The term ‘sustainability’ is quite in vogue these days, with everyone from big corporate houses to small businesses talking about this relatively new concept. But do you know what sustainability actually means?
Simply put, sustainability is the process of living one’s life with minimal impact on the environment. It is the act of incorporating eco-friendly practices in our daily routine and minimizing our carbon footprint, without compromising on our way of life.
Currently, we are about 7.5 billion humans on this planet we call ‘home’, each one of us using some form of energy to go about our day-to-day lives. Can you imagine the impact that our daily need for power has on the environment? Do you realize that terms like ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’ are no longer threats in the distant future? Man’s unquenchable thirst for energy (read: fossil fuels) has already brought the ecosystem on its knees.
So today, sustainability is the need of the hour. We must realize that we have just one planet and thus, we have to strive to meet our energy needs without putting any negative pressure on the already fragile environment. Let us begin by making our homes more sustainable!
Many people think that introducing sustainability in homes is a cumbersome process and an expensive one too. Well, they probably were thinking about costly solar panels and temperature regulating walls. In reality, there are scores of super-easy and fun ways to make your house more sustainable, and some of them don’t even cost a penny!
Don’t believe us? Have a look…
10 sustainable practices for your home that are easy on the pocket too!
Let the sun shine… inside your home too
Pull back those heavy drapes and let some sunlight into your house. You can save 10% energy on heating by doing that on a sunny day.
Go the compost way
Start a compost pile in your backyard with dead leaves and other organic wastes from the kitchen. In some weeks, you’ll have rich soil, good enough to start a vegetable garden of your own.
Save your energy bills by swapping your bulbs
Don’t hesitate to buy LED bulbs for your homes thinking that they are expensive than the traditional ones. In the long run, these energy-efficient bulbs will reduce your energy bills considerably, so consider them an intelligent investment rather than a fruitless expenditure.
Learn the art of reusing and recycling
Yes, it requires some effort on your part, but reusing and recycling stuff is much better for the environment than leaving it to rot in some landfill. For example, repair broken tools and furniture instead of throwing them away. Make an effort to reuse plastic items such as folders, bags, bottles etc. which have a long life span. A paper has two sides, so don’t trash it after using just one.
Manage the thermostat
Simply adjusting the setting of your heating or cooling system can reduce your home’s carbon footprint and help you save money too. You can save up to 10% on your energy bill for every degree less the system has to heat or cool.
Make intelligent choices as a consumer
As a consumer, you have great power in your hands. If you consciously make eco-friendly choices while buying stuff, you can drastically reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Buy rechargeable batteries instead of use-and-throw ones. Opt for items made out of recycled paper/plastic. Go for trash bags made from biodegradable materials.
Don’t forget to unplug electrical appliances when not in use. TVs are most often left on stand by mode throughout the day. According to a research, while the electricity consumed by a TV left on stand by or a coffeemaker programmed to brew in a few hours isn’t much, when combined together, they may account for upto10% of your energy bill!
Use low-energy appliances
If you are planning to buy new appliances, go for the ones which are ‘Energy Star-Qualified’. They use 10 to 50% less energy than the standard ones.
Decrease your water usage
Install low-flow toilets and showers in your home. If you have a low-flow showerhead, there’ll be less water to heat- so you’ll be saving water and energy. Also, if you have a leaky faucet, fix it immediately to prevent water wastage.
Plant a small garden
Even the smallest of gardens helps increase your home’s sustainability, so don’t hesitate to plant one- even if it is just a few flower pots.
As you see, introducing sustainability in homes isn’t a complicated task. It just requires a few conscious decisions and love for the environment. So this spring season, go green, go sustainable!
To read more about homes and sustainability, check out our book “The Roots of a Greener Home” that talks about 100+ ways to a greener home.