Living in a sustainable home has many advantages in our daily life. It does not only cut or reduce our carbon footprint but it also give us the opportunity to save costs, increase the quality of our environment, healthier lifestyle and strengthens our local community.
Having a sustainable home does not have to be difficult. Here are some tips which could help us to attain a sustainable home.
USE / BUY ENERGY-EFFICIENT APPLIANCES
In choosing electrical appliances (especially on high electricity consuming appliances such as air-conditioners, refrigerators, clothes dyer), check and compare the energy rating stickers / energy labels on the appliances. It helps consumers to identify and compare which energy-efficient models are available in the market.
In Singapore, a Mandatory Energy Labelling was introduced for registrable goods since 1 January 2008 under the Energy Conservation Act (Cap. 92C). (NEA – How to Read the Energy Label)
In the Philippines, Meralco Power Lab was launched last January 2015 which provides consumers on efficient use of electricity and provide power-related information. The Meralco Orange tag also provides information on the energy consumption and the cost that you can save on the specific appliance.
Other parts of the world such as U.S (EnergyGuide) and Europe (EU Energy Label) has their own energy-efficiency label as well.
MAXIMIZE THE FENESTRATIONS
Let the natural light and ventilation get inside your house. Maximize your windows and door openings by avoiding to block these openings. Opt for translucent shades which provide privacy. You can also position your outdoor plants away from your window to act as a privacy screening for a more natural feel.
Natural light makes the spaces bright during the day time. Natural ventilation brings in fresh air. By doing so, it minimizes or eliminates the use of artificial lighting and mechanical ventilation (air-conditioners and fans).
INTRODUCE HOME EDIBLE GARDENS
Nothing beats a homegrown herbs and vegetables around your home or even inside your home. There is a lot of benefits from growing your own greens. From healthier food option, cheaper cost, aesthetic value, improving your gardening skills etc.
Just make sure to make a research on which herbs and vegetable is suitable for your home. You may need to consider the weather, location on where you will plant, soil type, plant properties etc.
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FURNITURE STORE
In buying and choosing for furnitures, check your local store first. It reduces the environmental impact by having a little transportation / delivery costs. We all know that vehicles do use petrol which contributes to our carbon footprint. Your local furniture store most likely uses local materials (a plus point if they uses recycled materials) and hires local employees.The revenue goes back into the local economy which enriches the whole community and builds a stronger local economy.
MINIMIZE WASTE AND MAXIMIZE YOUR RESOURCES
It is easy to replace and throw old furnitures, downgraded electrical appliance and other home equipments and accessories. However, consider to fix the little damages first and ask your self if buying a new stuff at home is necessary. Learn to DIY and recycle it as much as possible. You may also want to consider buying second-hand appliances before purchasing a new one. Look for garage sales around your neighbourhood or even look on online sites / mobile apps for which allows you to buy or even sell your pre-loved items. Minimizing waste and maximizing your resources can save you a hefty amount of dollars.
CHOOSE ECO-FRIENDLY MATERIALS
A great number of eco-friendly building materials are now available in the market. It increases the efficiency of energy used and reduces impact on human well-being and the environment. These materials are durable and require low maintenance, from rapidly renewable sources and from recycled materials.
Some examples are eco-friendly paints which are odorless, VOC free and non-toxic. If you are about to replace your floor, consider using bamboo floors than hardwood. Bamboo is a natural material which grows faster than most hardwoods which makes it a trend in the construction industry. A uncarbonized bamboo is durable and is an ideal material. Recycled materials such as steel, wood and plastics. Insulated panels, Low-E glass are some of the usual eco-friendly materials that are used.
More than just a sustainable home, a sustainable lifestyle should be implied as these two comes together. It takes time, effort and discipline to gradually embrace this lifestyle but it is worth taking for the better of everyone, the environment and the world.
What are your sustainable tips at home? Share it with us by leaving a comment below.