal of e-waste correctly by working with a waste management service provider to reduce your carbon footprint.
The world has changed significantly recently, and we must do our part to make it a better place for future generations. By reducing waste and using sustainable materials, you’ll contribute to a greener future from which we all can benefit.