Green Living: Turn Your Home into a Sustainable Sanctuary
March 17, 2020 | by sofia lockhart
Grass should not be greener just on the other side, right? Nowadays it is very difficult not to think about your home as your sanctuary. After your workplace, your house is the place where you spend most of your time. Not to mention, if you are a freelancer and you don’t have a different space where to work from, your house becomes your workplace as well as your living space. Who would want to live and work in an environment that is not good enough for you and your habits? And when you spend that much time inside, you’ll definitely think of making some improvements so that you use fewer resources and make your living healthier and sustainable for the future. And when we say sustainable we think about the choices that could help all the three pillars of sustainability: the economic, the social and, the environmental.
Here are some measures that you can take to turn your home into a sustainable sanctuary and into a more eco-friendly space suitable for the future.
Reduce, Recycle and Reuse
We bet you are quite creative and crafty, and you likely don’t even know it! Remember those jars and cans that you bought last week from the supermarket? Don’t throw them away. You can use them to store something else once they’re empty; as planters, for example. Also, if you have the option to buy recycled products, do it. These days you can buy items that are completely recycled, varying from paper to technology products. And when you go to the grocery store, make sure you already take your shopping bag from home and don’t buy a new one. You should also consider buying second-hand furniture. There are plenty of good quality items that can be found at a fraction of the price than in your usual high street outlet. By repurposing older furniture, you’re one small step closer to reducing the overall impact you’ll have on the environment.
Collect and Save Water
It’s impossible to ignore the fact that climate change is happening all over the world. We’ve seen extremes in the weather all around, from extremely mild winters to scorchingly high temperatures in other parts of the world. A distinct lack of rainfall (coupled with record high temperatures) is one of the primary reasons that the recent bushfires in Australia had such a catastrophic impact on the local flora and fauna. Restrictive measures were enforced by the government, but the conservation of our most precious resource should already be on the mind of any socially and ecologically minded individual. One of the many ways in which you too can do your part in this endeavor is through the use of a rainwater collection system. It can be as simple as leaving a large drum out in your garden to a properly designed system with which you can subsequently water your garden or use the collected water for various chores around the home. Looking at some other areas where potential water waste is high, you should opt to do only full loads when it comes to either your laundry or the dishes. Additionally, you should also consider replacing your faucets, taps and showerhead(s) with low-flow varieties to reduce your waste even further.
Save as Much Energy as You Can
It’s 2020, we use technology for almost everything, even to brush our teeth. How can we use less energy and be more cost-efficient in the long run? One such way is by replacing your traditional light bulbs with energy-efficient ones that not only use less electricity, but they also last longer. Yes, these lightbulbs are currently more expensive than their traditional counterparts, but their longevity and eco-friendly nature makes a lot more sense for both the environment and your wallet. There are other areas around the house where further energy can be saved. By installing a smart thermostat you can correctly regulate the temperature in your home, reducing wasteful energy when no one is in the house or during nighttime. You can also install motion detectors for illuminating certain areas of the house (and outside it) which will only light up when needed, further reducing your consumption.
Easily Compost Food Waste
A staggering amount of food is wasted each year all around the world. While this is often attributed to bigger businesses, such as supermarkets and restaurants, the average household can also do their part in the reduction of said waste. One common way is to turn food scraps into usable compost and fertilizer. For example, if you have a garden and you want to use the soil to plant some plants or flowers, collecting your scraps into a heap (or special bin) which you can subsequently mix in with the soil will save you the hassle of buying the same from a store. Moreover, by collecting the various scraps, you’re ensuring that the fertilizer being used in your garden is entirely organic and healthy.
Keep Your Home as Green as Possible
One further option to make your home more green, is to literally make it greener by adding numerous plants throughout your house or apartment. If space is at a premium, consider using your balcony or bathroom to add further plants. Don’t just limit yourself to the usual decorative varieties found indoors, but consider planting some veggies and herbs for rainy days. You don't need that much space to grow a few basic plants like tomato or basil, you only need a place that gets good sunlight and a bit of fertile soil (your food recycling practice should help you with this!).
Step by step, if you manage to incorporate some of these tips and tricks to make your home a better place for you and the environment, your life will become so much more enjoyable. Turning your home into a sustainable sanctuary takes time and a little bit of effort, but the results are more than worth it.
Sofia is a passionate writer from Sydney. She also enjoys decorating houses and engaging in home renovation projects. That is why she loves sharing her experience and advice with other people through her writing. Besides this, she loves technology and gadgets which can help us get through a busy workday.