Are you seeking an eco home transformation? In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift towards eco-friendly living. Headlines warn of trouble ahead, documentaries highlight issues such as plastic pollution in our oceans and deforestation. Having an eco-friendly home is increasingly crucial to play our part in protecting the planet.
One of the best ways to join the global effort is to think about how you can help with an eco home transformation and then spread the word. So, here are some top tips to transform your home into an eco-friendly haven.
Most of us use more energy than we need to, and we also waste a vast amount as a collective. If you’re looking to go green, reducing the amount of energy you use is an excellent place to start. If your bills are too high, or you’re guilty of leaving the lights on when you leave a room, set yourself a mission to lower spending.
Heat retention is key for those hoping to cut bills and make their eco home transformation more energy-efficient. Many of us pay a lot of money to heat our homes only for the warm air to escape through cracks, crevices and gaps. Insulating your home is a brilliant way to retain more heat and subsequently lower the frequency with which you turn your heating on.
There are several ways you can enhance insulation, including plugging, filling in and sealing gaps in window and door frames, using draft excluders or brushes to block out cold air and keep warm air inside, insulating lofts and wall cavities and investing in double glazing.
These steps will make your home warmer and they could also save you a substantial amount of money in the long-term. In some countries, there are grants available for insulation, so it’s worth doing some research to see if your home qualifies.
… and reducing usage
Today, heating systems and household appliances are designed with efficiency in mind. If you have an old water service, or you’ve had your fridge or your washing machine for as long as you can remember, you may find that replacing them will save you a lot of money. Smart appliances and cutting-edge heating technology use less energy.
You can also lower your energy bills by using a thermostat to set the temperature. If you have a thermostat, the heating will only come on if the temperature drops. Investing in energy-saving light globes is also an excellent idea.
When it comes to energy usage, there are several ways to make cutbacks. Turn lights off when you’re not using the room. Maximise natural light by opening curtains wide. Choose light colours for the walls and turn electrical appliances off at the socket.
Most of us head up to bed at night with our TVs, laptops and kettles on standby. Taking a second to switch off at the plug will make a difference. It’s also beneficial to make sure you have a full load before using the dishwasher or the washing machine, and to fill the kettle to the level you require, rather than boiling a full kettle every time.
Take a close look at your utility bills to get an idea of how much energy you use. If your bills are too high, or you’re keen to lower consumption, installing a smart meter could be beneficial for your eco home transformation. Smart meters track usage and expenditure in real-time, giving you an insight into how much you use each day and how much it’s costing you.
Every household needs water, but often, we waste water without even thinking. We run taps for longer than we need to and we fill our baths too full. It can be very easy to get into a habit of using excess water, but the good news is that you can always give up bad habits. If you’re conscious about using less water, there are some simple steps you can start taking today. Firstly, limit the time you spend in the shower and try and take showers, rather than indulging in a bubble bath daily.
Secondly, install a water bore. A water bore is a brilliant investment because it provides you with a supply of water, which you can use to wash your car or keep your lawn and flower beds moist. This will save you money on your water bills, and it can also be incredibly useful during the dry summer months. It’s also important to turn the taps off when you’re brushing your teeth and washing your face, and to limit the amount of water you use when you boil the kettle or wash the dishes.
Investing in renewable energy
In the last decade, there has been significant investment in renewable energy. More and more homeowners and businesses are embracing greener energy sources. Solar power is an increasingly popular option in countries where sunny days are par for the course.
Buying solar panels is beneficial for the environment and for your bank balance. Once you’ve covered the initial cost of installation, you’ll start saving money on energy bills. Over a prolonged period, you could save hundreds of dollars per year.
For homeowners, properties that have solar panels are also sought-after, as more consumers are keen to do their bit to protect the planet. If you’re thinking about switching to renewable energy resources, take some time to research online and weigh up the pros and cons for your eco home transformation.
Most of us were shocked to see images of plastic bottles floating around in the ocean and to hear about sea creatures being choked or poisoned by human waste on the BBC documentary, Blue Planet II, which was fronted by David Attenborough. Often, we use products and materials without thinking about where they are going to end up.
Programmes like Blue Planet encourage us to think twice before we chuck bottles, tins or boxes away. Recycling is so important because it helps to ensure that recyclable products end up in the right place and it also reduces waste significantly. Most of us are guilty of adding to the plastic mountains that are forming in landfill sites and natural environments, and we can do our bit to lower single-use plastic consumption and promote recycling.
Make sure you recycle anything that can be used again at home, and look out for products packaged using sustainable, recyclable materials when you go shopping. It’s also critical to get behind initiatives like replacing plastic bottles and single-use cups with reusable flasks, water bottles and coffee cups.
If you usually buy a takeaway coffee and a bottle of water on your way to work every weekday, for example, purchasing a coffee cup and a water bottle you can use every day will eliminate 5 plastic bottles and disposable cups. If you think about how many others are doing this across the world and you multiply it by 52, this equates to a vast amount of waste per year.
Changing your shopping habits
When you go out shopping, do you ever look at the labels to check the materials or ingredients, or look to see where the product has come from? Recently, there has been a lot of talk about sustainability and supporting ethical businesses, which actively promote greener ways of working.
If you’re on the hunt for new furniture, textiles or homewares for your eco home transformation, make an effort to locate ethical brands, which source sustainable materials and support environmental initiatives and programmes.
Many companies are now donating to charities, for example, and you can choose to buy from businesses that are helping with wildlife conservation, planting trees or tackling poverty. Choosing natural materials for your home and your wardrobe is also beneficial.
Houseplants look beautiful, and they add vibrancy and colour to interiors, but they’re also very useful when it comes to creating a green haven at home. Plants are effective air purifiers and they can make a positive difference to air quality within the home environment.
Studies also show that being surrounded by plants can lift your mood, reduce stress and increase productivity. To minimise your carbon footprint, make sure you buy plants locally. You can purchase all kinds of plants that are suitable for indoor spaces, and you can take advantage of additional benefits if you select specific plants for different rooms. Lavender, for example, has calming properties, which make it an excellent addition to bedrooms.
A final word on an eco home transformation
Many of us are keen to do our bit to support environmental initiatives and protect the planet. The best way to help out is to analyse your own behaviour and to take steps to change your lifestyle and encourage others to do the same. There are multiple ways you can make your home more eco-friendly, and even the smallest changes can have a dramatic impact.
Reduce energy usage, increase energy-efficiency and keep an eye on how much electricity, gas and water you’re using. Recycle as much as possible, cut back on plastic use and look for products made from sustainable materials and those sold by ethical brands when you’re out shopping.